Featured events


7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games
Brussels

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
QueergamesBern
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
Dublin
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A new club and a new sport for the FSGL


FGG member organization FSGL (Fédération française sportive gaie et lesbienne) has just welcomed its 29th member club, Les Enrolleres, which offers roller skating activities, including lessons for newbies, outings in the streets of Paris and elsewhere, and a bit of competition, with a few members already registered for the Gay Games VIII inline speed racing event.

By July, the people of Cologne will have no excuse not to be ready for Gay Games VIII!


An intensive outdoor advertising campaign has begun in Cologne, adding to the very prominent electronic display at the entrance to the central train station. Here's just one of the many posters bearing the message "Cologne welcomes the world" to be found in the streets of Cologne.

Be part of it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Star Observer stepping up Gay Games coverage

The websites and print editions of the Sydney Star Observer/Southern Star are providing increasing coverage of Gay Games VIII. Among recent articles, one on the "Fans and Friends" program (see HERE), another on the December 31 deadline before late registration fees kick in (see HERE), and a piece on Games Cologne's success in meeting its registration targets (see HERE). We note that since the last of those articles was published, registrations have gone from 2500 to 3750.

SSO and the Southern Star are Gay Games VIII media sponsors. For information on becoming a media sponsor for one of this major event, contact Kevin Boyer at Kevin.Boyer@allterrain.net.

Leading French magazine features launch of French team for Gay Games VIII

Journalist Myrtille Rambion launches a series of articles on the efforts of FGG member organization FSGL to send a major delegation of participants to Gay Games VIII. Christelle Foucault, chair of the FSGL's "Equipe France 2010" task force, focuses on the goal of the Gay Games to be a sporting event for everyone: "There's an event for everyone, for every taste and for every level. It's a rare opportunity to exchange, to meet people, to do your bests in a climate that combines a serious organization with a casual atmosphere, where the stakes are what you make them. Here it's not about who's first, but about enjoying yourself and sharing the fun!"

Read the article (in French) HERE.

Look for "Equipe France 2010" on Facebook, or visit the site of the FSGL HERE.

Ring the old year out... but register for Gay Games VIII first!


2010 brings Gay Games VIII to Cologne, Germany. Over 3,750 participants have already registered. You can too! The registration fee is 125 Euros until December 31, 2009. Register now before the fee goes up to 150 Euros.

On July 31, 2010, an expected 12,000 participants will march proudly in the RheinEnergie Stadium football arena. Together with like-minded people from 70 countries, you will participate at the opening ceremony of the largest sports and cultural event in the world open to all. 34,000 spectators will be in the stands to greet you and support the ideals of the Gay Games and celebrate: Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best!

Your basic registration fee includes your admission for the opening ceremony and the closing event. You will receive a ticket so that you can fully enjoy the local transportation network in and around Cologne. You will receive reduced admission to many events during the Gay Games VIII. You will also get your accreditation card and your participant medal, a map, the program guide and information about your sporting or cultural events and much more.

Be part of it!

To register visit: www.games-cologne.com

Friday, December 25, 2009

Same-sex ballroom dancing

From an in-depth article in GO Magazine. Read the full article HERE.

Competitive ballroom dancing is a sport in which partners (for our purpose, same-sex partners) enroll in tournaments where judges rate their prowess at executing 10 specific types of dance forms: International Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Jive, Samba and Paso Doble, plus Latin competition dances. These dance competitions or tournaments are in every sense performances: They are grand and spectacular affairs, at which hundreds or even thousands of participants flock to watch formally dressed and elaborately rigged contestant pairs compete for the glory of first place. Though they are by all accounts a blast to attend, both contestants and audience take these events very, very seriously. They are athletic competitions on par in seriousness and in structure with some Olympic events.

The Gay Games first featured same-sex ballroom dancing in 1994, when Gay Games IV held an informal event at NYC’s Roseland. Four years later at the Gay Games V in Amsterdam, same-sex dancing was included as an official athletic event. The house was packed.

Beyond the Gay Games (which were technically on foreign soil) there were, however, no national same-sex ballroom dance competitions in the U.S. until the late 1990s.

By the end of the decade, gay ballroom dancing clubs and classes began springing up, particularly in and near the Bay Area and in locales as far away as Sydney and London. National and international same-sex competitive ballroom organizations came soon after, and the Gay Games continued to represent the field; ballroom was included in Gay Games VI & VII, Sydney and Chicago respectively

Impact of Federation of Gay Games choice of Cleveland/Akron for Gay Games VIII

From an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (read the article in full HERE).

Whatever happened to Cleveland's domestic-partner registry, which was launched this year?

As of Thanksgiving, the city had issued more than 160 licenses.

The registry, a controversial concept that enables same- and opposite-sex couples to declare a relationship without marriage, has withstood challenges from pastors and lawyers.


The registry has helped to carve out a tolerant, gay-friendly image for Cleveland. Many believe the Gay Games would not be coming here if not for its launch in April.

The event is expected to inject about $60 million into the regional economy.

"We continue to be a city of celebrating diversity," said Councilman Joe Cimperman, a sponsor of the registry who traveled to Cologne, Germany, to lobby the selection committee.

A New Year's message

Click on the image to enlarge.

