Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-10-30
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

CRU romance: Couple plays and stays together
by Ross Forman
2009-10-21

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


What started on a blind dinner date in early 2001 has turned into a relationship that is now eight years strong, and everything truly is sailing right along just fine for Brando Mataya and John Sanders.

They live together in Bucktown, are the co-owners of Simple Floors, Inc., and are teammates, boat mates and the First Family, so to speak, on the Chicago Rowing Union ( CRU ) , the area's only predominantly gay rowing club.

"CRU is a great organization to meet other GLBT in a unique environment," said Mataya, 42, who has been rowing for three years. "It's nice to meet people who have the same interest in the sport. It's very important to define ourselves as rowers who happen to be gay as opposed to the other way around. CRU provides great training, coaching and facilities to all members.

"This year, the organization has grown tremendously in terms of membership and the numbers of entries in all races/regattas. The quality of rowing is definitely improving as we have started winning some of the races this year."

CRU and the D.C. Strokes are the only two pre-dominantly gay rowing clubs in the U.S. There are 40 active CRU members, plus many more that only row during one season or another ( Sprint or Head ) . Participants range in age from 20 to 48, with men and women. CRU members work in the food industry, the hospitality industry, IT, engineering and sales; there are consultants, doctors, lawyers, scientist, business owners, students and more.

The CRU season is April through October, including Learn-To-Row classes in April. CRU offers three teams — Novice, Club and Competitive — based on skill level.

The winter months are used for off-water training and fund-raising for new, improved equipment. Mataya also is working to improve CRU's website. "We want the website to not just tell our story, goals and objectives, but we want to draw more awareness in terms of membership/recruiting, community outreach and support, and fund-raising," he said.

Mataya and Sanders compete in the same boat, though on different sides. Mataya works the port, while Sanders is starboard. Thus, Mataya said, "rowing is just like our relationship: one compliments the other."

"It's nice to have your boyfriend there as there are times that I need some moral support before or even during the race," Mataya said. "It's nice to have someone reassure you that everything is going to be just fine. The race is always exciting, but can be nerve-wracking, too.

"As long as we gave it our all, losing a race is not frustrating to me. I don't think losing affects our relationship and I don't remember bringing home any frustration about rowing. We talk about rowing frustrations, but not directly against each other.

Mataya and Sanders are one of at least three couples of CRU members, but they have the longest relationship. Sanders is the captain of CRU's Club team. He also is the CRU equipment manager, responsible for maintaining CRU's boats.

"The single most [ important key to our relationship success ] is a deep understanding that in a real sense we are 'one' and in this together," said Sanders, 39. "When you are one, you put the others' needs/feelings up there with your own. You are more thoughtful, and you are more understanding of faults/imperfections. Nothing is perfect, but we can do things separate from each other without insecurity of being hurt cause each of our needs are in the others' best intent.

"We are both competitive, but the teamwork element trumps the competitive element of rowing."

Mataya and Sanders went to Copenhagen this past summer to compete in the 2009 World Outgames, and they returned to Chicago wearing two bronze medals, won in the Men's Masters 4+ ( 1K Sprint Race ) and the Men's Open 4+ ( 6K Head Race ) .

"The Outgames was an amazing experience, competing internationally with other gay rowers," Mataya said. "There were about 200 rowers and though the competition was fierce, the sportsmanship and camaraderie was truly evident."

Sanders added: "The rowing was great, but the overall experience was beyond my expectations. To date, it was my most memorable regatta."

Mataya and Sanders also have been winners in the Men's Masters 4+ finishing second place at the Milwaukee River Challenge in September and the Men's Masters 4+ finishing third at the 10th Trail of the Fox Regatta in Wisc., held earlier this month.

And also, most importantly, in the game of life.

CRU is having a fundraiser to celebrate the end of its first season on Thursday, Oct. 22, at Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, 7-10 p.m. For a $10 cover charge, you get three drinks with 100 percent of the proceeds going to CRU.

More about Brando Mataya ( BM ) and John Sanders ( JS ) :

—High school: BM: Pagbilao Academy in the Philippines, Class of 1983. JS: Rochester Washington, Class of 1991.

—College: BM: Enverga University in the Philippines, Class of 1987. JS: Seattle Central.

