• Photo for Real Athlete: Rugby player Brian Figueroa
    Photo Credit: courtesy of the Gay Games VII

Real Athlete: Rugby player Brian Figueroa

By Gay Games VII Staff

Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.

Staid accountant during the week days, ferocious rugger on three days a eek, Brian Figueroa, 32, hopes to hook up with a team and enjoy a scrum or two at the Gay Games.

What is your goal for Gay Games Chicago 2006?
I think this will be a fun time in my life to live it out to the fullest. Rugby is a great sport that I enjoy playing. I would like to participate in this event than look at as a regret in the future if I didn’t take advantage now.

How long have you been playing your sport? What role does sports play in your life?
I started playing rugby as a sophomore in college, I’ve been playing 13 years. I’ve always enjoyed sports. I like the competition and I like the teamwork involved. Tuesday and Thursday nights are practice nights. Saturdays are game days.

How long have you been playing your sport? What role does it play in your life?
I like to participate in various sports for fun like volleyball, basketball, softball, bowling and tennis. Rugby is just fun. I have never seen it until college. It grabbed my attention as a fast-paced, hard-hitting game. I feel that my years playing this game give me a good opportunity to be a part of a team that can win.

I played in college. Now, I play with local men’s club team.

Are you out in your sport? Have you ever faced harassment as a result of your sexuality?
Well, I don’t talk much about my personal life with many people, including family and friends. I tell them about social events that I attend. I think that will change when I tell people that I’m going to the Gay Games.

I have not let people know about me, so I haven’t been a target. But I know I never spoken up against it, in terms of joke telling.

Interview courtesy of the Gay Games VII organizers. For more information about this year's Gay Games and how you can participate, visit