LGBT-Friendly Soccer Team Promotes Tolerance in Latino Community
Recently, we noted that Latino soccer and cricket players are frustrated because they are not allowed to play in Flushing Meadows Park during the U.S. Open. El Diario La Prensa profiled a women’s soccer team that plays in Flushing Meadows Park, organized by an LGBT organization that works in the Latino community. The article is translated from Spanish below.
The LGBT organization Las Buenas Amigas uses soccer as a way to promote tolerance and coexistence in Latino neighborhoods in Queens.
The group, which fosters respect for the LGBT community, has had both lesbian and heterosexual participants for four years now. Rosalba Rosas, an activist and the team’s coordinator, said that soccer strengthens ties between families, friends, and neighbors.
Rosas has been part of Las Buenas Amigas for 12 years. She said that during a competition, the audience’s cheers and their bets on which team will win not only encourage the soccer players, but also prove that discrimination is a challenge which people overcome as a community.
“Soccer taught us discipline on the field and in life,” said Rosas. “We learned that if we want to score a goal, we have to work shoulder to shoulder, despite our differences.”
She likened soccer to a form of therapy for daily stress, and added that women without previous experience have the chance to train often.
Soccer also helps to fortify the emotional bond between family members and young women who identify as gay or are in the process of coming out.
“Families meet other gay women and can understand that they are also someone’s daughter, sister, or mother,” Rosas explained. “The soccer field allows people to live together in harmony and to accept each other.”
The soccer team gathers every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Flushing Meadows Park. If you are interested in joining, visit the Facebook page of Las Buenas Amigas for further information.
Las Buenas Amigas also organizes workshops, recreational activities and monthly discussions.