Almost ten years ago, I learned that a friend played rugby for a gay rugby team called the Gotham Knights. The "gay" rugby team really is an inclusive team, open to all, but the main idea was to have a place for gay athletes to be accepted.
I started out taking photos of matches, and over the years we've made many new friends through the team, any number of whom are friends of ours to this day. We've even traveled with Gotham to tournaments as far away as England and Ireland. Still, neither of us ever played. If I'd ever considered playing, it would have been at a younger age than when we first joined Gotham. Even so, the team came to consider us part of the family, and they said quite clearly that I'm a full member of the team a long time ago.
Fast forward to this fall. I was talking to a friend from the team, and I suggested that he run for team president. He said he'd been talking to another dedicated member of the team and was going to support him for president. Then he proposed something I hadn't even considered: "If I were to nominate you for the Board, would you accept?"
I know these volunteer positions can be a lot of work, so I asked him to give me a couple of days to think about it. In the end, my love for the team won out over the possibly-thankless work. Still, there was an election, and more people were running than there were seats available. I felt like there was an excellent chance that I, as a non-player, would get blown out of the water. After all, these things can be popularity contests. Well, I should have given my teammates more credit!
The election results came in. Guess who won? And then we had the first Board meeting. We're all elected as at-large Board members, and then the Board works out who will fill what particular role.
My role? Chairman of the Board. Me? Chairman of the Board of the Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club? I'm so honored and, frankly, blown away that my rugby mates have put such trust in me. I won't let them down!