THANK YOU and HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

25 December 2009
Dear Friends of Gay Games,


Thank you!

As 2009 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to express our appreciation to you for your ongoing support and presence. Please accept our best wishes for health, happiness, and continued success in 2010.

As loyal supporters of the Gay Games, we appreciate your accomplishments of the past twelve months, and we wanted to express how truly grateful we are to each of you for your continued support of FGG and the Gay Games. The quality and quantity of work that you all have completed in 2009 is truly remarkable. We are very grateful to the FGG Board of Directors and member organisations.

With your collaboration and support, we commit to continuing to do our utmost to promote the Gay Games and to providing practical benefits and services to each of you and your organisations. As always, your feedback and comments are very welcome.

We are especially grateful to the massive efforts and dedication of our Games Cologne colleagues, who are working day and night for Gay Games VIII. Thanks to their non-stop work around the world, registrations have exceeded projections and we are on target for a fantastic week in Cologne next year. We look forward to seeing you all there.

In the meantime, we hope you will take advantage, if not already the case, of the reduced rates for registration before the increase on 1 January 2010 at
www.games-cologne.com . BE PART OF IT !!

Thanks, again, for your continued support and encouragement. We are looking forward to seeing you all in Cologne next year.

Emy Ritt and Kurt Dahl
FGG Co-Presidents
eritt@gaygames.org, kdahl@gaygames.org

Happy Holidays from the Federation of Gay Games!

With a song from Friend of the Gay Games Cyndi Lauper, the Federation of Gay Games wishes you all Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pro rugby player Gareth Thomas comes out

Gareth "Alfie" Thomas is know as one of the best Welsh Rugby players in history and he is still playing. Thomas is the only player to have won 100 caps in Welsh Rugby. Gareth Thomas is listed as Team Captain, and he has the support of his coach and fellow players. He has the support of his entire family and even his ex-wife. He has been out to them privately for some time, but announced this to the world on Monday.


This is a story that breaks the ground wide open, because he is still an active player, and a very accomplished player. This is good news for rugby, sport, and future players in all sports.


Click HERE for a Guardian online blog article.
Click HERE for a Whales online article.
Click HERE for a Times Online article.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Over 3500 registrants for GGVIII

GGVIII registrants have surpassed projections with over 3500 registrants as of today. The numbers are on target to welcome some 12000 participants next year in Cologne.

http://gaygamesblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/register-now-for-gay-games-viii.html

REGISTER now for Gay Games VIII

REGISTER now for Gay Games VIII before prices are increased.

The current base registration fee is 125 Euros, and will be increased by 25 Euros on 1 January 2010. So don’t wait – register now. Gay Games VIII will take place in Cologne, Germany from July 31 to August 7, 2010.

Some 12,000 participants from more than 70 countries are expected to participate in over 35 sport and cultural events. Built upon the principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best, since 1982, the Gay Games have empowered thousands of LGBT athletes and artists through sport, culture, and fellowship.

The first Gay Games took place in 1982 in San Francisco and have been held every four years since. The Gay Games are open to everyone – gay or straight, male or female, transgender or transsexual, beginner or experienced.

REGISTER HERE. www.games-cologne.com

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Team Chicago "Goes Deutsch"

A lesson on Germany cuisine from Jonathan Isreal from Team Chicago:

In just under eight months, GLBT athletes and cultural participants from around the world will gather in a historic, albeit lesser-known part of Germany: Cologne. A quick search in Wikipedia will give you a nice overview of the city's history, layout and unique offerings. But what can you really expect when you arrive? Over the course of several months, Team Chicago would like to properly prepare our members for through a series of articles we lovingly call, "Going Deutsch."

This month's focus: German food.

What's the best way to summarize Germany's culinary staples? Beer and wieners. In all honesty, most guys in Boystown don't live on much else so it would be fair to say that many will find the German kitchen highly welcoming. But just as in life, German sausages, or Wurste, come in all shapes and sizes so how do you know what to munch on?

Here's a quick look at what you may see when perusing a Speisekarte or Menü. Typically, Germans will use a combination of pork or beef in their sausages, however, veal is also a popular ingredient depending on the sausage type or region. In any case, mustard (or Senf), not ketchup is the condiment of choice (with one exception of Currywurst - see below).

Bratwurst (or Rostbratwurst): these are likely the most recognized, usually made from a combination of pork and beef. Typically, these sausages are grilled and served on a roll or Brötchen with a side of sweet or hot mustard. A Currywurst is a derivative of this in which the sausage is split in half (ouch!) and doused in ketchup and curry powder.

Bockwurst: a veal based sausage that's seasoned with paprika and looks like an extra long and curvy hot dog. Typically, this sausage is boiled in beer and eaten with mustard.

There's lots more HERE.

Australasian champion martial artist coming to Cologne

From the Sydney Star Observer:

Transsexual martial artist and GLMA member Delilah Slack-Smith earned third place in the over-35s black belt traditional forms at the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) Australasian championships this month.

To enter the tournament participants must be rated in the top eight for their division. Slack-Smith is also registered to participate in the Gay Games in Cologne next year.

“She’s the only transsexual on the ISKA circuit, which by now seems to make no difference,” GLMA founder Penny Gulliver said. “GLBT participation in the mainstream regularly seems to grind down homophobia to an extent.”

