For Charlotte Schou, the World OutGames is about team play, regardless of what letter in the alphabet you prefer.

“I’m straight,” Schou said. “I got involved with one of the LGBT teams in D.C. because they were one of the most organized in the metropolitan area and for the social component, they were just a lot of fun.”

Schou, 28, is returning to her native Miami to compete in this year’s World OutGames. She will participate in swimming and water polo.

Locally, she works for an operations and concert management company that has produced star studded events at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach.

She was on the water polo team at George Washington University and is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics’ Washington Wetskins. 

She prefers the freestyle swim stroke and has participated in similar OutGames-styled competitions in Seattle and Stockholm, Sweden. She holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and Denmark.

“This is an amazing experience that we have to come together and celebrate diversity,” Schou said.