Gay darter Song Yun hopes to start a tradition with his inaugural Darts Over Texas tourney
For 20 years, Song Yun has toiled in the wilderness of dart enthusiasts. He loves the game and takes it seriously — not merely as a pastime to wile away drunken moments in a local pub, but a genuine skill that requires patience, precision, maybe even a little flair. (Hey, he’s got nothing against a beer while playing.)
But for most of the last two decades, it’s been a solitary undertaking. Sure, there are other darters in town, and some occasional impromptu tournaments, but nothing organized.
So two months ago, Yun set out to change that. He lined up sponsors, venues and cash prizes. His efforts culminate this weekend with Darts Over Texas, Dallas’ official entry on the gay darts tournament circuit — yes, there really is such a thing.
“I really want this to be special and for it to grow every year,” says Yun. “I went to other host cities, and thought that I could do this here. Plus, I was tired of traveling!”
Dallas will play host to teams both local and from San Antonio and Oklahoma City; already, 18 teams have registered for the round-robin elimination contest. Yun hopes that number will continue to grow with late registrations.
For a first-time tourney, Yun is satisfied with the numbers and the support of businesses on the Strip. He really wants — needs — this to be fun, and hopefully become a tradition, if Dallas can gain a reputation for darters.
Yun’s passion helped attract 10 local sponsors and five venues for game play. Yun dug into his own pocket to purchase raffle items, advertise and even display his culinary skills. He’ll even prepare a breakfast gathering on Saturday morning.
“Well, I can be a pretty good cook,” he says. “Because there’s no specific gay darts scene here, if I can present this to the community, it could draw interest for people. Keeping it on the Strip is important so local merchants can benefit. And I do have a committee helping me organize some of the details.”
If all goes as planned, the goal is to go bigger in following years. And with heart. For the community, Yun sees the potential of not only adding Darts Over Texas to the texture of LGBT events, but to use it as a platform to make an impact.
But before getting too far ahead of himself, Yun has to fine-tune the smaller details. At times he displays a nervous, “what-did-I-get-myself-into” demeanor. But when he focuses on his simple goal of playing darts with friends and peers, his eyes gleam.
“I’m looking at the bigger picture and the whole idea is to bring out the camaraderie in dart playing,” he says. “This may open people up to playing darts and for visitors to enjoy Dallas. It’ll be a good time.”
For more information or to register, visit DartsOverDallas.com
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 29, 2012.