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, May 31, 2011

Ben Cohen interviewed by Thomas Roberts on msNBC

Ben Cohen interviewed by Thomas Roberts on msNBC. (h/t Towleroad)

18 June 2011 / Blue Ridge Pride present the BRPride Games

Blue Ridge Pride Presents
BRPride GAMES In The Park -
12pm - 4pm
Plus - The Gay 5K
Race Starts At 10am

A fundraiser for Blue Ridge Pride
June 18, 2011
Carrier Park - West Asheville

Info HERE.

Cleveland Historical mobile phone app offers a 21st-century look at Northeast Ohio's history

The launch of Cleveland Historical, a free mobile walking tour app for Android and iPhone users and the first of its kind for Cleveland, brings the city's history right to users' fingertips. The National Council on Public History recently recognized the project as one of the best in the world.

Android and iPhone users can explore Northeast Ohio's history, whether it's through notable names or off-the-beaten-path places that helped shape the region. Layered, map-based, multimedia presentations bring history to life, and links to popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter encourage users to share their experience with the world in an easy, fun-to-use format.

Together with the Cleveland Historical website, users can search more than 150 stories by subject or tag, or browse through a comprehensive map of historic locations. Themed walking tours guide users through the photos, video and audio that accompany the sites. From the sacred landmarks that dot the region to the Cultural Gardens that are thought to be the world's first peace garden, some of the most significant and extraordinary buildings and places can be found in one of 11 themes.

To download Cleveland Historical, go to your Android or iPhone app store, or click HERE.

Former coach is now advocate for LGBT equality

A profile of former coach Denny Smith from the St Cloud [Minnesota] Times:

Denny Smith takes a hard line on the athletic field and in the classroom, but he has a soft spot for his son.

The 66-year-old from St. Cloud has become a tireless advocate for promoting “equality, respect and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people” after his 41-year-old son came out to the former coach.

“He said, ‘Mom and Dad, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to tell you: I’m gay,’ ” said Smith, executive director of the nonprofit Winning Marriage Equality. “We cried — not because he was gay but because of what he was going to have to go through because of that.”

Smith was a teacher and coach in Montevideo from 1973-78. He then worked as a motivational speaker from 1978-99 and then returned to the classroom as a math teacher and basketball coach at Technical High School in St. Cloud for almost a dozen years before retiring in 2010 to advocate for LGBT equality.

“The first words out of my mouth were, ‘Well, Kyle, that’s the way God made you, and I don’t argue with God, so we’re OK with this,’ ” Smith said of his son, who lives in Seattle.

Keep reading HERE.

Denver to host 2015 North America Outgames

The FGG congratulates its member Team Colorado, the lead organization for this bid.

(DENVER, COLORADO, USA) May 31, 2011: The Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association--North America (GLISA NA) formally announced that Denver, Colorado, USA has won the honor of hosting the 2015 North America Outgames. The official ceremony celebrating Denver as the next Host City will take place at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2011 North America Outgames in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Sunday July 30, 2011. The Denver Outgames 2015 Bid Committee (DOBC) will attend the Vancouver Outgames and also the Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival on July 31, 2011.

“We could not be more excited or honored,” states DOBC Co-Chair R. Tony Smith. “This is a win for Denver, Colorado and the United States, and all I can say is, ‘Let’s Go Denver!’”

DOBC Co-Chair Sonya J. Lewis continues, “This is the time for Denver, and it was most evident with the ease of how much support we received from everyone here in Colorado: sport, culture, human rights and government entities, as well as elected officials. Our bid committee worked hard, and this feels amazing!”

The DOBC submitted the official bid (prospectus) to GLISA NA in February 2011, and hosted the GLISA NA site selection committee in early May 2011 as one of the final steps of the selection process. The visit consisted of trips to key Denver sights as well as cultural, lodging, and sporting venues. In celebration of the GLISA NA site selection committee visit, the DOBC released an official video aptly titled, “Let’s Go Denver!” The video can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/DenverOutgames2015. Everyone is encouraged to share this video and to become a fan at http://www.Facebook.com/Denver2015.

Team Colorado, a 501(c)(3) non-profit umbrella sports organization for the LGBT community, formed the "Denver Outgames 2015 Bid Committee" (DOBC) to lead Denver's efforts. This volunteer committee is spearheaded by Co-Chairs Sonya Jaquez Lewis and R. Tony Smith. The next steps for the DOBC include the logistical and legal evolution from Denver’s “bid committee” to “organizing committee”, as well as pending GLISA licensing discussions.

For more information on GLISA North America, visit http://www.glisanorthamerica.org/.

Ndumie Funda interview on "corrective rape" on BBC World Service

Our friend Ndumie Funda was interviewed by BBC World Service on "corrective rape" and the work of the Luleki Sizwe project. Listen below (begins at about minute 13):

"This Is Oz": Sports figures come out against homophobia

This Is Oz is an online photo gallery where people can help fight discrimination against Australia’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community. Part art project, part human rights campaign, This Is Oz is all about making Australia a place where everyone belongs.

In honor of IDAHO 2011, we're posting some sporty folks found on the site.

