This October, the Washington Blade will mark 50 years of publishing in the nation’s capital, just one of many milestones achieved by the oldest LGBTQ-specific newspaper in the United States. And for the past seven years, the Blade has acknowledged the interaction between our community and the athletic world by publishing an annual Sports Issue.
The Sports Issue for 2019, unveiled last week, gives the 33K+ readers of its print edition and tens of thousands online a number of stories of interest to LGBTQ sports fans on both the local and national levels. The main story of the issue was a deep dive by Joey DiGugllelmo into the many obstacles trans women athletes face competing in the current sports landscape. This feature piece also included observations from Outsports managing editor Dawn Ennis.
Elsewhere in the publication, Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle and his wife (and Twitter superstar) Eireann Dolan penned an editorial calling on Major League Baseball as an organization to “challenge... exclusionary and outdated norms” of sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia that have plagued the sport for decades. Doolittle and Dolan have been two of baseball’s most visible allies of the community since their days with the Oakland Athletics.
Several other stories proved to be thought provoking reads. But the Blade’s Sports Issue also had one other factor in its favor: adorableness. This was due to another feature story profiling the budding relationship between Amanda Livingstone and Jorge Membreño, two straight allies who fell in love and became a couple through their participation in the D.C. Gay Flag Football League.
Livingstone and Membreño’s story sound so much like a romantic comedy plot, it’s impossible to read it without hearing the opening chords to “Walking on Sunshine.” Both were new to D.C. and were welcomed with open arms by the players they met in the DCGFFL.
After socializing with one another at several league functions, the two found themselves assigned to the same position on the same team going into the spring 2017 season. Their reactions to the news were priceless:
“‘Uh-oh,’ thought Livingstone.
‘Oh shit,’ thought Membreño.”
If you’ve ever seen a Nora Ephron movie, you know exactly where this is going. Sure enough, this cutest of meet-cutes led to romance and the two rushers officially became a couple during the season. As Livingstone related, their friends throughout the league were eager to show support to them in return:
“Other people probably thought about us together before we did. We’ll kiss on the sidelines and hear a chorus of ‘awwws.’ We also hear ‘don’t you break his heart’ or ‘don’t you break her heart.’ It’s been wonderful to see everyone’s reaction to this.”
Straight allies have been a part of gay sports leagues for a while. Now Membreño and Livingstone are demonstrating they’re a great place to meet someone special. And that The Washington Blade’s Sports Issue is a better place to find The One than OKCupid.
Read more from the Washington Blade by clicking here.