“The LGBT+ community just isn’t protected by just one legislation in Poland”

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 with its founder, Italian-born Suzi Andreis, that has been residing and fighting for LGBT+ liberties in Poland for longer than 2 decades. She informs us about her work, her jobs and her experience surviving in Poland.

Hi Suzi, many thanks for using the time for you respond to our concerns. First things first, limitations are gradually reducing up. Exactly exactly exactly exactly What happens to be your experience throughout the pandemic?

Covid had a large impact in our task, we had 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 task. We were able to start training once again in the Academy at the start of but, so far, Covid limitations make it impossible to organize a tournament, which have all been cancelled june.

Strange times indeed. But let’s begin at the start. Exactly Exactly How did Chrzaszczyki Soccer Team begin?

C hrzaszczyki started very informally within the summer time of 1999. Within the LBT+ environment, a couple of people in a lesbian email list had the idea satisfy in a park in Warsaw, to expend time together, and also to play soccer. It absolutely was a type or sort of a tale. We didn’t have united group and extremely number of us had any soccer experience. But we liked that really very first game therefore much we made a decision to carry on.

“In the initial years, our absolute goal would be to produce a place for womxn when you look at the community that is LGBT Warsaw. ” Credit: Suzi Andreis

Just just What took place next?

In the 1st years, our definitive goal would be to produce an area for womxn when you look at the LGBT+ community in Warsaw. Games would happen on a regular foundation, these were available (pickup), we scarcely ever played for a pitch that is real. The concern would be to produce a place where non-heteronormative womxn could satisfy. Soccer had been an issue that is secondary. But things changed in 2007 once we arranged our very first competition… and it had been a success! We then chose to concentrate on soccer, to produce as being a team, not merely as community of womxn.

You may be called “Poland’s first lesbian football club”, yet your club is available to everybody else. How will you determine yourselves?

Yes, our soccer club happens of this community that is LGBT. But we don’t ask people who would like to join us about their orientation that is sexual or. Most likely the most useful meaning of Chrzaszczyki is a lady club with a lot of lesbian, bisexual, transgender womxn. Our presence as a “lesbian” team is our governmental declaration in Polish homophobic society. It’s important however it’s not our only objective.

Is why you call it “inclusive soccer”?

We have been conscious that there are numerous social obstacles that counter womxn from getting involved in the video game. Soccer is actually for example culturally considered an exclusively male control. We call our game soccer that is“inclusive because we make an effort to address as many obstacles that you can to help make our projects accessible. Though Polish culture is pretty homogenic with regards to battle, our LGBT+ community just isn’t, LGBT+ folks are various.

“Our visibility as a ‘lesbian’ team is our governmental declaration in Polish homophobic society. ” Credit: Julia Szablowska

Is it possible to expand about this?

Well, our tasks are always totally free, or have symbolic charges, in order that individuals of low income may take component. We don’t give attention to performance, nor competition: we should produce an area where womxn of every age and of various cap cap ability, with or without sport experience may start their adventure with soccer. Numerous at our Academy are womxn that have perhaps perhaps not practiced any sport since their childhood and also have to construct from scrape their basic human anatomy coordination and abilities. Additionally, some womxn in the community that is migrant need to work several jobs to help make ends satisfy in Warsaw. This is the reason our trainings take a voluntary basis, you don’t need to be here each week, you can easily come, join and play whenever you want but still be person in the group. We additionally provide kid caring during trainings

You pointed out a few times your Academy. Is it possible to inform us more about it?

In 2013, we began the Womxn’s Football Academy, a soccer school for adult womxn, meaning cis/trans, queer and non-binary individuals. The thought 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 speak about our experience. We skip a solid movement that is anti-discrimination Polish soccer. Yes, there’s a movement that is growing the specific situation of “women” in football is much more visible within the news. But conversations relate genuinely to “women” as being 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 handle social obstacles and prejudices that result in systemic discrimination and exclusion.

“We additionally organize debates, movie tests, exhibitions where we speak about our experience. ” Credit: Julia Szablowska