Here are some photos from a variety of Australian sports figures:

Netball legend Liz Ellis
Sportscaster Megan Barnard

Olympic swimmer Daniel Kowalski

Australian [rules]  Football League

Olympic rower Ian Brambell

Brodie (Australian Sports Administrators, Coaches and Athletes)
Ameliaranne and Stephanie (Australian Sports Administrators, Coaches and Athletes)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Coming up on 1,000 Facebook page "likes"!

Announcement: For our 700th, 800th, and 900th "likes" we've offered the person who has taken us to the milestone a gift, a DVD of the film Take the Flame. We'll be doing that for our 1,000th "like", with a little something extra. And to not penalize those near 1,000, we'll be doing something nice to those just under and just over.

Tell your friends!

The page is here: http://www.facebook.com/federationofgaygames
And our host's page is here: http://www.facebook.com/gaygamescleveland

The Cleveland Museum of Art - a real eye-opener!

When planning your trip to Cleveland + Akron for the 2014 Gay Games, don't forget to set aside some time to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art. Below is a short description of the museum and its collections.Below is a short description of the museum and its collections.

One of the most distinguished art museums in the world, the Cleveland Museum of Art's collection of more than 30,000 works ranges over 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to the present, and includes masterpieces from around the globe.

Founded in 1913 "for the benefit of all the people forever," the museum's mission is to help the broadest possible audience understand and engage with the world's great art while honoring the highest aesthetic, intellectual and professional standards.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is located in University Circle and is open Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 10am and general admission is always free. For more information, visit www.clevelandart.org.

Homophobia in sport round-up: Ally Steve Nash asked the "is the NBA ready" question / Was Amaechi's coming out a model of sorts? / All it will take is one high-profile athlete to open the door for many others

Our nearly daily round-up of stories on homophobia and coming out in pro sports.

From an interview of Steve Nash of the NBA's Phoenix Suns in the New York Times:

Q. Rick Welts, the Suns’ chief executive, recently announced that he was gay. How do you think he’ll be received by the players?
A. I don’t think the players on our team care. Not a lot of guys on the team have a lot of contact with Rick, including myself. Obviously, I have a ton of respect for him and what he does for the organization. I think he’s great at what he does.

Q. Would the situation be different, maybe tougher, if a general manager or basketball-side executive came out?
A. In some ways, it would have been a different story because it would have been more high profile. A general manager can’t hide, really. Obviously, there would have been a whole other segment of questioning. There would be a lot of, ‘Really?’ And then a short period later, everyone’s like, ‘Who cares?’ and moves on.

Q. Is the N.B.A. ready for an openly gay player?
A. If a player in the locker room came out, it would come and go quickly, too. I really don’t think it’s a big issue anymore. I think it would be surprisingly accepted, and a shorter shelf life than maybe we would imagine. I think the time has come when it should happen soon. I think it will be something that won’t take on this life of its own. It won’t be the O. J. trial.

A column in the Arizona Republic looks at the same interview:

While former NBA player John Amaechi did not publicly say that he was gay while he was active in the league, he came out in 2007 when he released his book "Man in the Middle." It is evident in the book that some of his Utah Jazz teammates knew of his lifestyle or suspected.

In the book, Amaechi describes a moment at the arena when he was coming through the tunnel with teammate and close friend Greg Ostertag.

"Ya gay, dude?" Amaechi wrote that Ostertag asked him. He answered, "Greg, you have nothing to worry about." And Amaechi added that "It was clear Greg couldn't have cared less."

He also wrote of an invitation he received from teammate Andrei Kirilenko to a New Year's Eve party in which Kirilenko told Amaechi he should bring "your partner, if you have one; someone special to you. Who it is makes no difference to me."

While a few active and retired NBA players - most notably Tim Hardaway - initially bashed Amaechi when he made the announcement, most said they didn't much care.

Hill, who had been a teammate of Amaechi's in Orlando, was among those who spoke out in support of him.

And last in our round-up, Outsports has done their own round-up, HERE, which includes this one we missed from Red Eye Chicago (just a sample, read it in full HERE):

I hope Derrick Rose is gay.

Wait, that sounded weird. Let me qualify that: I wish Derrick Rose were a homosexual. I would enjoy it if he preferred to have sex with men.

When Phoenix Suns president Rick Welts told The New York Times last week that he is gay, it was met with a collective shrug by most. However, his reluctance to out himself even in 2011 is a powerful reminder that professional sports remains one of the last and strongest bastions of homophobia in American culture. Hell, with the end of "don't ask, don't tell," the military may become a more progressive, LGBT-friendly institution than the MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL.

Logic tells us there are many gay players competing in all four of these leagues, yet they remain in the closet, likely for myriad reasons. Yet this is 2011, and it's time someone did it. It's time a high-profile professional athlete revealed himself to be gay because as soon as he did—and he didn't lose endorsement deals and the world didn't erupt in a fury of orgiastic destruction—it would allow other players to take the leap. And before you knew it fans in the Deep South could find themselves cheering for a pitcher with a lethal fastball who also happened to be gay.

The men who run world badminton give up (for now) on attempt to make women players "sexier"

From Inside the Games, some welcome news (and it's nice that they are contacting the women's group on this issue... maybe they should have done that before trying to sex up their women players?):

May 30 - Badminton's governing body has shelved a controversial new rule that would have forced women players to wear skirts or dresses during competitions.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) had wanted to introduce the new dress code to "glamorise" the sport.