—Ever thought of going to a state that allows gay marriage: BM: "Not really. Marriage equality is great and I am all for it. I think there are other human rights issues that are as important." JS: "I am all for gay marriage and equal rights. Marriage in general, as an institution, is not the answer to all. It is, after all, a piece of paper and brings along with it expectations of entitlement over another individual. I believe you have to prove your value in your relationship daily; you can not hide behind a piece of paper as the bond to the relationship."

—Complete the following sentence: I'm better than my boyfriend at … BM: "Cooking, being organized and directions." JS: "Rowing"

—Favorite movie: BM: Sliding Doors. JS: thezeitgeistmovie.

—Favorite TV show: BM: Lost. JS: "I don't really like TV; Brando watches enough for both of us."

—Favorite sports besides rowing: BM: Gymnastics and swimming. JS: Basketball, baseball and football.

—Hobbies: BM: Working out, yoga, martial arts, dancing, photography, wine and fine cuisine. JS: "I like mental and physical self-improvement and enlightenment-oriented activities. I enjoy moderate body-building and work out four or five times per week and practice budokon, a mixture of martial arts, meditation, and yoga."

—People don't know that I... : BM: "Graduated [ from ] college when I was 19 and passed the CPA Board Exam shortly thereafter." JS: "Was raised a Jehovah's Witness in Washington state, but got ex-communicated from my friends and family for 'being gay.'"


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Rosemont ice rink reopens Nov. 29 2019-11-06
Santa Speedo Run on Dec. 7 2019-11-06
Four Red Stars named to U.S. WNT camp 2019-11-04
Red Stars announce contracts, options for all 26 players 2019-11-03
CLLAW returns to Chicago Nov. 2 2019-10-30
Red Stars fall in championship game 2019-10-28
Red Stars named to all-star teams; Kerr named MVP 2019-10-25
UNX Ninja event Nov. 2 in Naperville 2019-10-22
Red Stars defeat Portland, advance to championship 2019-10-20
Gay skier/actor at Roscoe's Oct. 24 2019-10-17
SPORTS Pro wrestler Kiera Hogan marking coming out at Chicago events 2019-10-16
SPORTS NFL player makes history by coming out 2019-10-16
Fitness confab says goodbye to Chicago 2019-10-15
Thousands attend AIDS Run & Walk 2019-10-07
Vandersloot named All-WNBA First Team 2019-10-07
Five Worth Finding: AIDS Run & Walk, The Ice King, TopGolf and more 2019-10-01
Red Stars hosting semifinal Oct. 20 2019-10-01
AIDS Run & Walk Chicago on Oct. 5 2019-10-01
U.S. Women's National Soccer Team to hold public training in Chicago Oct. 5 2019-09-28
CGHA part of hockey team's Pride Night Oct. 19 2019-09-25
CGHA part of hockey team's Pride Night Oct. 19 2019-09-20
NCAA trans swimmer at Oakton on Sept. 24 2019-09-20
Adam Rippon in Chicago on Oct. 20 2019-09-18
BOOKS Former NFL player talks football, politics and Madonna 2019-09-18
Foundation's ride/walk event about mental health, dedicated to late gay man 2019-09-04
Trans athlete to headline ISU dinner Sept. 20 2019-09-03
NFL player comes out as bisexual 2019-08-29
Kiera Hogan to appear at Chicago Wolves' Inaugural Pride Night and Center on Halsted 2019-08-28
Gay Korean war era veteran honored by Chicago Cubs 2019-08-27
WORLD South African judge, China on marriage, teens plead not guilty 2019-08-27
AIDS Run & Walk Chicago on Oct. 5 2019-08-23
Ex-tennis pro Brian Vahaly becomes LGBTQ-rights advocate 2019-08-23
'Out at Wrigley'set for Aug. 25 2019-08-22
Matt Herek on the state of CMSA 2019-08-21
Illinois Gay Rodeo Association presents Rodeo Round Town 2019-08-20
PASSAGES CMSA Hall of Famer/former North End co-owner Bobby Nicholson 2019-08-07
Women's national soccer team in Chicago on Oct. 6 2019-08-02
Women's soccer coach Ellis to retire 2019-07-31
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP U.S. wins championship 2019-07-07
Lesbian tennis player: More athletes should 'come forward' 2019-07-07
 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.