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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Athlete Ally launches new website

14 January 2011 / A look ahead to the first bodybuilding competition at the Sin City Shootout

Richard from the Bodybuilding Guild explais why they joined the growing list of sports on offer at the coming Sin City Shootout in Las Vegas:

In the past there were several LGBT bodybuilding competitions in non-Gay Games years, but this is no longer the case. It's a real pity because it helps build interest in the Gay Games. So we're very happy to have been invited by the hosts of the Sin City Shootout to organize a bodybuilding competition there.

It's the first year, and we haven't reached capacity in terms of registrations, so last-minute entries are welcome. Those participating are very motivated: we have two competitors traveling over 9000 miles to participate!

We will accept late entries up to check-in on Friday, January 13, 2012 at the Planet Hollywood
Hotel. So far the organization behind this event is doing a good job, and we're very pleased to be part of such a big sporting event in such an exciting place.

More info on the Sin City Shootout HERE.
More info on bodybuilding at the Shootout HERE.

Dan Woog is tired of waiting for a US pro athlete to come out

In his essay looking forward to 2012, Dan Woog looks at what happened in LGBT sport in 2011, sees 2012 as an extension, with the addition of the potential for visibility of LGBT athletes at the Olympics, but focuses on a big question:

In countless interviews, I’ve been asked the same question: “When will a big-name male athlete come out?”

I always answered the same: “It won’t happen that way. Instead, some athlete who’s been out all along – in high school and college – will be drafted by a pro team. They’ll know he’s gay. They’ll want him because he’s good. So it will happen naturally, from the bottom up. The MVP of the Super Bowl won’t suddenly say, ‘I’m here. I’m queer. I’m going to Disney World.”

That line always got laughs. I still believe we’re on the verge of seeing openly gay athletes work their way into the pros, without too much commotion.

But I’ve changed my mind on the importance of the issue. Now – a decade and a half after I first wrote about gay male athletes – there is still not one out male athlete in a major team sport.

I’m tired of waiting.

It’s time for one of dozens of candidates to seize the moment.

Read in full HERE.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bodybuilding a new sport at Sin City Shootout

Richard from the Bodybuilding Guild explais why they joined the growing list of sports on offer at the coming Sin City Shootout in Las Vegas:

In the past there were several LGBT bodybuilding competitions in non-Gay Games years, but this is no longer the case. It's a real pity because it helps build interest in the Gay Games. So we're very happy to have been invited by the hosts of the Sin City Shootout to organize a bodybuilding competition there.

It's the first year, and we haven't reached capacity in terms of registrations, so last-minute entries are welcome. Those participating are very motivated: we have two competitors traveling over 9000 miles to participate!

We will accept late entries up to check-in on Friday, January 13, 2012 at the Planet Hollywood
Hotel. So far the organization behind this event is doing a good job, and we're very pleased to be part of such a big sporting event in such an exciting place.

More info on the Sin City Shootout HERE.
More info on bodybuilding at the Shootout HERE.

Andrew Langenfeld interviewed on World LGBT Youth Leaders Summit, Our Group, and more

Size Doesn't Matter discovered the video blogs from Andrew Langenfeld at the recent World LGBT Youth Leaders Summit, and decided to interview him. Here's an extract:

Tell us more about your organization you founded (Our Group) and is there an Israeli equivalent.
So Our Group is an outreach and support network for LGBT student-athletes and allies. I started building the foundation for the organization in 2007/2008 after I transferred from West Virginia University to Purdue University. I realized in my experience as an out athlete that I was extremely fortunate to have accepting teammates (an also two other out teammates) and that this was something special and unique. I knew that there were other LGBT athletes who did not have a person to open up to about their gender or sexual identities. I wanted to great the structure for other campuses to start support groups and also a way for out athletes to share their stories with other people. Unfortunately, outside of the US there is no other organization similar to Our Group, since organized intercollegiate sports is something quite unique to the US. But, we have worked with the Federation of Gay Games and other LGBTQ sports organizations on different panel discussions and other activism platforms.

How was your experience in the sports world being gay?
I had a very interesting experience. I was closeted until my sophomore year of college (even though I came out to my mom and some friends in high school) but during my freshman year of college I dated a teammate. It was a very difficult experience for me because as a student-athlete, you spend anywhere between 8-10 hours a day with most of your teammates, and hiding something so huge that was right in front of their faces was difficult. Things became even harder after my boyfriend/teammate and I broke up during the NCAA Championship meet my freshman year and we had to be around each other all of the time. After the breakup I came out, but it was a very difficult time in my life. My teammates were supportive and great for the most part, but it was difficult in many ways for me to be out on my team at West Virginia University. I decided to transfer to Purdue University to start my junior year of college and to start with a fresh slate. At Purdue I was completely accepted and never faced any issues being gay on the swim team or within the sports community at school. I feel very blessed to have had such a positive experience, because I know many other athletes who did not have the same positive experience.

You recently took part in the World LGBTQ Youth Leaders Summit in Tel Aviv, how was your experience?
The Summit was quite remarkable in many ways, from the group of participants that were hand picked by the organizing committee, to the workshops/lectures we participated in, to the experiences that we were able to enjoy (e.g. visiting Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, the Knesset, etc.) throughout the week-long conference. I know that each and every one of us left the summit feeling more empowered and with new skills that we can take back to our home organizations. All of the participants decided at the end of the summit to create a network, which we have named RCAN (Rainbow Coalition and Activists Network) so that we can stay connected and continue the dialogue that we began in Tel Aviv from anywhere around the world.

