A mural overlooking the A64 is due to be built in Leeds to honour the LGBTQ+ community’s contribution to the city’s local football team, Leeds United. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the mural is designed to celebrate the work of Marching Out Together; an LGBTQ+ group affiliated with the football club which aims to raise awareness of diversity and inclusivity among players, staff and fans.
Before the pandemic, the group regularly attended match days and worked with the club’s academy to teach young players how to tackle anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes in sports. Leeds City Council has dedicated £8,000 to fund the mural, and organisers are now looking for an artist to design it. Mark Ward, a member of Marching Out Together, said the mural aims to “celebrate the positive work” the group has done.
He said LGBTQ+ visibility is important in combating negative attitudes in football: “The really key thing is visibility. We’ve really found that out by doing things like having our flag displayed at the ground. There is a boldness in doing this.” When the mural is built, it will be seen by an estimated 43,000 drivers everyday.
Ward hopes the mural will encourage inclusivity in Leeds United, which does not yet have any out LGBTQ+ players: “Hopefully one day, a player will have the confidence to come out. If in the future, there’s a gay player playing at Elland Road [the Leeds football ground], the mural says something about the inclusiveness of Leeds.”
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