Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

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
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
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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ambassador James Hormel featured in "Rainbow Minute"

GayRVA (Richmond, VA)'s Rainbow Minute features FGG Ambassador James Hormel:

Jim Hormel’s philanthropy and activism centers on promoting human rights and equality.

In 1981, he became a founding member of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading group which advocates for GLBT rights.

Hormel’s donation of $500,000 to the San Francisco Public Library led to the 1995 creation of the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center, which houses the largest collection of GLBT literature in the world.

It is fitting that the Gay Games archives are housed in this library. Jim Hormel was a friend of Gay Games founder Tom Waddell and a supporter of the Gay Games since its inception in 1982. Hormel even competed in men’s doubles tennis at Gay Games IV in New York, and walked away with a bronze medal.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Frankfurt Xmas Tournament opens Friday

Registration is closed, but all are welcome to join in the fun of the 22nd Xmas Tournament organized by Artemis Frankfurt and FGG-member FVV.

More info HERE.

FVV wins national award for outreach program

Congratulations to FVV!

On Monday, November 22, 2010, ten projects from the German states of Hessen and Thüringen were honored with awards in the country-wide competition, "Aktiv für Demokratie und Toleranz 2009" ("Active for Democracy and Tolerance 2009"), in a ceremony held in the "Kaisersaal" of the Frankfurt "Römer" (City Hall). Among the award recipients was the FVV sponsorship program, Outreach Eastern Europe. The team of hard-working volunteers was honored for their exemplary dedication and work in the areas of functioning democracy and the advancement of tolerance.

The "Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz" ("Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance") has been holding this competition since its founding in 2000. One of their ongoing goals is to learn about and collect information on the numerous and diverse examples of civil-social programs across Germany and to make them known to a wider public.

Organizations and projects that actively work for integration and against xenophobia, discrimination and violence may participate in the competition. Important criteria for consideration are the imitability and role model status of the projects. And the requirement is that all active workers on the projects are volunteers.

Over 400 entries were submitted nationwide for consideration in the 2009 competition and of that number, 81 were honored.

Gay men and lesbians who live east of us often do not know what a life without discrimination is like. Their first steps towards visible communities, like sports organizations, require courage and a pioneering spirit.

… and it was for these pioneers that FVV created the Outreach Eastern Europe program. Our mission, now in cooperation with Artemis, is to support and sponsor Eastern European athletes via our Outreach program, enabling them to come and participate in our XMAS Tournament. By taking part in this event, our friends gain feelings of self-worth, appreciation and solidarity. They tank energy here in Frankfurt for use in their own struggles for equality and acceptance at home. They meet kindred spirits from other Eastern European countries and are able to establish networks.

Yoann Lemaire Yagg.com man of the year

French football player Yoann Lemaire has just been named Yagg.com's gay man of the year, ahead of photographer Philipipe Castetbon. Lesbian of the year is OcéaneRoseMarie, whose latest one-woman-show was part of the Saint Etienne film festival last weekend.

Congratulations to Yoann and OcéaneRoseMarie!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gareth Thomas pays surprise visit to San Francisco

Reprinted from the 26 November issue of the Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco

by Roger Brigham

Reprinted from the 26 November issue of the Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco
by Roger Brigham

Chill was in the air, fog enveloped the city, fickle rains came and went, and constant breezes bit exposed faces and hands as rugby players and fans gathered Saturday on Treasure Island to see the San Francisco Fog tackle the Mendocino Steam Donkeys and San Jose Seahawks. But hearts were warmed with a surprise visit by Gareth Thomas, the Welsh lion who is currently the only openly gay man playing for any major league professional team sport in the world.

It was a welcome as warm as the weather was cold. There is an informal familiarity in rugby, a fundamental fellowship recognizable whether players are close teammates, longtime rivals, or newly met strangers. The locals teased Thomas about the lovely weather as they lent him a cap and jacket and fetched him a cup of coffee.
"Where I live in Wales is cold," he told them, "but we don't have this wind." They swapped stories and asked him about his plans and his travels. Those plans include a feature film about his life that is being discussed in Hollywood now.

The visit was one of celebration and symbolism. Thomas was here to watch rugby and express his support of the Fog's mission of inclusion in the sport. He was able to meet new Fog head coach Kathy Flores, who is also coach of the women's national team, and Alice Hoglan, mother of the Fog player Mark Bingham who was one of the passengers on Flight 93 who died fighting terrorists on the plane on 9/11. Past rugby player that I am, I got the chance to introduce Thomas to two local LGBT sports activists: Doug Litwin, marketing officer for the Gay Games; and Derek Liecty, honorary lifetime member of the Federation of Gay Games.

Photos from SC Janus 30th anniversary

Find photos from the 30th anniversary party for SC Janus HERE.

Saint Etienne film festival Sunday brunch features Queer Comrades documentary and It Gets Better

At the suggestion of the FGG, the organizers of the Saint Etienne gay and lesbian film festival requested participating filmmakers to offer their services to film a few contributions to the It Gets Better project. The videos were made during the Ciné-Brunch, which featured a screening of the remarkable documentary produced by Queer Comrades China, entitled Be Part of It. Watch the video HERE.