Read in full HERE.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Budapest mayor opposes Eurogames

From Politics.hu, a reminder of the challenges of this summer's Eurogames. In a difficult political context, it's important to show your support for the first Eurogames in eastern Europe. Register HERE.

Budapest mayor opposes city’s Gay Olympics next year
By Hungary Around the Clock

Mayor István Tarlós cannot support the Gay Olympics [sic] scheduled to take place in Budapest next June, as the idea is alien to his thinking, according to a statement posted Wednesday on the official Budapest website.

Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, who is openly gay, reminded Tarlós in a letter that the gay games [sic] are not only a sporting event but also promote the acceptance of homosexuals.

Former mayor Gábor Demszky supports the event, but Tarlós has made it clear that he distances himself from the gay lifestyles and the event itself.

Video project seeks young gay athlete for project on US pro sports

Via Pat Griffin:

The producers of a web campaign and video project in progress - The Last Closet - are searching for a young gay athlete (Jr. High or lower grade High School) who has dreams of becoming a pro. This young man would be “out” to his friends, family and team.

There has never been, in all of US sports history, a gay athlete in any of the top five professional sports, who has come out publicly while they are still actively playing. Our film and web campaign is a quest to find out why this is so and a vehicle to pave the way for this historic event to unfold.

Our young athlete would act as co-interviewer on some of our strategic shoots, including the commissioners of all five sports. We have already secured interviews with some well known players and others in the sports world.

The Last Closet, is being produced by Woman Vision - producer of ten award winning documentaries, including the Academy Award nominated "Straight from the Heart” and most recently the highly acclaimed “Training Rules”.

If you know of anyone fits the description above please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Fawn Yacker at - TheLastCloset@gmail.com

FIFA approves violation of its own rules to support religious oppression of women athletes

Ligue du droit international des femmes

6 Place Saint Germain des Prés
75006 Paris

48 avenue du Général Leclerc
92240, L’Hay-les-Roses

Coordination française pour le Lobby européen des femmes
6 rue de la Rochefoucauld
75009, Paris

Mister Joseph S. Blatter, President
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
FIFA strasse 20
PO BOX 8044
Zurich, Switzerland

Paris, December 21, 2011

Subject: Wearing the hijab on the pitch
Reference: Executive Committee meeting in Tokyo (16-17/12/2011)

Mister President:

We are disappointed and deeply concerned to hear that FIFA - in view of the London 2012 Olympics – has endorsed a proposal to lift the ban on women players wearing a hijab on the pitch (1).

To accept a special dress code for women athletes not only introduces discrimination among athletes but is contrary to the rules governing sport movement, setting a same dress code for all athletes without regard to origin or belief.

FIFA rules bear no ambiguity: “The basic compulsory equipment must not contain any political, religious or personal statements” (law 4). Neither does the Olympic Charter: « No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic site, venues or other areas » (rule 51).

The motives for FIFA reversal are not acceptable. It is now alleged that hijab may be accepted as a “cultural rather than a religious symbol” and therefore does not any longer contradict the rule.

FIFA is therefore accepting the recommendation of the workshop that took place in Amman last October, under prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein’s authority (the brother of the king of Jordan) and FIFA Vice-President, in order to satisfy the most conservative Islamic states.

To pretend that hijab is a cultural and not a religious symbol is not only preposterous, but untrue as the picture below shows very well.

You neither can put aside the fact that the conflict that has opposed FIFA to the Iranian regime is linked to Tehran’s will to impose its own religious law (2) to women’s sport.

Ms Farida Shojaee,vice-president of the women’s department of the Iranian Football Federation, who now pretends that hijab is a cultural sign, claimed not long ago that :“FIFA officials have mistaken the religious hijab for national dress, claiming that if they were allowed to participate with Islamic hijab, other participants might also demand to appear in their respective traditional costumes » ( April 5, 2010, Duncan Mackay, Inside the Games).

You cannot have missed that the “Accept and Respect Declaration” (3) focuses on the ‘Islamic dress code’ and has been issued by groups advocating a change in sports regulations in order to be “inclusive for Muslim women” (« we urge international sport federations to show their commitment to inclusion by ensuring that their dress code for competition embrace Islamic requirements »).

We cannot but understand that you have chosen to ignore the strategy of Iran to contribute to women’s issues by “the promotion of the culture of modesty and hijab on a worldwide scale” (4)?

You will admit that this statement gives an entirely different meaning to the word “culture” than the meaning you feign to believe as it clearly aims to impose a political religious outfit for women, that covers entirely their body.

There is nothing new as already Ms Faezeh Hashemi, dressed in a black chador, said in her opening speech of the First Islamic Solidarity Games in Tehran (1993): “I hope these Games will serve as pattern for the free women of the world”.

Sport must stay clear of political and religious interfering. Its aim also is to eliminate all forms of discrimination.

FIFA ruling is about to abandon this noble aim and FIFA will be accountable for that.

