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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > May 2017 > THE beautiful GAME?

THE beautiful GAME?

They call it the beautiful game, but football can be far from that when it comes to its relationship with the LGBT+ community. In fact, it can be downright ugly… But is it changing for the better?

Homophobia in football

Football is the only major sport in the UK that still falls at the hurdle in accepting our kind, with no current open and active professional gay players. Justin Fashanu remains the only professional footballer to be openly gay while still playing, before his tragic death in 1997, and the likes of Aston Villa’s Thomas Hitzlsperger and Leeds’ Robbie Rogers before retired from British football before coming out. On top of that, homophobic chants are still common place in terraces and stadiums all over the UK. It’s why the Home Office teaming up with LGBT+ charity Kick It Out to end homophobic, biphobic, transphobic discrimination football is so important. Clubs around the country are now learning how best to deal sensitively with issues regarding sexual orientation, in a bid to make the game more inclusive for all. With that in mind, we spoke to three gay football fans with quite different backgrounds to discover their own experiences of homophobia in football, find out whether things are changing for the better, and if we’re moving to a point where the beautiful game could perhaps be beautiful after all…

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It’s been 25 years since the National Theatre first staged Angels in America - the most important play to come out of the 20th century. In our world-exclusive interview and shoot with the cast of Angels in America, debuting at the National Theatre this July, we discuss the political and cultural parallels between then and now, the evergreen relevance of Angels in America and the importance of coming out and living with pride. Elsewhere, TOWIE’s Charlie King, who is also our resident fitness guru, gets you festival ready with a focus on upper body workouts, and James Haskell, former Gay Times cover star and international rugby icon, takes us through the new fitness craze, F45. Also, gay sex in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city; Steps take us through their 'gay-tastic' new album; homophobia in football; men who make money from men they barely know; Lucie Jones sticks her hand in our sweetie jar; Romy and Michele turns 20; Megan Mullaly on Karen Walker; and Todrick Hall on Broadway. The issue is packed - as usual - with opinion, travel, style and fitness.