New Blogger Alert: Jack Mac
I’m Jack and I am the current editor of the Leeds LGBT* Sports Newsletter as well as the Recruitment Officer for Yorkshire Terriers FC, Yorkshire’s only LGBT* football team.
I have always had a passion for sport and I have tried a lot of them! From Tchoukball (google it, you’ll love it!!) to more orthodox sports like Football and Rugby my columns will mostly be about how you and people from the Leeds LGBT*community can get involved in local sports teams and groups! I will also be promoting the various, potentially unexpected benefits everyone can gain from paying more attention to their health and fitness, it can give you so much more than just getting fitter and losing weight!
So get reading and if you feel inspired by any of the articles, make sure you get involved with the LGBT* inclusive sports teams/clubs that are based in and around Leeds!
For my first article, I thought that I would promote my football team, Yorkshire Terriers FC. Rather egotistically, I have decided to do so by writing about my own experience of joining the team.
Hopefully, it will inspire you to become a Terrier and show you why there is a need for LGB&T* led sports teams.
I realise football is not for everyone but for me it was everything. Hull City was all me and my mates would talk about growing up. So when I finally came out to myself I arrived, like Romeo Dunn and the boys, at a proverbial crossroads. Clearly it should not matter but for some reason football and being gay seems to jar, and in my head at that time I had to choose one or the other.
I then discovered The Yorkshire Terriers. Initially I questioned why there needed to be gay teams, surely that’s isolation not integratrion? When I joined however, I realised that this was not the reality. We play in a local Leeds FA league as well as in national gay leagues. We make our presence known in the wider football community as a united front and we are able to visibly and publically promote the idea that football should be for everyone. The Terriers and other LGBT* led teams allow people to just go and enjoy their sport. Not worrying about having to explain their personal situation, not worrying about jibes or any other player being uncomfortable about their sexuality.
Whether these worries are rational or not is irrelevant. They do exist and this is materialised by the fact that the Terriers have had so many players over the last 20 years.
In the 6 months after joining the Terriers I had gained a huge network of friends in Leeds and across the country, I had finally accepted myself and I came out to my family and friends back home and on the whole I was a lot happier. Obviously not everyone who joins the Terriers is going to have the exact same positive experience. Like any other sporting team we are far from perfect, but I would recommend it to anybody as it changed my life for the better.
So make sure that you follow us on social media and drop us a message if you fancy getting involved!