The store is awash with red, white and black. Stripes galore, part of Sheffield United’s tradition and heritage since the nineteenth century. Full strips, warm up tops, duvet covers… all in the same three colours. Bobble hats and bench coats, teddy bears and track suits. Red, white and black. Flags and footballs, wigs and watches.
There’s variety with the goalie shirts of course, lurid orange and mouthwash green; and the women’s section, where pastels mingle with the brights.
But what’s that?
Could it be…?
Yes, yes it is!
I hardly noticed it at first, buried by its red, white and black siblings, but it’s definitely there.
A rainbow twin, non-identical, sits beside it – more of a wallflower than the full-on rainbow scarf, this is predominantly black.
Reaching out I touch the scarves, one at a time; seeing myself reflected back.
The flag that signifies the fight.
The name of my team, the one down the road that I’ve supported for decades.
The crest of the football club that is as much a part of my identity as my sexuality.
And I can’t wait to wear it with Pride.
This piece was inspired by Sheffield United’s Club Shop releasing two rainbow scarves, something which has caused controversy on social media and fan sites.
The club is made up of each and every one of us. Everyone deserves to see themselves reflected back in the representation and merchandise, and everyone deserves to be able to wear their colours with Pride.