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Who Will Save America’s Gay Hockey Team?

QUEERTY REPORTS — Like a burning forest fire, the global financial panic is burning everything in its path; businesses are folding, workers are being laid off, and now the burning embers of recession threaten to melt the ice for GForce, America’s national LGBT hockey team.

The team, made up of LGBT athletes from L.A., New York, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and elsewhere across the country lost their sponsors this year — and the team’s continued existence is in peril.

“We were saddened but not surprised that our private philanthropists and corporate sponsors pulled out this year,” David Farber, one of the team’s centers, tells Queerty. “With a hard fought political campaign, Prop 8, and a severe economic downturn we were expecting to lose some sponsorship, but not all of it! We are now looking to non-corporate sponsors and grassroots support to help keep this great non-profit alive and spread the message of GForce.”

Each year the team puts on a hockey tournament in Aspen, CO during Gay Ski Week, called “The Friendship Cup,” which pits Team GForce against an all-star straight team, with GForce winning the last three consecutive games in a row. Because the team is spread out across the country, it’s only after games and tournaments that they get the chance to practice, but still, last year they won 7-3.

While the guys on the team are bound together by a mutual love of hockey and guys, they see what they do as a lot more than just sport. There’s a need for a “gay team,” explains Farber:

“We started this organization to provide an example to both the straight and LGBT community to show them that being gay or lesbian can go hand-in-hand with competitive athleticism. We saw the lack of good LGBT role models for gay youth and a lack of awareness of LGBT athletes in the greater sporting community and decided to form GForce in order to work to fill that void. The day that LGBT athletes are fully accepted into our nations sporting community, GForce will probably become irrelevant – and we can only hope that day is sooner rather than later.”

That’s not to say that the team doesn’t have fun with their message. Their favorite thing to do after a winning game? Farber laughs and says, “We drink. A lot.”

In fact, sometimes it’s only at the bar that the opposing team finds out that they had been playing against (and lost to) a gay team. “Many teams we played against were surprised to hear about “the nature” of our team, and the overwhelming majority of our opponents were supportive,” says Farber.

But the costs of running the Friendship Cup have swelled to over $30,000 as the event has grown in popularity. And without a sponsor this year, it looks like there will be no joy, or friendship, in Aspen.

The team has raised $3,000, but say they need a minimum of $10,000 to hold the event. “If 70 people gave $100, we would be all set,” Farber offers.

So what’s the best part of being on a gay hockey team? Farber keeps it real:

The locker room of course! But seriously, the best part of being on GForce has to be the camaraderie of all the players on the team and the welcoming environment that allows each player to be himself and not hide in the face of the prevailing hetero-machismo of sports culture.

If you want to donate to the team, you can donate to Team GForce here. They’re a 5013c non-profit, so your donation is tax-exempt.

Team GForce’s win last year in Aspen was also the subject of a short documentary, which is worth a look because not only do the players talk about their experiences being on straight teams and the homophobia they face, you get plenty of interesting man-on-the-street interviews from people learning about the existence of a gay hockey team … and there’s also plenty of locker room shots.

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Dec 10, 2008
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 32 Comments
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      It’s time to “Potluck” it guys. I would rather my tax money be used more productively (even though it’s not currently) Still, break a leg!

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NOLAchick
      NOLAchick

      LGBT?
      I’m sorry but as efficient as lesbians are in team sports, I don’t see any representatives of the B L or T of LGBT.
      Gay make hockey team, yeah. Calling it LGBT though, is a misnomer as far as I know.

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Woof
      Woof

      I’d give some money to the guys in the pic…in turn for a few favors. The one on the right WOOF!

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant
      Japhy Grant

      @NOLAchick: Farber says “GForce encourages all types of players to join the team – gay, bi, trans, queer, and yes straight – provided they can play at our level.”

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      Seiten, stop being a dick and stick a crowbar in your wallet and pry out a few dollars. NOLAchick, how can LBT’s be represented if they don’t go out for teams? Sitting behind a computer won’t get your face out there. I’ve been in pick up lacrosse games with all the letters of the queer alphabet on the teams simply because they all went out for it. I guess its a Canadian thing.

