London’s iconic Pride parade returns bigger than ever this Saturday and the Blues will be represented at the event by our official LGBT fan group, Chelsea Pride.
Ahead of the parade, we spoke to Tracy Brown, co-chair of Chelsea Pride, to discuss what is in store for 2019.
‘This year marks 50 years of Pride so it’s a massive anniversary event,’ she said. ‘We wanted to get the whole club involved, so we have members of staff coming and it’s a real Chelsea family event. It highlights the equality at our club, which is brilliant, and it’s not just about people from the LGBT community, it’s family, it’s friends, everybody who supports it.
‘Homophobia is unfortunately on the rise, as is racism, as is antisemitism, so it feels like this year we need to be showing a united front more than ever and it’s going to be a really fun, friendly atmosphere.’
The group was founded in 2016 and with the backing of the club has gone from strength to strength.
‘We have 150 members in the Chelsea Pride group, with more than 6,000 followers on Twitter,’ Tracy explained. We have a private Facebook group and an Instagram page, so people can follow us easily, and we have members all over the world, from Australia to America and across Europe.
‘Last year’s parade was a great event, we did it under the Pride in Football banner, which is a group that includes all the LGBT groups in the country, but this year we are going on our own as a club to make a massive impact. We’ll all have matching t-shirts and caps, and the club mascots, Stamford and Bridget, are joining us again.’
It promises to be a fantastic spectacle, with more than one million people hitting the capital’s streets. For Chelsea Pride, it marks the beginning of another exciting season, with more growth anticipated.
‘We have a great club with great inclusivity,’ Tracy said. ‘We are on the Fans’ Forum and the club has the Game for Equality and Rainbow Laces matches, which also help raise awareness.
‘Having the club behind us is huge. We are always at Stamford Bridge matches and this year we plan to do more at the Women’s and Academy games,’ Tracy said. ‘We want as many Chelsea fans as possible supporting us.’
Saturday’s Pride parade starts in central London from midday. You can find out more here.