COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs has its first LGBTQ+ sports league.

Hot Mess Sports was established in 2012 to provide an inclusive, safe and fun environment for the LGBTQ+ community. The organization has created eight leagues across the country, with Colorado Springs being the latest.

Colorado Springs Hot Mess has already registered 114 people for its first season. There are a variety of sports in the league, including volleyball, tennis, kickball, and dodgeball. They start with kickball.

“I’m from Colorado Springs. I’ve seen the population double, back then it was a giant closet. Nobody wants to say anything about anything, but now it’s like what’s up,” said Joshua Jiron, Hot Mess player. .

“Queer people are part of this community. We do everything everyone else does, we play sports and go to restaurants. Just having a place to gather, meet and know that we are not alone in the community It’s something we’ve needed for years, and I’m so glad they decided to bring it here,” said Hot Mess player Sami King.

Jiron and King were thrilled to be part of the league. To help foster an environment where members of the LGBTQ+ community can be authentic themselves.

“There are a lot of people who are protected, who are afraid to be themselves, and that’s how they can be who they want to be without pressure or judgment,” Jiron said.

“It’s one of the first things I see uniting people of all ages and backgrounds,” King said.

Preston Travis and his fiancée Jonathon Harrell helped start the Hot Mess Sports league in the city.

“The Nashville league reached out to us, and we went from there. We started having meetings, spreading the word on chat groups, having get-togethers at Old Chicago to feel the waters. We had a overwhelming response, it was amazing,” Harrell said.

The couple want the league to be a non-judgmental space for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Our league isn’t just for the LGBTQ+ community. Any ally, any friend, anyone who wants to join. We’re open, and we want you to come down. We want you support, and you will support us and that’s part of the community,” Harrell said.

“We have games every Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Bonforte Park. We have all the teams there, they play against each other. There are official practices on Thursdays,” Travis said.

The only requirement for the league is that participants must be 21 or older. Registration is $49.95 which pays for referees, superlatives, end of season party with food and championship trophy. For those experiencing financial hardship, email [email protected]