      Being Canadian; am I allowed to donate?

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      As an aside, could the team look into a clandar to raise money? With prime A beef like those fellows above, I’m sure they would do a brisk business 8^)

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      @Paul Raposo:

      clandar

      Often spelt calendar by those in the know.

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan
      Dan

      It’s like your high school guidance counselor told you, Seitan, “having friends isn’t a bad thing.”

      What a lonely, lonely man…

      Dec 10, 2008 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      Dan and Paul Raposo are on this Hockey team!!!! Send blank checks directly to their slush fund. Better wear those Wellingtons before they drain your bank account!

      Dec 10, 2008 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JinkyJuggler
      JinkyJuggler

      Nice guys though…

      Dec 10, 2008 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      I preferred the Ass shot from the tease which makes us click on this trite article. Dan would slap my high school guidance counselor because he was molested by his…what a lowly,lowly hand! Don’t worry Dan (the Man) “having friends isn’t a baaaaaad thing.”

      BTW – Google search this Hockey team with the words “Nigerian Bank Scam” and see what you get, Mister Paul Roboto (I know where YOU live!)

      Dec 10, 2008 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mikmars1
      Mikmars1

      Well – how would anyone know if there are any bisexuals on the team? I played on team with mostly strictly gay guys, a few bisexuals and few straight guys thrown.

      Most folks wouldn’t be able to tell (necessarily) from a few photos or even playing us.

      Dec 10, 2008 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ahem!
      Ahem!

      A great clip. The emotional bearded guy–so like me! But have to point out a few things: 1)I know there is a double standard when it comes to horseplay in the locker room. I am aware there is more homoerotic horseplay in a “regular” locker room than in gay porn. But we have to play straighty’s game to get ahead. Because as soon as straighty sees the playing around in the locker room of a gay team, they are immediately using that as ammunation as to why it would be uncomfortable for us to be “out” in mainstream sports teams. Just look at the reason why they are still keeping the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy”. For that matter–“Shame, Obama, shame. You promised…!”
      2)I know self-censoring is not something everyone agrees with, but sometimes we have to do what is necessary to promote our agenda. Yes, I said agenda. Don’t be a fool, there is no kum bah ya singing utopia–the world is a cold, cruel, political place and, gay or straight, most are looking to trample someone else to get ahead. So all that kissing on the lips in the arena–won’t promote our cause. Sports is still considered a “family entertainment” and men-men kissing is not the norm, yet. Trying to force feed the masses doesn’t sit well with most people, including us. So keep that behind the scenes and play the game people, and I don’t mean just sports.

      Dec 10, 2008 at 3:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      This kind of validation is the kind of thing which will build a gay identity in the long run, not just stuggling for rights, which are ok but don’t validate us.

      Dec 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dick Mills
      Dick Mills

      They all still have all of their teeth! So, they either are doing something wrong, or they have much better dentists! I love ‘em! Go GForce!

      Dec 10, 2008 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I don’t know – watching the clip all I could think of is “how cool, a Gay hockey team.” And they are probably as good or better than the straight teams….

      OK I lied – I’m in love with the hairy chested guy in the middle of the top photo. Guy on the right is cute too.

      I hope they make a go of this. A straight friend of mine wondered why there should be Gay Olympics, Gay teams etc. To a reasonably tolerant person like her, it probably sounds like not much to say “you might hear a slur here or there” but one of the players said it is so nice not to have to hide. I agree and wish them well. (If I ever get paid from my second job, I’ll send them a little donation.)

      Dec 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adzomelk
      adzomelk

      @Jaroslaw: LOL ive got to say when i first saw the foto @top i thot they were conjoined triplets i had to do a triple take & put my glasses on im with you the middle one is HOT & the righty too

      Dec 10, 2008 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff Guard
      Jeff Guard

      yummy. when’s dinner?

      Dec 11, 2008 at 12:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greybat
      greybat

      @Ahem!: Actually, the teams use different locker rooms, so Straighty delicate sensibilities will be preserved.
      I was friends with one of the members of the L.A. team….long,LONG ago.
      They were nice guys, and the one female member at the time changed and showered along with the other teammates. Very civilized.

