N.Y. Scene: The Beach Edition

You’ve read a few articles on AfterEllen.com about the N.Y. lesbian scene, which generally revolves around lesbian nightlife and events. But there is another N.Y. lesbian scene which we haven’t tapped yet: the lesbian sports league scene, which according to one writer, ”involves a lot less dim lighting and whole lot more interconnectivity and drama” than the lesbian nightlife scene. New York City is home to, among other things, a lesbian softball league, a lesbian flag football league, a lesbian basketball league, and yes, a queer dodgeball league. Not to be outdone, Big Apple Dodgeball (“BAD”), New York City’s LGBT dodgeball league, sent two teams to Diva on the Shore this year.

I caught one of the two BAD teams in its pre-game huddle. Executive board member Niki Kekos was animated, analyzing the other teams’ weaknesses and coming up with a game plan to bury them in a hailstorm of little red foam balls. As a non-athlete, all this talk sounded intense. And serious. Kekos assured me that it wasn’t. “I don’t know if ‘serious’ really captures the essence of our teams,” she said. “Our strategy was to have fun, play some classy dodgeball, and avoid sun stroke at all costs!”

Niki Kekos with her “not serious” face


Apparently the BAD team didn’t need to train. According to Kekos, beach dodgeball is child’s play compared to what they’re used to. Said, Kekos, “I heard some teams practiced on the beach for weeks before the tournament; we just play real dodgeball on Monday nights with a bunch of gay men. You know – the kind you played with big rubber balls as a kid and have flashbacks about in your early adulthood – only this time you’re much bigger and stronger.”

Jess Harris, also on the executive board of BAD, added, “Beach dodgeball is very tame in comparison to what we play. When we play, the balls are heavier and leave marks when you get hit. We’re pretty rough and tough,” she explained.

Jess Harris

Unfortunately, both BAD teams were eliminated in the first round. Kekos brushed off the loss and reported that no sports injuries were sustained. “I counted a few bruised egos and I still can’t feel the soles of my feet, but other than that, it was all good,” she said.

And then there is team Proposition. You know Proposition. They’re the ones behind the popular bi-monthly Friday night parties and a couple of wicked packed and generally insane NYC Pride events.

Team Prop had the best of intentions. They trekked out to Asbury Park to win and bring home glory.

But good intentions do not always lead to good results.

Or do they?

I found team Prop lounging by the pool at the Berkeley Hotel. By that point in the afternoon, I, too, had decided to wave the white flag of defeat and retreat to a location with more hospitable conditions. Forget photojournalism. My scalp was starting to burn. You could have placed a skillet on my head and made a full English breakfast.

They were passing around a bottle of Mezcal, which wasn’t of the “worm in the bottle” variety that you dare your friends to drink during spring break before they fall face first into a puddle of their own vomit. It was an artisanal small batch bottling called Ilegal Mezcal. Team Prop: keepin’ it classy at the Jersey Shore!

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