The Warsaw-based Chrzaszczyki soccer club is well known as “Poland’s first lesbian football club”. This week, plus in light of Andrzej Duda’s present re-election, we’d the opportunity to talk to its founder, Italian-born Suzi Andreis, that has been residing and fighting for LGBT+ rights in Poland for over 2 full decades. She informs us about her work, her tasks and her experience surviving in Poland.
Hi Suzi, many thanks for using the right time for you to respond to our concerns. First things first, limitations are gradually easing up. Exactly exactly just What was your experience throughout the pandemic?
Covid had an impact that is huge our task, we needed to cancel our yearly soccer Against Homophobia competition that has been prepared for March 14. We’d and to stop our regular conferences of y our Womxn’s Football Academy project. We been able to start training once more during the Academy at the start of June but, to date, Covid restrictions allow it to be impractical to arrange a competition, that have all been terminated.
Strange times certainly. But let’s begin at the start. Just Just Exactly How did Chrzaszczyki Soccer Team begin?
C hrzaszczyki began very informally within the summer time of 1999. Within the LBT+ environment, a couple of people in a lesbian email list had the idea fulfill in a park in Warsaw, to invest a while together, and also to play soccer. It had been type of bull crap. We didn’t have united group and incredibly number of us had any soccer experience. But we liked that really game that is first much that individuals chose to carry on.
“In 1st years, our definitive goal would be to produce an area for womxn when you look at the community that is LGBT Warsaw. ” Credit: Suzi Andreis
Exactly exactly exactly just What took place next?
In the 1st years, our absolute goal would be to produce an area for womxn within the LGBT+ community in Warsaw. Games would happen on a regular foundation, these people were available (pickup), we barely ever played on a genuine pitch. The concern would be to produce a place where womxn that is non-heteronormative fulfill. Football had been an issue that is secondary. But things changed in 2007 as soon as we arranged our tournament that is first it had been a success! We then chose to give attention to soccer, to produce as being a team, not merely as community of womxn.
You may be referred to as “Poland’s first lesbian football club”, yet your club is ready to accept everybody else. How can you determine yourselves?
Yes, our soccer club is released of this LGBT+ community. But we don’t ask people who wish to join us about their orientation that is sexual or. Most likely the definition that is best of Chrzaszczyki is a lady club with a lot of lesbian, bisexual, transgender womxn. Our exposure as a “lesbian” team is our governmental declaration in Polish society that is homophobic. It’s important however it’s maybe not our only objective.
Is why you call it soccer” that is“inclusive?
We have been mindful that there are lots of barriers that are cultural counter womxn from involved in the game. Soccer is actually for example culturally considered an exclusively male control. We call our game “inclusive soccer” because we you will need to address as much obstacles as you possibly can which will make our projects accessible. Though Polish culture is quite homogenic when it comes to competition, our community that is LGBT+ is, LGBT+ folks are various.
“Our visibility as a ‘lesbian’ team is our governmental statement in Polish homophobic society. ” Credit: Julia Szablowska
Is it possible to expand with this?
Well, our jobs are often cost-free, or have symbolic charges, in order that folks of low income usually takes component. We don’t concentrate on performance, nor competition: we should produce a place where womxn of any age and of various cap ability, with or without sport experience can begin their adventure with soccer. Numerous at our Academy are womxn that have perhaps maybe perhaps maybe not practiced any sport since their childhood while having to construct from scrape their body that is basic coordination abilities. Moreover, some womxn inside the community that is migrant need certainly to work a couple of jobs which will make ends satisfy in Warsaw. For this reason our trainings take a voluntary foundation, you don’t need to be here each week, you are able to come, join and play whenever you want whilst still being be person in the group. We additionally provide kid caring during trainings
You pointed out a few times your Academy. Could you reveal more info on it?
A football school for adult womxn, hot babes fucking meaning cis/trans, queer and non-binary people in 2013, we started the Womxn’s Football Academy. The concept of our tasks are to produce a safe area where womxn can exercise soccer, free from any style discrimination where individuals can feel safe. We additionally arrange debates, movie tests, exhibitions where we discuss our experience. We skip a solid movement that is anti-discrimination Polish soccer. Yes, there’s an evergrowing motion and the problem of “women” in football is much more visible when you look at the news. But talks relate solely to “women” as a homogenic social team, to sexism and gender discrimination just. We take part in this motion, but we believe that the way that is only result in the game accessible is a wider, intersectional approach to deal with social obstacles and prejudices that induce systemic discrimination and exclusion.
“We also organize debates, movie tests, exhibitions where we discuss our experience. ” Credit: Julia Szablowska