This summer season I am becoming a member of round 10,000 different England followers in Russia to cheer on the Three Lions.
After clashes between England and Russia followers throughout Euro 2016, we’re all going to must have our wits about us.
However, as a result of I am homosexual, I’ll must be further cautious.
LGBT+ followers have been advised they face further dangers in Russia due to the nation’s attitudes to homosexuality.
I am very nervous about going.
However as soon as I am there and I get to absorb the ambiance, I am positive the adrenaline will simply begin kicking in and all my worries will probably be gone.
I used to be impressed to go as a result of everybody advised me that as a homosexual supporter I should not.
The commonest query I get from buddies is not “when are you going?”, it is “are you continue to going?”
That is the thought – that I should not be going now.
I need to have the ability to present different LGBT supporters that it is OK to be who you’re and to go to occasions like this everywhere in the world, no matter what your scenario is like.
In 2013, Russia banned homosexual “propaganda” – and the UK’s Overseas Workplace says that “public attitudes in direction of LGBT+ points are much less tolerant than within the UK”.
The Soccer Supporters’ Federation advises homosexual followers to “not publicly show your sexuality” whereas in Russia.
If I had been to reach there with a rainbow flag, I might be shunned, pushed apart and perhaps even given abuse for it.
Nonetheless with the World Cup being a platform, I feel that Russian individuals will probably be extra understanding and acceptable as a result of they’re getting individuals in from everywhere in the world.
Having stated that, if I used to be going with a companion I would not present any kind of PDA (public show of affection) in any respect – I would not even maintain arms or something like that.
That might be a really troublesome scenario to place myself in as a result of in earlier relationships, I’ve at all times been very open with that kind of factor.
To then must be closed off, it goes in opposition to the whole lot that I’m and consider in.
Because it occurs, I am going with my greatest buddy.
He is straight and he is fairly nervous about being with me – as a result of if somebody did discover out that I used to be overtly homosexual, they’d clearly assume that he was homosexual with me and it might be fairly a battle.
Earlier than the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave assurances that homosexual individuals would not be discriminated in opposition to.
He hasn’t given those self same assurances this time round.
It does make me on edge that he hasn’t addressed it – and it does make you marvel if his views and opinions have modified, or whether or not or not he truly cares about it.
The World Cup’s anti-discrimination chief Alexei Smertin tried to reassure minorities, saying individuals will really feel “secure and comfy”.
I feel that given Russia is attempting to promote itself on a world stage, it’s going to cope with any situations of homophobia in the course of the match.
I’ll go there and be me.
I will in all probability tone issues down a bit bit – I do not wish to be drawing consideration to myself.
However on the similar time, I am not going to alter who I’m for the sake of others.
Newsbeat is on the World Cup in Russia this summer season.
You’ll be able to comply with our protection on Instagram, Fb and Twitter.
Or hear dwell at 12:45 and 17:45 each weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – for those who miss us you’ll be able to hear again right here.