The history of the San Francisco Earthquakes is a sordid tale
filled with passion, humor, revenge, and intrigue all played out
by a cast of characters fit for a Danielle Steele novel. It goes
a little something like this.....
in 1995 current team member Karen M. decided she wanted to attend
the 1998 Gay Games in Amsterdam. She also decided that she wanted
to attend as a hockey player. Two things were in her way...
1) there was no gay ice hockey team in the Bay Area to join
2) she didn't know how to play hockey.
She decided to approach her longtime friend John H and asked him
if he would come and play if she tried to start up a ice hockey
team. John was immediately on board.
Interesting sidenote: Karen and John had originally met in high
school, having even gone out on a date together. They reconnected
years later when they ran into each other at the White Horse (a
gay bar in the East Bay) and have been close friends ever since.
Karen had John on board, but had to round up other hockey loving
folks. She decided to put an ad in the Bay Area Reporter (the local
San Francisco gay community newspaper) looking for people who were
interested in playing hockey and going to Amsterdam. She put her
number (and, unbeknownst to John, his phone number too - so guys
would feel just as welcome as the ladies) and prayed for the phone
It wasn't long before roughly nine folks had contacted Karen and
John about playing on the team. In the spring of 1996 those few
folks met at the Castro Street Country Club on 18th and Castro in
San Francisco for their first “team meeting”. They talked
about what they wanted to accomplish, what skill levels everyone
was, and how could they get a team off the ground and make it to
"I started playing ice hockey on ponds in the suburbs of Cleveland,
Ohio, but my hockey career ended at 14 when my parents moved me
to Florida," said David B. "It wasn't until I was much
older and living in San Francisco that I got the itch to play again.
I heard about the gay hockey team being formed and I went to the
initial meeting and met a bunch of people who not only shared my
interest, but who shortly thereafter became my friends.”
At that first meeting were current Earthquake team members Karen
M., John H., Mike K., and David B. Also present were a wide variety
of skill levels - from those who had never been on the ice to those
who had played for years. It was suggested that everyone get some
experience and time on the ice and improve their skills. A few members
signed up for hockey lessons in San Jose. For months the group carpooled
every Saturday morning from the city to the South Bay.
"We started taking hockey lessons early on Saturday mornings,"
says David B. "We were totally dedicated to getting up at 4:30
a.m. to hit the ice by 6 a.m. in Oakland, or to drive to San Jose
to take lessons there. It was so much fun...”