Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Chris Paouros: Co-Founder/Co-Chair of Proud Lilywhites

As an avid fan of Tottenham Hotspur and the Co-Founder/Co-Chair of the official LGBTQ+ supporters’ group, Proud Lilywhites, Chris Paouros is dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive environment in football. With extensive experience in the industry, including roles as a Trustee for Kick it Out, a Board Member at the Football Supporters Association, and an Inclusion Advisory Board Member for the FA, Chris’s expertise in equality, diversity, and inclusion, combined with her passion for cultural studies, allows her to make a positive impact and foster change within the football community.

How did you get involved in volunteering in the football industry?

Chris has always been a natural campaigner, even before realizing it. From advocating for girls to wear trousers during a cold winter at her school to co-chairing the women’s group at university, her passion for standing up for what she believes in has been ingrained in her. Although she ended up in a job outside of her area of study, her involvement in football remained constant. Chris managed a lesbian football team and gained valuable experience in understanding different team dynamics. Her love for football and desire to make a difference led her to form the Proud Lilywhites, inspired by other LGBTQ+ supporters’ groups. This initiative kick-started her journey of activism and collaboration within the football industry.

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FAQs

Q: What motivated Chris to start the Proud Lilywhites?

A: Chris was inspired by other LGBTQ+ supporters’ groups, particularly the Gay Gooners. She wondered why Tottenham Hotspur didn’t have a similar group and decided to inquire about setting one up. Her efforts resulted in the establishment of the Proud Lilywhites, which aims to bring LGBTQ+ fans together, create safe spaces, and promote inclusivity within the club and the wider football community.

Q: What are the key goals of the Proud Lilywhites?

A: The Proud Lilywhites has three main goals. First, it strives to create a social space for LGBTQ+ fans to connect, support each other, and enjoy football together. Second, the group actively campaigns for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity, celebrating events such as Rainbow Laces and Trans Day of Visibility. Lastly, the Proud Lilywhites focuses on education, using it as a tool to drive positive change and promote understanding among fans.

Summary

Chris Paouros, Co-Founder/Co-Chair of the Proud Lilywhites, is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive environment in football. With her experience in various roles within the industry, including her involvement with Kick it Out, the Football Supporters Association, and the FA, Chris is a driving force for change. Through the Proud Lilywhites, she aims to bring LGBTQ+ fans together, campaign for equality, and educate supporters. Her ultimate ambition is to eradicate discrimination in football and create a game that is welcoming and accessible to everyone. To get involved in football for social good, Chris advises volunteering and starting initiatives that align with one’s passion.

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