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, March 31, 2011

Roger Brigham reviews "The Gay Games: A History"

Roger Brigham reviews for the Bay Area Recorder the exhaustive history of the Gay Games recently published by 2009 Gay Games Legacy Award winner Caroline Symons. (Note that the book is available at a retail price of USD 138, but that the publisher is offering a discount for bulk orders of up to 50 percent. Those interested in purchasing can contact longtime Gay Games supporter Derek Liecty, who is collecting orders. He can be emailed atspoker@sbcglobal.net):

Reprinted with permission (www.ebar.com)

As we sit sidelined one dreary rained out afternoon after another, our playing fields stretched out submerged and soaked before us, Bay Area LGBT athletes need something to entertain our minds.

Might I recommend a rather academic book that takes a look at the things we do when we do the things we do? The Gay Games: A history, by Caroline Symons, is a scholarly text examining the quarter-century history of the Gay Games through 2006 that shows the event in its context as mover and movee in sports, social, cultural, and political worlds.

Like any good history, it offers dramatic tensions and furious battles and, after tantalizing with a number of possible bright or gloomy outcomes, leaves the future an undiscovered country waiting to be tackled.

Symons, a senior lecturer in the School of Sport and Exercise Science and the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living at Victoria University, Australia, conducted dozens of interviews with participants and organizers and examined hundreds of documents, synthesizing her work in chronological and thematic order. The book is an expansion of her doctoral thesis published last year, which was dedicated to her life partner, Jenny Bonney.

In her introduction, she calls recent Gay Games the world's "largest international participatory lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex event," then follows as the mission to demolish homophobic barriers through sports participation grows ever larger. Emerging splinters in queer community and politics play out in disagreements on how best to build an inclusive playing field in a sports world built largely on exclusive power hierarchies. The dueling roles of the event in changing perceptions in inward, personal directions and outward, public perceptions are examined as is the seemingly oxymoronic effort to bring inclusive unity to diverse expression.

Anton Hysén interview in The Guardian: "Anyone afraid of coming out should give me a call"

From The Guardian:

Anton Hysén: 'Anyone afraid of coming out should give me a call'
Top-flight world football has no openly gay players, except one – Swedish midfielder Anton Hysén. So why did he make the move, and what has been the reaction?

Anton Hysén looks every inch the modern footballer. The 20-year-old Swede has his initials tattooed behind one ear and his parents' names on each forearm. On his left arm, in particularly elaborate lettering, is: "UNWA". This is Hysén's tribute to Liverpool, his birthplace, and the terrace anthem of his favourite club – You'll Never Walk Alone.

Hysén, the son of former Liverpool defender and Swedish international Glenn Hysén, is currently walking very much alone. This month, the left-sided midfielder came out as Sweden's first openly gay male footballer. He is only the second high-level footballer to come out in the world, ever. The first, Justin Fashanu, revealed he was gay in 1990, found himself shunned by the footballing world, including his brother, John, and hanged himself eight years later. (John later expressed his remorse.)

A generation on, when gay men and women play prominent roles in every other kind of entertainment, it looks increasingly bizarre that world football has no openly gay players – apart from Hysén. Although, as he points out, he currently plays in the fourth tier of Swedish football, working in the local Volvo factory to support himself, Hysén's honesty about his sexuality is a big deal. His family is a footballing dynasty in Sweden; Hysén's older brother, Tobias, is a Swedish international; their father, Glenn, was a tough defender who remains a celebrity in Sweden. In Britain, it would be rather like John Terry having a footballing son who came out. Perhaps most significantly of all, Hysén, like the English cricketer Steven Davies, who came out last month, made his declaration at the start of his career.

A bouncy, articulate athlete who speaks excellent English with an American twang picked up during a year at college there, Hysén is utterly at ease with his decision when we meet at his family's apartment in Gothenburg before his team, Utsiktens BK, play their first big match of the new Swedish season. He has no time for gay stereotypes. As he politely puts it: "I'm not a big Pride person. There's nothing wrong with Pride but it's just not my thing."

Keep reading HERE.

Video supporting Denver bid for 2015 North American Outgames

Federation of Gay Games member Team Colorado is behind the bid to bring the 2015 North American Outgames to Denver. Here's their promo video:

Gay footballers promote tolerance in Hampshire

From the Southern Daily Echo:

But while those who run the FA may be questioning what to do about homophobia in the sport, gay men up and down the country are getting on and playing the game. Among them are the members of Bournemouth and Hampshire Gay Football Club. The club, which is gay and gay-friendly, has been going for around six years. It was part of the national gay football league, Gay Football Supporters’ Network, but due to the cost of competing in the national league they have now formed a southern league of their own.

Glen Smith, the club treasurer, has been playing with Bournemouth and Hampshire GFC for around three-and-ahalf years. His reason for being in the club is, he explains, simply that he wants to play football. “I think the idea behind the club is a lot of our team wouldn’t be playing football otherwise. They wouldn’t want to join a straight team because they’d feel intimidated – you get the whole lad thing. People don’t realise that we just like football and we want to play football. That’s it really!”

