By Rebecca Sheir
Nearly 30 gay volleyball teams from the East Coast are competing at the University of Maryland College Park this weekend, in the annual Capital Punishment Volleyball Invitational.
Ben de Guzman, a resident of D.C., is volunteering behind the scenes this weekend. But before the big event, as the longtime volleyball fan bumps a ball around with some friends, he says he's proud to be part of the Invitational and of D.C.'s thriving gay volleyball community.
"I mean, I probably wouldn't have stayed in D.C. as long as I have were it not for the fact that I discovered gay volleyball," says de Guzman. "It was during my own process of coming out. I think a lot of people, the connections they find in volleyball, it's their entry point into the gay community."
Winners of the Capital Punishment Volleyball Invitational can qualify for the national championship, sponsored by NAGVA: The North American Gay Volleyball Association.