Trans activist and Victorian Young Australian of the Year Georgie Stone has been announced as Pride Ambassador for the upcoming AFL Pride Game, hosted by St Kilda Football Club.
Stone said she is proud to support her team and its commitment to inclusivity.
“Watching the footy and barracking for St Kilda has been part of my life pretty much forever.
“Having my sporting team being so supporting of the LGBTI community is fantastic, and I feel like now I can really enjoy the footy and go to matches and feel like I belong.”
Stone’s mother, Rebekah Robertson, said that feeling accepted by the club was important for her family.
“Knowing that the St Kilda Football Club supports the LGBTI community, and by extension my daughter, was incredibly meaningful,” she said.
“We all want to be accepted. We all want to be loved. We all want to belong.”
“This is a wonderful way to celebrate diversity, with a football game, so we can cheer and we can shout… and maybe learn a bit about each other and ourselves.”
St Kilda Saints CEO Matt Finnis said the AFL Pride Game is an important part of the club’s commitment to diversity, Out in Perth has reported.
“We’re really proud of the work we do through the year when it comes to celebrating diversity and fostering a welcoming environment and the AFL Pride Game is the ultimate show of that,” he said.
“The Pride Game shines a light on the importance of inclusion and ensuring football is a game for everyone and it’s been a pleasure partnering with the [Sydney] Swans for the past few years to bring that concept to the big stage.”
This year’s AFL Pride Game will see St Kilda face off against Sydney on Saturday June 9 at Etihad Stadium.
One dollar from each Pride Pass and merchandise purchase will go to community youth LGBTI organisation Minus18.