Thanks to Sylvie, Antoine, and all the volunteers of Face à Face for an exceptionally rich festival and their kind invitation to the FGG, the FSGL and EGLSF.

We'll post the link to the In Gets Better video soon.

Rik of the year awards

It's time to vote for the 2010 Golden Rik awards in Cologne. Several businesses, persons and events related to Gay Games VIII have been nominated. You might want to have a look and vote for your favorites.

Among the categories where Gay Games VIII is directly concerned:
  • Cultural event of the year (Opening Ceremony, Neumarkt Village and Women's Space, Sound of the Gay Games concert)
  • Event of the year (Gay Games VIII)
  • Person of the year (Karl Heinz Schmitz and Dagmar Ziege)

Vote HERE.

Saint Etienne film festival special public sessions on sport and homosexuality

The films shown were:
Sport et homosexualités, c'est quoi le problème ? (sport and homosexualities, what's the problem?)
Be part of it : en être ? (be part of it, be one of them?)
Gais Gay Games (understand what the Gay Games are about)

Panel discussion: "Sport and homosexuality, where are we at?"
Sports as part of the LGBT movement and actions against homophobia.

The sessions were divided in two, with a first focus on football, including EGLSF's involvement in the FARE program, and a second focus on LGBT sport, including the FSGL, EGLSF and Eurogames, FGG and Gay Games, and Equipe France 2010.

Moderated by Christelle Lagattu,journalist and former president of the FSGL.
- Patrick Revelli (patron of the festival, former star of the AS Saint Etienne football team)
- Yves Bourgeay (director)
- Louis Dupont (director)
- Brahim Naït-Balk (Paris Foot Gay)
- Yoann Le Maire(football player)
- Armelle Mazé (EGLSF)
- Philippe Liotard (sociologist)
- Christelle Foucault (VP FSGL, delegate to the FGG, chair of Equipe France 2010)
- Maria Salvietti (VP FSGL, delegate to the FGG)
- Catherine Thiollière (director)
- Emy Ritt (co-president FGG) (also in attendance from the FGG, board members Marc Naimark and Sonia Abécassis)

Info on the day's program HERE.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vancouver band celebrates 20th anniversary

From the Vancouver Courier, news on LGBA member the Rainbow Concert Band:

Vancouver's Rainbow Concert Band is mounting its 20th anniversary performance and reunion Nov. 28 at the WISE Hall.

Paul Krampitz attended one of the band's first rehearsals in 1990. He'd seen a couple of gay and lesbian American bands play during the Gay Games III in Vancouver and signed up the second he heard a similar band was starting here.

"The ad said no auditions, all levels of players, all you need to be part of this is the joy of music," he said. (Members also need to read music.)

Krampitz hadn't touched his euphonium (a small tuba-like instrument) in years so he picked up a cheap valve trombone, unsure if he'd stick with the band.

Twenty years later, he's one of the old guard who's revelled in the diverse, musical social club.

"It was like high school without all the angst," Krampitz said. "And it was fun to be playing again."

Continue reading HERE.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What's this?

It's the new Maison de l'emploi, the jobs center of St Etienne, which hosted today's seminar on LGBT sport organized by Face à Face as part of their film festival. Three original films based on Gay Games VIII were screened, followed by a discussion with sports science students, educators, and journalists, moderated by Christelle Lagattu. In addition to the filmmakers, sociologist Philippe Liotard made a remarkable intervention, including a critique of the complaint of LGBT sport being a ghetto.

Liotard noted that very few people seem concerned by the real ghetto of the privileged who live among themselves in isolation from people with different backgrounds and social status, surely a danger to society as great as France's poverty-stricken suburban housing projects or some gay folks playing sport. He also pointed out that sport if based on rules that do not allow people to play against each other: if you want to race against an Olympic champion runner, you will not be able to. An adult can't compete in the Little League, and a man can't compete in the WNBA. On the contrary, the Gay Games are an event in which anyone from an Olympic champion to a beginner, from a top young athlete to an 80 year old, can play together and compete in the same event.

Also speaking were Maria Salvietti, VP of the FSGL, and Marc Naimark, sports officer of the FGG. A noted presence was that of Bruno Aussenac, who made the trip down to St Etienne for the opening of the festival yesterday and today's seminar before returning early tomorrow for a series of annual general assemblies of FSGL member clubs.

Rainbow Symphony Orchestra in collaborative concert series

After performing with the combined Rainbow Symphony Cologne at Gay Games VIII, the Paris Rainbow Symphony Orchestra has just completed a series of concerts with the Paris Melo'men choir and the Ensemble Romantica of Torcy (a suburb just east of Paris).

The common feature of the three groups is their director, noted conductor John Dawkins, and these concerts at the historic Oratoire du Louvre were the culmination of a three-year project proposed by Dawkins. It was the first time that RSO collaborated in this way with a non-gay musical group, and members were delighted by the warm welcome they received both from Melo'men and the Ensemble Romantica members.

All three concerts sold out, with over 1600 people enjoying a program made up of:
Auber's La Sirene
Parry's Blest Pair of Sirens
Puccini's Gloria Mass
(Soloists Guillaume Gutierrez, tenor and Frederic Albou, bass-bariton)
For more information about future concerts, see: www.rso.asso.fr and www.melomen.com and www.choraleromantica.free.fr.

