By: John Chen
San Francisco Bay Times
San Francisco Gay Softball League (SFGSL) celebrates 50 years of competition, camaraderie, and inclusion.
Vincent Fuqua has been the unquestioned SFGSL leader since 2008. “I joined SFGSL since I was 20. This will be my 33rd year and 16th year as league Commissioner. From my knowledge—and I don’t have all the details—our league started some 50 years ago when a group of gay men and women brought a bat and a ball to a picnic where they played softball and had so much fun that they entertained the idea of forming teams. A few years later, that group of friends, picnic and bat and ball gave birth to SFGSL.”
Fuqua continued, “[SFGSL] started with about six teams and grew as big as 73 teams. Our league has evolved to now having more women, transgender, Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), and allies than ever. Throughout our history, we had and still have all sober, transgender, and drag teams. We currently have a Women’s + division and are looking to reach as many LGBTQ+ people as possible.”
“As I reflect on our 50th year, it warms my heart to know that collectively, including all former and current volunteer leaders, SFGSL has created and continues to create an environment where anyone and everyone can come out and have fun playing a sport regardless of their skill level,” Fuqua added. “We ensure that everyone has the opportunity to play because a lot of us understand what it was like growing up being picked last or not picked at all.”
Fuqua also proudly pointed out, “Besides playing softball, our league is about building and supporting our community and family. To thousands of LGBTQ+ players over the years and even if they no longer play, SFGSL is and always will be family. We cheered and celebrated every effort both on and off the field. We congratulated every accomplishment whether athletically or interpersonally. We cried together, laughed together, held together, and stuck together. We are our own strength. I believe that these are the reasons why we continue to be the largest and most popular LGBTQ+ sports league in the Bay Area. Celebrating our 50 years with all of our current and past players and supporters is a huge honor and a milestone, and a testament of our commitment to build a space for all to feel welcome.”
For the full article:
San Francisco Bay Times
Other great stories about SFGSL – 50th Anniversary
Bay Area Reporter
SFGSL was founded in 1973 and currently has 700 players with 44 teams who compete across two divisions – Open Division and Women’s+ Division. At the end of the 1977 season, the New York Ramrod and the San Francisco Badland competed in the first ever-Gay Softball World Series, with San Francisco winning the best-of-five tournament, held in San Francisco.
SFGSL is a founding member of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA). NAGAAA has more than 20,000 athletes in 54 member cities who collectively send roughly 250 teams to compete in seven divisions of play at NAGAAA’s annual weeklong softball world series tournament with this year’s world series in Minneapolis and returning to San Francisco in 2027 for its 50th anniversary.