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, October 16, 2011

Gay Games Ambassador Esera Tuaolo speaks at University of New Hampshire on "coming out day"

From The New Hampshire, a student newspaper at the University of New Hampshire:

Student-athletes are everywhere on the UNH campus, but rarely are professional football players found in the MUB. As a part of UNH's Coming Out Week, former NFL player Esera Tuaolo spoke to students Wednesday night about becoming one of the first professional football players to come out as gay.

UNH centers its Coming Out Week around National Coming Out Day, which is always October 11. Alliance, one of the organizations responsible for these events, is a "support group for LGBTQ+," said Kelsey Myers, chair of Alliance.
Wednesday night's event, Being True to Yourself with NFL Veteran Esera Tuaolo, was "a collaboration of a lot of different groups on campus," Myers said. Coming Out Week is held for "exposure to the group [Alliance] and to the issues [of the LGBTQ+ community]," said Nathan Laperle, Alliance program coordinator. Tuaolo addressed some of these issues in his talk.

Although Tuaolo was a defensive lineman who played professional football for nine years and played in a Super Bowl, he is happier now in retirement than he was playing football.
"I love what I do [now] because I get to go around the country and inform [people] about the LGBT community," he said.

Throughout his career, Tuaolo kept his sexuality a secret, never telling a teammate in high school, college or the NFL. It wasn't until two years after he retired that he first said he was gay, in an HBO Sports interview in 2002. Tuaolo said he retired because he no longer wanted to keep this secret and he wanted to be happy. When Tuaolo came out as gay, he said it was like a huge burden was lifted. "I felt light as a feather," he said. Keeping his sexuality a secret hurt Tuaolo mentally and emotionally until he finally spoke the truth. He said that the HBO special "was probably the best thing [he] ever did in [his] life … otherwise [he] would be six feet under."

Tuaolo shared how the jokes and taunts about being gay can upset people, including himself. "Sticks and stones may break bones, but words will never hurt me. That's full of s**t … words kill," he said, in reference to depression and suicides in the gay community. He urged students and people of this generation to make a change to these types of behavior and thoughts. "Please step up and do what you can," he said.

Tuaolo's presence on campus has already had a positive impact on some students. He said that he had been contacted by about 15 UNH student-athletes who are in the closet. They are happy he is here. Tuaolo's visit and speech promoted Alliance's goals, which are to promote a safer campus and to raise awareness, according to A.J. Jeffries, the vice chair of Alliance.

Keep reading HERE.

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