Club chairman Martin Hastings says that the banter and macho, hightestosterone atmosphere of football can make it difficult for gay people to play in a straight team. "I think now, if I was on a straight team, I’d be more confident to come out and say that I’m gay,” says the 23-year-old. “When I was in my teens, it was quite daunting, especially because the people you are playing with are your friends. It’s hard enough to come out to one person, let alone a whole team. You think ‘Are people going to be comfortable with me in the changing room?’ And all straight men think they’re God’s gift as soon as there’s a gay man around!” laughs Glen.

Skate Fabulous!

Helen Carroll interview on battling homophobia in women's basketball

An extract from WomenTalkSport's exclusive interview with Helen Carroll of the NCLR Sports Project:

For quite some time, you've been dedicating your efforts to fighting homophobia in sports. Why do you do this?

Homophobia in sport is a barrier that can keep women-as coaches or athletes- from reaching the goals they work to attain. Negative recruiting is a practice that is harmful to women’s basketball and all sports. For anyone who doesn’t know what this means, negative recruiting occurs when coaches tell prospective athletes and their parents negative things about other coaches and teams who are also trying to recruit that athlete rather than focusing on the positive qualities of their own school and team.
In women’s sports negative recruiting based on perceived sexual orientation can be used against any woman coach, regardless of her sexual orientation. In a report authored by Pat Griffin and myself, The Positive Approach, sponsored by NCLR and the NCAA, we have tried to work to eliminate this practice. For me, approaching the issue of sexual orientation in a professional manner, using education, dialogue and researched reports can certainly make a difference in the experience and lives of many, many student-athletes. I fear we lose many women coaches as homophobia can drive women to choose other careers. I will always work to make sure LGBT coaches, administrators and athletes have their rightful place as leaders in sports.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BBC TV sports presenter Clare Balding says "It Gets Better"

BBC TV sports presenter Clare Balding has produced this video for the "It Gets Better" project.

Visit our "It Gets Better" page HERE.

Former England International footballer on racism, sexism, and homophobia

From an interview with Graeme Le Saux in Just Football (JF):

JF: I mean in light of the Keys/Gray sexism row and obviously the various taboos that it touched on within football, how do you interpret that dressing room ‘banter’ element?

GLS: It is a really difficult one because clearly there’s stuff that goes on in certain environments. Even when you go out with your mates you talk about things you wouldn’t talk about with your wives and girlfriends. You have a laugh about things. And within the dressing room there’s a lot of that because you’re together so much. There’s a lot of knocking, a lot of jokes – and you’ve got to have thick skin.

Now, my point is when does a joke become abuse or become prejudice? If we talk about for example race issues. When I was a young player there was a still a huge amount of racism within the game. And I think it’s not only up to individuals to take responsibility. I remember standing up for black players myself because it was never acceptable to me. So it’s a very complicated debate.

But clearly if you’re on an open microphone in a studio, there’s always going to be a lot of people listening and therefore many more people that you don’t know who rightly take offence to those things. But then I do think you have to be careful about how far you take that. If I make a joke – for example were you there when I made that joke with Marcel (Desailly)?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wellington Outgames marked return to competition for Kate Rowe

Kate Rowe was present in Wellington as the FGG representative to the 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames, but this was also an opportunity to return to competition after her hip replacement surgery. Kate is seen here in the 5k, which she walked/trotted/ran on the fabulous course overlooking Oriental and Evans Bays.

More on KZN LGBT Recreation picnic

We are pleased to share this follow-up from participants at the picnic we reported on yesterday:

It was important to ensure that the police were aware of our presence and that they would be ready to protect us in case of any trouble. We had our permit, and we checked with Lieutenant Naidoo to make sure all would be OK.

What was most interesting in so far as I am concerned was to have as our special guest a parent of a gay child. Anna is a 40 year mother of 2 – a daughter (Nomfundo age 24, and a son age 17). She posed some very important and relevant questions. She said her main aim of attending our event was to establish a better relationship with her lesbian daughter because even though she already tries to be non-judgmental towards her, she wanted to go an extra mile to bring about mutual understanding between each other. She also wanted to find a safe environment for Nomfundo because in the township where they reside, homophobia is very rife. She noticed on several occasion her daughter escape what hate crimes. As a parent, she too receives abuse from the community and her extended family due to Nomfundo’s sexual orientation. The positive outcome out of this we planned a Mothers' Day gathering on 8th May where Anna will be addressing other mothers in a similar situation.

We were happy to have people from KZN LGBT Recreation present, and they lead us in a session of indigenous sports, followed by brain-teaser exercises. That put us in the right condition for the main point of our picnic, to talk about our situation and future actions to improve it.

An interesting point came when Nosipho and Snenhlanhla Mbambo, a lesbian couple, spoke of their relationship. Nosipho’s children are not approve of her partner merely because she is a woman, and call her derogatory names. There have been serious fights, with the police having to be called. Nosipho's son was kicking and threatening Snenhlanhla with a knife. Nosipho is in the middle of this fight because she loves her kids and she loves her partner. They currently live apart for the sake of the kids, but are still very much in love. This is very traumatizing for them, especially for Nosipho, whose entire family is opposed to this relationship, with the exception of her mother. This story is important, and we hope to use it in a documentary to share with others the pressures on gay couples.

Congratulations and thanks to Wellington Outgames!

Dear David, Virginia, Hamish, Karen, and Eve,

On behalf of the Board and Assembly of the Federation of Gay Games, we would like to congratulate you and your team, including your many volunteers, for making the 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames such a success.

