Compete Network Feature Stories

Philadelphia Falcons LGBTQI Soccer Club Celebrates 30th Anniversary with a Grand Tournament

The Philadelphia Falcons Soccer Club is a LGBTQIA organization that provides an environment of equality, team dynamics, self-empowerment, and recreation on and off the soccer field. Since being founded in 1989, the Falcons has been committed to creating a positive and safe space for adult soccer players of all skill levels, ages, gender identities, and orientations. As a 501 (c)3 non-profit, the Philadelphia Falcons Soccer Club offers informal weekly pick-up games, soccer skills and tactical training, organized league play, local and travel tournaments, and social events.

Founder, Drew Adair, shares his story of building the LGBTQIA Soccer Community in Philly…

As a small-town, midwestern teen in the late ’70’s/early ’80’s, making the varsity teams in both soccer and tennis filled me with such joy and fearlessness that I could almost forget the doubt and unease also growing inside me. A persistent sense of dread that whispered: “but boys like you don’t play sports… and if they do, they will never be able to find love, or even friendship, in the same world.” Fortunately, moving to Philadelphia and discovering newly created LGBTQ athletic organizations – primarily softball, volleyball and running at that time – gave me hope, along with a circle of teammates, friends, and more. 

By 1989, it finally seemed possible that Philly – just like New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, DC – might also be ready to support an LGBTQ soccer team; and that I might as well do what I could to make it happen (admittedly, not a completely selfless gesture since soccer was one of my first loves). So, I spent the early months of that year reaching out to those within our communities likely to have the most knowledge about how to do this and who were likely to offer the most help. While that certainly included Philly’s LGBTQ press, bars and other local businesses – to whom I remain most grateful – I must also express my sincere thanks to the late Bob Whitmore, founder of the New York Ramblers, whose initial advice and ongoing support truly sustained my/our efforts here in Philly throughout that first year.

While I had to retire (I hate that word!) from soccer in 2000, due to multiple back injuries, it has been an honor to have played with some of the greatest teammates and friends I could have ever asked for during those eleven years (including my last two, with the Ramblers, after moving to NYC). I have also been amazed and proud of the remarkable accomplishments of the new generations of Falcons… the work you have all done to grow this organization into what it is now is everything I dreamed of back in the day. I’m so grateful to have been able to return to Philly and experience the results, first-hand. THANK YOU, FALCONS!

Current Falcons president, Yunio Martinez also shared his journey with the Falcons…

I joined the Philadelphia Falcons 6 years ago and that is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.. Thanks to the club I have the courage to come out. Now that we are celebrating 30th years I’m so grateful for everyone who have been involved in the club.

As a club we offer Pickup all year around, 4 Seasonal Leagues. We have Mens, Coed and Womens team playing in the Philadelphia area league. And also our Team travel to LGBTQA Tournaments last summer Our Womens Team took the 3rd. Place in Gay Games.

We are celebrating our Anniversary with a 5v5 Tournament taking place over Memorial Day Weekend (May 24th-May 26th) Womens and Mens Division.. having teams from Albany, DC, New York and Houston.. there is still time for teams to register and come to celebrate with us over Dirty 30.

For more information and to register, visit. http://www.phillyfalcons.org/pages/30thtournament

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