HONOLULU (KHON2) — October is Honolulu Pride Month, and the National Gay Flag Football League held its annual Gay Bowl for the first time on Oahu.

This year is the League’s 20th year as an organization.

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“There were so many young gay athletes who did not have a place. There are so many people that come to this organization, and this is the first time they’ve ever played a sport, because they never felt comfortable living in their own skin in the sport and walking in their own truth,” said Dr. OT Porter-Fisher, the NGFFL director of communications.

The NGFFL has 24 member cities with multiple teams in each city that come together once a year and compete. Many have participated for years and see familiar faces each Bowl game. Porter-Fisher said the energy is high and the players in the League are like family.

“And then also that sense of one-upmanship, right, where you have these great friends that you only get to see once a year, and you kind of compete for the bragging rights,” he said.

The Honolulu team was founded 10 years ago by Ty Law.

“I felt like gay sports were missing that aspect here in Hawaii,” he said, “and I thought it would be a good area to kind of build a community and get everybody together in a different environment and setting.”

Law said he gets goosebumps thinking about how much it’s grown over the years and felt like this was a great outlet to turn to teach them skills, build teamwork and grow confidence.

“It’s like a great place to kind of build your friendships that you have something in common with,” said Law.

It’s an experience players say they’ll never forget.

“Playing right next to the beach in front of Diamond Head, like, it’s amazing!”

Ty Law

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Many of the players are also expected to walk in the Honolulu Pride Parade.