Palm Beach County is getting back on track with its LGBT programming.
As the county celebrates the return of Palm Beach Pride, it's necessary to mention that the Gay Polo League is back with four days of festivities and returns to The International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington from April 7 - 10. This year Gay Polo League proudly celebrates 12 years. Lexus International is the title sponsor of the event.
"We are grateful to be back this year and invite everyone to join us for an incredible weekend," said Chip McKenney, founder and president of GPL.
Presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the tournament will be hosted at the International Polo Club Palm Beach’s Field One, which is one of the most recognized and sought-after venues in the world. Known for being a jewel in the winter social and polo season in North America, the event has a reputation for being a fabulous gay event that allows everyone to be loud and proud.
Each year GPL has a “not for profit” organization that benefits from the funds that are raised. This year, onePulse Foundation will actively assume the responsibility. onePulse Foundation is an organization established after the tragic events that took place at Pulse Nightclub where 49 innocent people lost their lives in 2016. onePULSE Foundation’s mission is to “create and support a national memorial that opens hearts, a museum that opens minds, educational programs that open eyes, and legacy scholarships that open doors,” according to their website. Members from onePulse will be on hand to meet and greet on Thursday night. There will be an invitation-only VIP Reception. It will take place at the 7th Chukker.
Friday will kick off the GPL Senator Cup preliminary matches. They will be held from 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., this will happen right before GPL Polotin’s Wigstock, which is presented by Baccarat. Wigstock starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Mallet Grille located in the International Polo Club. There are several truths about Wigstock. They always have some of the best performers, and it's normal for you to leave with your feet hurting from dancing and mingling. To experience this magical night, tickets can be purchased for $250 Saturday is the day for the big tournament. The international Polo Club will open the gates at 8 a.m.
Teams participating in the tournament include Baccarat, Cherry Knoll Farms, First Republic Bank, and Woodford Reserve. This year, 16 LGBT polo players, representing six countries, will participate in the matches. Tickets range from $30 for general admission to $1,800 for a VIP table for eight. The first match will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. Tailgating will be a major part of the tournament. Tailgate competitions are always a sight to see.
There are five categories that organizations can win. Those categories are Best in Show, Best Cuisine, Best Cocktail, Best Single Tailgate and Multiple Tailgate. First Republic Bank sponsors the awards.
GPL has recently received the “Champion of Equity & Diversity Award” from the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. This award is a milestone, considering the recent situations the LGBT community has faced in the world of sports.
“Being named the award recipient, from a non-gay organization, is validation for diversity event organizers like us,” McKenney said. “This reflects a belief in the value our event(s) brings to the community. This recognition is crucial for LGBTQ athletes and their supporters. We are proud that GPL has become an instrument of change and oftentimes introduces gay people into the lives and consciousness of people who may not have known gay people firsthand.”
GPL is the only LGBT-identified polo league in the world. Since its founding in 2006, GPL has built an international network of LGBT polo players and enthusiasts in 14 countries. The league embraces a cross-section of ages, abilities, professions, and riding experience. Through its enthusiasm for the sport, the league works to foster positive perceptions about gay athletes and the LGBT community.
For more info on how to participate in this fabulous event, visit https://gaypolo.com.