Our representative Kate Rowe has told us of your warm reception and how readily you responded to her requests for support. She was impressed at how well the event was organised, particularly the accreditation that she witnessed first hand. She greatly appreciated the whole atmosphere of these Games, with 1300 participants coming together in a harmonious fashion and with a unique Maori flavour.

She also noted how well the sports were run, and how much joy she felt seeing so many smiling faces and participants from fifteen countries, mingling and meeting old friends or making new ones.

Your passion for your city and your willingness to work hard to achieve your goals was evident, and is promising for the future of LGBT life in Wellington, in New Zealand, and in the entire region.

As GLISA AsiaPacific works toward the 3rd AsiaPacific Outgames, we hope to continue to be part of the growth of LGBT sport and culture in the region, and build on the relationship you have been so helpful in developing. And on behalf of our hosts for Gay Games IX we thank you for the opportunity to tell Outgames participants about the warm welcome they will receive in  Cleveland in 2014, where we hope to see you all!

Once again, many thanks for your hospitality and for your work to promote the fundamental human right of all to participate and enjoy sport, culture, and camaraderie.

Tom Waddell Award winner shortlisted for SportAccord "Spirit of Sport" award

From SportAccord, news that 2006 Tom Waddell Award winner Lydia La Riviere Zijdel has been shortlisted for their "Spirit of Sport" awards. Congraulations and good luck to a worthy nominee!

The ‘Spirit of Sport’ Awards were created to commend the commitment and humanitarian spirit of SportAccord Members who have made an exceptional and lasting contribution to using sport as a tool for positive social change. The 2011 individual and project awards will be unveiled at the SportAccord General Assembly to take place on 8 April 2011 in London.

The 2011 Individual Spirit of Sport Award will honour an individual for his/her outstanding contribution to sport and society.


Mr. Fernando Aguerre, International Surfing Association (ISA)

Mr. Aguerre has dedicated his life to the development of surfing around the world. Since 1994, when he was elected President of the ISA, Fernando has been instrumental in expanding the sport to over 65 nations, for obtaining IOC recognition, and for launching several development programmes.

Ms. Lydia la Riviere Zijdel, International Aikido Federation (IAF)

As an elite wheelchair martial artist, Lydia has opened up the world of persons with disabilities to the art of self defence, with a special emphasis on developing countries to enhance the abilities and motivation of persons with disabilities to become involved in sports and physical activities.

Mr. Erwin Lauterwasser, Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS)

As part of his lifelong engagement for the sport of skiing and the environment, Erwin Lauterwasser has served in the role of FIS Environmental Advisor since 1997. Mr. Lauterwasser has worked hard to establish FIS as a pioneer among the international federations in the area of the environment and sustainability.
For further information on the three shortlisted nominees, please click here.

ACLU attacks restrictions on access to LGBT materials for students

The FGG, our hosts and member organizations often face the issue of misguided internet filters that block access to our sites. These concern students, educators, and the general public using public networks. We can only support full access to essential resources for all. Find this press release HERE.

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Michigan and the ACLU of Kansas and
Missouri sent letters to public high schools today demanding that the schools stop viewpoint-based censorship of web content geared toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. The ACLU was notified that the schools were censoring material after teaming with Yale Law School to launch the “Don’t Filter Me” campaign, which asked students to check to see if their school was blocking content.

“We’re pleased that students around the country are responding to the initiative by asserting their rights and letting their schools know that censorship is unacceptable,” said Joshua Block, staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project. “Blocking these sites not only discriminates against LGBT viewpoints, but can deny LGBT students in crisis a much-needed lifeline for support.”

Programs that block all LGBT content violate First Amendment rights to free speech, as well as the Equal Access Act, which requires equal access to school resources for all extracurricular clubs. This means that gay-straight alliances and LGBT support groups must have the same access to national organizational websites as other groups such as the Key Club and the chess club. Some schools have also improperly configured their web filters to block news items pertaining to LGBT issues and deny access to support groups that could be vital for troubled LGBT youth who either don’t have access to the Internet at home, or do not feel safe accessing such information on their home computers.

Rugby League team eager to show progress in fight against homophobia

From the website of the UK's Rugby Football League:

Castleford Tigers are confident there will be no repeat of the homophobic chanting when Gareth Thomas returns to the PROBIZ Stadium on Sunday. The Tigers were handed a £40,000 fine, later reduced to £20,000 on appeal, for a breach of the Rugby Football League’s Respect policy after a section of their fans abused the openly-gay Thomas on his second appearance for Crusaders RL 12 months ago.

Castleford chief executive Richard Wright says the club have put measures in place to ensure there will be no repeat. They include an extra response team briefed to eject fans demonstrating inappropriate behaviour, a poster campaign promoting the RFL’s Respect values and the installation of CCTV cameras.

“We’ve invited the RFL’s equality and diversity officer as guest of honour for Sunday’s game and we are very proud of the fantastic progress made in introducing new initiatives, some of which are firsts for rugby league and sport in general,” said Wright. “We know that it was a small number of mindless fools that let the club, the town and the sport of rugby league down last year and we have taken steps to deal with these. Anybody found guilty of homophobic abuse has, and will be, banned from games indefinitely."

