Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16



Countdown to the Gay Games
by Ross Forman

This article shared 3936 times since Wed Feb 8, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Age: 64

Hometown: Chicago ( Northwest side )

Born & raised: Chicago ( South Side )

Status: partner Kathy Winsor, 44

Former: CTA bus driver.

Retired: April 1, 2003, after 17 years

Part-time: Works as an usher at Wrigley Field

Recovering: Had surgery on her left foot over the winter

Hobbies: Biking, skiing, kayaking, hiking and golf

Sport: Softball

Position: Pitcher

Local teams: Bous ( B Division ) and Crush ( C )

It's a Fact: Has played in three Gay Softball World Series, including the 2005 Series in San Diego

Also a Fact: Has four brothers, one sister

Her childhood dream while growing up a Chicago White Sox fan was to become the first woman in the major leagues. Well, last season she finally made it to the majors … with the Chicago Cubs—as a Wrigley Field usher, not a Cubs player.

Mary Gerrity, 64, is now a Cubs fan who idolized Ron Santo. 'I just enjoy meeting the public, and the excitement that you get at Wrigley Field is awesome,' said Gerrity, who was stationed in different locations at Wrigley for each game last year, although her favorite section was the terrace reserve down the third-base line. 'The view from there is real nice and, during the really hot days, you get the shade.'

Did any foul balls come her way?

'Yeah. I didn't see it coming, but I heard it. It was about six feet away when it hit a seat,' Gerrity said. 'I'm enjoying life very much nowadays; and softball and sports are very much a part of it.'

Gerrity doesn't just work at and watch the action, you see. She has played recreational softball for about 30 years, 'which is something I never envisioned doing,' she said. Gerrity plays on two teams ( Bous and Crush ) in two divisions ( B and C ) . She started playing when she was 30.

She will be in her first-ever Gay Games this summer, though she has played three times in the annual NAGAA Gay Softball World Series, including the 2005 edition in San Diego. 'I'm very excited for the Games, though I'm very curious to see what the competition is going to be like, especially what cities and what countries are participating,' she commented. 'I consider myself very fortunate to be in excellent health, with no problems, especially since I know a lot of younger people with debilitating injuries, illnesses and sicknesses. I know I'm very, very lucky.'

Heck, many of her softball teammates and opponents are in their 20s and 30s. Even her partner, Kathy Winsor, is 20 years younger.

'It's awesome, terrific getting out there and competing,' Gerrity said. 'My goal for the Games is simple: win, win, win. I bring experience, a desire to win and a confidence in my ability to pitch. The key to softball pitching is, to be able to judge a 6- to 12-foot arc, and to be able to fool the batter into believing that 12-feet is going to be a ball.'

Is that difficult?

Not anymore, she said. 'It kind of comes naturally … because I've been doing it for so long and just have that eye for distance and that feeling of where the ball is going to go.'

Gerrity has previously played 16- and 12-inch softball. She now plays the 11-inch version—and is playing quite well, thank you.


Age: 29

Hometown: San Francisco

Background: Lived in Vietnam for 14 years before moving to Michigan and, ultimately, Northern California in 2000.

First name pronunciation: Key-en

High School: Lansing ( Mich. ) Catholic Central; Class of 1996.

College: St. Thomas Aquinas College, Class of 2000

Hobbies: kick-boxing and rock-climbing

It's a fact: Is one of 10 in his family and the second-youngest.

Speaks: Vietnamese, French and English

Status: Single, gay

Sport: Track & field

Events: 100-, 200- and 400-meters; 400-meter hurdles; and triple-jump.

Kien Tran was once the loneliness of the long-distance runner come to life … because he then had not come out as gay. His family would ask who he was dating and he would just leave the house, avoid the subject and start running.

He eventually told his family that he was gay while a freshman at a small private Catholic college in Michigan. 'When I came out, I thought I would lose everything that I had earned up to that point. But that didn't happen. In fact, it enhanced everything else,' he said. 'It's like I became free once I came out. My family was, and still is, very supportive.

'My college was a different scene since it was a Catholic school. Being a gay athlete, let alone a gay Asian athlete, was not too easy. The majority of the people around me were homophobic. But, in a way, that motivated me to beat them. I even think my ( college ) coach was homophobic, but that just pushed me.

'I knew I was not in the same circles as most of the people on my team, but that didn't really affect me. That really was just my motivation.'

Tran is now living and running all around Northern California, training with Team San Francisco Track & Field. He will compete at Gay Games VII this July in Chicago in several races—and expects to win all of them.