But some women players have attacked the idea, with Scotland's Imogen Bankier calling the plan "sexist".

The BWF now says it will not introduce the new rule, pending a general review.

In a statement, the BWF said: "The Badminton World Federation have accepted a recommendation from the Women In Badminton Committee to further study on the general clothing regulations and thereby not to introduce the regulations as currently drafted regarding the mandatory use of skirts or dresses."

Britain's former world champion Nora Perry, who represents Women In Badminton on the BWF Council, said: "It is still our intention to focus on a better presentation of the game, but we will like to broaden the scope to include both men and women, and the feedback will also include views from various stakeholders such as the clothing manufacturers."

The Athletes Commission which represents the interests of the sport's players had also objected to the proposed new rules, which were scheduled to come into force on Wednesday (June 1).

Women wearing shorts on court after that date could have been fined by the BWF.

The proposed new dress code had attracted particular criticism from Muslim countries.

En français / Nouveau clip contre l'homophobie dans le foot

Campaign against homophobia 2011 from Franck Annese on Vimeo.

Carton rouge à l'homophobie, avec quelques personnalités du foot français, dont le président de Montpellier.

Et nous notons avec plaisir cette info de Têtu, indiquant que la Ville de Paris, conformément au voeu déposé par Ian Brossat, a signé aujourd'hui la charte contre l'homophobie dans le football.

En français / Le dernier numéro de SportsFriendly est sorti, avec Ben Cohen en couverture

La version papier du dernier numéro de SportsFriendly est disponible en PDF sur leur site ICI.

Thème du numéro, le rugby, avec un entretien avec Ben Cohen, des reportages sur les Gaillards Parisiens et les RebeLyons, un gros point sur Lyon et les groupes CARGO et son tournoi Tigaly,  entretiens avec les parrains du Tournoi international de Paris Romain Mesnil et Marielle Bousquet, un rappel des sports proposés au TIP avec un gros plan sur la première compétition de danse sportive LGBT en France, et le message de la FSGL sur l'arrivée de nouveaux clubs sportifs LGBT.

Ohio tax credit promotes TV and movie production in Cleveland

From an article in FreshWaterCleveland on Ohio's new tax credits for TV and motion picture production:

Ohio's tax credits are already paying dividends, with several productions gearing up for summer and fall shoots in Cleveland. The most high-profile among them is "The Avengers," the latest Marvel Comics superhero flick. But this goes well beyond a single movie or big-budget blockbuster. Paramount has plans to film a Halloween-themed comedy later this year starring Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice (iCarly, Zoey 101), and the indie film "Boot Tracks" will start shooting soon.

Incentives aside, does the Cleveland landscape provide a backdrop dreamy enough for Hollywood? Absolutely, says [Ivan Schwarz, executive director of the Cleveland Film Commission].

"Cleveland is an untapped goldmine," he explains. "You can do anything here except for mountains and desert." Just about everything else a film crew might desire can be found within a 45-minute drive of Public Square, including forests, meadows, covered bridges, rivers and, of course, a pretty big lake. And when it comes to a diversity of neighborhoods, Cleveland has that covered, too. "Geographically and architecturally, it's a beautiful city."

Read in full HERE.

Ben Cohen on CNN

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blake Skjellerup in London

Marc Naimark, Blake Skjellerup, Steven Frost, Carl Schultz
Marc Naimark and Carl Schultz of the Federation of Gay Games were pleased to meet Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup in London, after his participation in the World Short Track Championships in Sheffield. They invited Blake to join a meeting scheduled with Steven Frost of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) at LOCOG headquarters at Canary Wharf, overlooking the future Olympic Park.

We were pleased at the productive discussions between the FGG and LOCOG and of the possible contributions of Blake to our common efforts.

Auf Deutsch / CSD Berlin ehrt Tanja Walter-Ahrens und die Federation of Gay Games und GLISA International mit dem Zivilcouragepreis 2011

Der Zivilcouragepreis wird seit 2001 an zwei bis vier Personen oder Organisationen verliehen, die sich in ihrem Bereich um die Gleichstellung von Lesben, Schwulen, Bisexuellen und Trans-Personen (LGBT) verdient gemacht haben.

Er ist einerseits Ausdruck der Anerkennung für die Tätigkeiten und das Schaffen dieser Personen, andererseits eine Weise des CSD, um Inhalte im Kampf um die Gleichstellung von LGBT-Menschen in Zeiten einer zunehmenden Entpolitisierung der LGBT Community zu transportieren.

Die Auswahl der PreisträgerInnen richtet sich jedes Jahr nach dem jeweiligen Leitthema und Motto des CSD Berlin, welche basisdemokratisch vom CSD Forum beschlossen werden. Für 2011 wurde vom CSD Forum als Leitthema „Sport“ und als zugehöriges Motto der Slogan „Fairplay für Vielfalt“ ausgewählt.

Der Zivilcouragepreis wird im Rahmen des CSD FINALEs auf der Hauptbühne am 25. Juni 2011 am Brandenburger Tor offiziell verliehen.

