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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

IGLA protests hateful letter in "Swimmer" magazine

From the website of FGG member organization International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics:

Stirred but NOT Shaken
by Frederick Dever
Co-President IGLA / DCAC member

The mission of International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (”IGLA”) is to promote participation in aquatic sports among LGBT individuals. There are countless stories of IGLA Members who have been “saved” by swimming and participating on inclusive LGBT-friendly swim, water polo, synchro and diving teams. Now, IGLA and its member teams may be more important than ever, leading the charge for diversity, inclusion, and excellence in aquatics. Hatred and exclusion are not part of our values.

Swimmer Magazine is the “Official Magazine of U.S. Masters,” and IGLA is a part U.S. Masters Swimming in the United States. In the January-February 2011 issue Swimmer Magazine published an unfortunate and hurtful letter to the editor, ”Shaken and Stirred” by Glenn Welsford, Columbia Masters, South Carolina. The letter characterizes homosexuality as something shameful that destroys lives and is in response to an article printed in the September-October issue of Swimmer Magazine. The referenced article embraced the diversity of two gay swimmers (one white, and one black) who were recently profiled. [One was a review of Odd Man Out, which we wrote about HERE]

IGLA members should be proud that together we continue to uphold the values and mission of our organization. The outpouring of strong support for who we are as gay aquatic athletes and our intolerance for bigotry is being heard loud and clear, thanks to the number of well crafted letters and phone calls to USMS and Swimmer Magazine in response to one man’s homophobia.

It is important to note that there has also been significant support for diversity in swimming. This is noted in a positive letter to the editor that was printed just below the hate mail. Having said this, IGLA believes it is important to distinguish between what falls within the right of free-speech, encouraging discourse and opposing opinions, and what is plain hate, meant to damage and cause harm.

Swimmer Magazine should rethink letters that offer no further discussion about the topics at hand. IGLA believes that diversity makes swimming strong. Communities are built by inclusion and appreciation for all members of the community. Making Swimmer Magazine a forum to vent one’s prejudicial beliefs or distaste for any member of US Masters Swimming is just plain wrong and destructive.

Regardless of whether we get an apology from the Laura Hamel USMS Editor in Chief or from Rob Butcher, Executive Director, our voices will be herd through our continued participation with IGLA and the sports we all love.

IGLA and friends of IGLA still have an important mission that continues to be rock solid. We will continue to be proud of who we are and how we are an important part of the USMS Swimming family.

We may be “Stirred” by this unfortunate letter in our Swimming Magazine but IGLA is not “Shaken”.

Swim Proud.



Kevin Boyer said...

You should consider reporting the letter to GLAAD to see if they think it's worth action. They're trying to follow homophobia in sports media.


Sheila said...

I have to say I was quite shocked when I read that letter in the Swimmer magazine. I did note the "opposing" viewpoint posted below (the positive, supportive letter) but the negative one still really, really bothered me. I cannot fathom what prompted the editor to publish that letter. It would have been better omitted. It serves no purpose to publish it. On the contrary, it is hurtful and continues to promote this type of intolerance and hatefulness.