Proud Canary wins Attitude Pride Award for flying the flag
- Credit: Archant
A member of the Norwich City Football Club's Proud Canaries has won a national award recognising the work they did to increase LGBTQ+ visibility during last summer's World Cup.
Di Cunningham, of Proud Canaries and Three Lions Pride, along with Joe White of Three Lions, have been named as winners in the Attitude Pride Awards 2019 for their activism and raising of the rainbow coloured England Flag during the 2018 World Cup.
Launched in 2015, the Attitude Awards aim to recognise the unsung heroes of the LGBTQ+ community who work to challenge perceptions in areas where LGBTQ+ people are traditionally under represented.
Last year, despite receiving death threats and being on the receiving end of homophobic slurs the duo travelled to Russia to raise the Three Lions pride banner at several of England's World Cup matches, receiving international attention for their activism.
Ms Cunningham of Proud Canaries and Three Lions Pride said: "I feel incredibly blessed to have been given an Attitude Pride Award - and it reflects the activism of Proud Canaries and allied fans here in Norwich as well as other Pride in Football groups that together are changing the atmosphere in football stadiums around the UK."
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Ms Cunningham said the award recognised the international visibility for LGBTQ+ football fans that came from flying the Three Lions Pride England flag during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, despite the country's laws heavily restricting LGBTQ+ rights, she said: "We were challenged several times, had the banner impounded and told that 'those colours are not allowed'.
"We had threatening emails before we left and verbal abuse in Moscow. But we also had a mass of support - from fellow England fans, from Russians, and from people around the world on social media.
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"From my first steps with Proud Canaries - the first officially recognised LGBT supporter group, I'm proud to continue to campaign to help football make the world more inclusive for everyone."
Michelle Savage, chairperson of Norwich Pride says: "We are incredibly proud of Di and her ground-breaking work making football stadiums all over the world a place where LGBT+ fans can feel safe and proud to be themselves. Look out for Di and Joe with the Three Lions Pride banner on the Pride March on Saturday, July 27."