I’m Glen Bayliss. Sheep-farming childhood and a city adulthood, 40 years old, a proud gay man who tenpin bowls, ocean swim races, and studies medical management at night.
Q: What gay and lesbian sporting clubs are you a member of?
A: I joined Sydney RAMS Ten-Pin Bowling Club in 2001 in the lead-up to the Sydney Gay Games.
Q: When did you get involved in the clubs and why?
A: I lost contact with bowling during the ’90s when I discovered the bright lights of Oxford St and the shirtless men dancing under them. I returned to bowling as an escape from grief after the death of my husband in 2000. Being able to focus again on life and the camaraderie of sport got me through a very difficult time.
Q: Who would you consider role models in sport? Why?
A: I used to think Pat Cash was a good role model in a fun Aussie larrikin way, but maybe it was just his tight shorts. Now it’s the Sydney Swans’ Ryan O’Keefe, for the same reason.
Q: What is your greatest sporting moment?
A: Greatest moment without a doubt was walking into the Sydney Football Stadium as an athlete in the Sydney Gay Games Opening Ceremony.The buzz, the energy and the emotions of representing your city and your country.
Q: What motivates you to keep going?
A: The elusive perfect 300 game. One day that sucker will be mine and then — world domination.
Q: Are you single or in a relationship? Does your partner participate in sport? Which one?
A: My boyfriend Noritaka has got me into the routine of lap swimming several times a week. The last couple of summers we have competed in ocean swim races organised by surf lifesaving clubs.
Q: How old were you when you began playing sport? Were you openly gay at this time?
A: I started bowling at 10 with my grandfather. I knew what ‘poofta’ meant because I asked my teacher why I got called this. He said it was for boys who like boys. And since that was true, I just accepted it as normal. I’ve never really been in the closet.
Q: Who is your biggest sports fan? How do they show their support?
A: My parents are always glad to hear how I get on in tournaments. My nanna is the coolest woman I know and is a great fan.
Q: What is your most embarrassing sports moment?
A: Falling on my back, with my legs in the air, four meters down the lane in the gutter.
Q: Would you switch to another sport? If so, which one?
A: I’d never switch sport, but I could take on another. Swimming would be the obvious choice, or perhaps cycling as that’s how I commute every day to work.
Q: Tell us about your best sports night out ever.
A: The aftermath of the Chicago Gay Games Closing Ceremony was fuelled with alcohol and Cyndi Lauper.
Q: How would you get readers interested in your sport?
A: Bowling is a very social game. We welcome anyone and everyone to come along on a Monday night. We have social events throughout the year, raising money for charities.
Q: What is the best thing about your sports club?
A: I’m a competitive guy who enjoys tournament play. The friendships made in RAMS and around the globe come a very close second.