South Africa’s Lesbian Football Team

BBC: Lesbian footballers fight South African homophobia

Tumi Mkhuma is showing me her photo album in the small room she rents in a tough neighbourhood on the eastern outskirts of Johannesburg. “That’s me when I was 11 – wearing trousers of course,” she says. “I knew I was gay even as a young child.”

CNN: World Cup inspires footballers to play with pride

Chosen Few, South Africa’s only openly gay female football team, was created in 2004 by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) to fill a void for many of the passionate, soccer-loving women who attended their sessions but who had been expelled from their township teams because of their sexuality.

The Guardian: The Chosen Few lesbian team has changed Lerato Marumowla’s life

The Chosen Few – who cannot afford tickets to any World Cup games – play regularly against other South African female sides but this black lesbian ensemble raises conservative hackles sufficiently to be barred from formal competition. “There are other teams where there are lesbians but the coaches don’t allow them to be who they want to be,” Marumolwa says. “They know we are who we want to be and we are free.”

Jennifer Knapp on Larry King Live

Jennifer Knapp’s story resonates with me and a lot of others within faith communities as we seek to reconcile between our faith in God and our sexuality, which are often presented in mosques, churches, synagogues, and temples as irreconcilable. The parts with Ted Haggart seem to demonstrate his own sincere journey toward a ministry of acceptance and inclusion instead of rejection and exclusion as represented by the obtuseness of Bob Botsford. Even Larry King seemed on point.

Heather Hogan on Afterellen: If you haven’t been involved in the evangelical Christian community in the last 15 years, here’s the best way for me to explain it to you: Jennifer Knapp coming out is HUGE. It’s the HUGEST thing I can think of to happen in terms positive gay representation in the Christian community in well over a decade — in large part because she seems to have reconciled her faith and her sexuality.

Knapp told The Advocate that she thought she had to choose one or the other, but after years of soul searching Down Under (she became an Australian citizen to live with her girlfriend), she realizes there’s not a necessary dichotomy between being a Christian and being a lesbian.

The linster on Afterellen: Jennifer herself got to the heart of the issue when Pastor Bob said that she was trying to justify her sin. Not so, she said, because she does not agree that being a lesbian is a sin. And that, friends, is a Big Deal. Big enough to keep queer kids from living in guilt and shame. Big enough to keep teenagers reviled as perverts from killing themselves. Big enough to let gay and lesbian adults embrace their faith as well as their sexuality.

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Chely Wright on Oprah

These stories help me to realize that I am not alone, I am not broken, and give me the strength and courage to be who God created me to be.

This is who God made me to be. Of course I came out because if I didn’t I would never be whole … but another compelling reason is that young people in every corner of America are being told by their churches — and their parents are echoing what their churches are telling them — that they are damaged goods. And they are not!

The word “lesbian” has been used as an insult about me for a long time. And I’m taking my power back. You can say I’m ugly. You can say my songs are stupid. But I won’t allow the word “lesbian” to be used as an insult toward me anymore.

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Afterellen.com: Chely Wright on Oprah