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Inter-county players show their colours in support of LGBTQ+ community

Inter-county players show their colours in support of LGBTQ+ community

Inter-county players from all over Ireland will celebrate Pride and show their support for LGBTQ+ players and the wider community, by taking part in Dublin’s Pride Parade on June 25th.  Current and former players have been invited to a specially organised Pride Breakfast before joining the rest of the Gaelic family to march in the main focal point of Ireland’s Pride celebrations.

This is just one way in which the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) are marking Pride in 2022.

In advance of June 25th, the GPA have teamed up with the Human Collective to focus attention on the promotion of inclusivity in Gaelic games.  The Human Collective is an Irish clothing brand spreading the message of equality and supporting social inclusion.  Players from across Ireland will be wearing specially branded GPA Human Collective rainbow t-shirts throughout the month to raise visibility.  Keep an eye out on social media.

The aim of the campaign is to foster collective pride in the diversity that already exists within our games by acknowledging and standing side by side with all former, current and future LGBTQ+ players, and to prompt further conversations across Ireland about creating more inclusive communities.

The launch of the t-shirt campaign was attended by some of the inter-county game’s biggest names including Aisling Maher (Dublin Camogie), Anna Galvin (Kerry Football), Cillian O’Sullivan (Meath Football), Timmy Hammersley (Tipperary Hurling) and Michael Darragh McAuley (Dublin Football and Chief Impact Officer at the Human Collective).

Speaking to mark the launch the GPA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager Gemma Begley said; “Research published by the GPA in association with Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show recently showed that there is overwhelming support for LGBTQ+ teammates within inter-county dressing rooms.  With the t-shirt campaign and by taking part in the Pride Breakfast and Pride Parade we want to spread a message of inclusivity, support and allyship.

“Whether you play Gaelic games or not, we want you to know that as players and as people, we respect you, we welcome you into our communities and we are here to listen and learn because we know we certainly don’t know it all.”  

Michael Darragh McAuley added “On behalf of the Human Collective, we’re delighted to team up with the GPA and players in every county to share our support for Pride month.

Gaelic Games have such an important reach and cultural footprint within Ireland, so this campaign is vital in helping us to spread the message that we are all different, all equal, all human.’

Knowing personally the impact that Gaelic Games has in the communities across the island, it would be great if the next generation, no matter how they identify, feel comfortable putting on the local teams jersey and feel comfortable within the GAA.”

The GPA/Pat Kenny Show research found that:

  • 99% of inter-county players would support a teammate if they came out as LGBTQ+
  • 45% are already aware of an LGBTQ+ teammate,
  • the expectation that LGBTQ+ players would face discrimination is much lower among players who have an out teammate (18%), suggesting a much more positive experience for ‘out’ players than what is expected

An LGBTQ+ sub-committee established by the GPA is now working on initiatives to help ensure that all players can bring their whole, authentic selves to all areas of their lives.

Players interested in attending the GPA’s Pride Breakfast can register by contacting the Gemma Begley on gemma@gaelicplayers.com.

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