With Femme Posse, multi-tasking athlete Kiki Stromberg puts most jocks to shame
If it’s true, as Henry David Thoreau said, that "success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it," then Kiki Stromberg — head coach of DFW’s all-girl Femme Posse sports league — is certainly on the right track toward staggering success.
An admitted sports junkie, Stromberg was "varsity everything" in high school. Maybe that explains why a 25-year-old coaching five teams in four different leagues sounds incredible.
"I’ve always been doing way more than I can handle, so this is nothing new for me. After doing it for so many years in high school, this is easy," Stromberg says.
It certainly started easily enough. Five years ago, the idea was for a Tuesday night lesbian bowling league in Lewisville; now it has blossomed into a close-knit family of almost 100 women, competing in several different leagues for team Femme Posse.
"The league was a way of getting everyone together without getting drunk," Stromberg says. "That’s pretty much they only way we’d hang out before, so this is a way for us to be active and have a family to fall back on and hang out with."
When the bowling alley came under new management, the Tuesday league came to an end, so Stromberg promised to find a way to keep everyone together. That’s when the Femme Posse took off. (Stromberg even plans to launch a Femme Posse fashion line for lesbians, featuring girls clothes that are a little more boyish, but designed to fit girls.)
Stromberg discovered the North Texas Women’s Softball Association (NTXWSA), and over the past five years, the Femme Posse has participated not only in softball but in volleyball, flag football, basketball and — coming soon to a pitch near you — soccer. Why so many teams?
"So many girls are interested and they all play such different sports," Stromberg says. There’s a hardcore group that plays year round and Stromberg estimates 60 percent of team members play more than one sport.
Femme Posse fields two softball teams, a testament to the popularity and familiarity of a sport prevalent in women’s high school programs across the country. "It seems like every lesbian knows how to play softball," she jokes.
In flag football, the Femme Posse participate in the Texas 9 Man Flag Football League, which, with 22 teams, boasts the largest women’s league in the country.
In football tourneys, they’ll often square off against all-male teams like the Texas Bulls, DFW’s entrant in the National Gay Flag Football League. How is it playing against their male counterparts?
"It’s been evening out," she says. "They use to beat us all the time, but it’s a lot more even now."
Generally speaking, the flag football division of Femme Posse sports the hardest of the hardcore athletes, while volleyball attracted the girliest players. Femme Posse members’ age range (18 to mid-50s) demonstrates the depth of interest and ability of the players, as well as the unique family atmosphere Stromberg and team manager Amy Torrez have created. (Torrez handles most of the organizing duties, so Stromberg can focus on recruitment and coaching.)
Femme Posse’s off-the-field activities include work for charities, from Toys for Tots to blood drives. It’s not all about play — it’s about a dedication to giving back.
"If there’s something we know about we just tell the team and surprisingly we have a lot of people show up," Stromberg says. For example, a couple of years ago the prison system of Texas contacted the NTWSA to schedule some games against female inmates; Stromberg’s teams were the only ones to show up.
"It felt good," she says. "Even though they’re in there for a bad reason, they’re people, too, and they were really grateful. "A lot of people that find us haven’t played sports before but we’ll teach you, cause it’s mostly about hanging out and being a big family," Stromberg says.
Stromberg says her greatest success is that the Femme Posse is about "doing something good and giving people something to look forward to every week — without the drama. Otherwise, we’d be yelling at each other at the club trying to catch up."
Femme Posse registration is open year round. To get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 28, 2010.