Sunday, December 13, 2009

FSGL AGA expresses support for Gay Games VIII

Promo code extended! The 10-euro discount code offered by Games Cologne on the occasion of the FSGL AGA has been extended. The code is valid on 16 and 17 December. Simply enter "FSGL" at the payment screen. At the annual general assembly of FGG member Fédération sportive gaie et lesbienne, a new team, with a majority of female members, joined sitting president Bruno Aussenac. Among the new members of the executive committee is Christelle Foucault, who while continuing to serve as delegate to the FGG, will become 1st vice president. Christelle was also named head of the Equipe France 2010 committee, with the goal of bringing over 500 French athletes to Gay Games VIII. Christelle expressed thanks to Games Cologne for a special one-day promotional code for base registration in honor of the FSGL AGA.

Christelle will be joined as FGG delegate by squash player Maria Salvetti, who replaces Sonia Abécassis, who was elected to the FGG board at the 2009 FGG AM. Also elected to the board at that meeting was sports committee cochair Sébastien Datiche from Tours. Maria will also serve as a VP for the FSGL, with a portfolio including sport and HIV, regional development, and international relations.

Among the commitments made to supporting Gay Games VIII was the promise to devote all profits from the FSGL's annual fundraising Epiphany tea dance to an FSGL scholarship support fund. Other fundraisers will support this effort to allow as many athletes as possible to join Equipe France 2010. The dance will be held on January 3, and we encourage all those able to attend to support this event.

The AGA was also the opportunity to present the team of the Tournoi international de Paris with their Legacy Award for a Sports Event awarded in October at the FGG AM in Cologne. The next Paris Tournament will be held on Pentecost weekend 2010 (May 21-24). Registration for the 19-sport event will open in January at www.paris-tournament.org.

FGG co-president Emy Ritt reminded the assembly that the team of Paris 2010 would be honored at a reception for all past bidders for the Gay Games at a special reception during the Cologne Gay Games.

Seattle journalist gets preview of Gay Games VIII

Cologne gets ready for Gay Games VIII

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Tucked into a small building on Rudolfplatz, a popular square in central Cologne where the illuminated signs of Gay sex-toy shops and Starbucks greet thousands of passers-by each day, you'll find the humble and well-kept offices of the Gay Games organizing committee. A large digital clock, ticking down the minutes and seconds to the event, is mounted on one side of the main room, while posters, postcards, and stick pins are located in piles here and there, and just about everywhere. Excitedly busy, the staff answers more e-mails, schedules more meetings, writes more press releases, and processes more applications, all the while noticing precious seconds vanishing from the countdown clock.

Last month, after a rowdy Carnival festival that flooded the streets with costume-clad partiers, I spent an afternoon in Cologne with Michael Klein, the public relations and communications director for Gay Games. We met across the street from the famed Cathedral, then Klein kindly drove me to the campus of The German Sports University, where half of the sporting competitions and opening/closing ceremonies will take place.

A liaison for Gay Games and the college, which attracts students and Olympic-bound athletes from Europe and as far away as the United States, guided us through gymnasiums, cafeterias, aquatic centers, lecture halls, and locker rooms that will be used for sporting and cultural events next summer. It was an impressive tour, as Klein is quick to point out not only which event is taking place at each specific venue, but he also gives me particular details, like a meal plan that will allow participants to choose from four separate menus (vegetarian, etc.).

Continue reading on Seattle Gay News HERE.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Homophobia in football

A message from member PrideSports Manchester:

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) today (Thursday) announced a new alliance of unions and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) campaigners to tackle the prejudice faced by LGBT people in football. The TUC is UK’s national centre for trade unions and is the voice of Britain at work. The organisation aims to raise the quality of working life and promote equality for all.

Representatives of the Professional Footballers Association, Pride Sports, Kick it Out!, Schools Out!, the LGBT Sports Network and the Brighton-based Justin Campaign came together with members of the TUC LGBT committee to form a new alliance at the TUC headquarters in London yesterday afternoon.

The organisations have agreed to coordinate their efforts to take action against homophobia at all levels of the game. Specific suggestions for how to tackle prejudice will be conveyed to the Football Association, to build on their commitment to deal with the problem. Unions will encourage their members to join in this action.

Millions of people are involved in playing or watching football, from the playground to premier league clubs, but no one dares to be “out” at senior level in the game for fear of the abuse they will endure, says the TUC.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “At a time when popular attitudes to LGBT people have improved greatly, football grounds remain bastions of homophobic prejudice.

“Over a long period, campaigns like Kick it Out! have succeeded in making racism unacceptable in football. The TUC believes that something similar is needed to challenge homophobia and we have begun this task today with the launch of a new alliance.”

"Gay Prime" on Canal Plus

French TV network Canal Plus will be broadcasting a special "Gay Prime" devoted to LGBT sport on January 4. The program will be made up of two documentaries commissioned for the evening.

The first, Sport et homosexualités: c'est quoi le problème? (sport and homosexuality: what's the problem?) was directed by César-award winner Michel Royer (the César are the French equivalent of the Oscars), and was supported by the FGG. The film presents various aspects of sport and homosexuality, starting with the obstacles for elite athletes to come out. Among the athletes featured in this section is friend of the FGG Matthew Mitcham, who opens and closes the film. Another section of the film deals with LGBT sport, and in particular the Gay Games.

