Manchester United manager Casey Stoney says the language used when talking about LGBT rights is “really important” as the club prepares to show its support for the Rainbow Laces campaign.
The captains of both the men’s and women’s teams will wear rainbow armbands for this weekend’s games.
Stoney, who came out as gay publicly for the first time in 2014, says she does not like the word ‘acceptance’.
“Why should my life just be accepted?” said former England captain Stoney.
“It’s like I have to be accepted by society and I don’t like it. It’s not the right word to use if we’re talking about equality and human rights and just loving another human being. It should be the most normal thing in the world.
“The language we use is really important because we live in a world where anybody can say anything on social media. Young people use different language than I did. They throw certain terms around and use the word ‘gay’ in a derogatory way.
“When I hear people say sexuality is a ‘life choice’ you obviously don’t know enough about it because if you knew enough about the life you have to live and certain choices you have to make and the way you are prejudiced against and stereotyped, then it’s not an easy life to live so why would you choose it?”
Stoney said “you can only understand it if you live it” when discussing prejudices other minority groups go through, adding it is important for people to “choose to educate yourself”.
“I want to educate myself all the time so I’m not ignorant, I don’t use the wrong language and to make sure I understand and empathise with the difficulties that people face day-to-day so I’m not a part of that,” she added.
“And actually, not just accepting that I’m not part of it, but challenging it every single day to say that’s not right and we need to be better.”