BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – Gay activists are making sure the fight against homophobia and the violence it spawns are not forgotten during the Euro 2012 football tournament, now underway in Ukraine and Poland.
The European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) and the Pride Solidarity Campaign have joined forces to promote two campaigns: Your Euro Pride House, which encourages queer people in Ukraine to set up their own safe spaces to meet and watch games; and Wear a Rainbow at Euro 2012, which distributes rainbow-coloured wristbands so people can show their support for the fight against homophobia.
EGLSF, a network of more than 100 queer European sports groups, was scheduled to open a Pride House in Warsaw today, June 8, as part of the initiative Football for Equality. While the focus is on the queer community, the Pride House is open to anyone who wants to challenge homophobia in football.
Last month's attack on Svyatoslav Sheremet, of Gay Forum of Ukraine, after an aborted attempt to stage a Pride parade in Kiev, raised concerns about the safety of queer Ukrainians and football fans who planned to attend the Euro 2012 games.