Kyle Suib of the D.C. Strokes on his way to a gold medal at the World Outgames in Belgium last year. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Freedman).
Washington has long been a leader in the world of LGBT sports and 2013 was another banner year for the clubs and teams in the area.
Stonewall Darts, Arlington Outriders (bicycling), Washington Scandals Rugby Football Club and an LGBT branch of D.C. Triathlon Club emerged as new teams last year along with new leagues that were formed by Stonewall Darts and D.C. Sentinels Basketball.
Sports tournaments were hosted locally in 2013 by the Capital Area Rainbowlers Association, D.C. Sentinels Basketball, D.C. Frontrunners, D.C. Strokes Rowing Club, Federal Triangles Soccer Club, Chesapeake and Potomac Softball, Washington Wetskins Water Polo, Capital Tennis Association, Charm City Volleyball, Lambda Links Golf, Capital Splats Racquetball, Capital City Volleyball and the District of Columbia Aquatics Club.
The international LGBT sports movement saw continued support in 2013 from straight sports allies such as Brendon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, Hudson Taylor, Ben Cohen and Patrick Burke. In August, the Washington Blade published its first sports issue with Ayanbadejo as guest editor.
Also gaining momentum in 2013 was the CCE Sports Network, which has focused its attention on covering LGBT sports with a live streaming feed and live commentary. Its video archives of LGBT sports tournaments continues to grow along with its presence on the LGBT sports scene. Look for expanded offerings from the CCE Sports Network this year.
The D.C. Gay Flag Football League, with close to 300 players, just wrapped up season seven of League play with the Maroon Sox defeating the Harvest Mooners in the championship game. They sent two travel teams to Gay Bowl XIII in Phoenix in September where the Washington Generals finished as runner-up in the championship game.
The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club hosted the 20th annual Stonewall Regatta in June along with a multitude of rowing programs. In August, its members returned from the World Outgames in Antwerp, Belgium with multiple medals in the rowing events.
The District of Columbia Aquatics Club hosted the 22nd annual Maryland Swim for Life on the Chester River in July. In August, members won their 11th IGLA World Championships title in Seattle setting multiple IGLA world records in the process. Two months later they hosted the annual Columbus Day Classic which drew 150 swimmers from the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Federal Triangles Soccer Club hosted the fourth season of the Summer of Freedom Soccer League. Players also hosted two competitive tournaments: the Women’s Winter Wrap-Up Indoor Cup and the Rehoboth Beach Classic.
The Capital Tennis Association hosted the Capital Classic XXI in September, which was broadcast live on the CCE Sports Network. Its players also continue to host fall and winter tennis leagues for roughly 300 players.
The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League hosted the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series in August, which brought in about 3,000 athletes from across North America. Its Magic Tournament will resume this year. Its members also wrapped up their 31st year of league play with about 500 men and women playing in multiple divisions.
D.C. Sentinels Basketball kicked off the Washington, D.C. Gay Basketball League in January and has just filled all 80 player slots for its second season to begin this month. Its travel teams won two tournaments in 2013: Ballin on the Bayou in New Orleans and the Freedom Festival in D.C.
Charm City Volleyball hosted the Charm City Invitational 28 in April and Capital City Volleyball hosted the President’s Queer Cup Classic in November. In May, Capital City Volleyball and New York’s Gotham Volleyball will co-host the 2014 NAGVA Championships in Washington. The event is expected to draw approximately 1,000 players to the area.
Stonewall Kickball just wrapped up its seventh season in November with 620 players. This month, they will send be sending a travel team to Las Vegas for the Sin City Shootout.
The Washington Wetskins water polo team captured fifth place at the IGLA World Championships in August in Seattle. In October, they hosted the annual Columbus Day Classic and won the team title.
The D.C. Front Runners hosted Pride Run 2013, which was the inaugural running of a chip-timed 5K run and walk coinciding with the festivities of D.C.’s Capital Pride week. They also continue to host an extensive series of runs, walks and running programs.
The D.C. chapter of Ski Bums is hosting its first overnight trip to Snowshoe, W.Va., on Jan. 24-26, with ski-in/ski-out accommodations and a coordinated carpool from D.C. for all participants.
Stonewall Bocce recently completed its fall season with 200 players and Stonewall Darts is just beginning its third season with 108 players.
With all the LGBT sports opportunities in the District, there is truly something for everyone. Besides the teams mentioned above, there are the Adventuring Group, D.C. Velo Cycling, Lambda DanceSport, Lambda Links Golf, D.C. Icebreakers (skating), D.C. Triathlon Club, Capital Splats Racquetball, Rainbow Rock Climbing, Washington Renegades Rugby, Rainbow Spinnakers Sailing, Lambda Divers (scuba), D.C. Lambda Squares (square dancing), Ultimate Out Frisbee and Washington Scandals Rugby.