There’s a new piece of fan wear available which doubles as a celebration and recognition of queer fans of the beautiful game while at the same time raising funds for worthy causes.
Artist Brian Teeling created the t-shirts in response to the unfortunately common occurrence of homophobia on the terraces. Not just in football, but on many sports grounds, homophobic chants and slurs can often be heard.
It was only reported today that Matt Smith, the former chairman of UK club Sheppey United, took the step of imposing a lifetime ban on one of its supporters for homophobic and racist chanting. Smith told the press: “Despite numerous attempts to curb the unsavoury chanting and actions of individuals during home football matches over recent weeks we were left with no alternative but to ban this so-called supporter.
“Having spent 10 minutes trying to explain how their actions caused the football club issues and detailing the previous incidents this individual did not seem to understand nor want to cooperate in an adult conversation so a ban was imposed.”
Teeling’s t-shirts are inspired by the Gay Bohs – the gay fans of the Bohemian Football Club. The fan wear pairs the classic pink triangle symbol with the logo from the 1993 Bohemian FC home jersey – the year of decriminalization. The artist is tackling the issue of homophobia by creating fan wear that doubles as a proud announcement of the team you follow and the team you play for.
As Teeling explains, “Football leaves little or no room for narratives outside of the accepted ‘norm’. These t-shirts provide a challenge to that establishment. They hold up a mirror to it, forcing it to study its performed edifice and accept that not only are members of the LGBTQ+ community here, but we have always been here”.
All profits from the sales will go towards BeLonG To, the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex young people, and the Bohemian Foundation – which is intent on improving the health and well-being of its North Dublin community.
While this latest t-shirt may be specific to the ‘Bohs’, Teeling hopes this will be just the first of many queer fan wear designs.
To grab yourself a t-shirt, check out the online store here.
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