As a last word, we are sad at the betrayal of your recent firm declaration: “The first specificity of sport concerns its pyramidal structure, with the IOC and International Federations at the top and its universality, based on global regulations applied to everyone, at the national and continental level. This is what makes sport such a powerful force for bringing together people of different nationalities” (Sport and Citizenship, December January 2010).

Sincerely yours,

Annie Sugier
LDIF president

Danièle Salva
Femix’Sports president

Olga Trostiansky
CLEF president

(1) The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, December 19, 2011, James M. Dorsey
(2) Iran is under Islamic law – a religious and not a cultural one - which was not the case before 1979 (see article IV of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic : “all civil, penal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria” ; article 638 of the Penal Code “anyone who explicitly violates any religious taboo in public beside being punished for the act should also be imprisoned from ten days to two months, or should be flogged (74 lashes); note : “women who appear in public without a proper hijab should be imprisoned from ten days to two months or pay a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 Ryal”).
(3) Declaration produced and approved at the Oman seminar (February 11th-16th, 2008), organised by the Sultan Qaboos University and IAPESWG (International Association of Physical Education and Sports for Women and Girls).
(4) Invitation to the Second International Conference on Women « Contributions of the Islamic World to Women’s Issues and Analysis of the Consequences of Feminism » May 2009. Invitation sent to Women’s Right NGO all around the world (letter dated April 15, 2009, with an introduction from the Islamic Revolution Leader, Sayed Ali Khamenei).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best wishes to the Toronto Gay Hockey Association on their 20th Anniversary!

Dennis Brutus, anti-Apartheid militant through sport, dies

From the New York Times obituary of activist Dennis Brutus:

When Dennis Brutus heard the news, he was breaking stones on Robben Island, the notorious prison colony where Nelson Mandela, the freedom fighter and future South African president, occupied the cell next to his. The news was that the International Olympic Committee had suspended South Africa from the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

That signified a victory for Mr. Brutus, who led the fight to use sports as a weapon against the racist policies of South Africa. Ultimately, South Africa was barred from almost all international athletic competitions, including the Olympics, from 1964 to 1991.

Mr. Brutus paid a high price for his sports activism. Besides imprisonment, he was exiled and shot in the back. A poet, teacher and journalist, he was barred from earning a living except by menial labor. He died in Cape Town on Dec. 26 at the age of 85. His son Anthony told the South African Press Association, a news agency, that he had had prostate cancer.

There were many others from many countries who fought apartheid in sports, but Mr. Brutus helped ignite the fight, and his efforts led to big victories.

Keep reading HERE.

Manchester football team signs UK Charter Against Homophobia in Sport

From the Pink Paper:

Greater Manchester football club Hyde FC became the first Blue Square Bet North team [a semi-pro level English football league] to sign up to the Government's charter against homophobia in sport, earlier this week.

The move comes after their 4-1 home win against Eastwood.

Manager Gary Lowe and player Gianluca Haveren (pictured) added their signatures to the charter – committing the club to challenging homophobia and taking a zero tolerance to any anti-gay abuse within the game.

The team, nicknamed The Tigers, also welcomed Lindsay England [a speaker at the recent FSGL conference on homophobia and sport, in center in photo] from football’s LGBT campaigning organisation Just A Ball Game? as a guest for the home fixture.

The club have also stated they will look at hosting a celebrity match or training session and invite LGBT players to attend to help celebrate LGBT History Month in February of next year.

Until stepping down early this year, former Director of Hyde FC, Julie Whitehead, was the only out lesbian involved in the semi-professional game in a senior managerial role, proving Hyde FC are one of the most inclusive teams in the country.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

San Francisco Track and Field winter calendar

While less temperate places are on a winter hiatus, California remains a great place to run even in the winter. FGG member organization has published a jam-packed calendar of events for the coming months that you can view HERE.

Seattle FrontRunners say "It Gets Better"

FGG member organization Seattle FrontRunners has made this "It Gets Better" message.

View it below, and visit our "It Gets Better" page HERE.

Please support the Gay Games movement!

An end-of-year message from the FGG:

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining the board of the Federation of Gay Games. I am honored to be able to contribute to the Gay Games movement. I know that you too want to do your part.

In these last days of 2011, we can look back at the Gay Games with great satisfaction. A little more than a year ago more than 8,500 participants from over 70 countries came together to celebrate the principles of participation, inclusion and personal best at Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany. Those Games enabled everyone who participated of us to express themselves openly, to promote equality, and to experience camaraderie through sports and culture.

Gay Games VIII was just the latest in our nearly 30-year history of empowerment: since Gay Games I in 1982 the Gay Games have empowered tens of thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied athletes and artists through fellowship and friendly competition.

We encourage you to join us and become a crucial component in the ongoing and important work of the FGG, which will enable us to continue to change the lives of men and women throughout the world.

No gift is too small: even a ten dollar donation can make a difference.

Please click here gaymes.info/donatefgg if you would like to make a one-time or recurring donation online (tax deductible for US taxpayers).

On behalf of the board, assembly, and the entire Gay Games family, we wish you and yours Happy Holidays and a New Year filled with prosperity and success.

