With a myriad of gay and lesbian sports organizations in the area, it may seem daunting to try to pull them all together for common goals. Team DC, however, remains quite undaunted.
As the umbrella organization for 19 sports clubs and counting, Team DC board president Brent Minor says the group focuses on some of the bigger picture issues for gay and lesbian athletes that may not be as easily tackled by single-sport groups. That includes everything from coordinating local participation in events such as the Gay Games, putting together the annual Night out at Nationals and inaugurating a scholarship for gay and lesbian student athletes.
''We see it as doing larger type projects and events that go beyond the boundaries of any one club,'' says Minor. ''The clubs are there to organize their members for playing that particular sport, and we don't expect them to take on the onus for these sorts of projects.''
Minor says Team DC's efforts provide a ''bathtub effect'' -- bringing attention to gay sports in general and filling the tub for all the clubs.
For those considering getting involved in a gay sports club, whether for competitive or social reasons -- or both -- the Team DC web site offers a number of resources for the athlete, from club information to an ''ask the trainer'' feature.
As for the continued growth of gay and lesbian sports options, Minor says that having such gay-specific options are a valuable resource for the community.
''It's a way to connect to the gay community in an affirming manner. You can meet people who have a common interest.''
Of course, there are the physical benefits of exercise, plus what Minor sees as a more metaphysical benefit: If you take the time to improve your body and interact with others, the benefits go beyond yourself to the society at large.
''If you feel good about yourself, and you're out there playing sports, you're going to become a better citizen.''
For more information, visit Team DC on the web at www.teamdc.org.