Harlequins’ home Gallagher Premiership fixture against Newcastle this weekend will mark the Club’s second annual Pride fixture
Taking place during internationally celebrated Pride Month, this weekend’s LGBTQ+ Pride-themed match day follows on from both the Club and rugby’s inaugural Pride-themed fixture, with the first coming in February 2020
London Irish travelled to The Stoop.
The Club’s first LGBTQ+ Pride match represented an innovative step in the attempt to break down barriers and drive inclusivity. Building upon Premiership Rugby’s Rainbow Laces campaign with Stonewall, Quins became the first professional rugby club to host a LGBTQ+ Pride game.
Earlier this year Harlequins also became the first professional rugby club to launch a LGBTQ+ Supporters Group
Previously scheduled to be held during LGBT History Month in February this year, Harlequins’ Pride fixture celebrates diversity within a sport known for acceptance and progress. The Club aims to champion inclusivity as a club, show support for the LGBTQ+ community, and use its platform to positively impact the experience of the LGBTQ+ people within sports.
Speaking ahead of the Club’s second annual LGBTQ+ Pride fixture, Harlequins CEO Laurie Dalrymple said: “We are so proud to be able to host our second Pride-themed match as a Club this weekend. While the initial plan would have been to host this match during LGBT+ History Month in February again this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing us from hosting this event with fans, we are thankful to have the opportunity to demonstrate Harlequins’ continued support on June 12, which is Pride Month globally.
“This match is also the first opportunity for our newly formed LGBTQ+ Supporters’ Group to celebrate their formation in the final matchday of the 2020/21 season at The Stoop. We are thrilled to be able to champion the Club’s visible commitment to inclusivity hand-in-hand with the group in such a significant month for the LGBTQ+ community.”
“After what has been a tough 15 months for everyone due to the pandemic, this match is the perfect opportunity to showcase why inclusion is embedded into the fabrics of Quins’ identity. The Club will use Saturday to celebrate togetherness, unity, and the joy that rugby brings to so many lives.”
In addition to the Club’s matchday commitments during the first LGBTQ+ Pride-themed match in 2020, The Harlequins Foundation partnered with Monash University to conduct historic research to support efforts to promote inclusion within community rugby clubs and are aiming to develop programmes to tackle sexist and homophobic language in the sport
Results of the Monash University research can be found here
Additionally, Harlequins itself collaborated with various charities and inclusion groups to ensure the message would resonate with the local LGBTQ+ community, including the Terrence Higgins Trust, the Kings Cross Steelers, Stonewall, Pride Sports, Sport Allies, Sports Media LGBT+, and the LGBT+ Police Network.