Arsenal Womens star Beth Mead on bridging the LBGTQ+ gap in the mens game by Michelle
Beth Mead has opened up in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports as she looks to help bridge the gap between LGBTQ+ discussions in the mens game.
She revealed: “Obviously for the men right now, they have to put it out in the media to then see what reaction they get and I get the culture in the men’s game is still very different and it is much, much harder. But for me, I want to bridge that gap and help the men as much as the women.”
¨I’ve tried to make it the norm rather than a statement. It shouldn’t be frowned upon. It should be the norm. I think there is this hierarchy of what people expect and how the older generation see it. Everyone has their opinion but for me, it now has to be the norm and like I said, you can’t help who you fall in love with. If you are happy, that is all that matters.”
Mead was a key figure this summer, helping England to Euro 2022 victory. the first major tournament victory for England in 56 years. She won Player of the Tournament and she was the tournament’s top goal scorer. She is a powerhouse of talent and wants to use her media prescence to help gay men’s footballers to be honest about their sexuality.
“It’s a tough process. It is emotionally and physically draining, and I get all aspects for people, but for me, you can’t help who you fall in love with and if you are happy at the end of the day.
“You’ve just got to be happy. Life can be very short.”
Interestingly, there are a few professional male footballers who have opened up about their sexuality in recent times. Zander Murray is the first current Scottish professional football player to come out as gay, as revealed in this Guardian Article, only 2 days ago.
Zander on helping other football players: “I want to help other players who are struggling with this as it isn’t easy for men, especially footballers, to deal with,”
“It can be difficult and you can feel very alone. I knew I was different for many years but with other people in the game coming out, it’s been amazing.”
In May 2022, 17 year old Blackpool forward Jake Daniels became the UK’s first active male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay, in an interview with Sky Sports.
“I hate knowing people are in the same situation I was in. I think if a Premier League footballer does come out that would just be amazing. I feel like I would have done my job and inspired someone else to do that. I just want it to go up from here. We shouldn’t be where we are right now. “
In October 2021, Adelaide United´s Josh Cavallo came out as gay, becoming the only current top-flight male professional footballer in the world to do so.
‘I’m a footballer and I’m gay,’ the Australian player told BBC News.
Josh says: ¨Too many men have felt as if the only way to be successful in football is by hiding their sexuality – with many choosing to step away from the game altogether rather than being their authentic self.”
Is the subject of being gay, or bi or queer in men’s football really still taboo? Does it come down to how masculinity is perceived in the men´s game? Do people see being gay as being weak?
Is it still something that players could be picked on for on the football field? Surely, not in this day and age, one would think.
With female footballers like Arsenal´s Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema speaking out on behalf of the womens as well as the mens game. And the openly gay male professional footballers covered in this article speaking out, perhaps we will start to see a smidgeon of change.
Mead was back in action on Friday night when Arsenal kicked off their Women’s Super League campaign in spectacular fashion, with a 4 – 0 defeat over Brighton at a sold out Meadow Park.
The Gunners are aiming to go one better this season after finishing as runners-up to Chelsea in the 2021/22 WLS season.
Chelsea took a trip to Liverpool for their season opener last night, where Liverpool secured a 2-1 win over the 2021/22 WSL winners! With 2 goals from Liverpool´s Stengel. The 2022/23 Barclays Women´s Super League is already shaping up to be a very interesting one indeed, as we witness womens football seeing record breaking ticket sales and the interest in the womens game increasing exponentially.
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