Die PreisträgerInnen 2011

CSD Berlin ehrt Tanja Walter-Ahrens und die Federation of Gay Games und GLISA International mit dem Zivilcouragepreis 2011. Hier erfährst du mehr über die PreisträgerInnen, und ihre Verdienste.

Der Vorstand des CSD Berlin hat Frau Tanja Walter-Ahrens für einen der zwei Zivilcouragepreise 2011 auserkoren, weil wir der Überzeugung sind, dass sie mit ihrer Arbeit zur Anti-diskriminierung im Fußball insbesondere die Überzeugungsarbeit beim DFB, ihre Beteiligung und Aufbauarbeit an schwullesbischen Sportprojekten und in den Gremien der Fußballwelt und die umfangreiche Öffentlichkeitsarbeit zur Sichtbarmachung von Lesben und Schwulen im Sport einen Grundstein gelegt hast, der Homophobie in einem nach wie vor sehr schwierigen Umfeld überhaupt erst zu einem Thema gemacht hat. Wir wollen gerade diese Aspekte an die breite Öffentlichkeit transportieren, die queeren Gruppen und Personen sonst nur allzu oft verwehrt bleibt.

FGG und GLISA International

Der Vorstand des CSD Berlin ehrt die Federation of Gay Games (FGG), weil sie mit den Gay Games Anfang der achtziger Jahre den Weg für internationale schwullesbische Sportveranstaltungen frei machten. Die Gay Games führten zur Gründung von hunderten Sportgruppen und -vereinen, eine Entwicklung die immer noch anhält. Die FGG hat eine einmalige schwullesbische Sport-Community aufgebaut, die die Tradition der Gay Games aktiv in die Zukunft trägt.
Dahl, Ritt, Applegate, Van Kampen
Der Vorstand des CSD Berlin ehrt die Gay & Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA International) für ihre Entschiedenheit neue Wege einzuschlagen. In nur fünf Jahre haben sie ihre Vision von fünf kontinentalen schwullesbischentrans Organisationen, nach dem Model der European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation realisiert. Ihr neuer Event, die World Outgames, umfasst seit 2006 eine einzigartige Menschenrechtskonferenz, der auf schwullesbischetrans Themen fokussiert ist. Dadurch konnten viele schwullesbischetrans Menschen überhaupt erst an den Outgames teilnehmen, weil Homosexualität in ihren Länder unter Strafe steht und eine Teilnahme an einer schwullesbischentrans Sportveranstaltung schwerwiegende Konsequenzen hätte.

Der Vorstand ehrt die Co-PräsidentenInnen Emy Ritt, Kurt Dahl, Julia Applegate, und Wessel van Kampen für ihren Mut, ihre Offenheit, und ihre Weitsicht, den Wünschen der globalen Sportcommunity gerecht zu werden und ein einziges weltumspannendes Event im Jahr 2018 mit vereinten Kräften umzusetzen. Der Zivilcouragepreis drückt unsere Bewunderung dafür aus, und wird diesen Prozess hoffentlich langfristig fördern. Die gemeinsame Presiverleihung an die Co-PräsidentInnen von GLISA und FGG wird auf der ganzen Welt ein Zeichen setzen, und in der schwullesbischentrans Sport-Community Wiedervereinigungsgefühle wecken.

FGG and GLISA have been awarded the 2011 Civil Courage Award by Berlin Pride

FGG and GLISA have been awarded the 2011 Civil Courage Award (Zivilcouragepreis) given by the Berlin Pride Association (Berliner Christopher Street Day eV).

The Civil Courage Award was first introduced in 2001 and has since been presented annually
to people or organizations that have furthered the cause of LGBT equality. The Civil Courage Award is an expression of acknowledgment for the achievements and work of these individuals and organizations. The Pride Board has selected both the Federation of Gay Games and GLISA International, and in particular, their current Co-Presidents, as Civil Courage Award laureates 2011 of the Berlin Pride Association.

Also honored will be Tanja Walter-Ahrens, who has worked on the fight against homophobia within the German Football Federation, and as the representative of the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation to the Football Against Racism in Europe initiative.

The Pride Board honors the Co-presidents Emy Ritt, Kurt Dahl, Julia Applegate and Wessel van Kampen for their courage, their openness and their foresight to recognize the wish of the global sport community to combine resources and have one global event in 2018. The Civil Courage Award expresses our admiration and hopefully supports the process in the long run. The joint appearance of GLISA and FGG Co-Presidents will evoke emotions all over the world and will set a mark for hopes for a reunited community.

The prize stands for courage, perseverance, but also determination and vision.

The Pride Board honors GLISA International for their success in developing continental LGBT associations built after the model of the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation, alongside their World Outgames.

The Pride Board honors FGG, as the pioneer in international LGBT sporting activities. Since Gay Games I in 1982, hundreds of sport groups and clubs have been founded, a development that continues stronger than ever. FGG has built a unique community of LGBT sport groups from all over the world to carry forward and expand the legacy of the Gay Games.
Dahl, Ritt, Applegate, Van Kampen

FGG Co-President Emy Ritt (Paris, France) responded: "We are very pleased to accept this honour as a call to continued action towards our common goal of One Quadrennial Event in 2018. To have 'Sport' as the theme of this year's Berlin Civil Courage Award, as Germany hosts the FIFA Women's World Cup, is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that sports can change the world."

