Bianca Sierra and Stephany Mayor join Common Goal
It might be a few years away but when Mexican internationals Bianca Sierra and Stephany Mayor hang up their boots they hope to be remembered for more than their footballing prowess.
Sierra and Mayor — who play their club football for Þór/KA in Iceland — are the newest members of the Common Goal movement and will pledge 1% of their earnings to football for good initiatives.
The pair have amassed close to 100 caps for their country between them but hope people will look back on their careers and remember powerful women who helped change the stigma of being an openly gay couple in Mexico.
As well as being Mexican internationals, the duo were also the first openly gay couple in Mexican sporting history.
Despite some initial homophobic abuse online and difficulties within the national team setup the pair say they have mostly found a supportive community and have since set up an Instagram account dedicated to their life as a couple with the aim of supporting others who might be struggling to come out — especially within Mexican families.
“It’s come a long way since the beginning,” said Sierra. “We haven’t had any hate for a long time. Things on the national team have changed drastically and now it is open and everyone knows we are together and they respect us.
“In the beginning it was tough, we would get some hate tweets and things like that but the good always outweighed the bad and we would get a lot of positive messages as well.
“Since we started our Instagram page (Her and Ella) we get messages and emails almost every day from girls in Mexico asking how do you do it, how did you come out to your parents?
“We respond to pretty much everyone because we feel like we have this power now where we can help a lot of girls.
“Football is the number one sport in the world and as athletes and role models I think we all have this power now to use our voice to speak up and get our word out there.”
Through Common Goal, Mayor and Sierra have teamed up with Fútbol Más — an organisation that uses football to help develop resilience in young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
And, as well as using their voices as LGBTQ+ role models, they are also keen to help drive football’s wider impact.
“We knew some of the players that had joined Common Goal already,” Mayor said. “So we were looking at it and thought that it would be a really cool thing to be a part of.
“We are just trying to do whatever we can to broaden the picture of football up and help whoever we can and get our voices out there.
“We saw Fútbol Más as an organisation to support and because they operate in Mexico as well, it made sense. The work they do is great and we have already sent them an email to say we would love to be more involved.
“I think especially now, in this day and age, with social media, it is our responsibility to use our voices. Before maybe you couldn’t do it. You were just an athlete. Now we can speak to people and if we can make a difference to people’s lives then we want to do that.
“We want to be helpful.”