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Creating A Visible Community

18 October 2003 | glrfcentral
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GLRF sets up shop along the Charles River. View all the images.

From the banks of the Charles River, at the Head of the Charles Regatta just before Noon on a sunny day, a table appeared adjacent to the Riverside Boat Club with a banner that was both shocking and new. Across a 1 meter by 2 meter white canvas with a blue world logo was printed the name: Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation. Since the table faced the street and was just 10 feet from the sidewalk, and midway along the course, every pedestrian saw it. There were looks of shock, there were whispers, there were look-aways and peek-agains, and there were just plain open-gaped mouths stop dead in your track, points.


Thus launched the first public display of the Gay and Lesbian Rowing Federation. The Boston Bay Blades shared their table with GLRF and were thrilled with the attention as group after group of high school and college athletes walked up to ask for information. Current and future Boston Bay Blades Presidents Chris Schultz and Molly Jordan and Vice President Rob Jagnow handed out brochures and answered questions. As a backdrop, the Men’s Club 8 swept by, including the DC Strokes. Everyone got into the act as venerable gay rowing legends like Caroline X, Charley Sullivan, and Ray Boyd stopped by. Of course, Boston Bay Blade rower Mac Chinsomboon saved the day as he delivered the Boston Bay Blades banner, and the leaflet directions to the party, between his constant string of meetings and deals.


A reporter from the Harvard Crimson stopped by for an interview and immediately closed his notebook when he heard there was a pic of the Harvard Boathouse with the words Yale Rules superimposed on the river…But the three Yale hotties who sat down behind the table were at first a little uncomfortable but then all smiles when a certain exec director handed out his card and told them about the pic, and his admiration for the Yale Bulldogs.


Over 70 GLRF brochures were given out during the two day race. Let’s hope this will start a new era of awareness of the large community of gay and lesbian rowers. Does anyone have the number to FISA?


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