Michel Royer also traveled to Washington last year to film the annual football championship of FGG member organization IGLFA, interviewing new FGG board member Didier Digneffe. Royer also filmed and interviewed during the last TIP and interviewed leaders of FGG member organization FSGL.

The film is rich and dense, touching on the history of gay and lesbian athletes, reminding us of some forgotten victims of discrimination, and introducing us to new heroes. Important insight from people outside the LGBT community is offered by former international rugby player Serge Simon and football star Lilian Thuram.

The second film, Ramène tes fesses à Copenhague! (get yourself to Copenhagen) is much lighter. It takes the form of a faux reality TV show which sees three young straight men from the French suburbs go to the 2009 Outgames, where they have to compete each day in challenges which lead them to question their own prejudices about homosexuals and sport. It's very entertaining, and we look forward to having the millions of subscribers to Canal Plus being able to enjoy these two films.

Monday, December 7, 2009

REGISTER for Gay Games VIII before prices are increased


REGISTER for Gay Games VIII before prices are increased

Register now for Gay Games VIII 2010 in Cologne before prices are increased. The current base registration fee is 125 Euros, and will be increased by 25 Euros on 1 January 2010. So don’t wait – register now.


Gay Games VIII will take place in Cologne, Germany from July 31 to August 7, 2010. Some 12,000 participants from more than 70 countries are expected to participate on the sports and cultural events.

Built upon the principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best, for more than 25 years the Gay Games have empowered thousands of LGBT athletes and artists through sport, culture, and fellowship. The first Gay Games took place in 1982 in San Francisco and have been held every four years since.

The Gay Games are open to everyone – gay or straight, male or female, transgender or transsexual, beginner or experienced.

REGISTER HERE. www.games-cologne.com

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gay Games VIII adds new sport: Bridge!

The latest addition to Gay Games VIII in Cologne 2010 is Bridge

Bridge is a card game for 4 participants. This is probably the shortest explanation of the game. But Bridge is far from being as simple as that. It has something for everybody. The scope ranges from an intellectually demanding leisure activity to real sport – with its vastly mathematical approach. But one has to highlight that it also includes social aspects since the game is highly communicative.

The most fascinating game in the world offers fun and development options for any age group and for every level of ambition.

Competitive Bridge is played with a fixed partner against another couple. The game consists of the auction or bidding and play, after which the hand is scored. You sit facing your partner and do the bidding. The bidding ends with a contract, which is a declaration by one partnership that their side will take at least a stated number of tricks with the trump chosen. In this second phase of the game you try to get the contracted number of tricks, possibly more. Bridge is played with a deck of 52 cards: clubs, diamonds, spades and hearts. The value of the card decreases from ace over face cards down to 2.

In contrast to the widespread opinion, you do not need long tuition to be able to play Bridge. It is just enough to enjoy playing cards with a certain amount of interest in tactics and strategy. The didactical models that are used in Germany offer a gentle and easy start and even allow complete beginners to join and enjoy the game quickly. However, a certain amount of theory is inevitable.

The Bridge tournament of Gay Games VIII in Cologne 2010 takes place under the patronage of the German Federation for Bridge – it organises the competition and financially supports this event generously.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Win attendance at Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010 during the Advent season


Discover the online Advent calendar from Gay Games VIII and win great prizes, including a grand prices of base registration in Gay Games VIII, worth 125 euros!

Beginning on December 1, each day a door will open on the Advent calendar on www.games-cologne.de. Behind the door you'll find a question regarding next year's Gay Games. All answers can be found on the website, and a drawing will be held from among all correct responses daily. Daily prizes include Gay Games merchandise: a lapel pin, a tshirt, or a baseball cap.

The grand prize drawing will take place on December 24 for free basic registration worth 125 euros. All registrants as of that date are eligible, so register now! Not only will be entered in the drawing, but you'll beat the late registration fee that kicks in on January 1.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Thanksgiving message

As our friends in the USA celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, we wish them all a safe and happy holiday.

We also give thanks to the bold men and women who founded the Gay Games nearly thirty years ago, and to the thousands of people who have taken the flame of the Gay Games since then. We are particularly thankful for our hosts and bidders, who have allowed for this magnificent dream to become a reality every four years.

And we are of course thankful for the dynamic team of Games Cologne, host of Gay Games VIII, which is close to reaching 3000 registrations!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gay Games Facebook group breaks 1000!

Created less than eight months ago, the Gay Games Facebook group has just passed the 1000-member mark. Click here to access.

Facebook is just one of the ways you can show your support for and keep in touch with the Gay Games. Become a member of this Facebook group to receive the latest Gay Games news. You can also sign up for the Gay Games newsletter HERE.

You can register for Gay Games VIII at http://www.games-cologne.com/.


THANK YOU to Friends of Gay Games

Dear Friends of Gay Games,

Thank you!

As the year-end approaches, we wanted to take a moment to express our appreciation to you for your ongoing support and presence.

As a loyal supporter of the Gay Games, we appreciate your accomplishments of the past twelve months, and we wanted to express how truly grateful we are to each of you for your continued support of FGG and the Gay Games. As described in the attached 2009 FGG Board Annual report, the quality and quantity of work that you all have completed is truly remarkable.

