Pride Supporter Photos
Riley Radiuk/Whitecaps FC

The opposite of shame: 'Caps fans celebrating Pride with love and acceptance

In celebration of Pride Week in Vancouver, whitecapsfc.com are featuring three 'Caps supporters to share their story and their message.

Get to know Andrew, Lenore, and Sam, and join the club and the city in celebrating inclusivity, equality, and diversity this Pride Week. 

Love is Love.

SAM 

How long have you been a ‘Caps fan?i
I have been a ‘Caps fan for as long as I’ve been in Vancouver which is about 13 years, I've been a season ticket holder since the MLS start in 2011. I went to some games at Swangard as well & the WFC2 games at UBC. 

Which Supporters Group are you a member of?
I am involved with four supporters groups - Southsiders, Rain City Brigade, the Southsisters & the newly formed 248 Socius, a group formed in our section.  

Who’s your favourite ‘Caps player, past or current?
Favourite Cap player - that’s a tough one. Past players have been Camilo, Ousted & Techera. Fave now is a toss up between Nerwinski & Teibert. 

What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is important to me because it shows we are proud of who we are, it gives us a chance to celebrate together, as colourful as we are. Everybody should be proud & embrace themselves. 

How will you celebrate Pride this year?
Since the regular Pride celebrations aren’t going on this year, my group of friends are having a socially distant gathering. Unsure on exact location yet 😁.  

How can other ‘Caps fans become an ally?
'Caps fans can become allies just by accepting who we are as a fan base and as people, everyone should be allowed to support this beautiful game. I would say that most ‘Caps fans and Vancouver as a whole are great, it’s just the odd person or group here and there that can’t handle it. That goes for a lot of “communities” though which we have seen a lot of over the past few months.

ANDREW

How long have you been a ‘Caps fan?
I’m always bad at this - I believe since 2012. 

Which Supporters Group are you a member of?
I have been a member of the Southsiders and the Southsisters but most importantly I stand with all supporter groups to cheer on the the boys in blue to victory!

Who’s your favourite ‘Caps player, past or current?
I’m always a fan of players who give their best on the pitch, engage with fans and carry themselves respectfully off the pitch. The Uruguayans Nicolas Mezquida, Jose Aja, and “The Bug” Cristian Techera all come to mind.

What does Pride mean to you?
As a fairly recently out, over 40 years old, Pride is something I’m still defining. Love for myself, my community, and our collective ability to live our lives just as we would like are all aspects of pride for me. In terms of MLS, Pride to me is about creating a community that will make it okay for footballers in this league and athletes of all kinds around the world to feel safe to be open about who they are.

How will you celebrate Pride this year?
Well so much of the celebrations are virtual this year so I will likely check out some of Vancouver Pride's online festivities. And as always, reflect on who I am now and enjoy the company of my boyfriend of three years and our friends!  

How can other ‘Caps fans become an ally?
Just be a decent human being really. Educate yourself, respect the uniqueness of each of us and be willing to speak out when someone isn’t being treated as you would want to be treated. 

LENORE

How long have you been a ‘Caps fan?
Since 2013.

Which Supporters Group are you a member of?
Southsiders.

Who’s your favourite ‘Caps player, past or current?
Russell Teibert - I think it's really important to use your platform to talk about topics that matter, Teibert has used his platform to bring awareness to Indigenous people's issues like the missing and murdered Indigenous women. 

What does Pride mean to you?
By definition, Pride is the opposite of shame, something so many LGBTQ+ folks struggle with even today (yes, even in Vancouver). Pride is about truly loving and accepting yourself and all the unique intersectionalities that make you who you are. Pride as a celebration was born out of protest, and each year we are reminded of how much work there left to be done, but also to celebrate all the societal and legal changes that have been made possible due to the hard work of the community and allies in the past.

How will you celebrate Pride this year?
Pride will look VERY different this year! I'll be celebrating pride via screens and social distancing. There are lots of cool virtual events happening that you can check out by looking up Vancouver Pride Society or downloading the Vancouver Pride app!   

How can other ‘Caps fans become an ally?
It's hard to be an ally to something you don't understand. Listen, get curious, consume media, content, and articles from people who don't look or sound like you. Follow and subscribe to LGBTQ+ voices (like Megan Rapinoe and Kadeisha Buchanan). Listen to their struggles and proudly celebrate their successes. Support causes that help promote visibility and inclusion in sports. And every day, stick up for us! If you hear jokes, insults, or anti LGBTQ+ language, say something! Good change happens with a little discomfort.