Sports No Longer the Only Gays in the Village
posted by November 28 at 14:10 PMon
This is as hard for me to admit as it will be for many of you to believe but… I’m a snowboarder. Dude, really, don’t laugh. I know it seems unlikely, considering my advanced age (34) and my taste in music (Sondheim, Gorme, Carr). But last fall I was ordered to attend three snowboarding classes at Snoqualmie Pass. Not only did I quickly learn to snowboard, I fell madly in love with the—what the hell is it anyway? A sport? Maybe when Sean White does it. For me it’s more of, oh I dunno, an activity?
I didn’t wanna learn—and that’s putting it mildly.
My boyfriend and our son, both of whom skateboard, started snowboarding together two years ago. (My boyfriend lied about our son’s age to get him into his a snowboarding class at the Pass.) Soon we were taking trips together, all three of us, to massive Canadian ski resorts near my boyfriend’s parent’s hilarious time-share/time-capsule condo. (It is always the early `70s at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.) On these trips, they would go off snowboarding while I sat around the lodge, drinking beer and reading. It was ideal, in my opinion, but my boyfriend insisted that I at least try to learn how snowboard. So that we could all do it together. You know, as a family.
So I learned—reluctantly. But I fell in love with it fast. So last year we went to Sunshine Village and Panorama in the Canadian Rockies; Silver Mountain in Idaho; Snoqualmie Pass (a dozen times), 49 Degrees North, Mount Baker in Washington. I bring to snowboarding the same reckless disregard for my safety that I’ve long brought to biking. Who knew that falling down a mountain could be so much damn fun?
Our first snowboarding trip this year was last weekend. We went to Crystal Mountain—that’s my son and boyfriend in the picture above; that’s Mount Rainier behind them. On Saturday we had tons of new snow and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Brilliant. On Sunday we had even more new snow, but with howling winds and near-blizzard conditions. Also brilliant.
But what we really liked about our visit to Crystal was discovering that, for what felt like the first time, we were not the only gays in the ski village. We haven’t run into many other queers in the ski resorts we’ve visited. Yes, yes: there’s some big annual gay ski thing/circuit party in Whistler. But we’re not interested in segregating ourselves, nor do we resent having to share mountains with straight people—like our son. We’ve just wondered, you know, where the other homo skiers and snowboarders are. Winter sports, it seems, aren’t big with queers. (Water sports on the other hand…)
So we were thrilled to discover a whole pack of hot, urban, snowboardin’ dykes up on Crystal last weekend. Friday night our waitress gave off a slightly dykey air. On Saturday night we noticed a whole table of slightly dykey looking 18-25 year-old women.
We were right: They were all dykes. And they’re all living and working on the mountain this season! And, man, can those girls drink! How did Crystal come to have a pack of resident dykes? Our waitress, we learned, worked at Crystal last year, and she was the loneliest lesbian in Washington State. This year talked a bunch of her snowboarding lesbian pals into applying for jobs, and she’s no longer lonely.
So if you’re a snowboarder too, head up to Crystal this year and say hello to Crystal’s resident dykes. And tell `em I said hello too.
We’re headed to Mt. Baker next. Who knows? Maybe we’ll find some fags up on that mountain…