With your collaboration and support, we commit to continuing to do our utmost to promote the Gay Games and to providing practical benefits and services to each of you and your organisations. As always, your feedback and comments are very welcome.

We are especially grateful to the massive efforts and dedication of our Games Cologne colleagues, who are working day and night for Gay Games VIII. Thanks to their non-stop work around the world, registrations have exceeded projections and we are on target for a fantastic week in Cologne next year. We look forward to seeing you all there.

In the meantime, we hope you will take advantage of the cornucopia of FGG resources available:
  • Browse the Gay Games resources at www.games-cologne.com & www.gaygames.org
  • Check out the Gay Games blog (gaygamesblog.blogspot.com) and Facebook page
  • Connect with your LGBT sports and culture colleagues via the FGG Intranet
  • Review information communicated via newsletters and regular committee meetings

Please accept our best wishes for health, happiness, and continued success.

Thanks, again, for your continued support and encouragement.

Emy Ritt and Kurt Dahl
FGG Co-Presidents
on behalf of the FGG Board of Directors

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jeff Sheng moves from athletes to soldiers...

Friend of the Gay Games Jeff Sheng is following up on his Fearless Campus Tour, which portrayed LGBT high school and college athletes, with a new project called Don't Ask Don't Tell. This project was featured in the Los Angeles Times:

Why would you want to take a portrait of someone without showing his or her face? The essence of portrait photography, after all, is to capture the spirit of the subject and to reveal some crucial aspect of his or her identity.

But in the case of L.A. photographer Jeff Sheng's latest project, capturing his subjects' faces would almost certainly put their careers in jeopardy. That's because Sheng has set about to photograph U.S. military service personnel who are gay but closeted in their work lives. Titled "Dont' Ask, Don't Tell," the ongoing project consists of a series of stark, sometimes sad, portraits of U.S. soldiers who are forced to hide a part of who they are.

"I want to give an invisible community some visibility, but at the same time, to keep them invisible," said Sheng on the phone from Vancouver, where he is working on another project.

"There's already a lot of journalistic work on gay people in the military who have been discharged. My project is more about people who are still serving."

Continue reading HERE.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Gay Games and the Changing Face of Equality in Ohio

From Change.org:

When Cleveland, Ohio was awarded the 2014 Gay Games earlier this fall, the city beat out two east coast rivals -- Boston and Washington, D.C. -- that many saw as much more progressive on LGBT rights issues.

By their very nature, the Gay Games are going to cause a swarm of attention on the city of Cleveland, leaving many wondering if the 2014 Gay Games will change the face of equality in Ohio. [...T]hey may provide an organizing catalyst for activists in the Buckeye State to carry forward some really great gains made for equality in a region that was long thought to be a solid part of red America.

Cleveland City Councilmember Joe Cimperman said at the forum for the Games this month that "the Gay Games will change Cleveland forever." That is, if Cleveland doesn't change first. Already this year, the city of Cleveland passed a citywide domestic partnership registry, and the State House in Ohio passed a statewide employment non-discrimination act.

Better news yet is that a Cincinnati legislator introduced a bill that would overturn Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage. Even Canada is getting excited about the Gay Games being in Cleveland. The Pride Executive for Windsor, Canada said that they hope to spend the next few years gearing up for the Games, wooing tourists across Lake Erie to see the wonderful world of gayness that is Ontario.

With the four-year countdown to the Cleveland Gay Games already in effect, the Games are well on their way to becoming an organizing tool for equal rights in Ohio. Watch this year for major events in Ohio to build support for the Games. The key is to make sure that these events don't only build support for a large athletic event, but for the struggle for equal rights for LGBT people throughout Ohio and the entire region.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CHEER SF celebrates its 30th year and prepares for Gay Games VIII

From the Examiner.com:

This fall, CHEER San Francisco celebrates its 30th anniversary of entertaining audiences around the world while raising funds for local service organizations. The 65+ volunteer team kicked off its pearl anniversary with high-flying performances in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and most recently, Palm Springs.

“It is amazing that CHEER SF is able to thrive as an all-volunteer organization, all the while staying true to our mission to perform, fundraise, and help people in need” said Program Director Steve Burke. To date, CHEER SF has donated over $150,000 to local, national and international agencies that serve people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging conditions.

Performing volunteer Anthony Alston added, “This year, we kicked up our efforts to raise even more. Not only are we raising money for our beneficiaries, but we’re also competing in Germany at the Gay Games which requires even more support from our community.” CHEER SF has appeared at all seven quadrennial Gay Games, and for the first time next summer, Cheerleading will be an adjudicated competition at Gay Games VIII. To offset some of the travel costs, the team has challenged itself to raise $60,000, double its typical annual goal.

Continue reading HERE.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Call for nominations for FGG Tom Waddell Award


What is the purpose of the Tom Waddell Award?
The Tom Waddell Award was established in 1990 to recognize men and women with a history of service to the Gay Games and/or the worldwide LGBT community in the arts, athletics, and/or volunteerism.


How often and to whom is the Tom Waddell Award given?

The Tom Waddell Award is given to one man and one woman, every four years, during the Gay Games opening or closing ceremony.