Dave Killian
FGG Officer for Development

Sexual orientation diversity as a source of competitive advantage

Dr George Cunningham of Texas A&M, who moderated the recent panel on diversity in sports marketing in which the FGG participated (see HERE), has publised a study on the impact of sexual orientation diversity in university athletics departements:

In a recent article published in Sport Management Review (see here), I showed that sexual orientation diversity positively contributes to objective measures of organizational effectiveness. This is particularly the case when the athletic department has a diverse and inclusive organizational culture. This is noteworthy for a host of reasons. First, these data are in line with our past research showing that diversity can contribute to the success of an organization. Second, most sport organizations seek to limit sexual orientation diversity, but this practice is ill-conceived. As shown here, the presence of LGBT employees only contributes to how well a sport organization functions. Finally, we see the benefits of having an inclusive workplace, particularly when the workforce is also diverse.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Steve Buckley on the meaning of Christmas for the family of Brendan Burke

Sports writer Steve Buckley looks at the meaning of Christmas for the family of Brendan Burke, who came out to them at Christmas 2007 (h/t Wide Rights):

This is how Kerry Burke reacted when her son Brendan told her he was gay: She thought about being a grandmother.

It was December 17, 2007, right before Christmas, at the family home in Canton. Brendan, then 19 years old and a student at Miami University in Ohio, stumbled over the words at first, or maybe he was merely testing the waters when he babbled something about how he might be gay. But he quickly steadied himself, and the words that followed were clear and strong: “I’m gay,” he told his mom.

Kerry Burke, who had been mulling this possibility from the time Brendan was in the third grade, hugged her son and then said, “I always thought you’d make a great father. And I still think you’re going to be a great father.”

A few days later, this is how Patrick Burke reacted when his younger brother Brendan told him he was gay: He hugged him, told him he loved him and that nothing has changed.

And then, to prove nothing has changed, Patrick Burke busted his kid brother’s chops.

“Now,” he said, “I know why you never hung up that Patriots [team stats] cheerleaders poster I got for you.”

This is how Ed and Elaine Gilmore reacted when their grandson, Brendan Burke, told them he was gay: They financed a pizza party.

Thinking that telling his grandparents might be his most difficult coming-out errand, Brendan had instructed his mom to wait 30 minutes and then join them. He then headed next door to his grandparents’ house.

When Kerry arrived as scheduled and saw Brendan sitting at the table, having a casual conversation with his grandparents, she assumed her son hadn’t gotten around to making his announcement yet and so made up a lie about needing to borrow something from the kitchen.

“We’re all set,” Brendan told his mom. “I told them.”

It had been so easy. He said to his grandparents what he had to say, and Ed and Elaine smiled. Ed then said, “OK, Brendan, you’re a good kid. You keeping up with your lessons?”

Lessons. Ed Gilmore was raised in Dorchester and attended Grover Cleveland Elementary School. In his neighborhood, and in his time, you didn’t do homework. You kept up with your lessons.

“Yes, I am, Grampy,” came the reply.

Ed Gilmore then reached into his wallet and pulled out a bill. He slid it into his grandson’s hand and said, “Can you get some pizza for you and your friends for $20 out there in Ohio?”

Keep reading HERE.

En español / 24 February 2012 / Esquía con ADI

From ADI, the alliance of LGBT sports clubs in Spain:

Este invierno, desde ADI volvemos a organizar una actividad de esquí dirigida a todas las personas socias de clubes miembros. El evento está planificado para el fin de semana del 24 al 26 de Febrero de 2012, en el fantástico valle de Tena, en el Pirineo Aragonés. Nos alojaremos cerca de Biescas, en el camping Gavín . A escasos 20 minutos del alojamiento, las estaciones de esquí de Formigal y Panticosa permiten disfrutar del deporte blanco con comodidad. Todo tipo de servicios en la nieve, guarderías, alquiler de material, cafeterías e incluso esquí nocturno, os ayudaran a disfrutar al máximo de la nieve.

Para conocer todos los detalles de la actividad (precios, tipos de alojamiento y formas de pago), accede al evento en Facebook . La fecha máxima para inscribirse es el 31 de diciembre. Podéis aclarar todo tipo de dudas escribiendo a: tiempolibre@elaios.org o anbiro@hotmail.com. La organización de la actividad corre a cargo del club zaragozano Elaios.

Os animamos a todas y todos a disfrutar de esta estupenda actividad invernal donde tendréis la posibilidad de conocer a socias y socios de otros clubes y practicar vuestro esquí. Esta actividad está enmarcada dentro del plan de ADI LGTB diseñado para promover y fomentar eventos deportivos interclubes, que ayuden a estrechar lazos entre los miembros de la agrupación y las socias y socios que los componen.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

1982 Australian documentary on gay Sydney features Gay Games I participant

We've just learned of this 1982 documentary from ABC's Four Corners entitled "Sydney, Golden City of the Gays", which features Peter Todd, who competed in bodybuilding at Gay Games I. His bit can be found at about minute 8.

We'll be having more from Peter Todd in the coming days.

No Tebow for It Gets Better

From the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON -- The Denver Broncos have responded to an online campaign urging the team to make a video for the It Gets Better project, indicating that they won't be jumping on the anti-bullying project anytime soon.