Saint Etienne film festival opens with school screenings

The Saint Etienne gay and lesbian film festival opened yesterday with two showings for school groups.

The screenings were organized with the Ministry of Health and Sport and the National Health Education Institute for secondary school students. Over 100 students attended each screening, which were followed by a discussion with Brahim Naït-Balk, trainer of Paris Foot Gay football club and author of a noted memoir on being gay in housing projects, Pascal Brèthes, president of Paris Foot Gay, and Patrick Revelli of the legendary Saint Etienne professional football team, patron of the festival.

The films shown were two short subjects produced by Canal Plus and the Ministry of Health and Sport: Basket et Maths, about the attraction between two young basketball players, and Pauline, the story of a young lesbian woman living in a village and the difficulties of being accepted by her family and neighbors, and Michel Royer's documents Sports et Homosexualité,c'est quoi le problème ? about sport, homosexuality and homophobia. The documentary features former football international Lilian Thuram, triathletes Jessica Harrison and Carole Péon, football commentator Olivier Rouyer, Olympic medal winner Matthew Mitcham, and many others.

For such a difficult subject, the students were fairly well behaved. The Q&A after the screenings were difficult, showing the importance of the preparation done by teachers before the events. A very positive outcome of this year's school screenings was the decision to move them to later in the year, and to involve teachers in the choice of programming. As is typical in school screenings, the richest exchanges took place at the very end of the session, and even more important, after the screening, when students can approach the speakers directly and less self-consciously.

Info on the day's program HERE.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A message on Thanksgiving


To all who will be celebrating American Thanksgiving, wishing you a great holiday and safe travels.

To EVERYONE, thanks for your continued work and dedication in support of the Gay Games. The positive feedback from Gay Games VIII participants is still arriving via email and in encounters with participants.

I am personally very grateful for the opportunities that the Gay Games have given me over the years. The week in Cologne was an experience of a lifetime that I do not expect to repeat. My thanks to all of you and to the entire Games Cologne team for giving me this opportunity.

The future will continue to bring exciting and interesting times for us all and for thousands of Gay Games participants around the world. Looking forward to continuing working with you all.

Onwards and Upwards,
Emy Ritt

SC Janus street football tournament this weekend

From 26-28 November 2010, FGG member SC Janus,Europe's largest gay and lesbian sports organization with nearly 1,500 members, will be organising an event, Strassenfussball für Toleranz, in conjunction with the Cologne youth centre ANYWAY.

The goal of this award-winning program is to integrate gay and lesbian and multicultural groups by means of sport, to promote social activity for young people, and to reduce inhibitions and prejudices against homosexuals. The project aims to youth and young adults, regardless of their sexual orientation, nationality or religious belief.

This street soccer event uses a special scoring system that takes into account the relevant aspects of teamwork, conflict management, listening, and active participation. In addition to points for win, draw or defeat, "fair play" points will be awarded.

The related fair-play rules will be discussed before the game with the game manager, allowing the game to be run run without a referee. Independent player-observers verify compliance with the rules and distribute points accordingly . "Fair play points," thus play a major role in the final of the tournament.

The tournament itself will take place on Saturday 27 November. Applications are open to all youth/young adults who like to play football. A team consists of 5 field players and 1 or 2 observers. Participation is open to all aged 16 to 28 years.

More info HERE.

First Italian football tournament against racism and homophobia

The Milan Diversity Cup, the first tournament against racism and homophobia in Italy will take place on 29 January 2011.

ICONS (Iniziativa Contro l'Omofobia Nello Sport) is organizing the the first-ever indoor football tournament against racism and homophobia in Milan.

The primary goal of the tournament is to foster a more mature and conscious integration between the various social realities that populate our world, but also to enjoy a day of football and fun.

More info HERE.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Boston flag football players say "It Gets Better"

Boston FLAG flag football players have just published this video for the "It Gets Better" project.

Visit our "It Gets Better" page HERE.

Saint Etienne film festival to close with a final salute to the Gay Games

The Saint Etienne gay and lesbian film festival closes this Sunday with a series of regular film screenings. But before that, a final look at the Gay Games will take place during the midday "Cine-Brunch", featuring images from Gay Games VIII.
Info on the day's program HERE.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Saint Etienne film festival offers special public sessions on sport and homosexuality

The Saint Etienne gay and lesbian film festival will include public sessions this Saturday devoted to sport and homosexuality.

10.00 - Cultural visit of Saint-Etienne

14h00 - Screening and panel discussion
The films shown include:
Sport et homosexualités, c'est quoi le problème ? (sport and homosexualities, what's the problem?)
Be part of it : en être ? (be part of it, be one of them?)
Gais Gay Games (understand what the Gay Games are about)

Panel discussion: "Sport and homosexuality, where are we at?"
Sports as part of the LGBT movement and actions against homophobia.

