St Kilda Football Club cheers LGBTIQ fans

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By Louise Avery 

It’s been a long time coming that football acknowledges the elephant in the room - that some of their fans might actually be gay. Even more startling perhaps that some of their players might  be gay as well.  Brett Stirling, like many Saints supporters is a die-hard dreamer waiting for the day the football club will win a grand final. The last time that happened was over half a century ago in 1966. It is that dire.

Brett has high hopes for the Saints to make the finals this year… but the other big project he is championing is the growth of a St Kilda supporter group called Saints Pride. The goal in their own words is: to promote and encourage an inclusive alliance between LGBTIQ persons and other members of the Saints family.

“In line with St Kilda Football Club values, we will increase awareness of LGBTIQ through fundraising and offering visibility in the community,” Mr Stirling said.

Saints Pride works with the football club to build events around LGBTIQ inclusion. The group was excited when two players Tom Hickey and Sam Gilbert joined the spirit of the movement by marching down Fitzroy Street with the Saints Pride members at the Pride March earlier this year.

With a few other club supporter groups marching, the presence of the players of St Kilda was a passionate statement that the St Kilda club supports the Pride March and the philosophy of inclusiveness that is championed by Saints Pride.

So there they were the men and women of Saints Pride wearing their colours, proudly flanked by players happy to march amongst the cheerful, ebullient and flamboyant crowds that made their way down Fitzroy Street. All out and proud, and celebrating themselves in this diverse world of all sexual orientations, colours, and sizes.

Want to see more pictures of the Pride March taken by a St Kilda local? Head to our FaceBook page fb.com/stkildanews. Spot yourself or a friend? Don’t forget to tag them!

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