Bisexual Stevenage FC fan lifts the lid on homophobia at the Lamex Stadium which has left him living in fear
PUBLISHED: 06:58 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 07:10 23 October 2017
A bisexual teenager who is a staunch supporter of Stevenage FC has spoken out about the prevalence of homophobia in football, saying he has been forced to run in fear after games have finished.
The fan, who we are not naming, has given a deeply personal account online of homophobic taunts and threats from other fans at Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium which have left him feeling ashamed and living in fear.
He said: “It has been made aware to a wider audience recently, more through frustration and anger than choice, that I am bisexual.
“I am a huge football fan and attend all home games and a large portion of away games for Stevenage.
“Football was my escape. Football hid my secret and gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined.
“I still get as much joy, but it is not an escape, not any more.
“Due to social groups which have formed within the supporters, the subjects of my sexuality and my football life have become intertwined and the severity of the taunts and threats is tearing me apart.”
Embarrassed and afraid, he has tried to ignore the problem since it started last November.
He asked: “Do you know how hard it is to deal with it constantly on your own, without a mate in the world and living your life, or trying to, in secret?
“I’ve had stuff whispered, and even shouted, to me, and multiple threats have frightened me, especially considering I go to a lot of games on my own. I have run in fear after a game’s finished.”
He said the homophobia is increasing, giving him reason not to attend matches. “I don’t want that,” he said. “Why should I not be able to support my team because some aren’t happy with the way my life is?
“The stadium once seen as my home has now made me just as fearful as everywhere else. Things no longer feel safe. I’m scared, ashamed and embarrassed.
“Football needs to fix the problem. I can’t keep being torn apart, crying in the toilets.”
A Stevenage FC spokesman said: “We are shocked and disgusted by the reports of hateful incidents inside our stadium. Stevenage FC 100 per cent believes in equality and inclusion and we have a zero tolerance policy on homophobic behaviour.
“The club has been in touch with the supporter and is working to help him, while ensuring all our fans understand what is and isn’t acceptable at the Lamex Stadium.”