It was another incredible year for the Washington LGBT sports community. We continue to grow and are one of the largest and most organized LGBT sports communities in the world.
There were many things to celebrate in 2011 such as the District of Columbia Aquatics Club traveling to Honolulu where members won the large team title at the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatic Championships. It was the 10th time they have claimed the trophy. Next they’ll head to Reykjavik, Iceland to defend their title in June. Swimdcac.org.
The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club celebrated its 20th anniversary and once again members hosted the Stonewall Regatta to kick off the summer racing circuit. The Strokes sent 13 members to the USRowing Masters National Regatta in Oklahoma City, Okla., and medaled in seven events. Dcstrokes.org.
Stonewall Kickball and the D.C. Gay Flag Football League both exploded in 2011 with around 200 players joining each league. Members of the football league went to the inaugural Sunshine Bowl in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and brought home the winning trophy. The footballers’ 2012 calendar is available online and the proceeds go to the Team D.C. College Scholarship. stonewallkickball.com and dcgffl.org.
The D.C. Sentinels basketball team won two national tournaments in 2011 taking A division honors at both the Sin City Shootout in Las Vegas and the Coady Roundball Classic in Chicago. teamdcbasketball.org.
The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League won the bid to host the 2013 North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association Softball World Series. The event is expected to bring more than 160 teams and 2,000 players from member cities across North America. eteamz.com/caps.
The D.C. Front Runners celebrated their 30th anniversary and continue to host multiple runs and walks on a weekly basis along with a seasonal race circuit. dcfrontrunners.org.
The Washington Renegades rugby football club sent their Reds squad to Dallas where they won Hellfest going 5-0 for the day. The renegades finished league play with their best record ever going 8-1 and qualifying for the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union playoffs two years in a row. dcrugby.com.
The Federal Triangle Soccer Club hosted the second season of the Summer of Freedom League, the second annual Women’s Winter Wrap-Up Indoor Cup and the 13th annual Rehoboth Beach Classic soccer tournament. federaltriangles.org.
Lambda DanceSport moved the bulk of its dance classes from Chevy Chase to the Dupont Circle area along with adding several special events. dupontdance.com.
The international LGBT watchdog group AllOut.org collected 46,000 signatures in a petition to bring action against Eucharia Uche, head coach of the women’s Nigerian soccer team. The petition prompted the FIFA to begin an investigation into the allegations that Coach Uche was conducting lesbian witch hunts. allout.org.
Team D.C.’s Night Out series grew to include five local professional sports teams, the Washington Nationals, the Washington Kastles, the Washington Mystics, D.C. United and the Washington Capitals. Look for more to be added in 2012. teamdc.org.
Support from the above mentioned pro teams grew exponentially in 2011 with several of them filming “It Gets Better” videos and expressing interest in future partnerships with the LGBT sports community in D.C.thetrevorproject.org.
Organizations such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Athlete Ally and the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation drew national attention for their efforts to further LGBT sports and combat bullying.
Along with these organizations, incredible straight sports allies made national news with their show of support to our community. Thank you Hudson Taylor, Ben Cohen, Paul Tagliabue, Brian Burke and all the others who stepped forward to say that it’s OK to play sports and be gay.