RANGERS Football Club has officially recognised a supporters group for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) community.
Ibrox Pride was formally launched today (2 November 2018) by Gary McAllister and Andy Halliday, alongside Carole Anderson and Watty Gaffney the new group’s co-chairs.
It follows on from representatives of Rangers marching in the Pride Glasgow Parade earlier this year, and the Club showing its backing for LGBT+ players and fans through Stonewall Scotland’s Rainbow Laces campaign during last season, as well as the signing of the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter.
Andy Halliday said: “It is great that the Club has officially recognised Ibrox Pride. Football is for everyone and the players appreciate the backing of every Rangers fan. Wherever we play supporters follow us in unbelievable numbers, creating a special atmosphere, and Ibrox Pride will help make that even better.”
Ibrox Pride aims to be a friendly, welcoming and inclusive group for Rangers fans from the LGBT+ community and its allies. It will provide a social focal point for LGBT+ supporters and also act as an advisory group to the Club on LGBT+ issues in football.
Its logo is made up of the Club’s Ready crest encased in the colours of the Rainbow flag, which symbolises LGBT pride and has been specially created by the Club and Ibrox Pride
Rangers Managing Director, Stewart Robertson, said: “The Club is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion across all areas and we’re delighted that the Ibrox Pride supporters group has been created.
“Officially recognising an LGBT+ supporters group was a logical next step following our participation in the Pride Glasgow Parade and the Rainbow Laces campaign. We hope that the group will help to ensure that all LGBT+ supporters feel welcome and valued within the Rangers Family, and help enhance the experience of all fans for the better.”
With support from Rangers Charity Foundation, the group is now the official LGBT+ supporters group of Rangers FC. It was given recognition following a request from LGBT+ supporters who independently created Ibrox Pride. A number of members have already signed up and they have nominated Carole Anderson and Watty Gaffney as co-chairs.
Carole Anderson is chair of SWAN LGBT Network and is a Stonewall Scotland Role Model, while Watty Gaffney is Scotland LGBT Co-convenor at UNISON.
Carole said: “Having been a Rangers supporter for over 30 years I am immensely proud of my Club for officially recognising our LGBT+ supporters group and am personally delighted to be selected as co-chair of Ibrox Pride.
“Most Premier League clubs in England have well established LGBT+ fans groups and there are a growing number in Scotland. Every group is different, but at Ibrox Pride we are focussed on providing a space where all LGBT+ members and their friends can feel comfortable and included; and views can be shared and opinions debated on all things Rangers and football.
“All at Ibrox Pride would like to thank the Club for its support in helping set the group up and we look forward to advising on LGBT+ issues, and working closely with it over the season.”
Watty added: “As a group of LGBT+ fans, we are immensely proud to work with the Club to promote inclusion. I am a lifelong fan and I am delighted by the support shown to Ibrox Pride by Rangers management.
“The club has actively adopted the Sports Charter to help address the lack of adequate action from governing bodies to combat homophobic abuse and discrimination in and around our football stadiums.”
Any Rangers fan from the LGBT+ community, or its allies, is invited to join Ibrox Pride. You can contact the group directly and find out how to join on Twitter at @IbroxPride or by searching ‘Ibrox Pride’ on Facebook.
Rangers Football Club is proud to be open and accessible for all. For further details, please see the Club’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter online HERE