Liverpool Football Club is celebrating its diverse fanbase this LGBT+ History Month and shining a spotlight on the importance of inclusion.
As part of the club's Red Together campaign and activities, Olivia Graham – regular Anfield matchgoer and marketing and development manager at Liverpool-based arts and culture organisation, Homotopia – met with Trent Alexander-Arnold at the AXA Training Centre to talk about her fan experience as an openly bisexual woman and the positive role that players have in both allyship and inspiring others.
Olivia speaks candidly about her journey as an LFC fan – from her first experiences at Anfield in the Kop as a youngster with her dad to feeling different as she entered adulthood without him by her side.
She also addresses the importance of equality and inclusivity in sport with Trent and the positive work that the club is doing in this area.
Alexander-Arnold said: "We all have our role to play within the sport. That’s the good thing about it – no-one is more important than anybody else. Everyone has an equal responsibility to do the right thing.
"We are able to voice opinions to big audiences that will listen to us. Us as players, we understand that, and I think it’s important for us to know the impact we have."
In October, LFC teamed up with Homotopia on their Rainbow Laces campaign, which saw bespoke fan artwork created by local LGBT+ photographers and artists Michael Parry and Margie Houlston, and an exclusive panel event discussing the role of LGBT+ supporters and inclusion in football.
Olivia said: "Through Homotopia, I wanted to work with LFC because it will have the biggest impact on the city – it always has and it always will. If we want to reach people and change minds, then these are the people to help us do it.
"I’ve never really seen a club take such a strong statement and involve LGBT+ fans so much. It makes me dead proud that on the pitch we are doing one thing and off the pitch we are still being this boss football club.
"I had this weird relationship with football where I didn’t really know where football was for me as a queer person. My aim is to go in and not be any different. I should just feel like every other fan, it doesn’t matter whether I’m a woman, whether I’m queer."
Olivia points out that although players don’t sign up to be spokespeople on diversity and inclusion, 'they are in this position where a lot of people will look up to them'.
She continued: "Their behaviour and how they treat each other does make me really proud.
"There are loads of things in life that will stop you being who you want to be – where you were born or the body you were born into – but there is not really much stopping you from just being sound. That’s my wrap-up of being a scouser – just be sound."
You can watch Olivia and Trent’s conversation in the video at the top of the page.
To find out more about LFC’s Red Together work, please visit www.liverpoolfc.com/redtogether.