"Sunday is an opportunity for the fans to make a statement that Castleford Tigers are not a homophobic club. The club has played its part, it’s now up to the fans to concentrate on cheering the team and proving once and for all how this is a proud club, that warrants its reputation as one of the friendliest, family-orientated clubs in the game.”

Glamourheads make a splash at Wellington Outgames

News from MCV on QSAM and IGLA member Glamourhead Sharks:

Melbourne's GLBTI swimming team, the Glamourhead Sharks, scooped the pool with a staggering 126 medals at the second Asia Pacific Outgames last week. Winning 65 gold, 39 silver and 22 bronze over the three day event the teams’ overall score was 3,190 points.

Special notice was made for Sally Bodinnar in the 200m Breaststroke, Brad Harris in the 400m Freestyle and Russell Knee in the 200m Butterfly. Glamourhead’s assistant coach Jason Bucker said the team had achieved many personal bests.

KZN LGBT Recreation reports on Human Rights Day picnic

We thank Hlengiwe Buthelezi for this report on a recent activity of our friends at KwaZulu Natal LGBT Recreation, a picnic held in Durban, South Africa on Human Rights Day in conjunction with "Shadows in the Rainbow":

"Shadows in the Rainbow" Gay and Lesbian Project is of the view that human rights violations in South Africa and throughout Africa result from the continent's economic oppression and poverty, together with a traditional patriarchal culture. The vulnerability of women, children, and people of sexual minorities makes them susceptible to the ventilation of stress from the straight male black majority who face poverty and an inferiority complex.

Thus to address the problem of human rights violations regarding freedom of self expression and sexual orientation, gay activists must not neglect the economic oppression, patriarchy, and traditions of African cultures, from which we believe the problem emanates: this must be our point of departure.

Our Vision:

"Shadows in the Rainbow" Gay and Lesbian Project wants to be at the forefront of African gay struggles. As South African gay activists, "Shadows in the Rainbow" wants to eradicate homophobia and heterosexism through interventions and projects, primarily in areas where there is poor LGBTQ representation. "Shadows in the Rainbow" wants to unite the African LGBTQ community of all races, reducing the tensions found within the community. We want to locate gay activism in the context of the larger African people’s struggle, without excluding the agency and input of the overall LGBTQ community.

The Picnic:
The picnic was the first event of the joint venture between KZN LGBT Recreation and "Shadows In the Rainbow". It could not have come at a better time, when Africa is seeing the worst ever homophobic attacks, of which many remain unaware. This picnic saw the coming together of parents of gay children, friends, lovers, and activists to find our place as gay people within Africa. Grassroot problems of coming-out, right through to cultural issues were discussed in depth, and from these discussions future actions were identified, including documentaries and films to educate the general public about gay culture, and group coming- out campaigns. It was a memorable event indeed and milestone into creating dialogue amongst LGBTQI people.

Gay Games a symbol as Cleveland prepares to offer health care to domestic partners of city employees

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman says he has enough support for an ordinance he introduced Monday night that will give health care benefits to domestic partners of city employees.

But he said he also knows it will be a hard sell to those councilmen who oppose the plan.

About 120 unmarried couples are on the city's domestic partner registry, which was first made available in May 2009. Those registering had to show they were sharing expenses on a long-term basis, such as a mortgage or utility bills, to ensure their authenticity.


Cimperman said major firms like the Cleveland Clinic and Medical Mutual already offer health care to their domestic partner employees, and he said the city should follow suit. He also said 21 states, 404 Fortune 1000 companies and about 4,000 other private firms, nonprofits and unions provide the same benefits.

"There's no reason this ordinance shouldn't pass," he said. "Cleveland has the four best health systems in the country in the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, MetroHealth and St. Vincent, plus we have the Gay Games coming here in 2014 with over 50,000 visitors coming to our city."

Cimperman also said health care for domestic partners will not cost taxpayers because it cuts down on uninsured care, and it also helps the city in its efforts to recruit employees.

"Plus, if health care is a human right, passing this is the right thing to do," Cimperman said.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New issue of EGLSF newsletter published

Click HERE to read or download the latest issue of the newsletter of the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation.

Updates on young athlete blogs

On "Craig's Gay Word", we note (h/t Outsports), a great post on the reasons to come out to your coach, which begins:

It may seem unimaginable, why would you want to come out to your coach? In talking with my peers that I counsel, a coach’s reaction to learning we are gay is a common fear – and not without reason. Especially amongst male teams, a fog of homophobia has fallen and severed relationships between coaches and athletes. Some coaches are homophobic and others are macho-centric; most are relatively indifferent coaches simply trying to help. It is important to differentiate between the three, as only one “type” of coach really poses a threat – and I use the word type loosely as I find it best not to categorize people. Yet more often than not, our coaches fall into the latter two categories and honestly just want to help – with our sport that is.

"the Road" continues to offer thoughtful posts from Brad, Robert and Ben, most of which have nothing to do with being gay, which is great, too. Part of the oppression of being in the closet is letting your sexual orientation define you, and part of being involved in LGBT sport and culture is finding an environment where you can develop other parts of your identity. But here's an extract from a post by Brad on his school's reaction to his coming out:

What I am trying to say here is that people shouldn’t let being gay define them. I never have and never will, it is just one of the many things that make me who I am today. Everyone needs to find that thing that makes unique and different. This thing should be something that you are inspired to do through the good as well as the bad times. You should want to be the very best and even dream about achieving the perfect scenario.

