Case 020: Gay Team Sports:
filed January 29, 2020
A League of Our Own
In this age of reclaiming power, queers are on a roll. Once barred from serving in the military, now we can serve (and be drafted) in Trump’s army! Who could forget those dark days before we had the right to marry? What’s love worth without a ceremony parents can approve of? And where once we were terrorized in athletic arenas and oppressed in locker rooms, we now have…gay sports leagues! The bricks have been thrown at Stonewall—it is now our turn to throw dodgeballs!
In celebration of radical queer progress, The InQueery liased with hundreds of LGBTQ+ athletic leagues from all over the nation, assembling a guide for gays of all sorts to find purpose, belonging, and identity doing the thing they swore they’d never do again when they were in seventh grade. Here’s our how-to!
1. Choose your sport – “I don’t even know what sport I like!” said Max Boulanger, 23, a Google intern and recent import to New York City. “I thought I was supposed to hate sports…but every guy I’ve slept with since I moved to Manhattan says it’s the only way to make friends. Help!”
How to pick your diversion? Try looking back to when you first came out. If your mother poured herself a drink, give Tennis a go. If you posted it on—gulp—Facebook stories, you may find a home in gay bowling. Didn’t “need” to come out? Those soccer cleats will suit you just fine!!
2. Unleash your uniform – Now here’s where the fun begins. For the little gay boys who wanted to wear Sofis like the girls on the volleyball team, and for the cheerleaders who would have rather worn football pads like Roman centurions, your time is nigh! Join a gay rugby or lacrosse team, hike up that mesh as high as you’d like, and let those thighs shine! And for those of us with a spandex affinity but a dungeon aversion, try joining a local gay wrestling or swim team. “I just like the feel of bungee cord on my skin,” says Denise Madsen, a recent addition to Paramus, New Jersey’s Community Wrestling League.
3. Bond with your mates – Sure, our community was once bound together in a struggle against dominant society, forming underground cohorts of new sexualities, identities and ideas. But now…you can enjoy the privileges of straight conversation, and talk about…nothing! After eons of struggle, who doesn’t want to crack open a cold one with the team after a long practice? And with the advent of gay sports bars you can be indistinguishable from your straight cousins you left behind in suburbia. What’s not to love?
4. Embrace abstinence – Naturally, when hearing about gay leagues, one would expect game night to resemble the infamous Olympic village, but interviews revealed otherwise. “I never sleep with any of the guys,” said Jesse Whitaker, a Nashville-based gay basketball captain. “I much prefer to strip and flirt in the locker room than actually hook up. It’s a lot like this straight guy who used to mess with me in high school. Huh, I never thought about that before.” Why buy the cow when you can have the psychosexual mind games for free? Be a flirt!
5. Make your family proud – Even if they embrace and accept their queer children, many parents of gays just don’t know how to follow along. With a less traditional trajectory than our straight siblings, how should they know when to celebrate? If you’re not planning on marriage, children et al., bring them to a game! When your parents see you kick a ball in those Parke & Ronen shorts, they’ll be your biggest fans. Consider it long-overdue healing since you quit Little League in fifth grade to “spend more time with your collages.”
The Bottom Line: That pinny makes your arms look great.
Rating: Missi Pyle in Dodgeball.