Football v Homophobia joins year-round LGBTQ+ inclusivity project designed to increase awareness and impact
The United Soccer League (USL) today announced the creation of the Forever Proud Project, an ongoing, year-round initiative designed to increase inclusivity, education and awareness for the LGBTQ+ community.
The Forever Proud Project aims to create opportunities and promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity across all USL communities. The project, which aims to kick off on May 17 – the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – will activate especially around key awareness dates, and shine the spotlight on community members, fans and businesses across the USL.
The Forever Proud Project launches with a collection of key partners already established as leaders in LGBTQ+ inclusivity in sport. The Football v Homophobia campaign is one of these.
Lizzie Seedhouse, Senior Vice President, Digital, Emerging Technology & Strategy at USL, says of the partnership:
“Taking a strong stance against homophobia and transphobia in sport, and specifically the world’s game, has never been more important. We very much look forward to partnering with Football v Homophobia to stamp out discrimination while making the environment more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community at all levels within the USL. This strategy is about taking action, and we are excited to collaborate with the organization to make strides across our leagues.”
The USL and Football v Homophobia’s partnership will develop cultural comprehension and grassroots programming to help remove discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The programming will be utilized throughout the USL Youth ecosystem, impacting 12,000+ young USL athletes across the country.
Keph Senett, FvH Americas Lead explains further:
“We’re delighted to be working with USL and particularly in delivering our education work to a new audience. We are passionate about creating inclusive soccer environments for young people and value this opportunity to bring our work stateside”
Also working in partnership with USL are:
- You Can Play Project: Rooted in the mission to ensure the safety and inclusion of all LGBTQ people throughout the sports ecosystem, USL will work alongside the You Can Play Project to provide League Staff and Clubs support through educational resources, advocacy, experiential marketing consultation, and community management support.
- HomeField Alliance: As the first LGBTQ affinity group aimed to create a voice and resource for LGBTQ professionals in the business of sport and entertainment, HomeField Alliance and the USL will amplify the group’s purpose and mission throughout the USL ecosystem, with focuses on membership relationships, networking, workshops, and mentoring programming.
PUMA x The Trevor Project: A strategic partnership between PUMA, The Trevor Project and the USL will deliver educational resources to support the mental health of LGBTQ young people and promote inclusive sports participation, which can help reduce risk of suicide. This initiative will be amplified by custom apparel collaborations and ladder up into PUMA’s social justice platform, #REFORM. Grounded in three core pillars—ending racial, LGBTQ+, and gender discrimination— #REFORM drives and advocates for social change by partnering with like-minded activists and organizations around the world.