How much do you know about HTAFC’s LGBT Supporters group?
- LGBT history month is backed by Huddersfield Town
- Find out more about the Proud Terriers
- Hear Mathias Zanka’s views on making football inclusive
As we celebrate LGBT history, how much do you know about Huddersfield Town’s LGBT Supporters Group, the Proud Terriers?
The overall aim of LGBT History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public, whilst also making sure football is inclusive to everyone.
Earlier this season, Huddersfield Town supported Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign where both Mathias Zanka and Jonas Lössl wore the laces against Manchester City.
Not only this but a number of activations supporting the campaign were put in place at the John Smith’s Stadium, once again with the message of making everyone feel comfortable both playing and watching the sport.
Huddersfield Town has its very own LGBT Supporters Group, the Proud Terriers, and earlier this season we caught up the founder of the group, Ryan Mather.
Talk us through the full story as to why and how you started the Proud Terriers?
I started Proud Terriers because I wanted to make a difference to fight homophobia in football and being an openly gay Huddersfield Town fan, it’s something I’m really passionate about. I took a lot of inspiration from seeing other clubs around the country having established LGBT fan groups, so I created a Twitter account (@ProudTerriers) and started building on the group from there.
What do the Proud Terriers do to promote themselves?
The main objective of the Proud Terriers is to create as much awareness as possible. We are very active on social media and are keen to work with the Club to help promote our message.
How do you feel the Proud Terriers can help people within both Huddersfield and the wider footballing community?
I hope that the Proud Terriers will be able to help any LGBT supporters to feel a part of the footballing community, so they can come along to the football and be themselves without feeling like they are being judged. In terms of the wider footballing community, I hope that we can make a statement, as Huddersfield Town supporters, to inspire supporters of other football clubs to create their own LGBT fan groups and support the campaign allowing everyone to be themselves when they go to the football.
What are your future plans for the Proud Terriers supporters group?
Moving forward, I think the most important part for us is to continue with the work we are already doing, and hopefully we can raise the profile of the group even further. We are discussing other things we could be doing to raise the profile as well.
What advice would you give to someone who plays sport and is LGBT but is perhaps not comfortable sharing it with the world?
I would say be proud of who you are and stay true to yourself; don’t feel pressured and make sure you only come out when YOU are ready.
Mathias Zanka explained to #HTTV why he thinks football should be for everyone.