Stevenage FC fan boosted by support after lifting the lid on homophobia in football
PUBLISHED: 20:11 15 November 2017
A teenage bisexual Stevenage Football Club supporter has been bolstered with messages of support after speaking out about the prevalence of homophobia in football.
In a Comet article published last month, we reported how the fan, who we are not naming, has been subjected to sustained homophobic taunts and threats from other fans at Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium.
The teenager has been living in fear, running from the ground after matches, and feeling ashamed and embarrassed.
Lifting the lid on the bigotry he has been exposed to has prompted messages of support from Comet readers and Stevenage FC supporters alike.
One man said: “I know the fan and responses from supporters have been hugely positive and protective of this lad. It has shown the good side of football supporters.
“I know the young man appreciates and takes comfort from the outpouring of goodwill towards him, the recognition of his courage in speaking out, and disgust at the perpetrators.
“The vast majority of supporters at Stevenage that I have the pleasure of mixing with at matches will no more tolerate homophobia than they do racism or any other form of personal abuse.”
The teenage victim said: “I’ve had support – all appreciated, of course – but in reality I have to help myself.
“It’s not been easy, but I have had messages that I never expected. I’ve also had horrible messages saying I’m an attention seeker.
“With the article, I feel exposed but it has made me feel better.”
Another man told the Comet: “I was really pleased to see you exposing the homophobic attitude of many fans at Stevenage FC.
“It is my opinion that there is a deep-rooted problem with homophobia within the core group of supporters.”
He said that the homophobic chants from Stevenage fans are shocking.
A spokesman for Stevenage FC said the club has a zero tolerance policy on homophobic behaviour. He said: “Stevenage FC 100 per cent believes in equality and inclusion.
“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.”