To coincide with the Launch of the Call for Papers for OUTing The Past 2019, the Comms team has reached out to previous contributors, in order to showcase the work that participants and audiences may come to expect from the Festival. Paul Amann has presented at the past two OTP Festivals, and he was kind enough to share what inspired him to be involved in ‘LGBT History’ and an activist:
Q: What inspired you to conduct your research?
I felt it was important to showcase the groundbreaking work of LGBT football fans taking their place among other fans and persuading their clubs to make football a better place for LGBT fans.
…and why carry out projects?
They’re an opportunity to promote supporting football as LGBT people and engage with those who might be sceptical as to whether football could be a safe arena as LGBT people and persuade them otherwise.
Q: How did you become involved in activist initiatives?
I’ve been an activist in one field or another since my school days. I learnt a long time ago that if you ever want change, then be the change you want to be. As a doubly minoritised person, I learnt the importance of working with allies, and never being a bystander. Activism helps achieve positive change; there are two main types of activism that have always been been key to achieving change: the radical activism of the likes of Malcolm X, Direct Action Network, Outrage!, and the Suffragettes; and the more incremental approaches of Martin Luther King Jr, Scope, Stonewall, and the Fawcett Society. It’s my belief that both radical and incremental approaches are necessary to achieve change.
Q: How can those who are interested but don’t quite know where to start get involved in the type of work that you do?
Follow us on Twitter (@LFC_LGBT) or like us on Facebook.
PS: If you’re not fortunate enough to be a Liverpool fan, but support another team, then check out Football v Homophobia, Just a Ballgame?, and Pride in Football.