Nearly 8,000 individuals have signed onto a Change.org petition for the Broncos and their high-profile quarterback Tim Tebow to become the first NFL team to create a video for It Gets Better, which was started by sex columnist Dan Savage and his husband in September 2010 in response to the disturbing number of suicides by teenagers who said they were being bullied for being gay or perceived to be gay.

In 2010, Tebow controversially starred in an ad for the right-wing group Focus on the Family, which opposes LGBT rights. In fact, the organization has argued that there "is no evidence that homosexuals, as a class, are discriminated against in the present society."

Petition organizer and Broncos fan Andy Szekeres said an It Gets Better video would help Tebow and the Broncos say, "We may have differences on abortion and gay marriage, but stopping kids from killing themselves is an issue we can all get behind."

But in a statement to The Huffington Post, Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth gave no indication that the team would be participating anytime soon.

"The Denver Broncos are committed to tolerance, acceptance and respect for all in the community," said Smyth. "The National Football League is currently working with USA Network on its 'Characters Unite' campaign combating prejudice and intolerance, and our organization is in full support of that movement to help raise awareness for this very important cause."

Keep reading HERE.

Outsports looks at the "alternative" proposed by the NFL HERE, while we ask: why can't they do both? Oh, that's why...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to all our friends

The FGG sends its wishes for a very Merry Christmas to all our friends celebrating the holiday!

And for your listening pleasure, a fun song by the London GayhMen's Chorus, a member of FGG member GALA Choruses, from a 2006 performance at the Barbican Centre in London.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hyde FC win first Manchester equality award for support of charter against homophobia in sport

Via Linday England:

The [Hyde Football Club] Tigers have received the award in recognition for the club’s exceptional work in becoming the first non-league team to sign up to the charter committing the football club to challenging homophobia and taking a zero tolerance approach to any anti-gay abuse or chanting within the game.

Manchester Credit Union sponsors the award as part of its recently launched partnership with the Manchester Football Association. The credit union sits on the Equality Action Group which was set up earlier this month to identify good work within Greater Manchester and ensure that equality is embedded into all that Manchester FA does.

Chris Smith from Manchester Credit Union said: “The credit union’s values and principles draw us close to projects such as this and we want to reach out to people in the Manchester area and bring ethical, low-cost savings and loans to help families through football. This is an excellent aware to launch.”

Pictured above are Allan Kenyon, the chairman of Hyde FC, Chris Smith, a director of the Manchester Credit Union, and John Hurst, the social inclusion coordinator at the Manchester Football Association.

En français / Reportages de Yagg sur le colloque FSGL

Voici quelques reporatages vidéos de Yagg.com sur le colloque FSGL du début du mois.

English fan gets "caution" for homophobic abuse

From BBC News:

A Barnsley football fan has been cautioned for shouting homophobic abuse at Brighton supporters leaving a match at the Amex stadium. [A caution is an official formal warning from the police, which goes on ones criminal record.]

Sussex Police said officers initially "gave strong words of advice" to the 18-year-old after he shouted anti-gay chants at Falmer station on 6 November. Officers than discovered it was not an isolated incident and he was arrested at home in Bromley, south-east London. He was cautioned for using threatening words or behaviour on Monday.

Football liaison officer Pc Darren Balkham said the fan had been arrested after officers saw comments on a fans forum from other supporters. He added: "The Amex has quickly become established as a stadium that welcomes everyone, regardless of their individual personalities or preferences, and we are determined that anyone guilty of homophobic abuse will be dealt with. "Last month, a Southampton supporter was convicted of shouting anti-gay abuse during a match against Brighton and has been banned from football for three years. This latest caution, which came about as result of chat on a website fans' forum, demonstrates that we are taking this matter seriously and will take action."

In October, Brighton and Hove Albion fans called for the FA to do more to address homophobic chanting in football grounds. John Hewitt, chairman of the supporters club, said the problem was especially bad at away games. Homophobic and racist chants are outlawed by ground regulations.

Funke Awoderu, the FA's equality manager, said at the time that everyone needed to take responsibility for stopping abuse.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

EGLSF surveys constituents on organizational priorities

A message from the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation:

At the 2011 EGLSF AGA in Frankfurt, a working group was given the mission to propose possible bylaw changes to take into account the changing forms of member organisations. In order to help direct this working group, we are asking for your input on the priorities for the future organisation and action of the EGLSF. 3 main areas of questions that people will have to go through :
- Ensuring and promoting diversity of EGLSF membership
- Equity rules among member organizations
- Development of EGLSF membership

Interested parties, members of current or potential EGLSF member organizations, can participate HERE.

Soccer America interviews Dan Woog about homophobia in youth sport and more

SoccerAmerica.com's Youth Soccer Indisder column features an interview with author and soccer coach Dan Woog on coaching, homophobia in youth soccer, and David Testo's coming out (h/t Outsports). Here's an extract:

SA: Testo mentioned he "heard tons of gay slurs" when he attended a game at his old high school in North Carolina. What impact does it have on a gay teen, or on teens unsure of their sexual orientation, to hear those words?

DAN WOOG: There are two parts of the answer. The first is, it has an enormous impact on gay or questioning teens. Wow, they think -- I can never come out. My teammates would hate me. They won't trust me. I'll ruin the team chemistry. I won't be able to play any more. And they start thinking -- worrying -- about that, and as a result they can't concentrate on what they should be concentrating on, which is the training or game or school or whatever.