Moderated by Christelle Lagattu,journalist and former president of the FSGL.
- Patrick Revelli (patron of the festival, former star of the AS Saint Etienne football team)
- Pascal Brethes(Paris Foot Gay)
- Yves Bourgeay (director)
- Louis Dupont (director)
- Yoann Le Maire,(football player)
- Armelle Mazé (EGLSF)
- Philippe Liotard (sociologist)
- Christelle Foucault (VP FSGL, delegate to the FGG, chair of Equipe France 2010)
- Emy Ritt (co-president FGG)
- Marc Naimark (FGG)
- Maria Salvietti (VP FSGL, delegate to the FGG)
- Catherine Thiollière (director)

Info on the day's program HERE.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saint Etienne film festival opens on Thursday with school screenings

The Saint Etienne gay and lesbian film festival will open this Thursday with two showings for school groups.

The screenings are organized with the Ministry of Health and Sport and the National Health Education Institute for secondary school students. They'll be followed by a discussion with Brahim Naït-Balk, trainer of Paris Foot Gay football club and author of a noted memoir on being gay in housing projects, and Patrick Revelli of the legendary Saint Etienne professional football team.

The films shown are two short subjects produced by Canal Plus and the Ministry of Health and Sport: Basket et Maths, about the attraction between two young basketball players, and Pauline, the story of a young lesbian woman living in a village and the difficulties of being accepted by her family and neighbors, and Michel Royer's documents Sports et Homosexualité,c'est quoi le problème ? about sport, homosexuality and homophobia. The documentary features former football international Lilian Thuram, triathletes Jessica Harrison and Carole Péon, football commentator Olivier Rouyer, Olympic medal winner Matthew Mitcham, and many others.

That evening the official opening will take place at the Saint Etienne tourist office, followed by the first screenings of the official program.

Info on the day's program HERE.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Some thoughts for FGG friends

Our condolences to VP External Affairs Kate Rowe on the loss of her father after a long illness. And our wishes for a full recovery to Trevor, husband of Officer for International Development Paul White.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vorspiel basketball tournament opens today

Best wishes to Vorspiel Berlin this weekend for their 7th international men's basketball tournament!

The tournament opened Friday night with a registration event, and continues Saturday and Sunday. Spectators welcome!

More info HERE.

TVNZ report on top Kiwi drag queens' efforts to lose weight

Among the three drag queens featured is Edward, a competitor in bodybuilding at Gay Games VIII. View the video HERE.

LPGA to change transgender rules?

From Examiner.com:

November 18 -- LPGA members will reportedly vote later this month to let transgender women become members.

LPGA commissioner Michael Whan will reportedly ask association members to overturn the association’s “female at birth” requirement, according to the Golf Channel’s Randall Mell. Two-thirds of the LPGA membership must vote to approve the change to the group’s bylaws.

Response to lawsuit. The likely change would be In response to a federal lawsuit filed last month by Lana Lawless, who underwent gender-reassignment surgery in 2005 and sued the LPGA for the right to play on the women’s U.S. golf tour.

Whan said the issue will be a topic of discussion at the year-end players’ meeting, an LPGA spokesperson confirmed to Golf Examiner. The meeting is slated to occur during the LPGA Tour Championship later this month.

“We’ll explain the lawsuit, our options, and we’ll discuss my perspective and the LPGA staff’s perspective,” Whan told Mell.

Not good enough, according to Christopher Dolan, Lawless’ attorney.

“Despite the rumor that I have heard that the executive board is suggesting that there be a rule change [it] is but a rumor to try and distract from the focus of the debate,” Dolan said in an e-mail. “They have made no such statement to me or my client.”

Dolan was also unhappy with the reported LPGA vote. “It is ridiculous to think that an organization will vote on whether or not to discriminate and violate the law,” Dolan told Golf Examiner.

Mell reported that LPGA players learned during a briefing at the South Korean Hana Bank Championship last month that the anti-transgender language was outdated and legally indefensible. They also heard that the International Olympic Committee, USGA, Ladies European Tour, and the British Ladies Golf Union already allow transgender members.

Lawless, a formerly male police officer, filed her lawsuit against the LPGA and the Long Drivers of America (LDA) October 12 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. After Lawless won the 2008 Long Drive championship, the LDA banned her from participating.

Dinah Shore tourney in jeopardy? If the LPGA does not change its bylaws, Dolan has threatened to seek an injunction to prohibit the association from running tournaments in California. That would include next spring’s first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Lawless, who told Golf Examiner she owned a +1 handicap “in another life,” is also seeking damages from the LPGA and LDA, claiming each organization impeded her ability to work as a pro golfer. Without LPGA membership, the 57-year-old is also ineligible to teach golf professionally.

“She can’t earn prize money, she can’t earn sponsorship money, and she can’t be a professional golf instructor,” said Dolan. “She’s not a golf professional because she’s no longer a professional golfer.”

Libération: a comparison between 1998 and 2010

In 2010 for Gay Games VIII, the second held in Europe, French left-leaning daily gave us the following for its only coverage of the event that brought together nearly 10,000 men and women from 70 countries:
We have all the more reason to wonder why Libération has so lamentably failed when we consider their coverage of the first Gay Games in Europe back in 1998. For the Amsterdam Games, Libé produced at least four solid articles, in the sports section, the culture section, and in world news. Already a year earlier, Libé announced the coming event.

