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.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Picked on the playground: Lessons from Kobe Bryant

From an essay by activist and lawyer Jimmy Nguyen on GLSEN's Changing the Game blog:

The LGBT community spends so much time focused on advancing our political leverage and legal rights; we can overlook the need to advance culturally. Whether we gays like it or not, sports hold a profound influence in world culture. They make cultural heroes. And rightly or wrongly, they help define popularity and masculinity. One day, I hope for sports arenas to be places where gays and lesbians are welcomed with open arms, rather than places where we are derided.

How can we achieve that field of dreams? First, it begins on the school playgrounds where all kids play. Because of gay teen suicides, we are hearing much discourse about anti-bullying efforts. Let’s ask those anti-bullying campaigns to also teach tolerance in the gymnasium, not just in the classroom. And let’s hope they educate teachers and sport coaches, not just students. It is those supervising adults who are needed to crack down when kids taunt each other on the playground.

Second, school athletic teams can encourage a climate for LGBT youth to participate. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network has its eye on this. “Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project” seeks to assist K-12 schools create a sports and PE climate that is inclusive for LGBT kids. One thing I particularly like is its “Team Respect Challenge.” This encourages athletic squads to sign a “Team Respect Pledge,” committing to inclusion for all members of the team and school. Among other things, team members would vow to avoid name-calling and to treat other teammates with respect. By changing attitudes on academic sports teams, we slowly improve the whole sports culture.

Third, we need to fix the perception that being openly gay or lesbian in pro sports is bad. Certainly, it would be great for more LGBT pro athletes to come out. And it would be even more powerful for teams and sponsors to stand behind them. Short of that happening, people like Kobe Bryant really could help. Kobe has a moment now where he could convincingly tell the world that being gay is ok in the NBA and in any sport. More than just issuing his own apology, Kobe could gather his Lakers teammates to do the same. I would love to see him pledge GLSEN’s “Team Respect Challenge.” Better yet, the Lakers as a team could so. Or what if the NBA or other sports leagues asked all their teams to sign the “Team Respect Challenge”? What a powerful symbol that would be for today’s kids on the playground.

Read in full HERE.

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