'Officially' gay! Referees Dan McFarlane and Mikey Connor on coming out in football and LGBTQ+ mental health
It can feel like the toughest decision you'll ever make - but being true to yourself, your teammates, coaches and colleagues is the winning feeling that every LGBTQ+ person in football deserves.
On this episode of the FvH Podcast, Jon Holmes is joined by two referees for a conversation about the upsides of coming out and how to look out for others when they might be feeling down.
Dan McFarlane is a Category 1 ref taking charge of games in the SPFL. He's been out within Scottish football officiating for several years and says authenticity has been an essential part of his rise up the leagues.
Mikey Connor will be familiar to viewers of BBC reality dating show 'I Kissed A Boy' - but he's also a Liverpool FA referee at grassroots level. Like Dan, he's a member of the LGBTQ+ Professionals in Football Collective, a network group run by FvH that's bringing together those from the community who are working in the game.
In a chat with host Jon Holmes to coincide with World Mental Health Day and Coming Out Day on October 10 and 11, the two men in the middle share their stories, offer advice to other gay and bi guys who might be finding it hard to break out of the closet, and assess the challenges that are still being faced in men's football.
It's a refreshing and open conversation that can help listeners to unlock their potential, on and off the pitch - and it might just encourage you to pursue officiating as well.
Football v Homophobia - https://www.footballvhomophobia.com/
Sports Media LGBT+ - https://sportsmedialgbt.com/
Mikey and Dan’s profiles on the LGBTQ+ Professionals in Football Collective (see links to their socials) - https://lgbtqfootball.com/who-are-we/
Dan on referee recruitment (Press & Journal) - https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/sport/football/6186347/referees-encourage-new-faces-to-pick-up-the-whistle/
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