What changed in 12 years?

Rainbow Symphony Orchestras at Gay Games VIII Opening Ceremony: Prelude

"Prelude", the first in a series of posts containing the music performed by the combined Rainbow Symphony Orchestras at the Opening Ceremony of Gay Games VIII:

Saint Etienne film festival promo

Teaser festival "FACE à FACE" 2010
envoyé par topdiscret75. - L'info video en direct.
More info HERE.

One week to Saint Etienne (France) seminar

As part of the Saint Etienne gay and lesbian film festival organized by FSGL member FACE A FACE, a seminar on the theme of "Other practices to explore in sport with LGBT sports organizations" will take place on Friday 26 November.

The seminar is aimed at students and professionals in the fields of sport, education, health, professional training, communications, and justice.

A panel discussion will follow the screening of three original films produced during Gay Games VIII. On the panel will be the filmmakers, sociologist Philippe Liotard, host of the university conference "Sport and homosexualities" held in conjunction with the 2006 FGG Annual Meeting, Marc Naimark, FGG Sports Officer, and Maria Salvietti, VP of the FSGL and its delegate to the FGG. The moderator will be Christelle Lagattu, journalist, filmmaker, and former president of the FSGL.

The full program for the seminar can be found HERE.
More info on the screenings for school groups and the general public can be found HERE.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

UK Rubgy Football League takes on homophobia

From PinkNews.co.uk:

The Rugby Football League (RFL) held a reception in parliament last night to launch a campaign to welcome gay fans and players.

The event was hosted by Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland and attended by a number of MPs from all parties and two players from Sheffield Eagles.

Former Great Britain Rugby Union Lions captain Gareth Thomas, who came out last year, was unable to attend due to illness.

However, he sent a message to the event: “All sports have a significant role to play in challenging homophobia and I am delighted to show my support to Rugby League and the RFL which has made such strong commitments to taking important issues like this seriously and is leading the way in terms of inclusivity.”

The RFL is the first and only sports body to be included on Stonewall’s annual diversity index and is launching a booklet to inform Rugby League clubs on how to deal with homophobia in the sport. It is also developing a new reporting service for homophobic abuse at matches, posters and DVDs.

Sheffield Eagles players Corey Hanson and Mitch Stringer presented new kit carrying the ‘Homophobia Tackle It!’ slogan, which will be worn during a home game in February, which is LGBT History Month.

Mr Stringer told PinkNews.co.uk that players hoped to be able to go into local schools to talk about homophobia and build a fanbase among LGBT people.

Lou Englefield of Pride Sports, which has been working with the RFL, said: “They’ll be wearing the shirts for a match in February. The fixtures aren’t out yet. We’re hoping to make this an annual event with a different team each year wearing the shirts.”

Opening the event, Mr Mulholland said: “Rugby League is perceived to be one of the toughest and most ferocious sports anyone could play. Whilst this is true in terms of the way the game is played, Rugby League has a history of being one of the most welcoming sports around.

“I am proud to play a sport that anyone can play irrespective of ability, gender, race, sexuality or background. It’s a testament to the work of all involved in the sport.”

Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone praised the sport for its “amazing message” and added: “This burns a great big hole in that horrible [homophobic] culture.

“They’re setting a really positive example that all other sports bodies should be proud to follow.”

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill called the initiative “groundbreaking” and added: “For many, sport is still one of the last great bastions of homophobia but we warmly welcome RFL’s commitment to openly challenging prejudice and unfairness.”

Panel on women in sport at Lausanne Sports Management conference

From a report by Elshadai Negash on sportanddev.org:

Conference delegates stress bridging gap between participation and leadership in women sport

Renowned panelists at the 2010 Lausanne International Sports Management (5-6 Nov 2010) on Friday stressed that despite various gains made in increasing women’s participation in sports at all levels, a lot of work needs to be done to make sport a fair game for both men and women.

Representing the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG), co-chair Raija Mattila pointed to various gender imbalances in the participation of women in sport.

“Gender imbalance has been allowed to linger in sport far longer than other fields,” she said. “Many women nowadays participate in sport at international, national, and local levels, but they remain underrepresented at all levels.”

Brigette Zufferty, human resources, affiliation, and continental motorcycling union manager with the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), referred to a study undertaken in three federations- table tennis, motorsports, and motorcycling- to increase women’s participation.

“In our sport (motorcycling), women used to be regarded as flower-bearers. Now we see women are competing professionally. We have many cases and instances where women have shown that women can compete equally with men.”

And in an emotional presentation to attendees, Luisa Rizzitelli, founder of ASSIST, which is an organization dedicated to protecting the rights for women who compete in competitive sports, said that due to rules in Italy, there were no professional women in sports in Italy (women can earn a living from sports in Italy, but are still classified as amateurs by Italian law).

Continue reading HERE.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame exhibition

An exhibition about this year's inductees can be viewed today and tomorrow at the James R. Thompson Center at 100 W. Randolph Street in Chicago. Here is the panel devoted to FGG VP Membership Paul Oostenbrug (photo Israel Wright -- click on the photo to enlarge).

Gay Games-related inductees include:

Mayor Daley's speech at 2010 induction to Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall Of Fame

Among this year's inductees, the FGG's Paul Oostenbrug.

