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Proud and Palace Officially Launched

4 August 2016

The club were pleased to host the official launch event of the CPFC LGBT group Proud and Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.

Held in the Boardroom, Proud and Palace's Stephanie, Emma and Deano began by telling the full room about the group, how it began, it's importance within the Eagles' support and wider football world, before adding ways in which fans can help. More info about them can be found HERE.

After the initial introductions, a Palace panel - made up of CEO Phil Alexander, striker Kwesi Appiah, Palace Ladies chairman Richard Spokes and comedian Kevin Day - gathered to reflect on last season and discuss the season ahead, covering topics from the FA Cup final to this summer's transfer activity.

Ex-pro Anwar Uddin, now the Diversity and Campaigns Manager at The FSF, Kick It Out's Troy Townsend, Civic Mayor of Croydon Wayne Trakas-Lawlor and the CPFC Foundation's Donald Forde made up the evenings second panel to discuss diversity in football, acceptance and change within the game.

"Proud and Palace is essentially a fan group for Crystal Palace fans," said Stephanie Fuller, one of the group's founding members, speaking to Palace TV. 

"We're all huge Palace fans, but all happen to be LGBT. We came up with the group because we recognised that there was a large number of Palace fans who are LGBT, but as a minority group we're probably a bit harder to spot.

"We've always been here, we're all huge Palace fans, we've supported the club through thick and thin, and we wanted to give a collective voice, to unite people. We want more people to come to Palace and to enjoy supporting Palace, and being LGBT shouldn't be a reason for you not to support Palace because it's a great club, it's a club for all of us. And really we just wanted to convey that message."

On the reasons behind the group's conception, Stephanie added: "It wasn't about any particular problems at Selhurst Park, it was more about saying 'actually, we've always been here' and we want to make our fan base aware that we're a part of this fan group too. It's for LGBT fans, but we've also got a lot of straight allies as well."

Kwesi Appiah, when asked if he had noticed a change in attitude within football to diversity, replied: "Yeah, I would say so. You can see today at this event that this group are just taking off, but you can see people in this room from all types of backgrounds. 

"Football itself has obviously grown as well and rightly so," added the striker.

To keep up to date with Proud and Palace you can follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page.

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