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.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Roger Brigham reports on Youth Empowerment Summit sports session

As announced HERE, the FGG and Equality Coaching Alliance were present at last weekend's Youth Empowerment Summit in San Francisco. Roger Brigham, board member of the FGG and founder of ECA, organized a workshop there, on which he reported in his column for this week's issue of the Bay Area Reporter:

It was the kind of workshop that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago. But there it was this past Saturday: a classroom packed to the gills, standing room only, with LGBT high school students wanting to talk about sports.

I really did not know what to expect when I proposed almost a year ago to the Gay-Straight Alliance Network that it have a sports session during its annual Youth Empowerment Summit in San Francisco. LGBT sports always seemed to register low on the excitement scale at LGBT journalism conventions, and a previous session I had put on earlier this year for students in San Mateo drew just three students.

But the session Saturday at Horace Mann Community School drew a packed and very diverse crowd, eager to ask questions and share stories. One boy talked about being bullied in the locker room and his things being stolen. A transgender athlete from Santa Cruz wanted to know about changing room access issues. All were looking for something they had never experienced before: advice and encouragement from queer adult jocks.

I think the students were most interested to meet Jaime Loo, a graduate from Mission High who came out through wrestling and had a very positive, empowering experience through the sport. (See column HERE) But sadly, his story seemed to be a sharp contrast to the discouraging experiences so many young people in that room expressed. For many, it seemed as if they were problems their teachers wished would go away.

So we encouraged them to choose their battles, not to edit themselves out of sports because of what they fear if they truly want to try them, and to reach out to the resources available. We made some referrals to the National Center for Lesbian Rights. And we told them how much sports meant for us and how through sports, we have built supportive families.

A fine collection of "game plans" for physical education classes, athletes, coaches and administrators exists on the website of the Changing the Game project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. The common theme throughout them? Include would-be athletes, don't isolate them. It's a good thought for this holiday season.

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