An exhibition about this year's inductees can be viewed today and tomorrow at the James R. Thompson Center at 100 W. Randolph Street in Chicago.

FGG to be present at SC Janus 30th Anniversary events

The Federation of Gay Games is delighted to send member organization Sportclub Janus (SC Janus) its congratulations on their 30th anniversary. The celebration in honor of this amazing achievement will take place on Saturday, 20 November at the Gloria Theatre (Apostelnstr. 11).

The FGG thanks SC Janus for inviting us to this event, where the Federation will be represented by board members Bettina Dietmann-Winter and Martyn Pickup.

The festivities will begin at 18.30 with a buffet and show for club members and partners.

From 22.00 doors open for everyone to join the party. Tickets are 8€ for the general public. DJ Ralph Rosenbaum will be playing the top hits of the last 30 years.

All tickets are on sale in the SC Janus office (Monday 17.00-19.00) or at the door.

FGG at 7th World Conference on Sport, Education and Culture

The 7th World Conference on Sport, Education and Culture, organized by the International Olympic Committee and UNESCO, will take place next month in Durban, South Africa.

FGG Ambassador Leigh-Ann Naidoo and Hlengiwe Buthelezi, delegate for FGG member organization TOGS, will be representing the FGG at this event.

The motto of the conference is “Giving a Voice to Youth”. During a youth session, organised within the conference, young participants at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) that were held in Singapore in August, will talk about their personal experience at this very first edition and also exchange with their South African peers. Young people will also be given the floor in other sessions to offer their first-hand input on learning experiences in the fields of sport, education, culture and society.

Other discussions, to take place in plenary and parallel sessions, will focus on values-based education, the Cultural Olympiad, education for sustainable development and how to develop a culture of healthy lifestyles, to name just a few.

Wellington Outgames: human rights conference

Whakarongo ake ana ki te tangi a te manu...tui, tui, tuituia
Listen to the cry of the bird...weave it, weave it, weave it together
Nau mai, haere mai

Wellington 2011 invites you to gather for the 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames Human Rights Conference

Across the Asia Pacific region a wide range of terms describe the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) within our communities. In Aotearoa / New Zealand these include takatāpui, whakawāhine, tangata ira tāne, queer and gender queer people, fa'afafine, fakaleiti and akava'ine as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people. This conference celebrates the human rights of us all.

Dates: 16 - 18 March 2011

Theme: Strength In Diversity: Connect, Collaborate, Inspire

Venue: Wellington Town Hall, Wakefield Street, Wellington

More info HERE.
Download the conference presentation brochure HERE.

Team Cork wins REBEL Award

Congratulations to Team Cork, the 2010 REBEL Award winner for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. The Cork Rebel Awards were set up as a collaboration between the Cork Gay Project, Cork Pride, GayCork.com & L.inC in order to acknowledge LGBT people and organisations for their contributions, work and support to the Cork LGBT community.

Monday, November 15, 2010

qSport on Croatian Football Federation


Dear EGLSF board, members and sport enthusiasts,

We know you have all heard recently of statements by Mr.Vlatko Marković, but probably lack the exact understanding of the context and the impact to realize that his act will not be fixed by a mere apology.

Croatia is a small country that most have heard of only in the 90s, due to the wars in Balkans and the breakdown of the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia.

Some may also know it also for its amazing nature resorts and cultural heritage protected by UNESCO (exceptional number of protected sites).

Aside from this, quite a few athletes (Blanka Vlašić, Janica and Ivica Kostelić,
Duje Draganja, Sanja Jovanović...) and national teams (in handball, water polo, rowing, tennis...) put this troubled country (4.6 million inhabitants) on the sport world map by making exceptional achievements in a better way then any politician or business has done so far in attempts to meet EU standards.

Yet Croatian LGBTIQ population is not able to freely express and openly take part in these sport achievements without being put down by homophobic and sexist remarks of some of the top sport officials in the country.

You likely did not hear of soccer player Stjepan Tomas being kicked off the national team few years ago, after being found in the room with another man.

Or the numerous comments on a photo of Ibrahimović (player of Bosnian-Croatian origin) and Piquea year ago, as the most discussed topic on Croatian web forums because of potential of two being partners. Or that of writer Nicolas Bendini's novel 'Solo per una notte' on a professional soccer player from Croatia living a double life as a bisexual man, that stirred our public more then many finals of national soccer league.

Suspense is continuous and tension builds up as it is fueled by a combination of rumors and stigma that would follow any Croatian soccer player who might not meet norms of some of Croatian soccer professionals about what the norms are in their opinion.

Continue reading HERE.

First vote on Joint Working Group complete

With thanks to Team Berlin (www.teamberlin.de)
A preliminary vote on the composition of the Federation of Gay Games delegation to a Joint Working Group with GLISA International is now complete. The nearly 100 voting members of the Federation of Gay Games General Assembly have strongly supported a proposal from the FGG Board of Directors to include the FGG co-presidents as part of the Federation's delegation.

A second vote opens today, to choose the five members of the delegation from among the 23 candidates who have applied. These candidates, men and women from five continents, are all keen to be part of this Joint Working Group that has the goal of determining the road map toward a single quadrennial event to begin in 2018.

