Pride House Vancouver announced for Women’s World Cup

The Canadian city of Vancouver has been chosen as the host city of the LGBT-rights initiative Pride House for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, held between 26 June and 5 July, in Canada.

First organised at the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, Pride House is a pavilion dedicated to celebrate sport and to encourage debates on homophobia and transphobia within sport and society at large.

The pavilion is a safe and inclusive space for gender and sexual minorities to come together, where permanent exhibitions, events and talks addressing LGBT discrimination and participation in sport are held.

Pride House founder Dean Nelson said: "During the 2010 Olympics, when we had created Pride House, it was incredible to see so many groups come together under the umbrella of Pride House to participate openly and authentically at the games.

"We are hopeful that we will be able to bring some of that energy to Vancouver, this summer, as the city hosts the grand finale of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup."

The 2015 Women's World Cup Pride House will be located in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Davie Village, an area commonly known as the city's gay village.

Organisers anticipate 70 hours of programming over the ten days of the tournament and are now accepting programming ideas as well as sponsor/donor opportunities.

"There have been some incredible strides in the past five years in the sports world, where more athletes feel safe in coming out, to be authentic to themselves and to their team mates and fans.

"Unfortunately at the same time we have seen what happened in Sochi at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and recently the disappointing American legislation of the ‘Religious Restoration Freedom Act’ designed to harm the GSM (Gender + Sexual Minority) community." Nelson added.

'Women's football often forgotten in the campaign against LGBTQ-phobia'
The Vancouver House will be the seventh Pride House organised at a mega sporting event since 2010 and the first at a women's only tournament.

Lou Englefield, director of Pride Sports UK and the international campaign Football v Homophobia (FvH), explained: "Women’s football is often forgotten in the campaign against LGBTQ-phobia and we assume women’s sport is a safe place for all.

"There is still work to be done around the world to ensure that LGBTQ women are welcomed and celebrated in the women’s game."

Later in 2015, the organisation will organise a second Pride House in Canada for the 2015 Toronto Pan and Parapan American Games and a similar project is also being planned for next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

As part of the celebrations of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia (IDAHOT), on 17 May, FvH and Fare launched an international grants scheme for football activities around the day, encouraging debates on LGBT discrimination and sexism also ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup. The deadline for applications is 1 May.

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