Bombers fly with purple pride

Bombers fly with purple pride

LAST UPDATED // Friday, 01 August 2014 09:52 Written by // James Findlay

LGBTI Essendon Bombers fans are flying high after the official endorsement of the support group, the Purple Bombers, by their AFL team.

Founder of the Purple Bombers, Jason Tuazon-McCheyne approached the club six months ago and asked if they would support the idea of a support network for LGBTI members.

“Purple Bombers is a statement from the club that says it’s proud to support Essendon's LGBTI supporters and is committed to providing a safe environment at games, the club and official Essendon events,” Tuazon-McCheyne said.

Essendon midfielder Brendon Goddard has also given his full support.
Goddard said:

“Jason has been a member of this footy club for thirty years, and since I joined the club he’s supported me and when he approached me about Purple Bombers I was more than happy to show my support in return.”

“As a society we have come a long way in terms of sexual equality, and while there’s still plenty of work to do, our footy club continues to promote diversity through the #EFCRespect campaign and Purple Bombers is an extension to that.”

Avid followers of the club have been quick to voice their support for the Purple Bombers:

“It's the equivalent of feeling accepted by your family,” Essendon member, Jade Gulliver, told MCV.

“To know the club I love supports inclusion means when my wife and I go to the game, we're just like everyone else who wants our team to win.

“Footy has a reputation for being homophobic and small steps like this means that hopefully that changes,” she said.

23-year-old Essendon supporter, Reese Williams, shared the sentiment of feeling included, and told MCV of the pride he feels of his AFL team.

“Being a gay footy fan, there’s always a slight feeling of indifference in the AFL community, but I'm very aware and proud of the support gay rights in AFL is getting,” Williams said.

“To see the team I love do something like the Purple Bombers makes me feel just as appreciated as a fan of footy and a fan of my Bombers just like anyone else,” he said.

Those interested in joining the Purple Bombers are asked to head to the Essendon Football website.

Image: Adrian Tuazon-McCheyne


James Findlay

James Findlay

James Findlay is a Melbourne-based journalist and broadcaster who has worked in community media for many years. He has won awards for his work on The Naughty Rude Show on SYN, and can be heard on JOY 94.9's breakfast program, Triple Threat, and Hide and Seek - exploring sex, sexuality and self. He is currently completing his Master of Public Health specialising in Sexual Health at Melbourne University, and a tutor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.

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