This vote will be open through the end of November, by which time both the FGG and GLISA will have chosen the members of their delegations.

Video interview of Matthew Mitcham: "Enchanted" with the Gay Games

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NY Times profiles gay Nascar fan

From the New York Times:

A Gay Nascar Fan Is Finding a Growing Audience Online

Michael Myers grew up in Spartanburg, S.C., the middle of Nascar country, but his parents were not stock-car-racing fans, so he was not one, either. He went to his first race, the 1998 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, because he received free tickets.

But Myers said he became an unabashed fan over the next four or five years, and in September 2009, he started a racing Web site different from most others. Queers4Gears.com, he announced, would be an online home for gay Nascar fans.

Myers, 37, who lives in Las Vegas, is keeping his day job as a sales manager. But his Web site has found a modest audience of race fans, gay and straight. He said the site had averaged about 2,000 unique visitors a month.

“Nascar has more fans who are accepting of me being gay than gays have been accepting of me being a Nascar fan,” Myers said in a recent telephone interview.

He still wants gay racing fans to know they are not alone. In fact, he made what he thought was Nascar history by arranging a ticket discount for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fans to Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

“Just that alone, just sticking that on the Web site, says volumes to the gay community,” Myers said.


Nascar applauded Phoenix’s ticket offer through Queers4Gears, which Myers began to arrange when he was at the track in the spring to cover a Sprint Cup race for his site.

Andrew Giangola, a Nascar spokesman, said: “Nascar is a sport open to everyone, and we market it very broadly, as opposed to specific demographic segments. For example, while women make up 40 percent of the Nascar fan base, we position the sport more generally to all sports fans and would-be fans.”

Queers4Gears is not the only car Web site for gay men and lesbians, but it seems to be carrying the most momentum. Myers’s tongue-in-cheek “gaynalyses” of each race — he refers to drivers as divas and leans hard on the soap-opera-style drama of the sport — but he also writes standard recaps of every Sprint Cup race.

He also wants to keep the site lighthearted and fun. Some readers expected Myers to comment when Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, whom many regard as antigay, delivered the invocation before an August race in Atlanta. Myers chose not to.

“I’ve been so encouraged by the acceptance that I’ve gotten, I don’t want to upset the pot, so to speak,” Myers said.

He has drawn notice from the mainstream news media, and his Queers4Gears Twitter account has more than 1,300 followers. But two accounts that Myers set up anonymously each have more followers. When Kyle Busch, a tempestuous 25-year-old Sprint Cup driver, talked early in the season about softening his abrasive personality, Myers created @oldkylebusch and @newkylebusch on Twitter to poke fun at Busch.

On Halloween, @oldkylebusch posted: “No KyBu Pumpkin this year. I was trying to carve it when it bumped me — so I smashed it into the wall.”

Myers was found to be the author of the posts, and Queers4Gears drew more attention. This, Myers figured, made his Web site more legitimate (not to mention more visible to potential advertisers).

He acknowledges that gay male race fans are attracted to stock car drivers the way straight female race fans are, but his agenda seems to be much simpler.

Race fans, no matter their sexual preference, just like to watch races.

“I’m not there to ask drivers about what they think about gay marriage,” Myers said. “I’m there to ask them about racing.”

MEP Gay Games participant issues warning to Croatia

From The Guardian:

Gay and lesbian groups across Europe have called on sporting authorities to take disciplinary action against the head of Croatia's football federation after he said gay players would be banned from playing for the country.

Vlatko Markovic served to emphasise the extent to which homophobia is still rife in the sport after saying that "only healthy people play football" and adding that there was no room for gay men in the sport. The European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF), which represents 17,000 active sportsmen and women, is leading the calls for legal action to be taken against Markovic and calling on Uefa, the governing body of football in Europe, to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him. Uefa says it has not yet opened an investigation.

Ulrike Lunacek, the Austrian Green MEP [Member of the European Parliament] and active participant in the Gay Games, warned that if the Croatian government failed to take action against Markovic his outburst could affect its application to join the European Union. One of the conditions is that the country implements EU-standard anti-discrimination legislation.


Theo Zwanziger, the head of Germany's football federation, who has been commended for his appeal to gay players to approach him if they want to come out, has voiced his surprise that professional football remains one of the few areas of public life where homosexuality is taboo. "In politics, art and culture it is no longer a problem but professional football appears to be more set in its ways," he said. Some gay players particularly in Germany and Italy, even arrange fake marriages, German media expert Tatjana Eggeling told the TV programme ZDF Sportstudio.

Although experts estimate that around 10% of footballers are gay, hardly any have come out. It is 20 years since Justin Fashanu became the only prominent British footballer active in the sport to do so. Fashanu, who killed himself in 1998 after being accused of sexual assault, recalled how his life had been made unbearable by repeated taunts of "bloody poof" from the late Brian Clough, his manager at Nottingham Forest, who banned him from training with the team after his homosexuality was revealed.

Read the full article HERE.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NY Frontrunners say "It Gets Better"

New York City Frontrunners have just published this video for the "It Gets Better" project.

