Bump with the Pink Tacos

As someone quite active in the lesbian sports community, and women’s sports in general, walking into the Center on Halsted’s gym feels oddly unfamiliar. Sure, there’s a very diverse crowd of people of all sizes and colors, but the gym is primarily male dominated. Courts are dotted with an occasional woman – after all, this is a co-ed league. It’s not until I reach the back court (which, by the way, is coincidental) that I find an all-women’s team. This is what makes them unique. Out of 47 teams that span 4 divisions in the AAC (Athletic Alliance of Chicago) volleyball league, just one, the Pink Tacos, is a lesbian team.

While one might guess that this places them at a disadvantage, the Tacos are reaching the end of the season with respectable results. They sit solidly in the middle of the pack, but on the day I arrived to snap some photos, they won all 4 sets (2 games each). “It’s harder to play against the boys because we can’t necessarily block,” states Abby Prow, player and team manager, “but we make up for it in other ways. We’ve got the speed, the agility, and it’s been fun!”.

With many other options to choose from, you may wonder why the all-women’s team would choose a co-ed league. As Abbey notes, when thinking the large and well-known straight sports organizations, “it feels like you’re a number, it doesn’t feel like you’re a player, and even then the teams aren’t as invested and it’s not community.” The desire for community was echoed by her fellow teammate, Susan Stauersboll. She said, “it’s very important for me to be in the gay community and play with the gay sports associations and support them, because I believe in it.” Unfortunately, when the Pink Tacos started playing this summer, there was no other option available in the LGBTQ community. An anonymous source stated that the number of women’s beach volleyball teams in the CMSA league was cut disproportionately to the men’s teams. While the cut was due space limitations, she stated, “it was a blow. I knew people who wanted to play but couldn’t.”

Although the desire to support the LGBTQ community combined with unfortunate circumstance lead the Pink Tacos to the AAC, the team couldn’t be happier. Susan points out, “I feel that we’re totally accepted as lesbians in pretty much a predominantly gay male league. Everybody’s been very sweet to us, very nice, they treat us like equals.” Not only that, Abbey is quick to point out that the AAC’s president, Kevin Hansen, “is supportive as us coming on as his only lesbian [volleyball] team and is really recruiting more lesbian teams to come and play. The AAC wants that representation there.”

When asked what makes a lesbian team different from a gay team, the only difference they could think of was how each might approach a timeout. According to Susan, “the guys are like, ‘oh did you look at that guys ass,’ compared to the lesbians who are like, ‘strategy, how are we going to win this game.’” Not that the team would discriminate based on gender or orientation. As Abbey says, “If he’s down with the pink taco, then he’s fine with me. We could use the help against the boys.”

The Pink Tacos begin their playoff run on January 11th at 8:45pm at the Center on Halsted. If you can’t make the game, join them at their sponsor bar, Halsted’s, after the game.

What do you think? Why don’t more women play in gay co-ed leagues? Why aren’t women checking out other women during timeouts?


You May Also Like:

Back to blog

About Tina

A transplant from the snow and mountains of Upstate NY (why, yes, there IS an entire state above NYC!), Tina moved to Chicago in 2005. Since then, she’s taken full advantage of Chicago’s sports scene, participating in rugby, volleyball, and hockey – just to name a few. Her first love, however, is soccer. She's proud to have participated in both the 2006 and 2010 Gay Games as well as the 2009 Out Games. In addition to sports, Tina enjoys traveling (she tries to cross the atlantic at least once a year). Tina is a ‘Jackie of all trades’, so prepare for the unexpected!



  1. […] Read the entire story from the L stop here! […]

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.