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Lesbian Footballer Gilly Flaherty Talks About Her Sexuality and the Rainbow Band Movement

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Gilly Flaherty is a lesbian footballer who has recently decided to talk about her sexuality. Flaherty opened up during a powerful video where she discussed her support for the recent rainbow laces campaign.

Gilly and her partner currently Lily live together and she spoke about how she accepted her sexuality in the past.

Gilly said she had known she was a lesbian since she was a child. She said
“Growing up I knew that I wasn’t interested in boys. They were my mates who I played football with and there was nothing sexually or nothing that interested me. Obviously as I got older, I realised that I am gay, and then it was about dealing with it really,” Gilly continued. “It’s something that you can’t change. I can’t change and not be gay tomorrow, it’s just who I am.”

The footballer also talked about how she has had to deal with hate speeches and homophobic comments on her social media accounts especially on Instagram.

Gilly said “I just laugh because I just think, you’re one of the minority in the sense that everyone else on my Instagram loves me for who I am.” She also added that it can be pretty difficult for LGBT+ people to open up to their family and loved ones. In her words: “they’re worried that they’re going to let them down. They don’t know if they’re going to accept it. I’m very lucky and blessed to have the parents that I’ve got. But I think it is that fear of rejection and not being accepted, but I think the main thing is that I’m no different, whether I’m with a boy or with a girl, I’m still me and my personality doesn’t change.”

Gilly went further to talk about the rainbow lace campaign which had recently caught the attention of many people including football lovers. Some famous footballers have rocked rainbow hand bands during their matches recently and this new development have been met with various reactions.

She said she loves the movement as it has offered gay players an opportunity to embrace who they are and offer support for their teammates who are gay. Gilly said “It’s nice for them to see it as well that there are campaigns, there are charities to help people that are gay and straight and everyone can be a part of it together.”

According to a report by Stonewall, seven out of every ten football fans have heard at least one form of homophobic language during soccer matches.

Flaherty said on the official page of West Ham united that she was finding out difficult to understand the statistics. She said “It’s sad that in this day and age there is still hatred towards homosexuality, and I do feel that it is hard for some people to accept it,”

“I’ve been out before and heard different slurs. I’ve been on nights out with Lily and heard things. I think for me, and a lot of gay girls, the big one is when certain blokes turn around and say something like ‘what a waste’. For me, that’s more hurtful, because we love each other. How is it a waste?

However, I think women’s football deserves credit because it’s such an accepting place. In every team I’ve been a part of, I’ve never felt any discrimination from fans, or anyone at the club. Everyone has accepted me for who I am. Women’s football is a sport where a player can be openly gay and no one acts any differently towards you because of it, which is a great thing.”