The Gay Polo League of South Florida
By Steven O. Evans, PhD
Being a Kentucky boy at heart, I love a day with horses. I have spent many a day at the races with the thoroughbreds of the bluegrass, but Wellington, FL boasts its own Gay Polo League (GPL). As one of my most favorite days of the entire year, people from all over dress in their Derby-like pastel colors, enjoy the over-the-top lavish tournament-side booths, and are able to watch the ponies and players put on a grand display of polo. If you have not been to the GPL, mark your calendars now to go. It is a unique experience like none other! OutClique talked to Chip McKenney, the President and Founder. For more information on the GPL, go to www.GayPolo.com.
Steven O. Evans, PhD: Tell us about the day at GPL.
Chip McKenney: GPL produces the only International Gay Polo Tournaments in the world and Wellington is our flagship tournament. LGBTQ polo players and enthusiasts come from all over the world to participate in the event. This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary which is a thrilling milestone for our group. There are two polo matches on Saturday, April 6, 2019, which are fun, open, and fast polo. Our event is equally known for its fierce tailgate competition! The decorated tailgates are beyond your wildest imagination – which adds to the fun. In fact, the best description of our event is “GPL tournament is the love child between Pretty Woman and Burning Man.” It’s an inclusive event where everyone is welcome.
SOE: What is your favorite part of the Gay Polo day?
CM: My favorite part of the Gay Polo day is seeing how every person mingles and interacts with others. Our event draws the support from the LGBTQ community and our allies, so the crowd is diverse, colorful, ageless, and gracious. People arrive happy to our event and leave happier. That makes all the work worthwhile for me and the team of people who make it happen.
SOE: What is your involvement with Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE) this year?
CM: GPL is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Two years ago, the decision was made to use our event as a platform to give back to our community by hosting a fundraiser for LGBTQ facing organizations focused on LGBTQ issues. This year, we chose SAGE to be our charity partner. Therefore, Friday night’s (April 5, 2019) GPL Polotini Presents WIGSTOCK, a fundraiser for SAGE. We hope to raise the much needed funds to help support its mission. It’s a remarkable organization that focuses on LGBT elders, a section of our community that is often overlooked and underserved. I have tremendous respect for all they do and am thrilled they will partner with us this year.
SOE: What is your vision for GPL to come?
CM: My vision for the GPL is to produce more international events in other countries. We have organized tournaments in Argentina (2017) and England (2018). A part of that vision is to produce events that are as social as they are polo oriented. To me, the best part of GPL is creating events that offer something for everyone who attend, both on and off the field. At the end of the day, I love knowing that every person left the GPL event having made a new friend or two.