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How the soccer community can support the LGBTQIA+ community

By Staff, 06/03/24, 9:00AM EDT


Throughout June Pride Month, we are showcasing organizations that the USL, its clubs, and its fans work with and endorse to provide support for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

We encourage everyone to learn more about these organizations' efforts to support the LGBTQIA+ community and how you can get involved.



You Can Play Project

The USL and its clubs work closely with You Can Play to drive inclusivity throughout the ecosystem, including advising on creating an inclusive culture for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, policy formation, and Pride-related activations. In a challenging socio-political environment, this non-profit founded in 2012 continues to work “to ensure the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQIA+ athletes, coaches and fans." 



Play Proud

Designed by Common Goal to create safe sporting spaces for LGBTQIA+ communities across the world, Play Proud is a grassroots-driven program that works with all stakeholders in soccer to make communities and stadiums a safer space for the LGBTQIA+ community. Eight USL clubs and league staff have participated in the program, receiving more than 100 hours of training on the skills and knowledge to be mentors to LGBTQIA+ youth, allies in their workplaces, and champions of inclusion in their communities. 




Founded and organized by fans, Prideraiser is "a coalition of independent soccer supporters that raise money for LGBTQIA+ charities in their local communities every June." How it works: supporters pledge money for each goal scored by their club during the month of June. The money is earmarked for a local charity, determined by the supporter group. Go to the Prideraiser website to see if your club's supporters group is participating in 2024 and to make a pledge.    




Athlete Ally's Playing for Pride – An individually focused fundraising platform founded by former USL player Austin da Luz, Playing for Pride encourages people to "choose an activity or sport to track throughout the month of June, or simply reach out to loved ones to donate directly towards your goal." Funds raised are used to support Athlete Ally's efforts to end homophobia and transphobia in sport and to activate the athletic community to exercise their leadership to champion LGBTQIA+ equality. Learn more:

Equality Federation – A nonprofit working on issues—from advancing workplace fairness and family recognition to defeating anti-transgender bills and HIV criminalization laws—that affect how LGBTQIA+ people experience the world. Learn more:

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) – Long-standing organization that works to ensure that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media. GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. Learn more:

GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) Sports Project – An education and advocacy program focused on addressing LGBTQIA+ issues in K-12 school-based athletic and physical education programs. Learn more:

It Gets Better Project – Communicating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them. Learn more:

The Knights and Orchids Society – Focused on communities in the south, the Knights and Orchids Society builds the power of transgender, lesbian, bisexual, and gay Black people by providing a spectrum of health and wellness services. Learn more:

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) – Founded in 1973, this venerable nonprofit is a powerful resource for parents and families. Learn more: