AradiodocumentaryproducedbytheFrenchwebsiteFranceCulture ishighlightingtheworkoftheParis-basedFaremember LesDégommeusesinchallengingsexismandhomophobiainfootball.
The 52-minute long podcast ‘Les Dégommeuses, footballeuses et militantes’ (Les Dégommeuses, footballers and militants) gives an overview of the association and its football team, its work in campaigning against homophobia and sexism, its projects and goals.
A central part of the documentary is focused on the Football People activity develop by the LGBT rights campaigners during the 2014 Action Weeks, which consisted of a match between Les Dégommeuses and a team of lesbian refugees living in France and a social media campaign.
The event and the campaign aimed to address discrimination against LGBT refugees and promote their participation in football, encouraged people to come together and tackle homophobia, and raise awareness of livings conditions of LGBT refugees forced to flee from their countries because of homophobic persecution.
Agui, a 26 year old player of the refugee team, said: “I left my country, Uganda, in April 2011 because of problems related to my sexual orientation; problems with my family because I am a lesbian.
“In Uganda they are trying to pass an anti-gay bill, but it was stopped by the Supreme Court. Personally, I don’t believe the problem is solved because there are people still being persecuted and jailed because they are gay.
“It is not safe to be gay in Uganda. Me, I am free in France, here I feel protected and I can walk my girlfriend down the street, which was something I could not do there.”
Addressing hate crimes against LGBT people
In 2012, a similar project developed by the French group highlighted homophobia, hate crimes and the persecution of LGBT people in South Africa. The film documentary ‘Thokozani Football Club: Team Spirit’ tells the story of a lesbian football team named after Thokozani Qwabe, a young lesbian footballer victim of a hate crime in 2007, in a village near Durban and the struggles its players face to counter homophobia.
The film has since been screened in several film festivals across Europe.