What are the nomination qualifications?
A nominee should:
- Inspire pride through leadership and excellence in sports, culture, or volunteerism
- Provide inspiration and participate at his or her personal best
- Devote energies to the success of the Gay Games and/or related activities without regard for personal gain
- Personify commitment, selflessness, and love of humanity

For more information and to submit a nomination
Click HERE for nomination form. When complete, submit to: awards@gaygames.org. Deadline 31 January 2010.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gay Games Ambassador takes bronze at WDFPF championships

Chris Morgan, the current Gay Games Powerlifting champion, has won a bronze medal at this year’s World Drug Free Powerlifting Championships.

He was lifting in the competition held in Milton Keynes in England and made lifts of 230 kilos in Squat followed by 115 kilos in Bench Press and 230 Kilos in Dead lift, for a total of 575 kilos at 82.5 kilo bodyweight. This was Chris’s sixth world championship final and an addtion to his collection of medals that now consists of two Golds (2005 & 2009), two Silvers (2005 & 2008) and two bronzes (2006 & 2009).

Speaking about the competition, Chris said, "I’m delighted to have participated my sixth world championship and to have continued my successful run of medals. It was always going to be difficult to be motivated for this competition after the highs of becoming the World Dead lift Champion only two months ago. My intention was always to use this competition as part of my training programme for the defence of my World Championship in Moscow this coming spring."

"The trip to Russia next year has special significance in light of the repression towards gay people in that country and the fact that Powerlifting is their national sport. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the Gay Games Scholarship programme, which currently has the objective of ‘Outreach’ into eastern Europe. The primary goal of this programme is to enable as many eastern European artists and athletes as possible to participate in Gay Games Cologne 2010."

Chris has recently qualified as a WDFPF International Referee and was selected by England as an official for the recent World Championship ‘Single’ Event in Bradford and also last weekend’s World Championships in Milton Keynes. He has now completed the Divisional, National and International diplomas making him one of the youngest international referees within the World Drug Free Powerlifting Federation.

Chris’s forthcoming competitions are the South West Divisional Championships on 6th December in Newquay, England and South West Divisional Championship ‘Single’ Event on 24th January in Newton Abbott, England.

The FGG is very pleased to offer its congratulations to Chris and thank him for his ongoing efforts to promote Gay Games VIII, and in particular for his offer to bring the Gay Games message to Russia.

Long Beach info party!

Join us for a Gay Games information event on November 22nd, 12:00 p.m. at the Silver Fox 4th Street at Redondo Blvd., Long Beach, California.

Please come out to the Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010 Information party.
Everyone that registers at this event will receive a €10 discount.

Mark Chambers
info@glbsa.org
Greater Long Beach Sports Assoc.
Team Long Beach
http://www.glbsa.org

Monday, November 16, 2009

Federation of Gay Games at the "Match against all forms of discrimination"

For background on this story, read THIS.

After this story broke, the FGG quickly expressed its support to Paris Foot Gay (letter HERE), and was welcomed as a supporter of the "Match against all forms of discrimination" organized by the city of Paris Saturday (press release HERE).

See our photos and coverage of the match HERE.

Gay Games VIII registrations exceed forecasts

2,500 registrations by November 2009 surpass projections for next year's Games
For complete article, click here.

"We are ahead of projections at this moment. Experience shows that more than half of all Gay Games participants register in the last few last months before the Opening Ceremony. Especially in times of economic crisis, when most people are not able to make long-term decisions, we are even more pleased with this overwhelming success!" adds Michael Lohaus, Co-President of the Cologne Gay Games. The success is the result of the many public relations activities of the Games Cologne team. "

For more information: www.games-cologne.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

On the Road - Puerto Vallarta

There are always more opportunities to invite people to Gay Games and tell the life changing stories of the Gay Games and LGBT sport. While at the Atlantis Events, Puerto Vallarta week, I was able to wear my Games Cologne t-shirts in 3 different parties. I also was able to answer questions from people who had never heard of the Gay Games, and also made friends with people who volunteered and participated in the past. I also talked a few guys into registering before the end of the year to save money. Naturally, I had Games Cologne business cards in my pocket for every party! Next Week the resort goes all lesbian with Olivia.

Lynn L Bush with Gay Games Kelly

Gay Games Kelly and Miss Richfield 1981

Gay Games Kelly at the White Party


Gay Games Kelly meets Miss Richfield 1981







FGG member Equal Ground


A press release from member Equal Ground, Sri Lanka:

Sri Lankan Gay man granted Asylum in the US

We are pleased to announce another success in our long list of Asylum cases. Sam’s (not his real name) excited email reached us this morning – 13th November 2009 and reads:

“I am very happy to inform you that I was granted my gay asylum in USA. As I know I am the 3rd person whom granted gay asylum in USA. Equal Ground and you personally helped me on this matter a lot. I am thanking Equal Ground and personally for you Rosanna, because you helped me in every way not only giving a declaration, personally advising me on my problems which happen to me because of my gay activities… “

We are happy for Sam and wish him all the luck for his new life in the US.

EQUAL GROUND sincerely hopes that there will come a time when wonderful people such as Sam don’t have to flee this country because of the way they are treated here for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. We hope in time, the laws will change and people are more accepting. In the meanwhile, we will do our utmost to assist those who need our help.

