Homosexuality in the football transfer marketby Angelica Basile - 2017.07.17
Bianca Sierra and Stephany Mayor, two twenty-five year olds, had to travel more than 7,000 km in order to be free to live out their love story. This is the distance that divides Mexico from their new home in Akureyri, a small Icelandic town where this pair of professional footballers decided to move to last year because things were not going the right way at home.
They first met in 2010, during a football camp for the Under-20s World Cup in Germany, and fell in love three years later during another session of their national football meeting in China. Of the two of them, Stephany was the most worried about being able to gain acceptance from the other players: “There are many sexual taboos about in Mexico, although in many cases they are unspoken”. In fact, there is a strong macho culture and denial of the LGBT world. So a lesbian has to face double discrimination: first as a woman, and second as a homosexual. Just look at any game and you can see that it is a custom for the fans to shout homophobic insults; which, by the way, cost the Federation of South American Countries, recalls and heavy fines (about $ 100,000) by FIFA.
In this complicated atmosphere, Bianca, who had lived for many years in California , where gay couples don’t experience these difficulties, was able to reassure her girlfriend. She knew that gradually their families and teammates would accept their relationship. And that’s how it was. The problems, however, came when rumours about them reached the ears of their Coach, Leonardo Cuéllar, who during a game in Cyprus in 2015 said to the team, without naming them explicitly, that he did not want to see any holding hands or ambiguous behaviour.
This was a clear message that convinced the two lovers to make a big change and the subsequent acceptance by Bianca of the proposal made to her in 2016 by the Icelandic Akureyriche.
On the banks of the river in their new home town, the two footballers have taken and shared their coming out photo. In this small northern corner of the world, which is home to just 18,000 inhabitants, Bianca and Stephany have found something that seems like a little universe. Everyone recognizes them on the street and supports them, primarily the coach. And, thanks to their talent hopes to put the 11-KA Thor in a position to compete internationally.
Meanwhile, the two lovers are enjoying being at the top of the table without asking too many questions about the future, and they have been invited by the new coach of the Mexican national team to return home for a friendly match. But it is only for a few days because it is no longer their home.
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