From their wooden caves, a troupe of great sleepers tow themselves out of a snow-choked hibernation, and into a life-lending: light-hungry, restless, and blinking. They are known as “GLBT softball players.” While most easily identified by their penchant for whacking around chunks of cork with highly stylized tree limbs, their most significant trait is their tolerance for other species.
Peter Noss, Secretary of the Twin Cities Goodtime Softball League (TCGSL), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, says, “I don’t want our LGBT community to be one of those that excludes people. I want it to be a place where everyone feels comfortable.”
That anthem of acceptance applies not just to demographics, but to skill level, as well.
Noss notes, “One thing that’s unique about the Goodtime League is that you can have someone who’s a very experienced, very knowledgeable player, and we allow him to play on a beginner team.”
Thus do teammates transmute into teachers.
Those same distinctions, or lack of distinctions, also are made in TCGSL’s sassy sister federation, the Northern Lights Women’s Softball League (NLWSL), comparatively a whippersnapper of an organization that has been around for 22 years.
Forward-looking NLWSL Commissioner Laura “Schmell” Schnellman points out, “The NLWSL is always happy to add new teams of any skill level. However, we are especially in need of ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams so that in 2010, we can offer a more competitive division for upper level teams.”
Diversity’s laser is more focused where NLWSL is concerned.
Schnellman explains, “Our bylaws simply state that any person who identifies as a woman can become a member [of our league].”
Joining the ranks of either league is simplicity itself.
Prospective players of a less-female bent should follow a parallel course of action.
Noss advises those who wish to ensconce themselves in TCGSL, “Just go to the Web site at www.tcgsl.org, and they can click on new player registration. We’re always accepting new players. You can even join a few weeks into the season.”
GLBT softball players, it seems, don’t just celebrate other species, but their own, as well.
As Noss observes, “There are people there who are athletes. There are people there who are not athletes. If you come down to watch or play a softball game, you’re going to meet people who are just like you.”