FGG supports the "Match against all forms of discrimination"

The Federation of Gay Games will be represented at the "Match against all forms of discrimination" organized by the City of Paris and the Paris Foot Gay soccer club on Saturday 14 November at Stade Charléty.

This event was created as an opportunity to fight homophobia in football following the refusal of the Créteil Babel club to play against Paris Foot Gay. Unfortunately, the Créteil club decided not to play alongside PFG in this match, and has since been excluded for life from its league. While this club has disbanded, the city of Paris still wanted to offer an opportunity for a match symbolizing the fight against homophobia in sport.

-----

Press release from Paris Foot Gay

Grand match de lutte contre les discriminations au stade Charléty le samedi 14 novembre 2009 à 15H

(entrée gratuite).

Suite au refus du club Créteil-Bebel de jouer contre notre club , nous organisons avec le soutien de la Mairie de Paris un match amical de lutte contre toutes les formes de discriminations, où les joueurs du Paris Foot Gay affronteront une sélection composée de représentants associatifs, de responsables politiques, d'anciens sportifs de haut niveau ainsi que de personnalités.

Le coup d'envoi, donné par notre marraine Agnès b., aura lieu à 15H, et sera précédé du discours de l'Adjoint au Maire de Paris chargé de la Culture, Christophe Girard.

Cet événement sera l'occasion pour les associations participantes de présenter leur travail militant au travers de la tenue d'un stand :

Act up - Aides - Culture Foot Solidaire - Fédération des Gay Games - FIDL - France Terre d'Asile - FSGL - Humanity in Action - Inter GLBT - LICRA - Nef des Fiertés - Ni putes Ni soumises - MRAP - Musifoot - SOS Homophobie - Sos Racisme - So Films - UEJF - Tjenbé Red.

Face aux membres du Paris Foot Gay, les joueurs de l'équipe b.yourself :

Franck Annese (So Films), Jean-François Dereck (humoriste) Mohamed Dridi (ancien champion du monde de Kickboxing)

Enoch Effah (triple champion du monde de Boxe), Patrice Finel (Conseiller général de Vigneux),

Pierre Henry (Directeur général de France Terre d'Asile), Anthony Kavannah (artiste)

Jean-Claude Mbvoumin (Président de Culture Foot Solidaire), Jean Vuillermoz (Adjoint au Maire chargé des sports).

Par ailleurs, la Ligue de Foot Professionnelle nous fera l'honneur de sa présence et sera représentée par Jean-François Thouvenot.

Enfin, le lever de rideau opposera l'équipe de journalistes de Libération à celle de France Info.

Nous vous attendons nombreux pour venir nous soutenir. "

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Roger Brigham's Jocktalk on San Francisco Honorary Life Members

EBAR Sports
Published 11/12/2009

by Roger Brigham
jocktalkroger@yahoo.com

[An] informal awards ceremony was held for the four Bay Area residents who were most recently honored as Honorary Lifetime Members by the Federation of Gay Games. FGG representative Doug Litwin introduced Golden Gate Wrestling President Gene Dermody, who has wrestled in every Gay Games, was one of the founding members of Team SF, and has been an active volunteer with the federation for more than a decade. Dermody then introduced his fellow honorees:

- Shawn Kelly, who was tennis coordinator for Gay Games I, executive director of Gay Games II, worked with Vancouver organizers to ensure the sports success of Gay Games III, and then helped the creation of the FGG to oversee future games.

- Erich Richter, who created an award-winning Web site for the federation and gave it the technology tools to conduct business and surveys while representing Wrestlers WithOut Borders.

- Roger Brigham (that's me), for the work I did to help the federation change its organizational structure, handle public relations in the wake of Montreal's decision not to host the 2006 Gay Games, and the creation of targeted newsletter and Web site content for participants.

What struck me about my fellow honorees was the degree to which their "real" contributions could not be adequately described in a 30-word summary on their award certificates. Kelly was a calm and stabilizing voice working in conjunction with Vancouver organizers in 1990. Dermody at the time was a brash, abrasive grappler who was focused on his own athletic career and the success of his team. Both had been thrust into leadership roles when AIDS had claimed the lives of the two men, Tom Waddell and Don Jung, who had brought each of them into the movement. They had very different views of what was important in 1990, they had some bitter fights, they both were right on different things – and because the event had the flexibility to embrace their diverse views and those of dozens of others as yet unrecognized men and women, the Gay Games were able to transition from a purely San Francisco product to a true cultural phenomenon on a life-changing global scale.

At which time Richter subtly and creatively crafted a marketing image of the Gay Games that said this was not just another rainbow-waving party: this was something amazing, something inspiring, that the world had never seen before.

Wine and Dinner Benefit for Team Oregon 2010

Enjoy a fabulous wine/dinner pairing at West Cafe, Portland, Oregon.

A portion of the proceeds will go directly to Team Oregon 2010.
---Tuesday, November 17
---Seating starts at 7:00 pm
---Address: West Cafe, 1201 SW Jefferson, Downtown Portland
---To reserve, call +1.503.227.8189 or email:
eat@westcafepdx.com

To Read More About This Event:

http://www.teamoregon2010.org/?p=212

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11/11 Discount: Today only!

