GA Voice

Catching Up with All Stripes, the Queer Supporter Group for Atlanta United

- Divine Ikpe

All Stripes was created to “support Atlanta United FC and eliminate discrimina­tion by engaging members of the LGBTQ+ community to create an inclusive atmosphere in the soccer culture,” according to their mission statement. They’re one of six official supporter groups for the team, all of which have a different niche. I spoke to All Stripes President Matthew Mitchell to find out more about what the group is doing to amplify LGBTQ inclusivit­y in the world of major league soccer.

Answers have been edited for clarity. Read the full interview online at

What does All Stripes do and what does membership money go toward? At the start of the pandemic, a lot of our extracurri­culars were down, but we did do a couple of web series educating people about the Black Lives Matter movement and other areas that, even in the queer community, some people struggle with. More recently, we’ve been planning more in-person events such as drag shows, partnering with the organizati­on “Soccer in the Streets” to play a tournament and raise money for them, creating a queer presence at Atlanta United events that would normally not be queer spaces, and marching in various parades.

The donations help to run the organizati­on, and we give back a lot to the community as well. Each year we donate money to different partners. For example, this year one of our partners is “Soccer in the Streets.” Aside from that, we don’t get a lot of money donations, usually we get donated spaces to host drag shows and watch parties for away games. Georgia Beer Garden is one of those places for us, which happens to be queer-owned.

Some other sponsors include Urban Tree Cidery and Atlanta Brewing Company.

I saw that the organizati­on has a membership now! What are some perks of the membership? Membership­s have a one-time annual fee of $25 for adults, $10 for kids. It gives you an “official part” of the organizati­on. You’ll in turn receive newsletter­s, a $5 discount on tailgate tickets (which occur at every home game except for Wednesday ones), a membership scarf (which has a different design each year and is a collector’s item), and access to tickets in the supporters’ section of the stadium to specifical­ly sit with other All Stripes members. The tailgates act as an inclusive space where people can congregate before the show to feel comfortabl­e to be themselves and to feel safe in what can be a very masculine space. We don’t make any money off of the tickets we sell to our members; we sell them at face value in order to, again, provide that safe space for our community. Having that bloc in the stadium is so impactful even to nonmembers; at a recent game, a mom whose child had just come out as trans came up to us and told us how much it meant to her child to see that representa­tion at a place that they expected to see it. Every halftime we do a queer meetup behind the Terrapin bar and take a huge picture with all of us together so that even if you’re not able to make it to the tailgate and even if we can’t all sit together, we’re still able to interact with each other and take up space.

How has Atlanta United affirmed its LGBTQ support? They have always been cordial, but they have more recently truly embraced us. There was never pushback, but over the last two to three years, there has definitely been a lot of engagement with us. On their end, it wasn’t the fact that we were queer, it was the fact that we were a new group and they needed to see if we were able to function as an organizati­on. If you’ve noticed, in the past, they did not have a Pride night … they had a “Unity” night. That has now been changed. They’ve really been trying to work with us, I’ll give you a little example. They wanted to schedule the Pride match in October to celebrate Atlanta Pride and the only home game in October is the same Sunday as the Atlanta Pride Parade and they didn’t catch that when they scheduled it. The moment I brought it up to them, they immediatel­y jumped into action and tried to fix their mistake. The only match in June, which is normally when everyone else does Pride, is on Juneteenth … we were like, no, we can’t do that, and ultimately agreed to host a big queer watch party on June 25 with Atlanta United’s assistance. We’re going to invite the other five supporter groups (Footie Mob, Resurgence, Terminus Legion, The Faction and LA 12), our partners and some queer youth organizati­ons to come and watch the match with us. There will also be a drag show and other engaging activities. We’re also talking to them to provide a safe way for people to go from the Pride Parade to the game if they choose to and also to potentiall­y put up a blowup screen showing the game at Piedmont Park. Those last two things are not confirmed yet, but yeah, they’re really partnering with us to help make sure we have a great experience.

The Atlanta Braves began their 2022 season on April 7 with a loss against the Cincinnati Reds. At the time of writing, they are third in the National League East with 16 wins and 19 losses. Their next home game is on Saturday, May 21 at 6:10pm against the Miami Marlins.

The Braves also have a special LGBTQ game coming up. The team’s Pride Night will be on June 22. The Pride ticket package includes entrance to the pregame party at the CocaCola Roxy at 5:20 pm, which will feature DJ Kimber from Nonsense ATL, a ticket to see the game against the San Francisco Giants, and a 20 oz Tervis tumbler with a rainbow Braves logo to take home.

The price of each ticket also includes a $3 donation to Lost-N-Found, an organizati­on

The Atlanta Dream is partly LGBTQ-owned and the only WNBA team co-owned by a former player. Renee Montgomery became co-owner of the team alongside Suzanne Abair, who is also LGBTQ, and Larry

Big Peach Softball returns to Atlanta this Memorial Day Weekend! The weekend begins with the official kickoff party on May 26 at The Hideaway. Round robin games, of

Atlanta Pride Run, hosted by Front Runners Atlanta, is a 5k through Piedmont Park benefittin­g LGBTQ charities such as AID Atlanta, Jerusalem House, Joining Hearts, Lost-N-Found Youth, Out of the Closet, Positive Impact, and Track Georgia. This year’s theme is “Stronger Together.”

Check in starts at 7 am and the race starts at 8:30 am. There will be a post-race celebratio­n at Guac y Margys Midtown at 11 am.

 ?? PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK / RYAN KEESEE ?? All Stripes, an official supporter group for United FC
PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK / RYAN KEESEE All Stripes, an official supporter group for United FC

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