Pride Month originated with the “Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade,” first held 50 years ago. The march marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Uprising, sparked by an early morning police raid on June 28, 1969. That 6 day protest against harassment and police brutality has since bloomed into a month long global celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and many others.

The Village Lions started just a few blocks from Stonewall. From the beginning we have been a Welcoming Club. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, we’re all rugby players. For many years, we have marched as a club in the Pride Parade. Though we can not march in 2020, we still celebrate. Today we celebrate by giving Meg Collins & Rosie Rough the spotlight. 

Collins, a New York native, and Rosie, who hails for Oregon, have quite simply dominated the field. They have each collected enough hardware to fill a trophy case, have competed at a high level, and contributed to the advancement of the club in many ways. Together they are a super couple who have already produced their greatest work yet, Ryan Maeve born earlier this year.
And baby makes three. Rosie, Ryan Maeve, and Meg.

Pride Month originated with the “Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade,” first held 50 years ago. The march marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Uprising, sparked by an early morning police raid on June 28, 1969. That 6 day protest against harassment and police brutality has since bloomed into a month long global celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and many others.

The Village Lions started just a few blocks from Stonewall. From the beginning we have been a Welcoming Club. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, we’re all rugby players. For many years, we have marched as a club in the Pride Parade. Though we can not march in 2020, we still celebrate. Today we celebrate by giving Meg Collins & Rosie Rough the spotlight. 

Collins, a New York native, and Rosie, who hails from Carson City, NV, have quite simply dominated the field. They have each collected enough hardware to fill a trophy case, have competed at a high level, and contributed to the advancement of the club in many ways. Together they are a super couple who have already produced their greatest work yet, Ryan Maeve born earlier this year. 

Pride to me means being and embracing the most vibrant, authentic version of you. It means leading/meeting/greeting everything with LOVE.

Rico Garcia caught up with Meg and Rosie to discuss the rugby experience through the LGBTQ+ lens:

The Essentials

Name: 
(Meg) Collins
Rosette Rough
Main Position:
Collins #8
Rosie #13
Years you joined the Lions: 
Collins: Summer ’03
Rosie: Winter ’08
Years playing rugby: 
Collins: 18 (Spring 2002)
Rosie: 22 (1998-1999 season)
Alma Mater: 
University of Scraton (Go, Valkyries!)
Awards or Special recognition you’ve received: 
Collins: NRU Select Side, Women’s Team Player of the Year 2006, 2007, 2009 (shared with Rosie), 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. Most Valuable Forward: 2008. Has served as Women’s Match Secretary (2 years), Women’s VP, Director of Rugby,and currently a member of the Village Lions Board of Directors. I also was an assistant coach under the knowledgeable and inspiring Leona vet, Kim Dacres, Co-coached with an amazing cast of OGs including Sari Warren and G. Angela Corpus. Aislinn Smith and Emmarie Etheridge were also instrumental supporters that season. 

Rosie: Captatin, Philippines National Team (go lady volcanoes!), USAR Collegiate 2nd Team All-American, NRU Select Side, Women’s Team Player of the Year 2009 (shared with Collins), Most Valuable Back: 2008, 2012.

How do you think being a LGBTQ+ person has shaped your experience as a rugby player?  Have your experiences been positive or negative?

When both of us started playing rugby in college neither of us were aware of our LGBTQ+ status lol so in the beginning we don’t think it played a large part.  Both the players on my college team and the Lions when I (Collins) joined were predominantly heterosexual. By the time Rosie joined the Lions, things started evening out and more players who identified as LGBTQ+ had joined the women’s team.  

The sport definitely skews more LQBTQ+ for women than men so if anything, it gave us both more people to hang out with/a larger social circle, hell, we’re married b/c of it! I’d say that’s a pretty positive overall experience (so far!)

These levels are often inhabited by men and most of those men are white. The Lions are no exception. By amplifying the voices of our BIPOC and LGBTQ+ players, coaches and administrators we can have a more expansive perspective and vision for the club we all love so dear #representationmatters

Do you believe that rugby is becoming more or less diverse? What are some positive outcomes you can think of by making rugby more diverse and inclusive?

Rugby is definitely becoming more diverse overall since we started in the late 90s/early 2000s, however it still has work to do. I see way more BIPOC women playing now than ever and this needs to translate to the coaching and administrative levels of the sport as a whole.  

These levels are often inhabited by men and most of those men are white. The Lions are no exception. By amplifying the voices of our BIPOC and LGBTQ+ players, coaches and administrators we can have a more expansive perspective and vision for the club we all love so dear #representationmatters

The Village Lions prides itself on being a diverse and inclusive club. Has this always been your experience with rugby? If not, how have things changed over the years?

See above?

As you’re aware a couple of our hashtags that started at Pride are #LoveIsLions #LionsIsLove, how has finding love through rugby affected you and your views of love in sports?

When the same things fire you up, your love just gets taken to the next level. Rugby is an acquired taste that not all significant others enjoy. We lucked out. When you can share the love of a sport with the person you love, it is a gift.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride to me means being and embracing the most vibrant, authentic version of you. It means leading/meeting/greeting everything with LOVE.