Kurt Dahl (Chicago, USA), the male Co-President of the Federation, added: "We are touched by this honor, which will be an opportunity to thank the Berlin LGBT community for their commitment to building bridges. Our hope is that all sports and culture organizations will work together toward our shared goals of fighting homophobia and empowering gay and lesbian athletes and artists as we work together towards One Quadrennial Event in 2018."

The 2011 Civil Courage Award will be presented to the Co-Presidents of FGG and GLISA during a ceremony on the main stage of the PRIDE FINALE at the famous Brandenburg Gate on 25 June 2011.

EGLSF confirms EuroGames 2012 Budapest

A message from the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) on the status of the relations between the EGLSF and FRIGO for the 2012 EuroGames in Budapest:

As most of you will know, at the EGLSF Annual General Assembly in March in Frankfurt, Germany, the EGLSF Board established a Control Committee for the period from 7 March to 21 May. During this period, the Committee was to gather information about the viability of the EuroGames based on actual progress between March and May and also on an assessment of subsequent plans for delivery of EuroGames from end of May 2011.

Members of the Committee scrutinised information produced by FRIGO and provided advice about the nature and level of information to be provided to EGLSF Board. Following its meeting in Budapest this weekend, the EGLSF Board is satisfied that the information gathered during this period by members of the Committee and presented to the Board shows enough progress and realistic planning to give FRIGO a chance to deliver a successful EuroGames in Budapest 2012.

The Board has agreed with FRIGO that, to ensure the greatest chance of success in delivering a Budapest EuroGames 2012, an Advisory Group be formed. This Advisory Group is to be made up of invited EGLSF members and representatives of international LGBT sports organisations who can provide advice and guidance on the delivery of successful tournaments in particular sports. This Advisory Group will be chaired by Klaus Heusslein (EGLSF member of the Control Committee designated by the EGLSF Assembly) and we would like to thank him both for his time and commitment to the process so far and to his future role in this group.

The EGLSF Board acknowledges that the current political situation in Hungary provides a unique challenge for FRIGO in achieving financial support from the City of Budapest and the National Government. EGLSF has therefore secured some initial funding to support the delivery of EuroGames 2012. In addition, EuroGames 2011, Rotterdam, Abseitz, Stuttgart, ICONS Italia and Pan Idraet, Copenhagen have shown significant gestures of solidarity.

The EGLSF board would encourage other EGLSF members to initiate similar projects within their own clubs or support EuroGames 2012 in the following ways:

· Encourage all teams intending to participate in EuroGames 2012 to register early (registration will open during summer 2012)

· Encourage any teams who will not be competing in EuroGames 2012 to register for the supporters’ package and come and show their support and solidarity.

· Help promote EuroGames 2012 amongst non-sporting friends

More info on EuroGames 2012 can be found HERE.

Note added to Klaus's post: The FGG is pleased that a solution has been found to allow for the 2012 EuroGames to remain on track, and to remain in Budapest, where a visible presence of European solidarity for the LGBT community there is more important than ever. And we are pleased that our at-large board member Klaus Heusslein, outgoing president of IGLFA, initiated and followed through on this process, which advances the cause of LGBT sport in Europe.

Study of internet forums shows prevelance of homophobia in UK football

Lindsay England of the Just a Ball Game blog has done a study on the comments found on internet forums devoted to UK football.

Homophobia exists in football from grass roots throughout the game to the very top at professional level. This shows that there are barriers around participation of LGBT’s and those who are perceived to be LGBT. A multi-strand approach is required with specific training and education, to address the differing needs of players, coaches/manages, administrators, stewards/security and fans.

The whole of football needs to be more inclusive towards LGBT’s but a lack of investment by all of footballs authorities and individually by clubs means football is failing badly in its education.

Simple things like raising the profile of LGBT’s, and supporting their own existing community initiatives, helping create a safe space, ensuring new equality acts and laws are adhered too, and sanctions are imposed for those who persistently break the regulations, are just some of the many ways to take a zero tolerance and challenge homophobia.

The full report can be found HERE.

Cleveland's Blazing River Freedom Band seeks new members

Blazing River Freedom Band, a member of FGG member organization Lesbian and Gay Band Association, is Cleveland's LGBT/Allies concert and marching band. Over the past several years they have performed around Cleveland (including The Rock Hall) and marched in Cleveland's Gay Pride parade.

Members have also represented Cleveland across the country in other pride marches, concerts organized by the GLBA and President Obama's Inaugural Parade.

Blazing River Freedom Band is currently seeking new members. All skill levels are welcome. They have a range from music majors to people who just picked up there horn again after 30 years. They desperately need players to fill these empty chairs for brass, woodwind and percussion players in the Cleveland area.

The rehearsal space is located in the basement of Franklin Circle Christian Church, 1688 Fulton (the corner of Fulton and Franklin in the Ohio City area of Cleveland).

You can find out more about the band at their website HERE.

