Scene: Austin

 
 

Javi came out onstage dressed
in baggy jeans, a hoodie, sunglasses and a baseball cap, and busted dance moves
to reggaeton hip-hop. He recited poems to his online loves and shared his strategies
for handling "la migra," and had the audience cracking up. Afterward
he came into the audience to dance with the ladies, and hottie after hottie got
in a little move with the Honduran loverboi.

A few nights later,
Anthony was back again in high-femme gear as one of the Tragic Bitches,
a trio of queer Xicano spoken word/poet-performers. She, Lorenza Herrera y
Lozano and Dino Foxx presented an Easter show of dramatic scenes celebrating
the holiday with an "evening bristling with themes of family unity and
disunity, ethnic bonds and bondage, assimilation and displacement" — a
particularly queer spin on Easter, indeed.

Scene 5: Softball
Austin
Spring Season Opening Day
March 30, 2008

The end of March marked
the beginning of the Softball Austin‘s spring
season. Though cloudy skies threatened to cancel the games, coaches told their
players to show up and be ready to play unless they were told otherwise.

And did they show up.
From noon to five, all 11 fields of the huge Krieg Complex in Pleasant Valley
District Park
in southeast Austin
were occupied by the league’s teams. According to the league, 20 teams — wearing
custom numbered T-shirts showcasing the names of their sponsors — competed with
a record more than 300 players participating.

On the sidelines, LGBT
families mingled as their kids ran around playing with each other and their
dogs. And there was plenty of beer to go around.

There are three divisions
of teams in the league, from the highly competitive to the strictly
recreational level C. But even on the lowest level, things can get pretty
competitive.

In one of the first games
that day in level C, the Big Rods vs. the Austin Powers, controversy broke out
when two home runs by men on the Big Rods were contested by the Austin Powers.
And listening to the lesbians chatter about each team’s players for the rest of
the day, it was clear that other teams thought that the two guys were too
skilled to be on a low-level team.

The Austin Powers

On the other hand, when the
red-uniformed level C Mullets took to the field in their second game of the day
against the Austin Powers, the two men on their team let out high-pitched, girlish
screams almost every time the ball came near them.

The purple-clad Love
Monkeys, waiting for their double-header against the Ball Busters and then Los
Tigres, watched in the stands. Other early afternoon games included the
Peppermint Patties vs. Pythons and the Shady Ladies vs. Arsenal.

Even though the league is
co-ed, women make up the majority of players and spectators, but there are a
few teams such as the Pythons and the Bat Boys that are predominantly male. The
season culminates in an LGBT softball tournament, the Texas Shootout, which
draws teams from as far away as Ft.
Lauderdale and Phoenix for competition and, of course, parties.

For the rest of spring
and into early summer, it will be like a big queer family picnic on the fields
in Austin.

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