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Let’s go to the videotape!

D.C. Strokes, sports, gay news, Washington Blade, Kyle Suib

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.


Team D.C. Sportsfest

Team D.C., the umbrella organization for D.C.-area LGBT sports teams and leagues, held its annual Sportsfest at Room & Board on Thursday. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key) Sportsfest 


Get in the game!

Twerker Beez, D.C. Gay Flag Football League, gay news, Washington Blade, DCGFFL, sports, Brian Sparrow

Twerker Bee Brian Sparrow in action. (Photo by Trey Phillips)

The Washington Blade continues its sponsorship of the DC Gay Flag Football League this fall. The Blade team is gold, known as the Twerker Beez. The Beez won this week’s game, 34-6, improving their record to 2-0. The Beez are in first place in Division A of the Victory Fund conference.

The next game is 8 p.m. Friday against I Just Blue Myself. Visit for more information. Go Beez, Twerk it!


Beez drop a close one

Twerker Beez, D.C. Gay Flag Football League, gay news, Washington Blade, DCGFFL, sports, Brian Sparrow

Twerker Bee Brian Sparrow in action. (Photo by Trey Phillips)

The Blade is sponsoring Team Gold (Twerker Beez) in the D.C. Gay Flag Football League’s fall season. The Beez fell just short of topping Blue Steel in Friday night lights action last week, 19-18.

Next up for the Beez: A Sunday contest against Team Black at 9:45 a.m. at the Carter Barron fields, 16th and Kennedy streets. Go Beez, Twerk it!


Calendar through October 3

Lady Bunny, gay news, Washington Blade

New York City drag performer Lady Bunny comes to Town (Photo courtesy of Town)

Friday, Sept. 27

The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance (AGLA) and Imperial Court host their USO-themed Show at Freddie’s Beach Bar (555 23rd St., Arlington, Va.,) tonight at 8 p.m. The show is a tribute to the United States military and a celebration of the second anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” There is a suggested door donation of $10. For details, visit their Facebook events page.

Whitman-Walker hosts free HIV testing at Town (20009 8th St., N.W.) tonight from 8 p.m.-midnight for National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. For more details, visit

SMYAL hosts “The Body Party” at Foundry Methodist Church (16th and P streets N.W.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. The party celebrates the end of #SafeSextember and is open to LGBT and allies. The winner of tickets and transportation to Six Flags Fright Fest will be announced. For more information, visit

Saturday, Sept. 28

The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club hosts its 37th Annual Leaderships Awards Reception at Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar (223 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.) today from 2-4 p.m. D.C. leaders who have contributed to policies protecting transgender people, young queer people of color and older LGBT Americans will be honored. Light food and drink will be served. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online and at the door. For more details, visit

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosts its Out of the Darkness Community Walk at Constitution Gardens (17th St. and Constitution Ave.) today at 5 p.m. Registration is from 3-5 p.m. Proceeds benefit local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs. For more information, email or visit

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts its “CTRL” dance party tonight from 10 p.m-3 a.m. Cover is $5. There will be $3 PBR Tallboys, $5 rail drinks and $4 Jameson shots. For details, visit

Legendary drag entertainer Lady Bunny performs at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight. Doors open at 10 p.m. Drag show begins at 10:30 p.m. Cover is $8 from 10-11 p.m. and $12 after 11 p.m. $3 drinks before 11 p.m. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit

Sunday, Sept. 29

Special Agent Galactica, cabaret, Jeffrey Johnson, gay news, Washington Blade

Special Agent Galactica (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Johnson)

Special Agent Galactica begins her four-week run with guitarist Peter Fields at L’Enfant Cafe (2000 18th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. A mix of jazz, blues and today’s hits will be performed. Admission is free. For details, visit

Perry’s (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Sunday Drag Brunch” today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95 for an all-you-can-eat buffet. For more details, visit

Adventuring, an LGBT outdoors group, host a bike ride along Mt. Vernon Trail meeting at Columbia Island Marina (George Washington Memorial Pkwy., Arlington, Va.,) near the snack bar today at 11 a.m. All levels of experience welcome. Bring your own lunch or buy it during the planned stop at Firehook Bakery (430 S Washington St., Alexandria, Va.,) or at the Mount Vernon concessions. Helmet is required but any type of clothing may be worn. For more information, visit

Monday, Sept. 30

PEN/Faulkner, Folger and Library of Congress host “District of Literature” today at Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave., S.E.) in the Thomas Jefferson building and The Church of the Reformation (212 East Capitol St., S.E.) from 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. There will be readings from writers Dolores Kendrick, George Pelecanos and Elizabeth Alexander among others. A public reception at Folger Shakespeare Library (201 East Capitol St., S.E.) in the Exhibition Hall will be from 9-10 p.m.  Admission for all events is free. For more details, visit

Frank Bruni , The New York Times first openly gay op-ed columnist, speaks at Goucher College’s Kraushaar Auditorium (1021 Dulaney Valley Rd., Baltimore) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 410-337-6333.