November 11 is a public holiday in many countries, and as we commemorate Armistice/Rembembrance/Veterans Day, it will be especially easy to take advantage of the one-day-only "11/11" registration offer from Games Cologne.

A message from Games Cologne :

On 11/11 at 11:11 AM the famous Koelner Karneval begins in Cologne. Gay Games VIII invites you to register on this opening day of Carnival and save 11 euros.

Eleven is a magical number in the Rhineland. This is especially valid for Cologne. For the Cologner, the number 11 reminds them of the soaring towers of their beloved cathedral, the landmark of the city. Cologners love their carnival even more, which traditionally begins on 11/11 at 11:11 AM. The Koelner Karneval reflects tolerance, solidarity, and fun, values it shares with the Gay Games.

This is reason enough for the Cologne Gay Games to sweeten the registration offer, 261 days before the Opening Ceremony, with a „Kamellschen“ (a sweet made for the carnival), a sweet registration offer!

Currently the base registration fee is 125 euros [150 as of January 1]. Register on 11 November 2009 [for 24 hours, local time], and we will grant you a discount of 11 euros! Enter the discount code “111109” during your registration, in the “voucher code” field you will find on the payment page at www.games-cologne.com (make sure to click on the "Cash your voucher" button). After you have typed the discount code “111109,” the reduced registration fee of 114 euros will appear on your bill (plus your sports or culture fee).

We look forward to your registration! And we especially look forward to your participation at the VIII. Gay Games Cologne 2010 beginning 31 July. On the program are 34 kinds of sport and 5 cultural events – there’s something for everyone. Additionally we’re planning an extensive social program. You can already book your tickets today for many attractions from our event series „Fans & Friends“.

By the way: You can find more information about the Cologner Carnival on our website: www.games-cologne.de/en/static/gay-cologne/carnival-a-fantastic-time
And: You can also celebrate the carnival with us during the Gay Games: www.games-cologne.de/en/events/events-2010

Event to honor Legacy Award winners and support Gay Games scholarships

The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) is having an event to present the FGG Legacy Awards to Tracy Baim, for media and journalism, and to Dick Uyvari and Joe La Pat for outreach and scholarship support. These honorees were vital to the success of the 2006 Scholarship Program in Chicago.

The event will be Thursday, Nov. 19, from 8-9:30 p.m. at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. A donation to the Gay Games Scholarship Program of $10 is suggested.

Details about the FGG are available HERE.

If you cannot attend, please make an online donation HERE.

Bringing new participants to the Gay Games is critical to continuing the growth of the Gay Games movement, which began in 1982. The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) is working in partnership with the host of Gay Games VIII Cologne to encourage people from underrepresented areas and demographic groups to participate in the Gay Games.

But it costs money to be able to do this. This event is the start of a fundraising campaign that will end on New Year’s eve.

The Gay Games Scholarship Programs is a crucial part of the FGG’s worldwide outreach. It makes the Games accessible and inspires new leaders to take home the spirit of the Games to grow local LGBT sport and cultural groups. The goals of the Gay Games Scholarship Program are to:

• Increase participation in the Games by under-represented groups.
• Bring new participants into the Gay Games movement.
• Serve as a catalyst for building and strengthening LGBT sports and cultural organizing throughout the world.
• Provide a blueprint for developing and implementing a scholarship program for host organizations of future Gay Games.

Scholarships will be available for:
• Basic event registration fees (participatory athletic and cultural events).
• Travel costs to and from Cologne, Germany.
• Accommodations.
• A small daily allowance for the Games period (31 July to 7 August 2010).

Hope to see you at Mary’s Attic.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

IGBO memorial page

Federation of Gay Games member organization IGBO (International Gay Bowling Organization) has created a "memorial" page on Facebook. Share your memories of fellow IGBO bowler HERE.

Flashback

Delegates to the FGG Annual Meeting can't resist the temptation to test the NetCologne stadium track at Sportpark Muengersdorf.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Games Cologne North American tours winding up

West Coast team in Palm Springs


The two Gay Games tours of North America are coming to an end. Tonight in San Diego and Dallas, the two Games Cologne teams will be meeting with athletes, artists, fans and partners.

DALLAS
Information & Registration Discount Event
TONIGHT - Monday, November 9, 2009 – 6 to 10 pm
Woody’s, 4011 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas

SAN DIEGO
Information & Registration Discount Event
TONIGHT - Monday, November 9, 2009 – 9 pm to 11 pm
Flicks, 1017 University Avenue, San Diego

San Diego is the last event on the west coast tour as that team heads back to Cologne, Germany, tomorrow. There is one more stop on the East/Midwest tour - Cleveland, Ohio, slated to host the 2014 Gay Games. Annette Wachter and Stephan Collet head to Cleveland tomorrow and will hold an event there on Wednesday.

CLEVELAND
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 7 to 11 pm
The Tregoning Gallery
1300 West 78th St.
Cleveland, OH 44102

Please forward this to friends in the area and encourage them to join this Facebook Group for future information.

New FGG Development Officer named

The FGG is pleased to announce that Gilbert López, Jr. will be joining the board of directors as Officer for Development.

Gilbert is a native of Los Angeles where he continues to live. He has over 15 years of experience in fundraising and non-profit management, with expertise in operations, donor relations, marketing, public relations, event coordination, and strategic planning.