The second part is, those words have an even greater impact when they are accepted as "part of the culture," or when they are not addressed. First, the gay or questioning kid thinks (subconsciously, or even consciously), "Wow, the coach doesn't let anyone use the n-word, and he even got mad when someone called his girlfriend 'my bitch.' But he doesn't say anything about 'faggot' or 'homo' -- so I must really be a bad person.”

And the message that gets sent to straight players when no one addresses those words is: "It's OK to use them. You can't say 'nigger' or anything else bad, but you can say 'faggot.'" That's a very subtle lesson -- but it's a powerful one.

Read the full article HERE.

"We are part of the team!" video from Montenegro LGBT group

Watch this wonderful TV spot by the LGBT Forum Progres in Montenegro. Actors in the video are now subject to violence because they stood for equality... Share the video on Facebook and like it on YouTube to show your support!

Video clip "We are part of the team!", by Danilo Marunovic, was produced by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) and LGBT Forum Progress in cooperation with Coala Production, with support of Canadian Embassy.

The aim of the project "It's OK to be different", which part is this video clip, is to contribute to the development of the culture of human rights and sustainable democratic society through the series of activities, with the focus on strengthening of social capacities in promotion of LGBT rights and anti discrimination policies.

Spot „Mi smo dio ekipe!", autora Danila Marunovića, producirali su Centar za građansko obrazovanje (CGO) i LGBT Forum Progres u saradnji sa Coala Production, uz podršku Kanadske ambasade.

Cilj projekta «U redu je biti drugačiji!», kroz koji je spot realizovan je da kroz čitav niz aktivnosti doprinese izgradnji kulture ljudskih prava i održivog demokratskog društva, sa fokusom na jačanje društvenih kapaciteta u promociji LGBT prava i antidiskriminacionih politika.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Somali women athletes face death threats from Islamists

While sports authorities from FIFA or the IOC yield to pressure to respect the "cultural differences" that prevent women in Muslim counties from practicing sport, or allow them to do so only by breaking international rules on athlete attire (and let's not talk about LGBT athletes...), it's good to reflect on some other "cultural differences" presumably also worthy of respect: death threats against women athletes, as described in this story by Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar in InterPress Service:

MOGADISHU, Oct 18 (IPS) – When Al-Shabaab militants called the Somali national women’s basketball team captain, Suweys Ali Jama, and told her she had two options: to be killed or to stop playing basketball, she decided that neither was really an option at all.

"I will only die when my life runs out – no one can kill me but Allah … I will never stop my profession while I am still alive," Jama told IPS. "Now, I am a player, but even if I retire I hope to be a coach – I will stop basketball only when I perish," Jama said.

The Al-Qaeda-linked military group controls large parts of Somalia and occupied almost half of the country’s capital, Mogadishu, until its surprise withdrawal on Aug. 6. However, the group’s presence in the city remains as Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack on the capital on Oct. 4, which killed at least 70 people.

Now Jama and members of her team have received death threats from the Islamic militant group, which views women’s participation in sport as "un-Islamic". In August 2006 the Somali Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a group of Sharia courts, issued an order banning Somali women from playing sport calling it the "heritage of old Christian cultures." At the time the ICU controlled Mogadishu, but lost control of the city in December 2006. Al-Shabaab, which was the armed wing of the ICU, has not altered their stance on women playing sport.

Aisha Mohamed, the deputy captain of the national women’s basketball team, said the militants also threatened her. "‘You are twice guilty. First, you are a woman and you are playing sports, which the Islamic rule has banned. Second, you are representing the military club who are puppets for the infidels. So we are targeting you wherever you are,’ Islamists warned me during phone calls. But I am still clinging to my profession," Mohamed told IPS.

Mohamed is one of the prominent national team members who belong to the Somali military sports club, Horseed. Mohamed’s mother is a former member of the women’s national team and she has been playing the sport since she was a child.

Basketball is the second-most popular sport in Somalia after football and, aside from handball, is the only other sport that Somali women play. However, women earn meager salaries as professional basketball players. "I am a human being and I fear, but I know that only Allah can kill me," 21-year-old Mohamed said echoing Jama’s sentiments.

So the team is training for December’s Arab Games in Qatar inside the safety of the bullet-ridden walls of the Somali police academy’s basketball court. On a day with a clear blue sky overhead the women, dressed in loose fitting tracksuits and T-shirts and wearing headscarves, sprint from one end of the court to another amid the presence of hundreds of policemen.

When they are done they line up to take shots at the basketball hoop. All week they train for two hours a day here and only take off on Thursdays and Fridays – the Muslim weekend.

In the evening when the women leave the safety of the training base they swap their training gear for the anonymity of the traditional Islamic dress and veil. They also wear a Yashmak, a small piece of cloth to cover their faces.

Somalia’s first women’s national basketball team was formed in 1970 and participated in African and regional competitions over the years despite never winning a tournament, according to the National Olympic Committee President Aden Hajji Yeberow. But the 2006 ban on women playing sports halted the growth of women’s basketball in this East African nation said Somali Basketball Federation Deputy Secretary-General Abdi Abdulle Ahmed. "The Islamist ban led to some women (quitting the sport), because of fear," Ahmed told IPS.

