It’s Lesbian Visibility Week and Sports Media LGBT+ has again teamed up with our friends at Football v Homophobia to add to the awareness with a special edition podcast; our guests are a content producer and a broadcaster who have created platforms celebrating the quirky and often queer culture within women’s football…
It’s a plain white T-shirt with a three-word slogan – but the way that phrase was propelled from a Twitter reply into a globally-recognised meme continues to give Becky Taylor-Gill and Flo Lloyd-Hughes immense joy.
Sports content producer Taylor-Gill is the co-founder of Studs, a collective and digital outlet centred on women’s football culture that was launched back in 2019 before the World Cup in France.
Meanwhile, last year, broadcaster and writer Lloyd-Hughes started up Huns FC, an Instagram account that finds fun in the femininity of the game and celebrates all that’s ‘huntastic’ on and off the pitch.
Becky and Flo are the guests on a special edition of the Football v Homophobia Podcast going out in Lesbian Visibility Week, available now on Apple and Spotify.
In the conversation, they share the backstory of the in-demand ‘They’re Lesbians, Stacey’ T-shirt and why those words – a reply tweeted by an account called @PreferVoldemort, below a now-famous image of Sam Kerr and Kristie Mewis sharing a tender moment after the USA beat Australia in the Tokyo Olympics bronze-medal match – tapped into the zeitgeist.
The T-shirt represents “probably the epitome of the brilliance of internet culture in women’s football”, as Flo puts it.
“It is peak silliness, that T-shirt,” she tells Jon Holmes, who hosts this episode of the FvH Podcast. “But it unites an online community, and there is no cooler, better, funnier feeling than feeling like you’re part of this massive in-joke.
“I think that’s what the T-shirt does, that’s what lots of Studs content does, that’s what lots of general TikTok, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, the women’s football online community, is – one big in-joke that we can all enjoy at no one’s expense!
“We’re all laughing together – and that’s what makes it so brilliant.”
In a way that’s ever-so-slightly irreverent but always affectionate, both Studs and Huns FC are amplifying the authenticity of personalities in the women’s game, and offering an alternative lens to view the sport through. It’s also one that’s often rainbow-tinted.
“I get it – we love to inspire young girls to play football,” says Becky. “But there are so many cool things going on, and it always just gets sanitised down to that.
“It’s fun to look at what we’ve got and think, ‘this is so cool’. Also the more I’ve done Studs, I just want to be silly! It’s funny and women’s football has so much silliness. I enjoy making the content and I think people enjoy it too.”
The impact of the ‘Kewis’ photo in particular has been significant. “Sam and Kristie have changed Studs and women’s football forever!
“If you look up Studs’ Instagram, it’s like 50% Sam and Kristie content – and I like it that way, I think it’s amazing.
“There are a lot of women’s football couples that you know they’re a couple – but they’re not really, really open about it, and I think that’s what we love so much about Sam and Kristie.
“They’re so like, ‘oh my god, look at us, we’re in love!’ Which is just nice to see anyway but it’s fun and I love that for them and I love that for us.”
Sales of the T-shirts have so far raised over £1,000 for IraQueer, a not-for-profit organisation advocating for LGBTQ+ rights in Iraq.
Becky describes how she reached out to the person behind the @PreferVoldemort Twitter account, and how Flo’s friend Ian Wright helped take the visibility to a viral level. There’s more background on the Studs website too.
Also in this episode, Becky and Flo talk about their careers in the industry to date, including how Flo got her ‘big break’ via a Twitter DM.
They discuss the negative effects of when the occasional workplace conversation or overheard comment strays into anti-LGBTQ+ territory, and why it’s so important to challenge that discrimination.
Plus there’s plenty of much more upbeat chat about Netflix smash Heartstopper, and all the details about the big Studs v Huns FC queer club night coming up in Manchester on Wednesday 6 July – an after party that will follow the Euros opener between England and Austria at Old Trafford.
Sports Media LGBT+ is a network, advocacy, and consultancy group that is helping to build a community of LGBTQ+ people and allies in sport. We’re also a digital publisher. Learn more about us here.
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