The Chosen Few

The Chosen Few

In Johannesburg, being a member of an openly lesbian soccer team can mean risking your life. (NYT)

Acts of violence against women occur in South African townships at one of the highest rates in the world, and openly gay women are especially at risk. Members of The Chosen Few, the country’s first all-lesbian soccer team, put themselves directly in harm’s way simply by publicly declaring their sexual preference. Despite threats of violence, the athletes gather to practice and compete, feeling that they have a second family with the team, and, at least in one area of their lives, can feel free from fear.

These women have good reason to worry. In this New York Times video, team members are haunted by violence. One woman was raped at gunpoint and became pregnant, and another recalls the rape and murder of her best friend, Eudy Simelane, a midfielder for the women’s national soccer team whose body was found with multiple stab wounds in a sewage ditch. As these stories are told, it becomes clear why the team trains in a dirt parking lot … owned by the police.

CHANNEL: New York Times

Length: 3:21

Produced by Patrick Barth

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