TROUT continued but they enjoy swimming with a bunch of gay guys, or college kids at Georgia Tech who love the fun events we do,” he said. “We’ve become more inclusive of friends and allies.” He echoed Valentine’s point about the club welcoming members of all skill levels. “For the water polo team, as long as you know how to float, they can teach you how to play water polo. Same for swim,” Lastinger said. “Each of our coaches for our swim team have four levels of ability that they teach. We definitely make sure to cater to different levels of experience when it comes to being in the water.”
Home & Away Atlanta Rainbow Trout isn’t short on big competitions or dry-land events. The club just hosted one of its two biannual swim meets in May, and the other one is in December. The water polo team hosts its annual tournament in December as well.
Thomas Van Wemmel, Henry Griesbach, Andrew Sullivan
The club heads to New York City in June (just in time for World Pride and its Stonewall 50 celebrations) to compete in this year’s International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics tournament. Back home in the ATL, the Trout have upcoming fundraiser beer busts, there’s a whitewater rafting trip in August, and they’ll continue their tradition of pizza and beer after practices on Fridays. The Trout-curious can check out the club’s practices which take place throughout the year at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. Right now, swimmers practice Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Water polo on Tuesday and Sunday. You can also spot the club members on their outing to the annual
Atlanta Braves Pride Night game on June 14 at SunTrust Park, as well as other group outings as they come up. Ultimately, Atlanta Rainbow Trout has created opportunities for queer Atlantans way beyond the pool, said Valentine. “My favorite thing about being on the team is that it fulfills so many of my personal goals and provides an exciting means for me to continue growing as a person and competing internationally in an exciting sport,” he said. “It’s a huge part of these people’s lives,” Lastinger added. Find Atlanta Rainbow Trout on Facebook and at atlantarainbowtrout.com.