President of the Somali Basketball Federation Hussein Ibrahim Ali said that whenever women’s involvement in basketball grows, something occurs to set the sport back. The 2006 Islamist ban, which lead to nearly two hundred women quitting the sport because of fear of reprisals, was one such incident. The two decades of civil war in the country, was another. Since mid- July a severe drought has affected the country, with famine declared in regions of southern Somalia.

Ali added that lack of sponsorship and insecurity were the biggest killers of sport in Somalia. "So when the world knows that Somalia has undergone such hardships and our women are playing in an international tournament, this would really be great publicity for the whole country and, in particular, for the basketball federation," Ali said.

The women’s coach Ali Sheik Muktar said that he is hopeful that his team will be successful in the upcoming Arab Games. "To have a women’s team means a lot to Somalia," Ali said.

LGBT sport activist Dimitar Dimitrov wins human rights prize

Congratulations to Dimitar Dimitrov, a delegate from BAGS "Outsports Bulgaria" to EGLSF, who recently earned a major human rights prize from the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee:

The Bulgarian Judges Association won first prize at Human of the Year 2011, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committees’s (BHC) annual awards for the contribution to human rights and their protection.
The award ceremony took place in Sofia on 9 December 2011, on the eve of the International Human Rights Day.


The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and the Human of the Year jury also awarded two special prizes:

Dimitar Dimitrov was distinguished as Activist of the Year. He is one of the most dedicated and visible activists for LGBT rights in Bulgaria, having contributed extensively to the promotion and assertion of the cause. This year, he stood out with his extraordinary human rights solidarity – he initiated the Flower for Free Bulgaria campaign in support of Bulgarian Muslims after the Sofia mosque attack. In a matter of hours, hundreds of people responded to his call for community and humanity against racism and hatred.


In 2011, the jury expanded the judging criteria to include nominations of individuals, who fight to protect values, comparable to human rights and whose actions are in line with the spirit of the award. Nominations related to animal rights and the protection of the environment have therefore also been admitted – expressing the jury’s strong conviction that these causes also deserve attention, recognition and admiration.

Caroline Symons leads new study on the impact of homophobia on young people in sport

Caroline Symons, winner of the 2009 FGG Legacy Award for Academic Scholarship, and author of Gay Games: A History, will be leading a study in the impact of homophobia on young people in sport.

From GayNewsNetwork.com.au:

MELBOURNE: A new Victoria University study, funded by mental health agency beyondblue, will look at the impact homophobia has on young people involved in sports, with existing research showing that sport and physical education are significant environments in which homophobic bullying takes place.

The research project, launched last night at Victoria’s State Library by Mental Health Minister, Mary Wooldridge, and beyondblue chairman Jeff Kennett, will be led by Dr Caroline Symons who is widely regarded as one of the country’s leading experts into sporting cultures and environments.

“Studies elsewhere in the world show that homophobic bullying of young people leads to serious mental health problems from depression and anxiety to suicide, but the picture in Victoria is far from clear,” Symons said.

The research will involve surveying young people throughout Victoria aged 14-23 about their experiences of sexuality-based bullying and how this has affected their health and wellbeing.

The project, funded by a $122,000 grant from beyondblue, will build on Symons’s groundbreaking 2010 report ‘Come Out To Play’ which found widespread homophobia prevalent across sporting clubs in urban Victoria..

“Our earlier work revealed homophobia is a serious concern in club sport in urbanised areas. Now we want to extend the reach of our investigation to look at school sport, PE classes and club sport across Victoria, including country regions,” Symons said.

The announcement of beyondblue’s funding of the project comes only months after the national mental health iniative was criticised by many within the LGBTI community and elsewhere for not committing enough funds and research for LGBTI-related mental health isssues.

While in September, the organisation was forced to apologise to the gay and lesbian community after Kennett wrote a newspaper article claiming that children with a married mother and father were more likely to be happy and well-adjusted compared to the children of gay couples

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Buy a best-selling toy or game here and support the Gay Games!

It's not too late to do you holiday shopping and support the Gay Games! Click on the links below to make your purchase, and a small commission goes to the FGG.

Or use the search boxes below to purchase anything on Amazon in the US, Canada, the UK, France or Germany, and you'll also support the Gay Games!

USA: Start your Amazon.com search using the search engine below,
or visit our Amazon.com shop HERE.

CANADA: Start your Amazon.ca search using the search engine below,
or visit our Amazon.ca shop HERE.

UK: Start your seach on Amazon.co.uk using the search engine below,
or visit our Amazon.co.uk shop HERE.

FRANCE: Lancer votre recherche sur Amazon.fr en utilisant le moteur de recherche ci-dessous,
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GERMANY: Starten Sie Ihre Suche mit Hilfe der Amazon.de Suchmaschinen unten,
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Special discount for registration in Ladies Euro Volley tournament in Paris in April!

Special rate for every inscription fully paid before 31 December 2011!
End of registration 12 February 2012.

Player full package (Tournament + Lunch + Party + Brunch) 75€ 65€
Non-competitor full package (Tournament access + Lunch + Party + Brunch) 65€ 55€

Register HERE.

