When passion calls you to the water

Article Index
When passion calls you to the water
Part 2
All Pages


Some people think sex is the only passion GLBT people have. But passion comes from many things, this writer has three: reading and collecting books (much to the chagrin of my husband), politics (can't wait for 2012 presidential campaign year), and rowing.

Since I don't write book reviews and politics for most people is, well, you know... Most people, gay or straight, would rather take it up-the-bum than talk about politics (Even some tops I know). So I guess that leaves rowing.

"I would say 40 percent," said Brian Todd, 41, of Studio City, CA and Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Rowing Federation (GLRF), when asked online how many gay men he thought were on any given crew team. On Real Jock, a free gay website, a comment was made by one rower, ROWING_ANT, of the U.K.: "I have never come across another gay rower" in his country.

You'd think this guy in a country that started the Gaydar website would have better 'gaydar'.

One man, NYCAthlete, responded to ROWING_ANT: "Gay rowers exist in the US and NYC... having rowed in college, I know a good handful..." - Did he write this? - "...I rowed with that are gay. Of course, in college as rowers none of us were gay...apparently rowers aren't gay until after college."

GLRF has 1,159 members worldwide according to its website. "Canada is the third largest country, by membership, in the GLRF," said Todd, or 78 members nationwide. He added that in the West Region of Canada – Alberta, B.C. and Yukon Territory - there are 28 members.

There used to be two men's rowing teams in Vancouver. One was called Fantastic Fours and the other Great Eight. These gay men's crew teams were based out of the Vancouver Rowing Club (VRC), the English-styled rowing club located on the shores of Coal Harbour in Stanley Park.

"VRC was very supportive of the squad that went to the 2006 Games," wrote Todd. He was referring to the men's team representing Vancouver at the first ever Outgames held in Montreal. They "were allowed to host a fundraising party at the club and it was very successful."

One can imagine that hasn't always been the case. Even now one can pick up subtle signs of discomfort: a glance, side comment, or a homophobic joke. None of this was felt or seen in the few visits made to the VRC. Especially after revealing I have a partner and later introducing him as my husband when he showed up to watch me take my on-the-water rowing test in 2007.

"That same question comes up all the time to me at our booths we host at straight regattas," said Todd, after being asked why there is a need for gay or lesbian rowing teams.

Add comment

Security code

About | Contact | Privacy |
Facebook Twitter