Pendle News: Realness With A Twist

Posted on: July 26th, 2022 | by Laura Murdoch | No Comments

Last Updated on: 29th November 2023, 11:03 am

Realness With A Twist


LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Football


The topic of LGBTQ+ inclusivity in football is an important topic and one that needs to be addressed. In the professional male game, there is an obvious lack of openly gay football players even though the number of people identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community continues to rise. Realness With A Twist is a project that centres around this very issue. It’s such an important project that we couldn’t help but offer our support.


Actor voguing in their Pendle football kit on the set of the film Realness With A Twist.

A ballroom scene from Realness With A Twist that shows the main character voguing in their Pendle kit. Photo courtesy of Dimitri Whitaker.


What is Realness With A Twist?

Realness With A Twist is a short film written and directed by Cass Virdee. The story follows a talented young footballer whose secret passion for voguing collides with the world around him. This is the official synopsis of the film:


Simon isn’t just super talented at football – he’s also sensational at voguing, but he keeps his dance skills secret. His best friend Les wants him to break free from the conformity of his team – but can Simon really embrace both ballroom and his true self?


Pendle was able to provide Cass and her crew with football kits, training wear, and equipment to use during filming. So, our Pendle kits will be making their big screen debut very soon.


Director Cass Virdee on the set of Realness With A Twist with the film's two stars.

Director Cass Virdee on set with the two stars of the film. Photo courtesy of Luke Mortimer.


Who is Cass Virdee?

Cass is a British-Indian filmmaker who creates films that support and celebrate individuality. In her own words:


“I am driven and inspired by my past of tackling prejudice. This drives me to make films championing the bravery it takes to be your authentic self especially when facing prejudice.”


Realness With A Twist champions LGBTQ+ representation in football and showcases Simon’s bravery to remain true to himself. These are important and relevant issues, so we’re very happy we could be part of the story in some way.


The two stars of Realness With A Twist wearing their Pendle kits on set. Photo courtesy of Cameron Rozard

Best of Both Worlds

The stars of the film, Warren and Karteer, are non-actors and real-life best friends. Significantly, both men are a big part of the London Ballroom scene, which adds to the film’s authenticity. Cass wants the film to “shine a light on LGBTQ+ players in sports, promote inclusivity in football and help spread the message to be your true authentic self.” In the film, Simon feels torn between two worlds: the one he shares with his football team and the ballroom scene. His journey through the film is to find the confidence to bring these two worlds together.


Pendle kit being worn on the film set of Realness With A Twist

Pendle kit being worn in the ballroom set for Realness With A Twist. Photo courtesy of Dimitri Whitaker.


LGBTQ+ Inclusivity

In the professional game, there has been a lack of representation for the LGBTQ+ community. Although, professional women’s football has certainly opened the door for the community and provided many role models. Meanwhile, men’s football has been unable to show progress with regard to LGBTQ representation within the game. Recently, Jake Daniels became the first professional male football player to come out in the UK since Justin Fashanu in 1990. The Blackpool forward admitted he had hidden his sexuality in order to pursue his career:


“For a long time I’ve thought I would have to hide my truth because I wanted to be, and now I am, a professional footballer”


Daniels hoped that his coming out would encourage others to do the same and that he could act as a role model to future LGBTQ+ players. Although Jake’s decision to come out is a great step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go. Hopefully, he will give courage to more players and inspire the next generation of football players.


Filming a team talk on the set of Realness With A Twist. The players are wearing their Pendle football kits.

Filming commences on the set of Realness With A Twist. The team gathers for a talk with their coach wearing their Pendle football kits. Photo courtesy of Cameron Rozard.

The GFSN National League

Overall, amateur football has made greater strides towards inclusivity than its professional counterpart. The Gay Football Supporters Network National League is an amateur league competition for LGBTQ+ football clubs across the UK. It is governed by the GFSN and is the world’s only national league aimed at the LGBTQ+ community. However, the league is open to everyone, regardless of age, race, nationality, religion, gender, or sexuality. Formed in 2002, it consisted of just 4 teams. It has since grown to 15 teams and created a strong community across the league. The GFSN proves that football can be an inclusive space for LGBTQ+ players but there is still plenty of work to do. This is why Realness With A Twist is such an important and timely film.


Verona football kit in gold/navy on the set of Realness With A Twist

Pendle’s Verona football shirt in gold and navy on the set of Realness With A Twist. Photo courtesy of Luke Mortimer.


Pendle Football Kits On Set

The film finished shooting in June this year and will be available to watch soon. We’ve loved seeing all of the photos of Pendle kit on set and think the cast looks great in their gear. We really can’t wait to see the film. We will look to provide you with updates as soon as we hear anything but you can also find the latest news about Realness with a twist on their Instagram page.


A film set with footballers in Pendle football kit waiting for the shoot to begin. A woman holds a clapperboard.

Behind the scenes on the set of Realness With A Twist. Photo courtesy of Luke Mortimer.


Simon and his team can be seen sporting a Verona shirt in gold and navy for their scenes in the film. Obviously, we think the shirts and the matching Vega shorts and Optima socks look great on film. Thankfully so did Cass. If you want to look as good as the guys, check out of full range of football kits. We have plenty of eye-catching designs.



Browse our range of football kits




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