DC Front Runners Washington, DC's LGBTQ+ Running & Walking Club

Member Profile – Paul Kugelman

Preferred Name: Paul Kugelman
Profession: In-house attorney for a large communications and info services company in the aviation industry
Education: BA – Economics, University of Rhode Island; JD, Roger Williams University School of Law (Rhode Island)
Member Since: 2002
Favorite Route: National Mall / Lincoln Memorial
Bet You Didn’t Know: My husband and I were almost thrown from a cliff on our honeymoon while riding a rampaging elephant in Thailand.

Meet Paul Kugelman

Why did you join the DC Front Runners?
To paraphrase an old Metro Weekly profile, “when I came out of the closet, I did so running.” I had been an avid runner to stay fit and sane since my days as a competitive rower in college. When I was ready to come out, DCFR stood out as the perfect place for me to meet other LGBT people in a social environment outside of the bar scene. In fact, my first DCFR run was the first time I identified myself publicly as gay. During that period of my life, I eagerly looked forward to each of the three runs that I attended per week.

Why is the DC Front Runners important to you?
I’ve always considered DCFR my home base and ultimate safe space, and I think it serves the same role in the lives of a large number of other members. I have been running with the club for a good part of two decades, and the club serves an anchor in the swirling changes of life. I’ve made more enduring friendships there than I can count with the kindest of people that have always been there for me no matter what directions life pulled me in. I recognized the club’s value to the community early on, and I served as Coordinator for two years to help contribute to its success and to give something back.

Do you have a favorite Front Runners memory?
I have so many, but there are two that stand out in my mind. The most indelible memory was riding at the front of the DCFR float for my first pride parade as Coordinator. Watching the large crowds cheer and friends shouting my name gave me a rush. It was a tiny taste of what rock stars must feel. The second one was when a worked a DCFR water stop at a half marathon. Another member and I were, shall we say, being overly complimentary of some of the runners that we gave water to. I never laughed so hard for so that many hours, and I ended up going on a date with one of the race participants.