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit

Men’s Circle for gay, bi, trans and questioning men is tonight from 7-9:30 p.m. at a location near the Convention Center. The men meet to discuss thoughts, feelings and life in general. To RSVP and find out location, e-mail Randy Marks at

Tuesday, Oct. 1

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) hosts “A Fall Party” for its 30th anniversary at former Councilmember of D.C. Carol Schwartz’s home (2029 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) from 6-8 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $30. For more details or to purchase tickets, visit or call 202-638-3852.

D.C. Strokes, a LGBT rowing club, hosts a meet and greet happy hour at Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) tonight from 7-9 p.m. Meet current teammates and those curious about rowing. For details, visit

Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts its weekly FUK!T Packing Party tonight from 7-9 p.m. tonight. For more details, visit or

Wednesday, Oct. 2

Bookmen D.C., an informal gay men’s literature group, discusses Tom Spanbauer’s novel “The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon” tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Tenleytown Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.). All are welcome. Visit for details.

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts the “Semi-Annual D.C. Gay Flag Football League and Stonewall Sports Mixer” tonight from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Wearing your league T-Shirt/jersey is encouraged. There is a $10 suggested donation that will benefit the Team D.C. Scholarship Fund and the D.C. Center. For more information, visit

The Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) hosts happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. today. All drinks are half price. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is free. For more details, visit

Us Helping Us (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) hosts a support group for black men living with HIV/AIDS tonight from 7-9 p.m. For more details, visit or call 202-446-1100.

Thursday, Oct. 3

Author Juan Ahonen-Jover reads from his book “The Gay Agenda 2013: All In” at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. He will discuss both LGBT equality in D.C. and in New York City. For more information, visit

NOVA Dynamic Lesbians host its monthly happy hour at the Pinzimini  Lounge at the Westin Hotel (801 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, Va.,) at 7 p.m. tonight. Valet parking is free with a validated ticket. For more details, visit


Beez pull it out

Twerker Beez, D.C. Gay Flag Football League, gay news, Washington Blade, DCGFFL, sports, Brian Sparrow

Twerker Bee Brian Sparrow in action. (Photo by Trey Phillips)

The Blade’s team in the DC Gay Flag Football League won in a close contest Sunday. Team Gold — the Twerker Beez — edged out Team Black, 35-34, to remain in first place in division A of the Victory Fund conference. They are 3-1.

Next up for the Beez is a Sunday match against Team Red (Great Balls of Fire) at 12:45 p.m. on the Carter Barron fields. Good luck, Beez, keep Twerkin’!


Beez hold onto first place

Twerker Beez, D.C. Gay Flag Football League, gay news, Washington Blade, DCGFFL, sports, Brian Sparrow

Twerker Bee Brian Sparrow in action. (Photo by Trey Phillips)

The Blade’s team in the DC Gay Flag Football League continues to hold onto first place in their division. The Twerker Beez won Sunday, defeating the Red Team 28-18. Brian Sparrow had a pick six and two touchdowns.

The Beez improved their record to 4-1 and boast one of the toughest defenses in the league, holding opponents to an average 13.5 points per game. The Beez have a bye this week (that means they don’t play). Enjoy the break, Beez, then get back to twerkin!


An athletic autumn

Ski Bums, Nellie's Sports Bar, gay news, Washington Blade

Members of the Ski Bums at the Avalanche Party last week at Nellie’s Sports Bar. (Photo by Kevin Majoros)

There’s a chill in the air and the Ski Bums celebrated it last week with their Avalanche Party at Nellie’s Sports Bar. The group is hosting 20 events during its 2014 season including trips to Lake Tahoe, Snowbird, Steamboat, Lake Placid and Chamonix, France.