      Dec 11, 2008 at 2:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve in Toronto
      Steve in Toronto

      What a lame and unnecessary story! Just what the gay & hetero communities needs…yet .another group of whining pussies thinking they’re special… thinking they deserve financial compensation for attempting to partake in a somewhat masculine activity…grow the fuck up – if any of you needy & gross faggots were good at playing hockey, you’d be playing in the NHL! We all know one of the main reason’s you nelly-fags “play hockey” is to justifiably wear a jock-strap in a change-room with a group of other loser males…aren’t you all just “special” for trying to live out a lame-ass uber-gay fantasy. I guess you’ll have something to reminisce about when you’ve all become old trolls sitting around knitting and bitching once you check into the gay retirement home!

      Dec 11, 2008 at 7:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      Wow, Steve, I think you’re the one that is needy and begging for attention!

      Dec 11, 2008 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BootsieGee
      BootsieGee

      Jeez Steve, lighten up. What the hell are you doing on this blog anyway? My guess is you saw the jock-shot one the main page and decided that was good material for your daily “session” and were disappointed to find out that there was no real nudity in the story and that you were going to have to resort to some other means to get your jollies.

      It is interesting to see that even in a very gay friendly city like Toronto, self hated and bigotry are alive and well. Kudos to you Steve, karma is an ugly bitch.

      Dec 11, 2008 at 9:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Anyone know what is up with the (supposedly) straight trolls on Queerty for the last few months? There are so many nasty comments – which don’t bother me as much as the question why are they here at all? The straight world is 90% at least – go bother someone else.!!! :)

      Dec 11, 2008 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Slider
      Slider

      Didn’t Steve in Toronto get the Memo….there are Gay Men playing in the NHL…they just aren’t out. It is funny to read his childish rants as he screams grow the f#@K up….with his potty mouth, he should be given a time out after one of we faggots spank him (which he would I am sure beg for more) and clean out his mouth with soap and then lock him in his room until he learns to play nice with people. Given his comments that will be the day after when hell freezes over. But at least his ignorant rants prove what kind of individual Steve in Toronto is. I pity the poor straight people who are stuck with him on their team.

      Dec 11, 2008 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greybat
      greybat

      @Paul Raposo: I was thinking that, too!

      Dec 11, 2008 at 1:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      I think that we should put the Gay Hockey team in charge of the Federal Financial bail-out. It’s fiscal reponsibility……………..until we’re embezzled!

      BTW – There’s a Gay Retirement Home? I heard about the one in Berlin.

      Dec 11, 2008 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Umm-Yeah
      Umm-Yeah

      Slider, just out of curiosity, who in the NHL is gay? Are you basing that on the 10% of the population statistic? Did you have a personal experience with any of them? Or are you simply participating in the rumors because that’s what you want to believe? Your sources please.

      Dec 14, 2008 at 2:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon
      Shannon

      How much to save them?

      we’ll start campaigning for donations and fast

      Dec 14, 2008 at 7:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Glenn Witman
      Glenn Witman

      Hi Everyone….besides Steve in Toronto’s comments its been great to read all the responses. Here’s a quick update since the article was first published. We have raised close to $425 in the past 4 days.(Thank you to everyone who donated!!) And I just got word from a Denver and gay owned luxury furniture store (HW Home) that they would match a gift of up to $500 if we can raise an additional $500. If this all works out that means we will still need about $5000. If you have any questions about the organization and our mission, please email me directly at glenn@gforcehockey.com. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

      Dec 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      @Umm-Yeah:
      No sources are needed you moron. People said for years certain Hollywood folks were queer and guess what? There were some. What “sources” would we have used then? And why did we not know at the time? Because it was and still is generally a liability to be out and open.

      You must not read anything either or you would know that gay teen suicides are about three times the rate of het teens. Figure out why that is if you can.

      Dec 15, 2008 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Umm-Yeah:

      Here’s an interview with a closeted NHL player.

      http://www.outsports.com/entertainment/20050218gumbybookexcerpt.htm

      There are plenty more where that came from.

      Dec 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      Another reason why hockey is gay…

      Oct 3, 2009 at 8:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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