Holiday wishes from Greater Cleveland's Oberlin College

We've posted about Oberlin College before (see our posts HERE), one of the United States' top liberal arts colleges and a pioneer in social justice. Oberlin is a very pretty town, and Oberlin College a very pretty campus full of fun-loving students, who we can see in this special holiday video of "Winter Wonderdland" (you'll note a famous alumnus performing, Adrian Fenty, former mayor of Washington):

If you want other renditions of "Winter Wonderland", you'll find them at Amazon.com HERE.
The most classic, of course, is by Bing Crosby:

En français / Entretien avec Laura Flessel sur le comité national de lutte contre les discriminations dans le sport

La LICRA Sport a publié ces vidéos d'un entretien avec Laura Flessel, présidente du comité national de lutte contre les discriminations dans le sport, auquel participe la FSGL, membre de la FGG :

Monday, December 19, 2011

"A Christmas Story" house now a Cleveland attraction

A Christmas Story didn't start out as a beloved holiday institution: In fact, upon its release in 1983, the film was met with a pretty resounding "meh." Directed by Bob Clark, whose previous film was the sex comedy Porky's, the movie did okay at the box office and okay with critics. No one had any idea that it would someday become the subject of 24-hour cable-TV marathons, big-money merchandising, and its own house-museum.

Auf Deutsch / 14 January 2012 / Sporty New Year von Team Muenchen

A happy sporty new year allen Sportlerinnen und Sportlern, Freundinnen und Freunden, Ehefrauen und –männern, Partnern, Bekanntschaften und allen, die mit uns feiern wollen!

Team München lädt am 14. Januar 2012 zum wohl sportlichsten Start ins neue Jahr und hat sich dafür wieder Großes vorgenommen!

Es erwartet Euch ein köstliches Buffet, Entertainment der Extra Klasse, viele Überraschungen und einer ausgelassenen Party mit DJane Eleni.

Freut Euch somit auf einen phänomenalen Abend mit der einzigartigen Chantal G Punkt, die mit Live-Gesang und ihrer frechen aber charmanten Moderation ihr Publikum fasziniert. Und seid ebenso dabei, wenn die Tänzerinnen und Tänzer der Alegria da Danca Brasil Show Euch mit brasilianischen Rhythmen begeistern. Für den perfekten Klang sorgen die Herren von INCOGNiTO, die Euch vielstimmig verzaubern werden.

Begrüßt mit uns das neue Jahr!

Gefeiert wird am 14. Januar 2012 im Oberanger-Theater, Oberanger 38, 80331 München (www.oberangertheater.com)

Live-Show und Buffet beginnen ab 19:00 Uhr. Der Showauftakt folgt ab 20:30 Uhr und die Mega Party startet ab 23:00Uhr.

Der Vorverkauf der Eintrittskarten beginnt schon am 14.11.2011.

Die Karten für den kompletten Abend inklusive Buffet, Showprogramm und Party können Team München Mitglieder im VVK für 17,00€ erwerben. Gäste zahlen im VVK 22,00€.

Wer ausschließlich zum Feiern kommen möchte, aber auf Chantal G Punkt, INCOGNiTOS und Alegria da Danca Brasil auf keinen Fall verzichten will, der ist als Team München Mitglied im VVK mit 12,00€ und an der Abendkasse mit 14,00€ dabei. Gäste zahlen für Show & Party 17,00€ im VVK und 19,00€ an der Abendkasse. Das Showprogramm beginnt ab 20.30 Uhr.

Wer nur zur Party ab 23.00 Uhr kommen möchte, zahlt einen Eintrittspreis von 7,00€.

Karten können per Überweisung bis spätestens Konto Eingangsdatum 10. Januar 2012 oder persönlich mit Barkasse ab Montag, den 14. November 2011 auch im Vereinsbüro, Rumfordstr. 39, hinter dem Maxxkino am Isartor, erworben werden.

Wichtig für die Überweisung und den Ticketkauf:
Team München e.V., Stadtsparkasse München BLZ: 701 500 00, Konto-Nummer: 399 66
bitte unbedingt als Verwendungszweck „Neujahrsfeier“ sowie Euren Vor- und Zunamen und/oder den Vor- und Zunamen des Gastes angeben!
Wer im Vereinsbüro (montags 18:00 bis 20:00 Uhr, freitags 17:00 bis 19:00 Uhr) vorbei schaut, sollte den Mitgliederausweis nicht vergessen.

Info HERE.

Buy a best-selling food gift and support the Gay Games!

It's not too late to do you holiday shopping and support the Gay Games! Click on the links below to make your purchase, and a small commission goes to the FGG.

Or use the search boxes below to purchase anything on Amazon in the US, Canada, the UK, France or Germany, and you'll also support the Gay Games!

USA: Start your Amazon.com search using the search engine below,
or visit our Amazon.com shop HERE.

CANADA: Start your Amazon.ca search using the search engine below,
or visit our Amazon.ca shop HERE.

UK: Start your seach on Amazon.co.uk using the search engine below,
or visit our Amazon.co.uk shop HERE.

FRANCE: Lancer votre recherche sur Amazon.fr en utilisant le moteur de recherche ci-dessous,
ou rendre visite à notre boutique en ligne Amazon.fr ICI.

GERMANY: Starten Sie Ihre Suche mit Hilfe der Amazon.de Suchmaschinen unten,
oder besuchen Sie unsere Shop Amazon.de HIER.