Casey Stoney Manchester United Women

Casey Stoney continues to speak about the importance of a widespread visibility of the LGBT+ community within football, six years after coming out as gay.

Stoney couldn’t continue to “hide herself” to the external world; if an established player was unable to speak about themselves, what would that say to others?

To many alike, sport saved Stoney when she was struggling with her sexuality and continues to support campaigns like Rainbow Laces that normalises and creates a safe space to escape and simply enjoy sport without conflict.

“It’s about visibility and awareness isn’t it,” Stoney told Sky Sports.

“Living online now is probably even more difficult as a gay person because of the amount people can say to you and the things you can read.

“So actually, being able to come away from technology and play sport to just be yourself in a changing room and be valued for what you do in your job and not have a concern about what you do away from your job, I think is key.”

Stoney is a role model to many in the LGBT+ community, a successful gaywoman who is happy with who she is and is determined to demonstrate how ‘normal’ her life is. She is simply a wife, a mother of three and a woman who is thriving in her career.

“I don’t hide away from the fact that it massively impacts on my life and has done for many years,” said Stoney.

“There have been moments in my life where sport has actually saved my life because you can struggle with sexuality.

“I hate the word acceptance, because it shouldn’t be about acceptance. It should be about normalising love is love and it shouldn’t be anything other than that. Campaigns like this they raise visibility, they raise awareness and it’s important.”

Rainbow Laces campaign was launched in 2013 with the aim to make sport more inclusive. The laces will feature in the FA Women’s Super League, Premier League and EFL Championship between December 4-13.

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