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My name is Marc Miller and I’m from Salisbury, Maryland.
Last night was the conclusion of a year-and-a-half long dodgeball ensemble that was mostly gay. It was really a collection of 4 to 6 people that really pushed for it and formed the original team. We were doing it to just be silly, you know, we were doing it in some respects because we thought this was kind of a stupid sport, a stupid game. And there’s no reason why we couldn’t dress it up and add some performance components to it and kind of “gay it.” Kind of fem performance “gay it”. What we encountered was kind of traumatic. It was a really bad experience.
At first it was like, wow, this is like reliving the trauma of 7th grade gym class. And pretty much everybody on our team was like, “I don’t know if we should continue doing this. This is not rewarding in any way.” But what actually what happened was the opposite, where we started bringing in friends and other people to join us, and they started bringing their friends and thought that what we were doing was worth something. We got so many people involved that we had to basically create this league within a league, this many teams. What we started finding out was that not only were all these gay kids wanting to play, there were a lot of straight people, too, that were interested. And I’m wearing gold tights and this kind of sliced leotard and I’m in semi-drag at this point and I’m like, “Are you really sure you want to play with us?” And at first they wouldn’t dress up, they wouldn’t do that, but they’d still play with us and it was kind of fun. But as time went on, they started doing this, like “What if I could be an American Gladiator, like what if we got gold lamay sleeves. And suddenly we have these former high school and college jocks that are joining us, these straight guys are assuming our aesthetics and kind of finding something they’re getting out of it. It was a pretty interesting experience and it’s kind of weird talking about it. It’s like this awkward set of emotions with it because what really happened was that it ended up being almost 100 people over the course of dodgeball that kind of found this sense of community. It’s pretty bizarre.