Trans triathlete wins sponsorship deal

News from Outsports:

Trans triathlete Chris Mosier wins contest, earns sponsorship with TRX

Big congratulations to trans triathlete Chris Mosier, who locked up a sponsorship deal with TRX! He finished sixth out of about 100 triathletes hoping to get a sponsorship deal with the company; They gave deals to the top 10. The contest was based on YouTube video views, and we’re proud to have sent some new fans to him.

First Aslie Pitter MBE Trophy sees win for local police football club

From Red Card Homophobia:

Bexley Invicta FC, a gay-friendly club based in London and Kent, competed Sunday May 15th for the Aslie Pitter MBE Trophy. The match against neighbouring Bexleyheath Police FC, drew a crowd of hundreds, including the Deputy Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Stephen Hall and Aslie Pitter MBE, who was recognised in January for the foundation of England’s first gay-friendly football club, Stonewall FC, twenty years ago.

Bexley Invicta is one of several newly-formed football clubs around England aimed at promoting greater acceptance and participation of the LGBT community. The club runs an open-door policy whereby anyone who wants to play football has the opportunity to do so, whether they are gay, straight, professional or inexperienced.

The founder of the club and its captain, Brian Silk, expressed how proud he was to see his team compete for the Aslie Pitter MBE Trophy. “Bexley Invicta FC would not exist without the pioneering work of Aslie and Stonewall FC, so the trophy is in recognition of our heritage and of the work that continues, including this match.”

He also spoke about the aims of Bexley Invicta FC. “Since the club started, less than four months ago, we have linked up with a range of local organisations and the local LGBT community to promote gay-friendly football as a way to extend participation in football and to combat homophobia.”

Keep reading HERE.

Blake Skjellerup supports NZ Rainbow Youth fundraiser

From GayExpress.co.nz:

Queer youth are struggling to get to this year’s queer youth hui Kazam in Auckland, so Rainbow Youth is teaming up with Kamo Bar for a fundraiser on 01 June at 7.30pm.

Kamo co-owner Toby Steele says Kamo Bar is committed to supporting the community. He says Rainbow Youth is one of four non-profit organisations that the bar has selected to support.

“Rainbow Youth was the first one to come along that we could do something for and really put our money where our mouths are,” says Toby. “But it’s about more than just a one-off event – the fundraiser is being held right after gaba [Gay Auckland Business Association] meets at the bar, so we’re looking forward to these two groups meeting.”

Toby says before Kamo held the Auckland Mardi Gras meeting on Monday, he had a few interesting conversations with key figures in the community. What came out of these discussions was that the community needs to encourage the younger and older generations to talk to each other more.

“10-15 years ago when I came out, and this happened for year, there was almost a seniority system in the gay world,” says Toby. “We all had a mentor who was out in the community and proud – they would help you experience gay culture and learn about the community. It was never anything untoward, it was a really positive, affirming experience that I feel has been lost with the rise of the internet.

“The internet has definitely made the mainstream community more accepting of the GLBT community, but I think the GLBT community has lost a lot of human contact; our generations have become quite segregated. I think it’s important to connect with the younger generation.”

Kamo is donating one dollar from every drink sold at the Kazam fundraiser to Rainbow Youth, monies that Toby says will be given to the organisation straight away so it can tie up any loose ends or help queer youth who are struggling to get to the hui at the last minute.

Emcee Steven Oates will be joined by Olympic speed skater and queer youth advocate Blake Skjellerup on the night to head the event. Blake, who has helped Rainbow Youth with projects such as Pink Shirt Day, has also put together a video in support of the hui. Watch it below.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cleveland riverside entertainment development accelerated

From Cleveland.com:

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The developers of the Flats East Bank project have inked a deal with a local burger joint, lined up prospects for a Mexican restaurant and a steakhouse, and recruited a local operator to open an outdoor nightclub along the Cuyahoga River.

Michael Schwartz has signed on to open a seasonal nightclub and another location of Flip Side, a Hudson burger restaurant where he is a partner. The restaurant could be joined by three other eateries on West 10th Street and several other waterfront venues.


Scott Wolstein, who is developing the East Bank project with his mother, Iris, and Fairmount Properties, said recently that plans are being accelerated for nightclubs and restaurants by the river.

"I decided to try to get that done earlier than we had anticipated," he said. "If we can do it, I'd like to have it done by next summer."

Construction workers hope to pour the first concrete some time next week for the $275 million first phase of the project that includes an office building and a hotel.


Now Fairmount Properties is searching for new clubs and restaurants that might draw traffic from across the region.

One of those will be a seasonal, waterfront club operated by Schwartz, a principal in Flip Side with Shawn and Tiffany Monday and a partner in a company that has owned or designed several clubs in the Warehouse District and Atlanta.

The Flats club, which does not have a name yet, will be a 20,000 square foot outdoor venue, framed by fabric drapes. Schwartz said he wants to bring local and international DJs to perform in a musical and theatrical space that has "a South Beach feel with a Vegas attitude."

During the Las Vegas convention, Ruttenberg and his team met with seven national restaurant groups to discuss other waterfront venues and space in the project's second phase. They are working on a deal for a two-story restaurant and club with an operator who has facilities in Cincinnati and Columbus.

And the developers are talking to a potential operator for a House of Blues-style venue, focused on music that would appeal to a Baby Boomer crowd.

