LGBT football history at York Explore

Kit Heyam2017, Events, National FestivalLeave a Comment

Over the next two weeks we’ll be sharing details of some of the FREE public talks coming to York Explore on Saturday 11th February, just to whet your appetite! Check out the full programme on our events page.

Kop Outs


First up, at 12.30pm Paul Amann will share the history of Liverpool FC’s LGBT fan club, Kop Outs. The choice of You’ll Never Walk Alone, the song taken from LGBT icon Judy Garland’s performance in Carousel, to be a football anthem at Liverpool, seemed very contradictory to LGBT supporters. These supporters felt isolated, discriminated against, and very often unsafe.

Whilst activists helped change the law for LGBT people in the 1980s and 1990s, changes for football were slow in being realised. Justin Fashanu was the only out professional player. Various groups from amateur players, trade unionists, and fans, campaigned for more inclusive football, but clubs were slow to respond.

It was only in 2011 that Liverpool FC first began to listen to an inclusive range of supporters. A range of developments saw LGBT supporters able to be active parts of the Liverpool family.

In 2016, Liverpool Pride saw the launch of Kop Outs and enjoyed a massed choir performance of You’ll Never Walk Alone with a resonance across the LGBT communities.

Paul will bring a range of personal artefacts illustrating his and others’ role in these developments and answer questions on this theme.

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Kit Heyam

Kit is the former lead coordinator of York LGBT History Month, a researcher of LGBT history, and a trans awareness trainer.

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