Growing up I always thought that the one thing I wanted to be the best in would be some sport. Through the past few years my drive has changed though. Instead of devoting all of my effort into running, which I still love, I have begun putting a lot of my free time into student government at my school. So I hope everyone is able to find that one thing that keeps them going. I know I have.

10 April 2011 / Blake Skjellerup to speak at New Zealand youth group event

Find out more about Q-Youth in Nelson, New Zealand HERE.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

National radio program focuses on "sport and homophobia: an enduring taboo"

This morning's edition of documentary program Interception on leading national radio network France Inter focused on the theme of "sport and homophobia: an enduring taboo".

The program covers a wide variety of issues, including the recent commitment of the French ministry of sport to fight homophobia by and within sport. Among those interviewed are Christelle Foucault, president of FSGL.

You can find the program on the website of France Inter HERE, or listen on our player below:

En français / Emission sur France Inter sur l'homosexualité et le sport, avec Christelle Foucault, présidente de la FSGL

Le thème de l'émission de France Inter, Interception, de ce jour a été "Sport et homophobie : le tabou persiste". Parmi les intervenants, Christelle Foucault, présidente de la FSGL, organisation membre de la Fédération internationale des Gay Games.

Ci dessous la présentation de l'émission, que vous pouvez retrouver sur le site de France Inter ICI, ou écouter sur notre lecteur ci dessous :

Peut-on vivre ouvertement son homosexualité quand on est sportif amateur ou professionnel ? La réponse à cette question, simple en apparence, devrait aller de soi et être positive. Pourtant, très peu de sportifs de haut niveau osent afficher leur homosexualité. Dans le sport amateur, il n’est pas forcément plus aisé de révéler son orientation sexuelle. La force des préjugés, l’homophobie ouverte ou latente qui règne encore dans certains sports comme dans l’ensemble de la société, les pressions discrètes des partenaires commerciaux font que les sportifs homosexuels préfèrent se taire.

Pour une Amélie Mauresmo ou un Gareth Thomas, une des stars du rugby gallois qui a révélé son homosexualité en toute fin de carrière, combien de sportifs gardent le silence et, souvent, en souffrent ?

Car les sportifs homosexuels existent. On estime qu’ils doivent être en proportion équivalente à celle des homosexuels dans l’ensemble de la population, soit environ 10%. Des clubs amateurs accueillent ouvertement des adhérents qui ne veulent pas pratiquer leur sport en cachant leur orientation sexuelle. Dans certains sports, des professionnels vivent ouvertement leur homosexualité sans problème. Le ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports invite les Fédérations à signer une charte contre l’homophobie et a mis en place un observatoire qui doit rendre un premier rapport en avril. Les choses bougent, mais trop lentement, expliquent les sportifs et responsables associatifs interrogés par Nour-Eddine Zidane.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dates set for Paris FARE meeting

Following the wish expressed in May 2010 by French Secretary of State for Sport Rama Yade to host a coming meeting of Football Against Racism in Europe, dates have been set for the next meeting, with a focus on communication.

The meeting will take place 13-15 May 2011, and will include attendance at the finals of the French Division I football league.

More info on FARE can be found HERE.

GayCities: A look back at 10 August 2010

GayCities Europe editor Paul Brummitt was at Gay Games VIII in Cologne, where he competed in the triathlon. This comes from his last dispatch for GayCities:
As the GayGames drew to a close, a few traditions just had to be honored, especially Pink Flamingo, where swim teams compete to provide the campiest show.

It’s hysterical fun in the sun. Four teams entered under the theme of “Carneval in Kölle”–loosely translated as Mardi Gras in Cologne. Every February Cologne hosts the biggest party of the year where even the straightest men get to do drag without fear of ridicule. This is the gay version of straight male drag, if you can picture it.

Read in full HERE.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sin City Pose Down

The Bodybuilding Guild wants to get your input on whether it should hold a Bodybuilding competition in Las Vegas, Nevada USA on the weekend of 13-15 January 2012. This competition would be a part of a relatively new gay multi-sports festival that to be held each year in early January.

More than 2000 gay athletes registered for the event this year.

Do you think the Body Building Guild should support the addition of Bodybuilding to the schedule in 2012? Let us know by emailing us at rcavaler@gaygames.org and put "Sin City Pose Down" in the subject line.

Cleveland rated one of top 20 United State cities for strong recovery

From CNBC.com, an analysis by "best places" expert Bert Sperling of US cities with great potential for recovery and growth:

The Good: Cleveland has a lot to offer: Great colleges, medical schools and health resources, superb arts and cultural institutions and a full slate of sports teams, Sperling said.

The Recovery: Cleveland is experiencing one of the strongest recoveries in the U.S., according to a report late last year from the Brookings Institution and the London School of Economics. The basis of the report was annual growth in employment and per-capita income. In fact, Ohio overall has one of the fastest-growing economies of all the states, according to the Federal Reserve.

