Representatives from Rainbow Devils – the United fanbase’s LGBTQ+ supporters’ club – were recently invited to Old Trafford to talk to local schoolchildren about their work and experiences.
The supporters’ club’s mission is to “empower and celebrate” LGBTQ+ United fans and fight against all forms of discrimination within football.
Committee members Lindsay and Cass headed down to M16 to meet the youngsters – who are associated with Manchester United Foundation – ahead of an enjoyable, informative afternoon.
And the pair even left with some fantastic ideas for fresh Rainbow Devils flags, after tasking the kids with creating some new designs – with the winner taking home a signed match ball.
“Me and Lindsay were trying to tell our story of who we are and our journey, but also linking it to football and our experience of Rainbow Devils,” explained Cass.
“Football gives an ‘in’ for a lot of people, because they may not identify specifically with our stories.
“I’m trans – not everyone is trans and they might not get that experience. But they understand football and being a football fan, and if you link those two, it makes more sense to people.”
The duo shared the story of Rainbow Devils, from its inception to becoming an officially recognised fan group, which is now proudly represented by a banner inside Old Trafford.
“We were going through how we’ve developed as an organisation, really. Because they’re kids, it was better to show them [rather than tell them], so we had lots of pictures to show them – of our group at Pride, the banner that’s in Old Trafford, something visual that they can latch onto. Me and Lindsay told our individual stories through those pictures as well.
“It’s nice to be out there in the community and spreading our message and doing good work. And it’s made me realise that our work can have a real impact on other people. It’s often kind of a remote, voluntary thing, where you’re doing stuff online and you don’t see how people react in real time. So that was a nice change and it felt like you were doing something that mattered.
“They seemed enthused about it,” continued Cass.“The drawing [exercise] was to help them engage with what they’d heard. There was a good response, and I know a lot of the kids identified as LGBT as well, so it was nice to be in an environment where they felt supported and we could help facilitate that.”
And while the invitation to design the new flags was initially about engagement, Cass admits that the quality of what came back inspired thoughts of developing some of the ideas.
“The ones that we posted [online] were really fantastic. We were wanting to borrow some of their ideas!” laughs Cass. “They were really impressive!”
Article reproduced from manutd.com with permission, original article can be found here