Just because I’m a girl and I play football doesn’t make me a lesbian

Why does it even matter


If I told you I played football, 90 per cent of you would assume I was a lesbian. Though I appreciate this is a common stereotype, the question of “do you like girls?” gets tedious very fast.

I joined the women’s football team at Nottingham in my second year of uni and wanted to share this exciting news with all of my friends. What surprised me more than anything is that my female friends reacted almost as badly as my male friends. “I didn’t realise you’d turned to the dark side?”, “You’re actually on the pussy patrol now then?” – hardly what you’d expect from educated people at a decent uni.

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Startled and a bit taken aback, the interesting “banter” my new hobby had seemed to cause in my house of four girls, made me suspect making my way over to my boyfriend’s house of six lads would now be cause for concern.

Unsure how they’d react they asked what I’d be up to and I revealed I was now playing football for the uni team.They were even worse than the girls. Questions like “Do you all get off after a match?” and “Do you shower naked together?” were followed by requests like “oh my god please record the pres, all them lesbians in one place at one time”

The worrying thing was that I’m pretty sure my boyfriend enjoyed this as much as his friends seemed to. He actually said he’d got no problem with me having sex with another girl, as long as he could watch or I recorded it. Fed up and sick of explaining how I was not a lesbian, and actually really enjoying playing football, I ignored them and carried on. The girls on the team are amazing, fun, kind and talented at what they do, yes some are lesbians, some are bi-sexual, and some are straight, but it makes no difference to me and it shouldn’t to anyone else.

A report by The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation found that girls being afraid of being called gay was a significant barrier to women of all ages taking up all sports, especially those thought to be “unfeminine”. Last year, another study by the NUS found that 1 in 5 gay students suffer bullying on campus. The girls on my team embrace their sexuality and use it to an advantage, we even got joke supporters T shirts printed to make a joke of the stereotype.girls got the hots

I’m not a professional footballer, but it’s time to acknowledge the stereotypes that plague those who wish to take part in all sports at every level. Straight or gay we all share a love of the beautiful game, isn’t it time we just got over someone’s sexuality and just appreciated them as an athlete?