Email campaign against Croatian football homophobia

On Monday, 8 November, Vlatko Markovic, president of the Croatian Football Federation stated that: “[w]hile I’m a president of the Croatian Football Federation, there will be no homosexuals playing in the national team…. Luckily, only normal people play football.” Croatian gay and lesbian organizations have already condemned Markovic for these appalling statements, and at Red Card Homophobia we would like to support them by launching an e-mail campaign to the CFF and UEFA (Union of European Football Associations). We have drafted e-mails in both Croatian and English that you can copy and paste and send to both organizations. Don’t forget to add your name as a signature. It only takes two seconds, so we urge you to take the time to help give homophobia the red card.



TO: info[at]hns-cff[dot]hr

Poštovani predsjedniče Marković,

Homofobija je u svakom pogledu uvredljiva i u direktnoj je suprotnosti s geslom o POŠTOVANJU i nastojanjima UEFA-e da se to poštovanje održi. Vaše izjave i zabrane na temelju diskriminacije pojedinaca neprihvatljive su, i kao član organizacije CRVENI KARTON ZA HOMOFOBIJU, potičem Vas da osigurate da svaki kvalificirani igrač može igrati za reprezentaciju Hrvatske.


TO: info[at]uefa[dot]com


Dear President Michel Platini

I am writing to you to express concern about the recent comments made by Vlatko Markovic, President of the Croatia Football Federation against homosexuals. Homophobia in any form is objectionable and directly opposes the RESPECT campaign fostered by UEFA. His statements and discriminatory bans are unacceptable and as a member of Red Card Homophobia, I urge you to ensure all high-quality players can play for Croatia.

Monsieur le Président,

J'ai le regret de vous écrire au sujet des récentes remarques à l'encontre de joueurs homosexuels de la part de M. Vlatko Markovic, président de la fédération croate de football. L'homophobie est inacceptable et est en contradiction directe avec la campagne RESPECT de l'UEFA. Les déclarations et les interdictions discriminatoires ainsi annoncées sont intolérables, et en tant que membre de la campagne Carton rouge à l'homophobie, je vous encourage à assurer que tout joueur qualifié pourra jouer pour la Croatie.

SkyNews on homophobia in UK football

Twelve years after football's only openly gay player killed himself, hostility to homosexuality is still rife in Britain's national game. Justin Fashanu, a player remembered for his talent on the field, is still the only professional ever to have had the courage to come out publicly.

It is now 12 years since he committed suicide and today his niece, Amal, campaigns to break the grip of homophobia in football. "With the Justin Campaign, we aim to have a day where people can forget about these taboos and we can just get on with our normal lives," she told Sky News. "If you are a gay footballer, you're a gay footballer. It's not my concern if you're gay. It's my concern if you play well and get those goals."

Chris Basiurski, of the Gay Football Supporters' Network, knows all about the hostility homosexuals encounter even at amateur level. He was forced to join a gay team in a gay league because of the attitude his then work team-mates had when they discovered his sexual orientation. "I was playing in a more mainstream league and when they discovered my sexuality, I was made to feel very uncomfortable," he said. "All the social side of it disappeared for me."

Publicist Max Clifford told Sky News that the hostility throughout the game extended to the very top level. Gay and bisexual players are simply too frightened of the professional and social consequences to come out in public, he said. "Over the last decade there have been four footballers who were gay or bisexual who came to see me for advice. And every one of them made it very clear that they totally believed that if they came out, their careers were finished."

The Football Association is trying to purge the game of its homophobia but the video commissioned to get the message across was quietly stuck on YouTube rather than given the traditional football razzamatazz.

It is not just a British problem.

Just this week, Vlatko Markovic, the top man in Croatian football, said: "While I'm a president of the Croatian Football Federation, there will be no homosexuals playing in the national team."

In three weeks' time, Britain will know if it is to host the 2018 World Cup.

But few in the game believe there will be any openly gay footballers in that tournament, even it if is still eight years away. So for the foreseeable future at the top level at least, being gay will, it seems, have to remain the love that dares not speak its name and openly gay footballers will have to play in a league of their own.

Billy Bean on Glenn Burke

Among the videos produced (see them all HERE) to accompany the Glenn Burke documentary are these featuring FGG Ambassador Billy Bean:

Friday, November 12, 2010

UK rugby club taking on homophobia

From the Hereford Times:

ONE of Herefordshire’s smallest rugby clubs is doing its bit to tackle a big problem. Greyhound Rugby Club are spreading the message that homophobia is not acceptable.

The Hereford-based club have joined forces with Stonewall UK and their playing shirts now carry the slogan: ‘Some people are gay. Get over it!’ “We are the only non-gay rugby team that are involved in an initiative about homophobic bullying,” explained Greyhound chairman Barry Morris. “We are linking with two gay sides – one in Birmingham and one in Bristol – to work with them.”

Homophobia often deters young lesbian, gay and bisexual people from playing and watching sport. Morris said: “Rugby is defined as a macho sport and it was a big thing when former Wales international Gareth Thomas said he was gay. We are trying to show that everyone is welcome at our club – gay or straight – and that prejudice of any kind is not tolerated.”

Continue reading HERE.