Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hello, sisters on the soccer field

If you have not been watching Women's World Cup soccer, you are surely missing out. It does not matter if you are a sports fan. It does not matter if you do not understand the rules of the game or why Americans call it soccer. ("Soccer" is actually a nickname of English origin from the late 19th century — so, we got it from Europe...) But, in any case, my lesbian sisters, if you are not watching a match here and there, you are missing an infrequent opportunity in the mass media to see strong women asserting their individual power in healthy ways and — perhaps more of a rarity — celebrating the power of their sisters.

There are only seven out lesbians in Women's World Cup soccer, according to AfterEllen. But while the small number of out players in the World Cup seems inordinate to the large number of pings on the gaydar, watching the matches can feel like a pride event. Trust me, sisters, you will feel validated and affirmed watching these fit female specimens run and kick and roar. Another fun thing to do is watch the player profile videos — particularly the magnificent Abby Wambach (pictured above, in two different types of "team" uniforms, including coverage in her hometown newspaper). Wambach is the alpha adonis of the US squad. Someone on AfterEllen said, "Watch this video and tell me with a straight face that Abby Wambach doesn't play for our team." See it for yourself and enjoy. You can also get motivated for your own workout by watching Wambach pump iron. And these two, Lori Lindsey and Megan Rapinoe, are highly skilled and very cute.

After viewing the videos, you might be surprised to learn there is only one out member of the US team, and that is the coach, 51-year-old Sweden native Pia Sundhage. (IMPORTANT UPDATE: Megan Rapinoe is apparently out, too. Yay!) Sundhage was an iconic professional player in her home country, and she now sets an important example in the world of women's athletics for avoiding life in the closet. AfterEllen reported that when Sundhage came out on Swedish television last year she said, "There has been no problem for me to be openly gay as head coach in the U.S.” This alone should compel you to support the US Women's National Team.

But, in case you need just one more reason:
How often do you see women hugging and kissing in joyous celebration on the front page of The New York Times?

3 comments:

Annie B said...

I had no idea this was even happening until yesterday, when I heard that the US and Japan would be playing in the final game. It happens that in addition to being a lesbian I'm also a Japanophile, so I'm really excited about Sunday's game. Now I just need to Google around for a quick primer on the rules. Soccer is kind of like Quiddich, right?

Sapphist Gazetteer said...

You are right. Soccer is sort of like Quidditch, except more Americans are familiar with the rules of Quidditch.

Annie B said...

Did you see the photos of women's soccer on "The Big Picture" at Boston.com? Nice. Check out #30:
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/07/womens_world_cup.html?p1=Well_Sports_links