Jun 15, 2018
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Why I

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Why I

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This summer season I am becoming a member of round 10,000 different England followers in Russia to cheer on the Three Lions.

After clashes between England and Russia followers throughout Euro 2016, we’re all going to must have our wits about us.

However, as a result of I am homosexual, I’ll must be additional cautious.

LGBT+ followers have been informed they face extra risks in Russia due to the nation’s attitudes to homosexuality.

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We made the choice to not present Lee’s face within the intrests of his security and safety on the World Cup

I am very nervous about going.

However as soon as I am there and I get to absorb the environment, I am positive the adrenaline will simply begin kicking in and all my worries shall be gone.

I used to be impressed to go as a result of everybody informed me that as a homosexual supporter I should not.

The most typical query I get from mates is not “when are you going?”, it is “are you continue to going?”

That is the concept – that I should not be going now.

I would like to have the ability to present different LGBT supporters that it is OK to be who you might be and to go to occasions like this everywhere in the world, no matter what your scenario is like.

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Assist for LGBT followers was on present at Euro 2016 in France

In 2013, Russia banned gay “propaganda” – and the UK’s Overseas Workplace says that “public attitudes in direction of LGBT+ points are much less tolerant than within the UK”.

The Soccer Supporters’ Federation advises homosexual followers to “not publicly show your sexuality” whereas in Russia.

If I had been to reach there with a rainbow flag, I might be shunned, pushed apart and possibly even given abuse for it.

Nonetheless, with the World Cup being a platform, I feel Russian individuals shall be extra understanding and acceptable as a result of they’re getting individuals in from everywhere in the world.

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Premier League golf equipment have backed LGBT followers with the rainbow laces marketing campaign

Having stated that, if I used to be going with a associate I would not present any sort of PDA (public show of affection) in any respect – I would not even maintain palms or something like that.

That may be a really troublesome scenario to place myself in as a result of in earlier relationships, I’ve all the time been very open with that type of factor.

To then must be closed off, it goes towards all the things that I’m and consider in.

Because it occurs, I am going with my greatest pal.

He is straight and he is fairly nervous about being with me – as a result of if somebody did discover out that I used to be brazenly homosexual, they might clearly assume that he was homosexual with me and it might be fairly a battle.

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Vladimir Putin stated LGBT athletes had been welcome in Russia in 2014

Earlier than the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave assurances that homosexual individuals would not be discriminated towards.

He hasn’t given those self same assurances this time round.

It does make me on edge that he hasn’t addressed it – and it does make you marvel if his views and opinions have modified, or whether or not or not he truly cares about it.

The World Cup’s anti-discrimination chief Alexei Smertin tried to reassure minorities, saying individuals will really feel “safe and comfortable”.

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Alexei Smertin desires to reassure minorities that they are going to be protected in Russia

I feel that given Russia is attempting to promote itself on a world stage, it’ll cope with any situations of homophobia in the course of the match.

I’ll go there and be me.

I am going to in all probability tone issues down a bit bit – I do not need to be drawing consideration to myself.

However on the identical time, I am not going to vary who I’m for the sake of others.

Newsbeat is on the World Cup in Russia this summer season.

You may comply with our protection on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Or hear live at 12:45 and 17:45 each weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – should you miss us you possibly can hear again here.

BBC Sport – Football

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