"It will be necessary for both the retail and the restaurant tenants to be unique and not only serve the Flats and the surrounding community but draw much more regionally, as the Flats has always been able to do," Ruttenberg said. "But this time, and this is important, we will be drawing people not with a collection of bars but a collection of unique shopping and dining destinations."

New York magazine interviews gay sport pioneer Jeff Kagan, director of NYC Gay Hockey Association

From New York magazine:

Jeff Kagan, Director of the New York City Gay Hockey Association, on Sean Avery and the Culture of the Sport

Sean Avery recently spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage, recording this video for New Yorkers for Marriage Equality. (It's believed that Avery is the first New York athlete to publicly support same-sex marriage.) In the days that followed, Avery's endorsement remained in the news, first because of an NHL agent, Todd Reynolds, who stated his opposition to it, and later because of the response to Reynolds's comments. The Sports Section spoke with Jeff Kagan, the director and co-founder of the New York City Gay Hockey Association, about Avery, Brian Burke, and culture of the sport.

What was your initial reaction when you saw the Sean Avery video?

I was blown away. I really was so excited to see that one of the New York Rangers was actually standing up for a cause that no one's ever stood up for in professional sports, as far as I know. [Ed. Note: at least one other athlete has, in a different state.] And I just think it's so important, because all the Rangers are role models and to have one of them stand up and fight for something that is just such an important thing for civil rights, I think that it's a wonderful thing that he's doing.

Do you think it matters that it's Sean Avery, someone who's pretty popular in New York, but is not particularly well liked by a lot of other teams' fans? Or does something like this transcend hockey?

I think it transcends hockey, and I think it's important that he's a well-known Ranger. It's better that it's him, and not somebody that no one's ever heard of. I think celebrity does add a lot of clout to an issue, and when a celebrity speaks up for something, people listen. I'm not sure why sometimes, but they do. So I think that it was good that it was Sean Avery. I mean, he's not really liked in some parts of the country; in some places in New York he's not very well liked. But it's still important that he's speaking out for something that's important to other people.

Do you think the culture of hockey is any more or less homophobic compared to other professional team sports?
It's hard to say. There's a lot of homophobia in all professional sports, which is why you don't see any of the professional athletes come out when they're still playing. I think they're the ones that see it more than we do, and that's probably what limits them from saying anything until they retire and they feel safer about doing it. I don't know that hockey has more of it, though I do know that hockey is probably one of the tougher sports. I mean, hockey and football are the two big impact sports. I think that's a big part of it, the physical stuff.

Keep reading HERE.

Ben Cohen update

From BBC News:

Ben Cohen's anti-bullying push in US

England rugby star Ben Cohen is using his huge gay following in the US to highlight his campaign against homophobic bullying. The married World Cup winner, recently retired, is visiting four cities in two weeks to promote his StandUp charity.

Hundreds of men have flocked to his fundraising events, organised with the help of gay-friendly rugby clubs.

Sport and sexuality is being hotly debated in the US after two basketball players were fined for saying "faggot". Joakim Noah received a $50,000 (£30,400) penalty for directing the slur at a fan, while Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 (£60,800) for a similar outburst in April. "It sends out the wrong message - that it's fine to call people names," Cohen said as the tour's third leg in Washington DC ended.

While a rugby World Cup winner has little currency in the US, the father of twins does have a profile in the American gay community. His Facebook page has 150,000 fans, many of whom are men living in the US. It was some of their stories of prejudice and isolation - leading to suicidal thoughts in some cases - that drew him to this issue a few years ago. "People were sending us e-mails and it came with a sense of responsibility," he said. "I might be straight but I understand the mental scarring you can suffer from people being bullied and a tragedy happening."

In 2000, Cohen's father died after being beaten when he stepped in to protect one of his employees in a dispute. "We are trying to stop bullying across the board but especially in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community." Sport should tackle homophobia in the same way that football tackled racism, Cohen said, with tough penalties for offenders.

The US trip has included educational visits and rugby coaching sessions at schools and universities. And the job of raising awareness and money has focused on gay nightclubs and the media, even including an appearance on a reality TV show.

Follow the Stand Up with Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour on Ben's Compete Network blog HERE.

Homophobia in sport round-up: CNN says insults a symptom of a deeper problem /

Our now-daily round-up of stories on homophobia and coming out in pro sports.

CNN says that homophobic insults are a symptom of a deeper problem:

Gay slurs hurled by three different athletes in the last month is more than just testosterone-fueled temper tantrums, some say.

The behavior, they say, is symptomatic of a deeper problem and should be used as an opportunity to tackle homophobia in professional sports.
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"Kobe Bryant, Joakim Noah and Roger McDowell are not any different from many people in our society who use offensive language like that on a daily basis," said Jarrod Chin of the Society for the Study of Sport in Society at Boston's Northeastern University. "These incidents provide a real opportunity for the NBA and MLB to take a strong stance against homophobia."

Keep reading HERE.

Today! Get Wet for Swim for Equality in Los Angeles

The Federation of Gay Games is pleased to support Equality California's "Swim for Equality", which this year will see swims in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Tickets still available!

More info HERE.

Last days to register for Eurogames 2011 at lower rate! Show Your Colour!

Raffaela Paton sings the theme song for Eurogames 2011.