En español: Directora de IGLFA Visita Instalaciones para Mundial LGBTI

Via RadarG, news from Mexico City about the 2012 IGLFA World Championships:

Kimberly Hadley, directora de Torneos Femeniles y Arbitraje de la International Gay and Lesbian Football Association visitó la Ciudad Universitaria este martes 22 de marzo, a fin de decidir sobre las instalaciones propuestas para la sede del Mundial de Fútbol IGLFA 2012.

Por ser patrimonio cultural de la humanidad, y por la importancia que tiene la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México en la juventud de nuestro país, y por el interés que ha generado la propuesta al interior de las organizaciones estudiantiles que promueven el respeto a la diversidad, se ha considerado al Estadio Olímpico Universitario como el escenario ideal para llevar a cabo la inauguración del Campeonato Mundial IGLFA México 2012.

Además del aspecto deportivo, la visita de Kimberly ha demostrado de la realidad de tener una Ciudad de México segura, ya que una de las preocupaciones principales de IGLFA y de los equipos participantes es el crimen que muchos medios a nivel mundial afirman que existe en nuestro país.

Asimismo, Kimberly ha visitado a las autoridades de turismo de la Ciudad de México, y ha conocido a personalidades, empresas, instituciones y organizaciones interesadas en apoyar la realización del Mundial de la Diversidad en México.

También ha tenido la oportunidad de conocer lugares turísticos. El Ángel de la Independencia, el Zócalo, Zona Rosa, entre otros lugares. Finalmente, este miércoles 23 quedó impresionada con la majestuosidad, elegancia y festividad que se aprecia cada semana en el Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.

Este viernes 25 en punto de las 11 horas, IGLFA y el TRI GAY ofrecerán una conferencia de prensa para dar a conocer los pormenores de la candidatura de sede del Campeonato Mundial IGLFA México 2012, y las observaciones que Kimberly llevará al Comité Directivo de IGLFA.

El lugar de la conferencia de prensa está por confirmar, esperamos todo el apoyo de los medios de comunicación, a fin de que IGLFA conozca el interés que el fútbol de la diversidad ha generado en nuestro país, y esto contribuya a la obtención de la sede.

16 April 2011 / Register NOW for Coady Classic basketball tournament in Chicago

The Coady Roundball Classic, named after friend of the Gay Games Sam Coady, will take place from 16-17 April in Chicago. Registration at the earlybird rate of USD 75 closes today, so register now!

For more information and to register, visit the event website HERE.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hudson Taylor on MSNBC

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

High school basketball player tells her coming out story

From Emma Delsohn's story in Outsports:

I am now a senior, and just finished my last season of basketball as team captain. I am fully out at my school, and speak openly and often about my sexuality and the need for widespread acceptance of LGBT teenagers. My basketball teammates continues to be my closest friends, and some of the most supportive people in my life. Mary-Kate has graduated, and now plays college basketball, but I remember the way she accepted me as a sophomore and try to mirror that open-mindedness in all that I do. I am thrilled that all the younger players have followed her example -- I often ask my team for dating advice, which is always received with excitement and fascination. Truly, though, the most rewarding part of sharing my sexuality with them is the genuine acceptance in their eyes. It's as if they were talking about the newest Ke$ha single: natural, and easy.

I spent three years in the closet. I know the fear every gay teenager faces right before they come out to someone important to them -- I felt it in that gym. Fortunately, I was greeted with the love every family should give to one another, and therefore will never regret my decision to tell my team when I did. If I could offer anything to the LGBT community, it would be to take a deep breath and be exactly who you are to those who matter. You might be surprised at the response.

Read the full story HERE.

Southern California Wrestling Club profiled

From an article in the West Hollywood Patch on Wrestlers Without Borders member Southern California Wrestling Club:

When I recently learned that West Hollywood was home to “one of the oldest freestyle wrestling clubs in California for the LGBT community and friends,” as it describes itself, I was skeptical.

As someone who competed in wrestling at the collegiate and senior freestyle levels not long before I came out as a gay man in 1972, I figured a “gay wrestling club” was more about men seeking cheap thrills than about serious athletics. Nothing wrong with that—gay men have the right to grapple with one another, whatever the intent—but I doubted such a group would make respect for the sport a top priority.

Mea culpa.

One visit to a Southern California Wrestling Club (SCWC) workout and I was convinced that it was the real thing. Its members seem to have genuine deference toward a sport with origins in ancient Greece—one that today produces serious injuries second only in number to football, per a study reported in 2009.

Keep reading HERE.

Hudson Taylor to appear on MSNBC tomorrow

Fresh from the PFLAG Straight for Equality awards, Hudson Taylor will be interviewed today (Thursday) by Thomas Roberts at 11:30am EST on MSNBC.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hudson Taylor at PFLAG Straight for Equality awards

From Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays:

A great time was had by all when PFLAG National held its third annual Straight for Equality Awards Gala on Monday, March 14 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City.

PFLAG members from around the country were in attendance -- along with PFLAG National board members, attendees from national corporate sponsors and partners -- to honor four very special allies: Straight For Equality in Entertainment award winner actress Rosie Perez (DO THE RIGHT THING, FEARLESS), Straight for Equality in Sports award recipient, champion college wrestler-turned-coach Hudson Taylor, the first-ever Straight for Equality in Literature award winner best-selling author Charlaine Harris (The SOOKIE STACKHOUSE series, basis for the HBO series TRUE BLOOD), and the Straight for Equality in Business award recipient, Financial services leader MetLife, represented by Chief Diversity Officer Lynne DiStasio.

