The Blues continue to proudly support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign on its 10th anniversary, ‘keeping up’ our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion as we celebrate diversity through our message of ‘Whoever You May Be’.
Chelsea’s ongoing allyship with our LGBTQ+ community is being championed across the club for the Rainbow Laces campaign with a host of activity. That will include our two flagship matches, with Chelsea Women first up against Leicester today at Kingsmeadow, and the men’s team hosting Brighton at Stamford on Sunday 3 December.
We also commissioned LGBT Poet Laureate Trudy Howson to write a poem about Chelsea’s commitment to celebrating and championing our diverse fanbase. Trudy’s work explores internal and external landscapes of the LGBTQ+ community, using a ‘living interactive’ method which surveys subjects to weave a narrative from their experiences.
By interviewing players from both teams as well as Chelsea Pride, Trudy was able to truly capture the soul of the club and its supporters, translating their feelings on the beauty and strength of our diversity.
POETRY IN MOTION ON THE PITCH
We are Chelsea Football Club,
118 years of passion from the stands above.
We’re a community of players and supporters,
All proud to be involved in this game that brings so much love.
We are every race and religion,
every gender and sexuality,
every sister and brother, every person.
Because we will always support one another.
It’s the diversity within us,
that enables our talent and promise to grow.
It makes on the pitch, and in the stands,
A celebration of what we know.
There is no place for hatred here,
Ignorance and prejudice hurts us all.
The Pride is a family.
So, be who you are by standing tall.
We’re lacing up, while speaking up.
Because we are the famous C.F.C.
We inspire pride in all those who wear our badge,
Supporting our community, whoever you may be.
Allyship and diversity on video
We also created a video to tell the story of our work within the LGBTQ+ equality space, narrated by the voices of the club told through Trudy’s poetry.
Through using archival campaign footage, interspersed with players wearing rainbow laces showing their solidarity and ‘keeping it up’ (Rainbow Laces’ 10-year anniversary theme), the film highlights our longstanding allyship and continued dedication to promoting the diversity within our community - whoever you may be.
In the community, Chelsea Foundation is working alongside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Dean Street (Transplus) to deliver a pilot programme: the Chelsea Transgender Wellbeing Programme.
This programme, launched during Transgender Awareness Week, covers a range of topics supporting participants to live a healthier and happier life, such as ideas for regular exercise, healthy nutrition, and mental health support. These topics will be delivered over 12 sessions, across a six-month period, and aims to give participants ownership of living a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Earlier this year, Chelsea stepped up our presence at Pride in London on our second Chelsea Pride float, showing our support at the annual parade that celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Our message to the parade and the Chelsea family originated from a popular chant, reimagined to illustrate our commitment to inclusion - ‘Whoever You May Be’.
We continued our dedication to advocacy and allyship by partnering with Chelsea Pride, our LGBTQ+ supporters group, to take part in the Pride in London parade. We proudly stood together with Chelsea Pride and colleagues on the Chelsea truck, as well as mascots Stamford and Bridget, a drag queen host and a DJ.
To complement this work, we ran various language workshops for our internal colleagues to support in understanding terminology and pronouns. We also launched pronoun badges for our colleagues, making them available to anyone who wants to wear one.
Throughout the season we are committed to advocating LGBTQ+ rights, as one of the key pillars of the , to create a club and community that is open and welcoming to all.