Register before 31 May to take advantage of the standard fee! All info HERE.

Series focuses on LGBT sport in San Diego

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News has begun a series on LGBT sport in beautiful San Diego:

Were you picked on as a kid? Maybe never picked until last for sport teams in school? Did you really love a sport, but fall behind early or get injured, only to have your parents pull you -- and you never got to live up to your full potential?

Was there a sport you always wanted to try but your parents either didn't have the money or discouraged you from participating? Were you too afraid to try out? Or maybe you just didn't fit in?

If any of these are true, odds are you are in pretty good company right here in the San Diego LGBT community. We've all been there.

I'm proud to say that we have so many great LGBT-oriented sports organizations here, and I encourage you to get off the couch and get involved in one or many of them.

Seek out a sport you loved as a child or teenager and truly embrace it, once again. Find a sport you've always wanted to try - and try it now - you'll be surrounded by the most encouraging people you could ever find, and they are all people you have lots in common with.

Keep reading HERE to learn more about swimming, golf, and the search for an LGBT volleyball team.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cheer SF launches new video newsletter

Our friends at Cheer SF have launched a new video newsletter:

Like us on Facebook! http://www.CHEERSF.org/facebook
Follow us on Twitter! @CHEERSF

In the pilot episode of "POWER PRESS with CHEER SF," the team launches the 2011 Pride Season by taking a jaunt to sunny Long Beach, CA to showcase some new high-flying stunts while raising money for the C.A.R.E. Program (Comprehensive AIDS Resource & Education).

CHEER SF's full performance "mini-routine" available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCWW-XlHCFs

For more information on CHEER San Francisco, visit our Facebook page (and "Like" us) at

Check out our website at http://www.CHEERSF.org
Follow us on Twitter @CHEERSF

Director of Photography: DaveM
Creative Consultant: JCL
Asian Correspondent: Nguyen Louboutin

Diana Nyad sets off on major challenge: swimming from Cuba to Florida

From the Washington Post, a look at an incredible challenge set for herself by the legendary Diana Nyad:

Diana Nyad, at age 61, prepares for second attempt to swim from Cuba to Key West
By Sally Jenkins, Published: May 26

A couple of years ago, swimming legend Diana Nyad was emceeing a swank awards banquet in the Waldorf Astoria ballroom in New York when she suddenly woke up the crowd by stripping off her dress. Standing on stage in nothing but a swimsuit and high heels, dangling her cleavage, she further enlivened the affair by whipping out a bugle and playing reveille.

She was nearing 60 then. Now she’s 61, and just the other day she made a Hamptons cocktail party come alive by popping a biceps muscle, to prove she’s still capable of swimming from Cuba to Florida. She rolled up her sleeve and flexed a muscle the size of a small cannonball. Conversation stopped, replaced by sharp intakes of breath, followed by upset glasses of wine and fumbled cheese wedges.

Some time in June or July, when the weather permits, Nyad will attempt a 103-mile swim from Cuba to Key West through the shark-infested waters of the Florida Straits. This will be no mere party stunt to show off her physique — think of Helen Mirren with brawn. Nyad intends to challenge the limits of the mind and calendar by finishing a job she started 32 years ago, when she was the greatest endurance swimmer in the world.

“I have no idea what age I am,” she says. “I don’t feel different in any way. People say, ‘Maybe you should take more recovery time between swims because of your age.’ I’m like, Oh. My age. I forgot.”

It’s an undertaking of untold hazards that is projected to require 60 hours of continuous swimming. In addition to sharks there will be risks from man o’ war jellyfish as well as hypothermia, dehydration and cardio-arrhythmia. But the real danger is the unknown.

Nyad completed a 24-hour marathon swim in training last summer, but all she really has for data about the effects of such an attempt are her memories of her last one, when she was 29 years old.

“She is off the map,” says her physician, Michael Broder. “There are people who do endurance for this long, but not in the water and not isolated like this. She’s out there. You can’t provide her with things that you could provide a land athlete with.”

Back in the 1970s, a rash of daredevil adventurers awed the public with feats of dangerous cartography, mapping the limits of personal fear and pain. In August 1974, Philippe Petit walked a wire between the World Trade Center towers. A month later, the motorcycle jumper Evel Knievel attempted to fly across the Snake River Canyon. In ’75, it was Nyad who won fame with a treacherous record-setting swim around the island of Manhattan in 7 hours 57 minutes. Four years later she set a world record for distance when she completed a 102-mile journey over open water from Bimini in the Bahamas to Florida.

But Nyad never completed her most ambitious swim: In August 1978, her attempt to cross from Cuba to Florida was stopped by ill winds and eight-foot swells. A boatload of press chronicled her desperate lashings for 49 hours and 41 minutes before she was hauled shivering and protesting from the water.

Keep reading HERE.

Photos from TIP women's multisport tournament

The TIP Paris International Tournament spun off its "Multishorts" women's multisport tournament, which attracted some 100 women last weekend to compete in ad hoc teams in handball, indoor football, and basketball.

Before Sunday's sports day, a welcome party was held at Okubi on Friday evening.  The event was a rousing success, promising great things for this year's TIP from 10-14 June, and for next year's "Multishorts" tournament.