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Understanding the Types of Gay Rowing Clubs


Gay and Lesbian rowers are involved in the entire spectrum of clubs and boathouses. Most of us row in clubs and boathouses without any specific affiliation or sexual orientation.

Some rowers have formed a specific club (with their own equipment) and row out of a common boathouse. That isn’t very unusual. A lot of boathouses have several tenant clubs with their own equipment. A good example is the DC Strokes Club. They row out of the Anacostia Boathouse.

Another type of club is one that pays fees to use the boathouse equipment. Still another example is a club that rows exclusively among themselves but all the members belong to the overall rowing club.

With some clubs, the rowers belong to the overall boathouse and have a social sub-club that puts together a boat for regattas and creates a basis for a social “community.”  In Boston and Berlin, gay and lesbian rowers have formed what can best be described as regional groups, that provide an umbrella organization for all rowers that belong to various clubs in the metropolitan area.

Finally, there are the scullers who store their boats in the boathouse and row without a second thought to anyone or anything.

The bottom line is that we are there to row.

Why do gays and lesbians need a gay club? Just basic human needs - community, safety, sense of belonging, acceptance, things that never cross the mind of straight people.