Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wear a rainbow for Euro 2012, ask equality campaigners

The issues surrounding fans attending Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland have been well publicised. With the competition starting tomorrow, a number of fans have been asking us what they can do to show solidarity to the LGBT community. The following has appeared on the Gay Games blog (http://gaygamesblog.blogspot.co.uk).

The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) has teamed up with the Pride Solidarity Campaign (supported by FARE) to identify opportunities for LGBT inclusion and human rights during Euro 2012.

Clare Dimyon, of Pride Solidarity, has been in Ukraine since Kyiv Pride, visiting Ukrainian LGBT communities including those in the four host cities of Kyiv, Karkhiv, Lviv and Donetsk. Clare has been promoting Football v Homophobia, the global campaign against prejudice and discrimination towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in football in preparation for Euro 2012.

Meanwhile, EGLSF has been preparing for the opening of Euro Pride House in Warsaw on Friday June 8 (part of the Football for Equality initiative). Euro Pride House is a space for all fans, players and football supporters during the Championships. Its focus is on the LGBT community but is open to anyone who wants to challenge homophobia in football.

During the tournament, the partners will be delivering two specific campaigns, ‘Wear a Rainbow at Euro 2012’ and ‘YOUR Euro Pride House’. 

Wear A Rainbow at Euro 2012

Last month people witnessed with horror the brutal beating of Svyatoslav Sheremet, head of the Gay-Forum of Ukraine, at the first ever gay parade in Kiev. This sparked major concerns over the safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people in Ukraine as well as those attending Euro 2012 in Ukraine in June. ‘Wear a Rainbow at euro 2012’ is a campaign to show solidarity with LGBT in Ukraine during the Euros. Anyone interested in challenging the violence perpetrated against LGBT in Europe can wear a silicone rainbow wristband to show support. Wristbands will be available at Euro Pride House in Warsaw and from various venues in Ukraine and those not in Ukraine and Poland can join in with this simple act of solidarity.

YOUR Euro Pride House


This campaign aims to enable LGBT people in Ukraine to hold their own Euro Pride Houses in environments in which they feel safe. Clare from the Pride Solidarity Campaign is facilitating a range of ‘Euro Pride Houses’ in various locations across Ukraine and supplying activists with Football v Homophobia leaflets, t-shirts and, of course wristbands for the ‘Wear a Rainbow at Euro 2012 campaign.

The YOUR Euro Pride House campaign also enables other European LGBT people to engage in Euro Pride House. Obviously many LGBT players, fans & activists will be watching Euro 2012 matches in their own countries, and will not be making the trip to Poland or Ukraine. YOUR Euro Pride House is a campaign to engage these fans in LGBT human rights issues in Central and Eastern Europe through football and enable us to use Euro 2012 as a vehicle to mobilise support. The campaign will enable fans, wherever they are in Europe, to be a part of Euro Pride house, by printing out the Euro Pride House logo from the Facebook page and posting a photo of themselves and their friends/team mates celebrating Euro 2012 wherever they are in Europe.

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