Comedian Eddie Izzard has revealed that he was subjected to homophobic abuse at last weekend’s FA Cup final, despite being trans, not gay.
Izzard, who identifies as transgender, was present at the decisive match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United last weekend in his role as the former’s associate director.
“I went to the Palace game against Manchester United and someone [verbally] attacked me and was exceedingly horrible – he said I’m a disgrace to the Crystal Palace team,” Izzard revealed to a group of students during a speaking engagement on his pro-EU tour.
“I was wearing a Crystal Palace shirt, he said ‘You’re a fucking disgrace’, and I went … ‘Hey what the bloody hell are you saying,” he added. Happily, the homophobic man did not find a receptive audience. “All the other Palace fans came out and said ‘Hey, back off, man’,” Izzard told the assembled students.
“And I just thought it was actually rather positive, because only one guy was screaming homophobic abuse at me rather than 20 or an entire section of an audience.”
Proud and Palace, Crystal Palace’s LGBT supporters’ group, posted a statement condemning the abuse – as well as praising Izzard’s defenders – on their Facebook page.
‘Proud and Palace, the official LGBT fan group for Crystral Palace, condemn the actions of the one fan who directed homophobic/ transphobic abuse at Eddie Izzard at the FA Cup Final on Saturday.
‘The Cup Final was one of the proudest days in our club’s history so to have it marred by the by the incident is deeply saddening.
‘We are however, cheered by the news that several Crystal Place fans stepped in to support Eddie…Eddie is truly “on eof our own” and to the fans who spoke up in the face of homophobic/ transphobic abuse we send our sincere thanks.
We hope that any member of the CPFC familt could count on their fellow fans for the same support.’
Izzard told the CPFC website that it was right after a Crystal Palace game that he finally felt comfortable enough to tell his father that he was transgender.
“My dad had a season ticket in the Arthur Wait stand and sometimes he’d take my brother, sometimes he’d take me,” he said. “At the time I wasn’t seeing him that much and I thought why don’t I tell him at a football game.
“We were leaving the ground with all the fans streaming out and we got all the way down to Croydon so I said let’s go and get something to eat. We went to a café and had sausage egg and chips and I found a back room where no one was in and told him…”
“I’ve got boy genetics, I’ve got girl genetics and I’m just open and upfront about it and I wear the Palace shirt and I’m proud to do that,” he added.
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