Sweden to open first LGBT football stadium
The stadium hosts multiple events including football and music concerts and it will feature gender-neutral toilets, accessible dressing rooms and staff will be trained in LGBT issues.
Studenternas stadium, in the student city of Uppsala, is an hour north of Stockholm and all of its facilities will be designed to be inclusive as possible.
Danne Eriksson, the municipality’s marketing director for sport and leisure told Swedish website The Local: “Uppsala municipality aims to be open and inclusive, where everyone has the same rights and possibilities,”
“We want to guarantee equal treatment in all areas, regardless of gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.”
Eriksson added that the stadium’s status was “part of the wider work” for Uppsala to be more LGBT inclusive, after a detailed plan was created for the area in 2017.
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The LGBT-certified stadium will “increase the feeling of belonging, comfort and safety and it will improve the knowledge and understanding of LGBT people and equality” Eriksson added to The Local.
The stadium is currently undergoing major renovations and will be re-opened in 2020. Its LGBT status will be valid for two years after it opens.
Sweden is regarded as a progressive country on LGBT rights and it legalized homosexual relationships in 1944. Then in 1972 Sweden was the first country to legally allow a gender change.
In 2015 the country opened its first LGBT-certified swimming pool, which has changing rooms designed for the queer and trans community, as well as disabled visitors and people who need more privacy while changing.
While in 2016 a Swedish women’s football club, which frequently campaigns for gay rights, stitched a rainbow flag to the back of their new football kits, in an attempt to boost equality and tolerance.