The Washington D.C. Ski Bums chapter is hosting its first overnight trip to Snowshoe, W.Va., Jan. 24-26 with ski-in ski-out accommodations and a coordinated carpool from D.C. for all participants. Registration is now open at

The D.C. Sentinels basketball team sent two teams to the Ballin’ on the Bayou tournament in New Orleans on Oct. 11-13. The Sentinels “A Team” was victorious in the Open Championship game defeating the San Francisco Rockdogs in a hard fought battle. The Sentinels “B Team” was defeated in the Competitive Division second round final. The ballers can be found at

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League sent two travel teams to Gay Bowl XIII in Phoenix Oct. 11-13. The Washington Generals lost in the Championship Game in a slugfest with the San Diego Bolts by a score of 27-26. The game went down to the wire with time running out when the Generals were on the 8-yard line. Results are at and the league is at

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club and the Washington Wetskins water polo team hosted the Columbus Day Classic on Oct. 12-13. The swim meet was contested at the Wilson Aquatics Center and featured 150 swimmers from the eastern seaboard. As host club, its members removed themselves from the team competition and New York Aquatics captured the large team trophy. The small team trophy was won by Team SwimSpray. The swimmers are online at

The water polo tournament was held at Tacoma Aquatics Center and included a strong lineup of 12 teams from the Mid-Atlantic States. The Championship match was won by the Washington Wetskins as they defeated the Arlington Water Polo Club. The Consolation final was won by Rockville Water Polo as they outplayed Team New York Aquatics. The water polo players are at

Capital City Volleyball has announced the return of the President’s Queer Cup Classic from Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The tournament will feature three divisions with a cap of 40 teams and will be contested at the University of Maryland, College Park. Information is at

The Stonewall Kickball League is wrapping up its fall season with the league playoffs to run Nov. 23-24. The Championship game will be contested on Nov. 24 at 5:45 p.m. on Stead Field.

The playoffs for the Stonewall Bocce League start on Nov. 7 with the semi-finals and Championship games starting at 6:30 p.m. in Logan Circle on Nov. 14. Both leagues can be found at

If you’re still looking for some intense exercise outside, the Adventuring Group will be hosting the Big Schloss Hike on Saturday. The hike will be a very strenuous 12.7-mile circuit hike with 2,300 feet of elevation gain along the Virginia-West Virginia border. This is not a beginner’s hike and no pets are allowed. Bring beverages, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, sturdy boots and trip/driver fees of $22. The meet-up will be at the East Falls Church Kiss & Ride lot at 8:30 a.m. Contact for more information.

The Adventuring Group is offering a less strenuous hike, the Glover-Archbold Park Hike on Sunday. The one-way 4.5-mile hike, with little elevation gain, will take about two hours. The group will enter the park at the northernmost entrance just off Van Ness Street and follow the entire trail to the C&O Canal and then turn east to Georgetown Waterfront Park to lunch along the Potomac River. Bring beverages, bag lunch, bug spray and a $2 trip fee. The group will meet at the Tenleytown Metro (Red Line) in front of Panera Bread at 10 a.m. Contact for more information. Future hikes can be found at


Happy hour hangout

Stonewall Bocce, gay news, sports, Washington Blade

Stonewall Bocce league players at a recent Nellie’s happy hour. (Photo by Kevin Majoros)

After spending several years in New York City and Chicago where the bar scene tends to have a neighborhood vibe, Doug Schantz came to D.C. hoping to recreate that neighborhood feeling when he launched Nellie’s Sports Bar in 2007.

“The original premise of Nellies was to create a neighborhood hangout for people to watch professional sports,” Schantz says. “I wanted to establish a friendly and approachable atmosphere where patrons would want to bring their friends.”

In a roundabout way of reaching the community, Schantz decided to focus some attention on the local LGBT sports teams. He began sponsoring leagues and tournaments and encouraging LGBT sports clubs to have happy hours at Nellie’s.

“Without any compromise, we sponsor any league that comes to us,” Schantz says. “We do it without any doubts.” The sponsorships turned out to be an incredibly good marketing strategy as almost all the LGBT sports athletes of D.C. live within a 3-5-mile radius of Nellie’s.

Another thing that Nellie’s has brought to the LGBT sports community is crossover in the sports teams. The teams are holding mixers together and it has resulted in athletes participating in multiple sports.

“The growth and awareness of LGBT sports in Washington D.C. can be credited in large part to Doug Schantz,” says JJ Johnson, a D.C. Gay Flag Football League board member. “He has given the LGBT sports leagues seed money, support and a place to go.”

If you happen to stop into Nellie’s on a Thursday night during the fall season, you’ll be surrounded by upwards of 80 people running around in T-shirts with Stonewall Bocce on the front and Nellie’s Sports bar on the back.

