Football in hijab: Thai Muslim lesbians tackle stereotypes

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11/29/2020

PATTANI, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Anticha Sangchai did not come out to her family until she was 30 and married with a child. It was her own struggle confronting the conservative community in southern Thailand that led her to create a place where women like her might feel more at home. In the bookshop she set up in Pattani city, discussions on gender and sexuality led to the birth of Buku Football Club for lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) girls and women four years ago. Buku means book in Malay – and the club is now thriving. Last month, Buku FC hosted its first LBQ futsal tournament, a hardcourt game similar to five-a-side football. Among six teams from three southern provinces, many players wore hijab and were cheered on by family in the stands.

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