'I'm confident because I'm in the best shape of my life, even faster than I was in college,' Tran said. 'I'm training with a great group of people here, which makes it fun. And when you have fun, you get better and keep improving.'

This past October, Tran competed in a track event in Santa Barbara, Calif., and he won all six events in his age-division.

'I'm training very hard now, cutting out alcohol and caffeine. I'm ready for the Gay Games,' he said. 'I know, if I train hard and stay healthy, the results will show.'

The 100- and 200-meter runs are his best. The triple-jump is his worst, he said.

'When I first moved to the U.S., running was just the easiest thing to do of any sport. It doesn't cost much; all you need is a pair of running shoes,' Tran said. 'Actually, my ( college ) coach gave me my first pair of running shoes because I was running bare-foot, and that doesn't work too well in Michigan in the winter.

'I had an immediate love-affair with running. Sure, a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was dealing with my identity of being gay.'

Tran is dedicating the Gay Games to his dad, Diep, who died in 2003. 'He's always on my mind. He's my biggest motivation,' Tran said.

This article shared 3936 times since Wed Feb 8, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

For International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia HRC highlights grants
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, is commemorating International Day Against ...

Gay News

NATIONAL New York synod, Danica Roem, legal action, Pride news, PFLAG
The Metropolitan New York Synod (MNYS), the regional body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, announced Christopher Vergara as its newly elected vice president, according to a press release. Vergara is the first openly gay ...

Gay News

Nat'l Association of Black and White Men Together to hold July 6-9 conference
The National Association of Black and White Men Together—described on its website as "a gay multicultural, anti-racism organization committed to fostering supportive environments wherein racial and cultural barriers can be ...

Gay News

Chicago Bears release schedule; Yankees pound White Sox
After alternating home and road games throughout the entire 2021 season for the first time in franchise history, the Chicago Bears have a more conventional schedule in 2022, according to a press release. It features three ...

Gay News

BOOKS 'Tinderbox' author to appear in Palatine on June 14
Author Robert Fieseler will discuss his debut book—Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation—on Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Palatine's Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, ...

Gay News

MUSIC Ty Herndon releasing 'personal' album 'Jacob' on July 15
Out gay Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning country artist Ty Herndon announced the release date of his forthcoming album, Jacob. Jacob—called Herndon's "most personal album to date"—will be out July 15. ...

Gay News

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus to present 'Unimaginable' on May 20-22
The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus will present the spring show "CGMC: Unimaginable," on May 20-22 at three Chicagoland venues. The performances will take place Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m. at Chicago's Athenaeum Center for Thought ...

Gay News

HRC calls for passage of the Women's Health Protection Act
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, joined a growing number of organizations calling for the ...

Gay News

Florida schools censoring students even before Don't Say Gay law goes into effect
-- From a press release - TALLAHASSEE, FL — As the school year ends, students across Florida are experiencing the inevitable censorship of Florida's anti-LGBTQ Don't Say Gay law recently signed by Governor DeSantis. The law's harmful impacts are not limited to ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Rainbow flagpole, Washington Blade, Don Lemon, Black leaders
Four years after the Trump Administration abruptly nixed plans to bring a rainbow flag to federal land adjacent to NYC's Christopher Park, the Biden Administration is planning to install a permanent flagpole at the park, Gay ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+-rights activist, Steamworks co-founder Rick Stokes dies at 87
Rick Earl Stokes, famously "the other gay candidate" who ran against Harvey Milk for San Francisco supervisor in 1977, died May 3 at age 87, according to the Bay Area Reporter. Stokes died in San Francisco ...

Gay News

VIEWS Dignity/Chicago celebrates 50 years of ministry
It was 1972 and it was dangerous to be gay or lesbian. One could be arrested, publicly humiliated or fired from one's job. Even finding safety in the emerging bar scene was hazardous. Added to that ...

Gay News

White Sox take both Wrigley Field games in Crosstown Classic
On May 4, the Chicago White Sox (11-13) edged the Chicago Cubs (9-15) 4-3 in the second of the two-game Crosstown Classic series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had a 3-1 lead going to the third ...

Gay News

Canada lifts blood-donor ban for gay and bisexual men
Health Canada approved Canadian Blood Services' submission to eliminate the three-month donor deferral period for gay and bisexual men as well as some other people in the LGBTQ2S+ demographic, CTV National News reported. The national blood ...

Gay News

Biden-Harris administration reports on efforts to support global LGBTQ+ rights, HRC applauds result
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, has commended the release of a report from the Biden-Harris ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.