Chris Cormier was one of the founding members of the D.C. Gay Flag Football League when it formed in 2010. It continues to thrive with about 20 teams each season consisting of about 15 players per team.
There’s also a rec league for new players and five travel teams that compete nationally along with a women’s team called the Senators.
The league will have its Gay Bowl XVI over Columbus Day weekend here in Washington. The opening party is Thursday, Oct. 6; it wraps Oct. 9. Details at dcgffl.org.
For Cormier, a captain who plays whatever position his team needs at any given time, the league provides “a rare chance to socialize with such a diverse group of people and to meet so many people each season.”
He says he’s made lifelong friends in the league.
“It seems you can’t walk into any gay or sports bar in D.C. without running into someone you know from the league,” says the 38-year-old Worcester, Mass., native. “Plus you learn about someone’s character on the field, so you get to make some lifelong friends through football.”
Cormier founded Cormier & Co., an agency that works with issue advocacy clients on policy strategy and political giving, in 2015. He’s been in Washington since 2009 and is engaged to Chase Maggiano. They live together in Brookland.
Cormier enjoys running, date night, crossword puzzles and “being artsy and crafty” in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I came out in stages — first at 18 when my sister read my journal, and then a few years later after kissing a guy for the first time.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Carmen Vazquez. Despite being a Yankees fan, she has taught me so much about community organizing, queer history and personal bravery.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Nellie’s. It’s the only bar where I’ve ever felt that sense of “home.” It offers a safe space for newbies to come out in and also has provided some of my most fun memories in D.C.
Describe your dream wedding.
This one is easy since I’m getting married on Sept. 4. Surrounded by friends and family, Chase and I declare our love and commitment to one another and then dance and eat cake and drink Champagne while unicorns prance in the background.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Criminal justice reform. As with LGBT inequality, it’s one of those things that our grandkids will ask, “WTF were you all thinking?”
What historical outcome would you change?
The 2000 “election” of George W. Bush.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Picture it: Commercial Street. Provincetown. 2006. Cyndi Lauper serenades a post-Carnival crowd with a ukulele, rainbow boa and “La Vie en Rose.”
On what do you insist?
Be the best you. Especially if the best you is OK with a shameless plug of the D.C. Gay Flag Football League’s “Shirts & Skins” calendar available at dcgffl.org.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I shared my latest op-ed, “Five Ways We Stop Trumpnado,” in which No. 5 is “Stop trying to make Canada happen.”
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Life is Golden: Adventures of an Avid Homosexual”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Make everyone read the Astonishing X-Men “Gifted” series.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I was raised Catholic by a single mother, so it’s some muddled version of karma, paternal divinity and “Angels in America.”
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
As we get access to new rooms of power and influence, let’s hold the door open for those not invited in yet.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Chase, family, friends and Michelle Obama.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
This idea that we should fit into any stereotype at all, especially as we gain greater acceptance in society. One of the strongest parts of “queer power” is our ability to not be defined by others.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
If you mean cult film, then “Drop Dead Gorgeous.” It’s the most smartest. If you mean LGBT content, then “Pride.”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Not talking about religion, sex or politics at dinner. Sounds like a boring dinner party to me.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
The D.C. Gay Flag Football League’s “Charlie Salem Award” given annually to someone who has made great contributions to the league while demonstrating the highest level of sportsmanship.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
Life is cumulative. Even through rough patches, the goodness and fulfillment of it all grows over time. Also, ice your knees.
In addition to having the best flag football league, it provides that sustainable balance of “fulfillment” and “more than enough.”