The 7th annual International Gay Polo Tournament took place at the world-renowned International Polo Club Palm Beach just the other weekend and it was hot, hot, hot! No really, the temperature was scorching, but that didn’t stop attendees from lining the sidelines with their version of a (gay) tailgate party. Each tent themed out and everyone dressed to impress in their finest polo attire, while bubbles (like actual soap bubbles) and booze flowed freely.
The tailgates included one tent full men in spandex, a very pink filled (including lawn flamingos) tent of young men, and even a tent from Discover The Palm Beaches, the area's tourism board, which is making a solid effort to reach out to the LGBT traveler and showcase the different cities and partners within Palm Beach County. “By aligning ourselves with advocates in the LGBTQI community, we can properly connect our message to all visitors of The Palm Beaches as a welcoming, inclusive destination,” said Ashley Svarney, director of public relations and communications for DTPB. “Our new subcommittee will help us to increase awareness among LGBTQI tourists, and the county businesses that support them in their travels here. Our goal is to become a top destination for all travelers.” “Our brand promise in The Palm Beaches is that ‘genuine hospitality is a way of life,’ and that’s more than just a catchphrase for us,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for DTPB. “Every guest, regardless of lifestyle, race or original, is valued and respected.”
The tournament is part of a long weekend of events that includes a VIP Party, a poolside Polotini Party, the Finals of the International Gay Polo Tournament and Tailgate Competition, and ends with Sunday Brunch at The Mallet Grille at the Polo Club. The weekend is one of South Florida’s premier gay events to attend and though there’s usually an abundance of white linen, expensive champagne and an avoidance of political talk, the events are rather welcoming to anyone looking to dapper-up their typical weekend with a little Palm Beach fanciness.
“Gay Polo is all about a community that shares a love for this incredible sport of polo, and we represent a wide variety of ages, backgrounds and skill levels and our goal is to provide a safe place for active people to participate and enjoy the excitement of competition”, said Chip McKenney, Founder & President, Gay Polo League. “A lot of us didn’t have the opportunity to play a team sport growing up and this league really focuses on the importance of LGBT athletes competing out and proud and as role models for LGBT youth, especially in such a skilled sport like polo. The Event, which is held annually, showcases a different type of LGBT event outside of pride or a white party, and we are really proud of that.”