Comedian and comedy writer Carol Leifer (MODERN FAMILY, SEINFELD) hosted the evening and multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated artist Michael Feinstein kept the nearly 500 attendees entertained. Also appearing were The Broadway Boys, actor/activist Wilson Cruz (MY SO-CALLED LIFE, RENT) and Clare Buffie, reigning Miss New York, top 12 runner-up in the Miss America pageant, and the first to run on a GLBT equality platform.

This was our most exciting Straight for Equality gala to date, a stirring celebration of straight allies from different backgrounds, and with different experiences in moving the cause of GLBT equality forward. We had young athlete Hudson Taylor speaking out for inclusiveness in sports – having just started his own non-profit organization, Athlete Ally – standing alongside business giant MetLife, whose work for full inclusiveness and equality in the workplace has been a model for other corporations. And Charlaine Harris took on the cause for GLBT equality in her books years ago, long before the subject was headline news, while Rosie Perez is making news with her outspoken stance on marriage equality, and the support of the Latino community for GLBT rights. It was a truly unique evening – there’s no other event that celebrates such a diverse array of straight allies.

Blake Skjellerup reports from his hometown of Christchurch

From a report in Outsports, which you can read in full HERE, speedskater Blake Skjellerup speaks of what he has discovered on his first trip home since the earthquake that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand:

the cordon in the CBD, it is as if the heart of the city has been ripped out. In the 36 hours I have been in the city, and the small parts of it I have seen, you can tell that the other major arteries and limbs of the city are working hard to keep the city together.

Nerves are on edge, emotions are high, and the lives of some are in tatters. Comfort for most comes in knowing that one day, maybe 6 months to a year, or even longer from now, the cordon will lift, and people will return to the heart of a city that slowly, but surely, will start beating again.

The thing we all share in common is our love of this once- and still-amazing city. The aftershocks will not last forever, but this city will. The people know they owe it to themselves and the city to stay. A home will always remain a home, and no force can change that.

Donations to the New Zealand Red Cross are still welcome.

Some more films of interest at Cleveland International Film Festival

We've learned that we missed some interesting films with a gay interest that will be screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

A regular feature of the festival is the "10% Cinema" category, which features favorite films with LGBT content. Find the program for this section HERE.

And alongside these feature films are two programs of short subjects of LGBT interest, "10% Shorts", which include a trilogy of films by director Alain Hain, and Animal Drill, in which a son must prove his manhood to his father by trying out for the basketball team (all in "10% Shorts" program 1)

Anton Hysén interview in The Sun

From an interview with recently out Swedish football player Anton Hysén in Britain's The Sun:

"Statistically, there has to be at least one gay footballer in England. Of course it is sad that people are not honest. At the beginning there were problems with skin colour - this is the same. It shouldn't matter."

Read the whole interview HERE.

UNHRC Statement a major step in the fight against transphobia and homophobia

The FGG is a member of ILGA, whose press release on yesterday's United Nation's statement we reproduce below:

UNHRC Statement a major step in the fight against transphobia and homophobia

Compared to a similar Human Rights Council joint declaration on this topic in 2006 and to a UN General Assembly Statement in 2008, this Statement establishes as a principle that “no one should face stigmatization, violence or abuse on any ground, and that in dealing with sensitive issues, the Council must be guided by the principles of universality and non-discrimination. This was enabled by the preceding 2008 UN General Assembly Statement, which for the first time inserted sexual orientation and gender identity in the UN interpretation of the Universal declaration of Human Rights, by reaffirming the non-discrimination principle of international law, requiring that human rights apply equally to each human being.

Today’s joint declaration by 84 member countries of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, calling for an end to violence, criminal sanctions and human rights violations against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is a very significant step forward towards international consensus on LGBTI people’s rights, according to ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. ILGA considers the fact that the amount of countries willing to sign on to a declaration like this is approaching a majority of UN members, is a credit to the increased sensitivity of national governments, and the work of international, regional and local LGBTI human rights activists all over the World, particularly the International Coalition of LGBTI organizations that worked together with national governments and provided the information they requested through the process of preparing the declaration.

“We welcome the Statement just read at the UN Human Rights Council and signed by 84 Countries, as a sign of the growing international, cross-regional consensus around the need to protect people persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Also to engage in a truly universal application of human rights”, said Renato Sabbadini, one of ILGA’s two Co-Secretary Generals, speaking from ILGA’s headquarters in Brussels. According to Sabbadini “The strength of this Statement makes the defence of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexual, trans and intersex people on the basis of a mistaken sense of “tradition” or “natural order” more untenable than ever. Homophobia and transphobia are more and more acknowledged for what they truly are: the last crumbling pillars of a patriarchal order which belong with other dark pages of our past, like slavery and the Inquisition.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Conference to focus on centennial of Cleveland's historic West Side Market

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland has edged out competitors -- including London and Toronto -- to host an international conference focused on public markets in 2012.

The Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit group based in New York, will announce today that it has tapped Cleveland as the host city for several days of discussions, events and tours.

The conference promises national and global attention for Cleveland's growing local food scene and the West Side Market, which will celebrate its 100th birthday late next year.


