A new LGBT supporters group is being launched for Celtic fans this month.
‘Proud Huddle CSC’ will open its doors at a special event on 23rd January in Glasgow.
The group is the idea of lifelong Celtic fan, Iain Sharkey, who told us how the group has gathered pace over the past few weeks:
“The idea came about when we saw other clubs throughout the UK setting up LGBT groups for fans. I created a Facebook group and from that started making contact with other fellow Celtic fans who liked the idea and wanted to help out.”
Proud Huddle now join a growing list of LGBT supporters groups in Scotland, including Aberdeen’s Proud Dons, the Proud Dees at Dundee FC, Tynecastle Pride at Hearts FC and the new Proud Jags group with Patrick Thistle.
LEAP Sports have supported Iain and the Proud Huddle group get up and running, and their spokesperson told us:
“Growing LGBTI football fans groups is a key part of our Football v Homophobia work and it has been a real pleasure to support Proud Huddle CSC in their development. The group so far have been fantastic, their passion for Celtic and LGBTI+ inclusion there is unparalleled and we look forward to seeing the impact such a group can make. We see the emergence of Proud Huddle CSC as a positive step towards LGBTI+ visibility in Scottish football and encourage anyone interested in setting up an LGBTI+ fans group elsewhere to get in touch.”
Last year Celtic fans displayed a huge banner at their game with Kilmarnock which said “A Club Open to All”. The message was supported by fans online, and one post in particular has had thousands of Likes. The club also signed up to the LGBT Sports Charter back in August 2017 and in November took part in the Stonewall Rainbow Laces campaign, with Celtic skipper Scott Brown reinforcing the message that “sport is for all”.
Iain explained why he thinks there’s an important place for LGBT supporters groups to improve social connections and break down barriers in sport, “Some people want to use [the group] to challenge homophobia but also some want to just get together to watch games and have a beer.”
Supporters are encouraged to go along and join the Proud Huddle launch, with details available on their Facebook events page here.
Main pic credit: @garland_conor on Twitter