“Nellie’s Sports Bar and Doug have been amazing partners for us,” says Brien Bell, commissioner of the Stonewall Bocce League. “Years ago when we started Stonewall Bocce, Doug welcomed us to his home (Nellie’s) and was genuinely excited about partnering with us. He took a risk when others would not, because he believed in the value of sports like bocce and the importance of supporting our community. Five years later, he continues to support, motivate and inspire us. Stonewall Bocce would not be what we are today without Nellie’s.”

That kind of worship for Nellie’s is common among the leaders of the D.C. gay sports community. Who else has a bar that is crafted to their needs? Today, Nellie’s has evolved beyond professional and LGBT sports.

“Watching college sports has become a big portion of our business,” Schantz says. “I also predict that within five years, straight sports teams will begin coming to us for sponsorship.”

Following is a partial list of the LGBT sports clubs that meet at Nellie’s:

Every Saturday is CAPS Softball League (eight teams) beginning at 1 p.m.

Every Sunday is DCGFFL Flag Football (20 teams) beginning at 3 p.m.

Every third Tuesday is D.C. Rollergirls happy hour from 5-7 p.m.

Every second Tuesday is D.C. Singles Volleyball happy hour from 5-7 p.m.

Every first Friday (winter) is Ski Bums happy hour from 5-7 p.m.

Every other month, D.C. Strokes has a happy hour from 5-7 p.m. (dates vary).

Every other month (spring/summer) CTA Tennis has a happy hour from 5-7 p.m. (dates vary).

Every first Tuesday is D.C. Furies Women’s Rugby happy hour from 5-7 p.m.

Every Thursday is Stonewall Bocce Night beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Every first Wednesday is Team D.C. Velo (cycling) from 5-8 p.m.

Every second Thursday is Washington Wetskins (Water Polo) night from 5-8 p.m.

Every third Friday is Lambda Divers (Scuba) happy hour from 5-7 p.m.

Every fourth Tuesday is Ping Pong Madness Night beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Every fourth Thursday is Capital Splats Racquetball Club happy hour from 5-8 p.m.

Every fourth Wednesday (winter) is Washington Wolves Ice Hockey Club happy hour from 5-7 p.m.


Sports: Big red rubber ball

Stonewall Kickball, sports, JR's, Cobalt, gay news, Washington Blade, Stead Park

Stonewall Kickball players in action. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

One of the great stories to come out of the LGBT sports community in D.C. over the last few years has been the emergence of Stonewall Kickball.

The group was founded in the fall of 2010 by Martin Espinoza and Mark Gustafson who were both playing in the D.C. Kickball League.

The first season was a huge success with 90 players making up six teams. In about two years those numbers have grown to 550 players making up 20 teams. And that’s just in the Sunday league.

With limited space at Stead Park Field, the only option to expand was to add a league on Thursday nights within the D.C. Kickball League whose members held the permit for that night.

“It was the best option as we did not want to compete for the permit,” Espinoza says.

That league features competitive teams along with more social teams that fall under the Junior Varsity classification.

Along with kickball, the Stonewall Sports umbrella has grown to include Stonewall Bocce and Stonewall Darts.

“We decided to use the Stonewall name because there are a lot of young LGBT transients in the D.C. area,” Espinoza says. “Many of them are unfamiliar with the Stonewall riots and we like to think of it as honoring those who came before us in the fight for gay rights.”

The league operates a spring season that runs from March to May and a fall season from September to November. Both seasons last nine weeks, games last 45 minutes and up to 11 people can be on the field at a time.

For many, the memory of those red rubber playground balls can conjure up painful dodge ball memories. But along with that are sweet childhood kickball memories.

“The whole reason we decided to start this league was because we were not having fun in the other league,” Espinoza says. “They were very competitive and we ran into some homophobia. The goal of Stonewall Kickball is to have fun. It’s human nature to want to win, but we have adopted the attitude of ‘you win some, you lose some.’”

That attitude seems to pervade throughout the players as on any given Sunday you can see a mixture of team colors walking along together in groups on 17th Street.

Giving back to the community is also a focal point for Stonewall Kickball. Registration fees for the league are $40-$50, but teams are encouraged to reach preset fundraising goals.

Their main beneficiary over the last two and a half years has been the D.C. Center.  They will also be hosting their third Drag Ball fundraiser this June, which also raises funds for Capital Pride.

Last summer the group paid for the mulching and painting of the tree boxes along 17th Street and Espinoza was the leading force behind the Save Stead Park petition, which sought to stop renovations to the park that would reduce field space by 25 percent.

Coming up for the kickball players is a mixer with the bocce league, the dart league and the D.C. Gay Flag Football League and also a community day that will focus on 17th Street and Stead Park.

You can follow them at