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Coming Out to Play

As one of the founding members of the UK’s first gay football club, Stonewall FC, Aslie Pitter has witnessed 25 years of change for the LGBT community – not only in sport, but in politics and society as well. Here, the 56-year-old sportsman – who received an MBE for combating homophobia – tells us about his experiences of prejudice and racism, from the playground to the football pitch.
LEFT ASLIE PITTER RECEIVED AN MBE IN 2011 FOR HIS WORK COMBATTING HOMOPHOBIA

I joined Stonewall FC in their first season 25 years ago, and became one of the founding members of the club. Contrary to what some people may have believed, there was no real agenda behind it apart from a bunch of gay and bisexual men just wanting to play football with each other, while being able to be open about who we were.

Before joining the club, I was playing for a straight team. I played for a few straight teams in my early life, and the most difficult thing about that was their end of season parties. Of course, players turned up with their wives and their girlfriends, but I’d end up going by myself, because no one actually knew about my sexuality.

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About Gay Times

Ted Reilly is the new face in Albert Square, playing gay character Johnny Carter. He tells GT what it's like playing gat on TV as well as stepping into a role previously played by another actor. And of course we collared him for an exclusive photo shoot. Also in this issue: Nick Jonas. Tribute to Victoria Wood. Essential gay anthems. Peter Tatchell. Jinkx Monsoon. Wentworth Prison diary. James Dreyfus. Boys Town USA. Matt Wilson. LGBT workplace inclusion. Gabriel Day-Lewis. Michael Mayer. New gay movie Departure. Tristan Dyer. Stonewall FC's Aislie Pitter MBE. Brant Brothers. Travel: Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. And don't forget all our regular features: Fitness with Charlie King with Chris Jones. Date night with Edd Kimber and the Gastro Gays. The Guyliner. Ask Aled. Michelle Visage. Benjamin Cohen. Modern Family. PJ Brennan. Sex with Josh Sabarra. Plus much more.