Kicking Out Transphobia

Kicking Out Transphobia

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What the Program is and Why it Exists…

A huge component of RCSC’s model is our programs are designed to create an inclusive space focused on highlighting marginalized communities in the world of soccer here in Seattle. Our Kicking Out Transphobia (KOT) match is a staple free event during our Friendly Tournament weekend that showcases the impact of removing gendered rules from soccer and creating cost-free, no-barrier access to sports and creating a safe space where gender diverse individuals in soccer can meet and play with each other.  Gear (shin guards, goalie gloves, KT tape, etc), is provided for any match attendee by the club free of charge. Each participant identifies as gender non-conforming, and the match is a friendly scrimmage of players (modeled after our Kickabout program) from all levels played without gendered language and focused on community building – we strongly encourage anyone interested to join. Each participants also receives a free jersey they get to keep to memorialize their time with us, their inclusion in the event, and their ability to proudly wear the shirt throughout the year.

Unfortunately transphobia and intolerance is on a rise here in the US (and globally) and often treated as a inflection point in the world of gendered spaces in sports. This program highlights the need for de-gendering sports spaces and creating inclusive pitches focused on the love of sports rather than gendered expectations. We know that players such as these are significantly more likely to face under/un-employment, housing instability, limited support and family access, proportionally disadvantaged access to medical care, and lack of community and inclusion. Members who encompass this identity as well as intersectionality from multiple marginalized communities are also disproportionately affected in a myriad of ways.

What’s the Purpose…

RCSC wants to make sure we are putting best efforts forward to move the needle on gender diversity and inclusion in sports. That’s the 10 second elevator pitch. But the reality is, it’s deeper than that. As a club we have decided that community and inclusion is our purpose – there always have been marginalized people in the world – and we want to do our best to make sure that they don’t feel alone and have a seat at the table. Our largest decision as a board has also been our most impactful one: forgoing extensive profit in pursuit of inclusion.

Advocacy should never be limited to one-off events, offering our events is a wonderful platform to showcase our mission; we believe that what we do in one aspect of the club, should be reflected in all areas. RCSC offers sliding scale assistance in our funding models for our larger scale programs so that people who are proportionally disadvantaged and face financial barriers to access can attend. Many of our programs like Skills Clinics (free skills-building workshops with donated gear), Spooktacular Halloween (an event focused on giving people hope, family, and inclusion around the holidays), and Kicking Out Transphobia are held for free because we know that need-to-exist far outweighs profitability. At RCSC we believe in fostering a loving, inclusive, nurturing environment where people can be themselves without fear of judgement.

A Little Bit of History…

On May 21st 2023 Rain City Soccer Club was proud to host its first ever Kicking Out Transphobia match, a highlighted special event that was part of the much larger famous RCSC Friendly Tournament. We were proud to be the first West Coast club to offer such an event.

Records were set. Our attendance for the program was the highest ever: 52 members from all over the United States and Canada enrolled, registered, and showed up ready to play. It was also the first match comprised of only trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming full-roster teams. We were also the first club to have our program proudly attended and celebrated by CHEER Seattle, our local LGBTQIA+ cheer group.

We know that representation matters, especially on sports pitches where adherence to antiquated gender rules create barriers of access to the wonderful environment that is community building in sports. Rain City Soccer Club is excited to see other sibling clubs join this movement and extremely proud to still hold the title of “Largest Gender Non-Conforming Participants Match”.

RCSC & KOT In the News…

https://player.fm/series/beau-my-god/kicking-out-transphobia-with-rain-city-soccer-club

https://competenetwork.com/kicking-out-transphobia-soccer-tournament-raises-funds-for-the-trans-community-and-encourages-participation-in-sport/

https://competenetwork.com/rain-city-soccer-club-in-thriving-on-building-inclusion-through-intersectionality-and-athletic-development-one-on-one-with-club-president-salem-lemmon/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubr1EOZ4U4E

What Our Sibling Clubs are Doing…

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kicking-transphobia-out-transtastic-soccer-extravaganza-tickets-620215430047

https://www.bonfire.com/store/kicking-out-transphobia-fundraiser/

http://www.phillyfalcons.org/pages/kickingouttransphobia

https://phillygaycalendar.com/events/kicking-out-transphobia-tournament-fundraiser/

https://federaltriangles.org/event/kicking-out-transphobia/


KOT’s Roots…

Kicking Out Transphobia Tournament was originally conceptualized as a community project, a tournament fundraiser in 2020 in Philadelphia branded as Kicking Out Transphobia Tournament Mundial (KOTT). The partnership comprised of CASA Soccer and the Philly Falcons. Yunio Martinez is the founder behind the mundial program; a visionary who wanted to use engagement from a large tournament to highlight the inequities that exist in soccer related to gender and other complex issues. Since its inception, Yunio has spearheaded campaigns across North America to offer this program to many clubs as a model regarding how advocacy for inclusion could look like. Yunio has been recognized and awarded for his ground breaking work. RCSC is honored to join him in his quest to amplify this message in our local community by launching our own internal program held every year during our International Friendly Tournament.

RCSC is not a funding affiliate of the Philadelphia program. For more information on that program run by Yunio Martinez, please click here.