The eighth International Public Markets Conference could occur shortly before or after Mayor Frank Jackson's annual sustainability conference, intended to focus on local food in 2012, and would be a prelude to the biggest of the West Side Market's birthday events.

Stephen Davies, senior vice president with the Project for Public Spaces, lauded Cleveland's pitch as the best of 20-something applications from potential host cities. The West Side Market and its upcoming centennial were key factors in helping Cleveland beat out finalists Seattle; Charleston, S.C.; along with Toronto and London.

"It was huge," Davies said. "It's one of the most stunning indoor public markets in the country, and there are not many left in the United States. There are some 150 of them, and Cleveland's historically is probably the grandest of them all."


Spurred by the centennial, Mayor Jackson assembled a commission last spring to consider opportunities and potential improvements for the city-owned market building, market operations and the surrounding neighborhood. The effort, led by the city and Ohio City Near West Development Corp., also includes planning for events leading up to the market's birthday.


Occurring every few years, the public markets conference attracts market operators, planners, architects and food-policy enthusiasts from the United States and more than a dozen other countries. Past host cities include New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

In Cleveland, participants will stay at a downtown hotel, attend seminars and take daylong tours that could include trips to farmers markets, Amish country, local orchards, farms, dairies and urban gardens.

City Councilman Joe Cimperman, whose ward includes downtown and the Ohio City neighborhood, expects the conference to spotlight the growth of Cleveland's local-food economy and to add momentum to the Market District, the area surrounding the West Side Market. During the last year, a handful of restaurants, stores and small businesses have opened their doors or reserved spaces in the neighborhood, bringing bustle back to empty storefronts.

"Cleveland is in the top echelon of local-food cities," Cimperman said. "This is going to let people know why. The fact that the market will be the microphone to tell this story is really great."

Meet Carlin Yetts, the 700th fan of the Gay Games Facebook page

Since we linked this blog to the official FGG Facebook page a few months ago, we've doubled our number of Facebook fans. Yesterday we topped 700 "likes", and are pleased to tell you more about the guy who put us over that milestone. (If you haven't "liked" us yourself, you'll find us HERE or at gaymes.info/fgg-fb).

Carlin Yetts is an Ohio native, and a wrestler and wrestling coach who plans to compete in Gay Games IX. He writes: "I'm very excited about being number 700, and even more excited about participating in the Gay Games!"

As a resident of Columbus, Ohio, he is keen to put together a host club for the event, and is seeking other wrestlers from the state. If you are a wrestler or are interested in learning to wrestle or in supporting a new club, write us at blog@gaygames.org or look up Carlin on Facebook!

To thank Carlin for his support, we'll be sending him a DVD of Take the Flame, the story of the Gay Games.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"It Gets Better" book now out

The "Its Get Better" project is now a book, available as of 22 March.

Growing up isn't easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, making them feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted - even tortured - simply for being themselves.

After a number of tragic suicides by LGBT students who were bullied in school, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage uploaded a video to YouTube with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for LGBT youth facing harassment. Speaking openly about the bullying they suffered as teenagers, and how they both went on to lead rewarding adult lives, their video launched the It Gets Better Project YouTube channel and initiated a worldwide phenomenon. With over 6,000 videos posted and over 20 million views in the first three months alone, the world has embraced the opportunity to provide personal, honest and heartfelt support for LGBT youth everywhere.

It Gets Better is a collection of expanded essays and new material from celebrities, everyday people and teens who have posted videos of encouragement, as well as new contributors who have yet to post videos to the site. While many of these teens couldn't see a positive future for themselves, we can. We can show LGBT youth the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach if they can just get through their teen years. By sharing these stories, It Gets Better reminds teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better.

Gay Games medallists named Cologne sports team of the year

A message from FGG member European Same-Sex Dance Association:

During the live show "Kölsche Sportnaach 2011" on the local TV channel of Cologne, Germany, Caroline Privou and Petra Zimmermann were awarded the title of best sports team of Cologne for the year 2011. Never before had a same-sex dance couple received this type of recognition in a mainstream sports awards ceremony !

Caroline and Petra are the top ranking female couple in Standard (also known as Ballroom dancing) worldwide. In addition to the many international dance titles they have won (EuroGames, Gay Games, Outgames, etc...) they have been given this award in recognition to their dedication to dancesport, their very professional approach and the class and level of dancing never before witnessed in the world of same-sex dancing. They are outstanding ambassadors for the entire "same-sex dance community" around the world.

ESSDA, the European Same-Sex Dance Association, congratulates Caroline and Petra for this wonderful achievement and wishes to express its sincere gratitude to them because this award gives same-sex dancing a place in the (inter)national sports scene!

During the next EuroGames Rotterdam 2011 (the Netherlands), 21 - 24 July 2011, ESSDA will host the first official "European Same-sex Dance Championships" where about 400 same-sex dance couples from all around the world are expected to compete in Latin-American, Standard and Show Dance.

Auf Deutsch / Caroline Privou und Petra Zimmermann: Koelns Team 2010

Von Koelschen Sportnaach:

4. Kölschen Sportnaach am 19. März 2011 im Tanzbrunnen

Die Kölsche Sportnaach ist auf dem besten Weg, sich zu einem zentralen Eckpfeiler des Kölner Sports zu entwickeln. Dies wird sich auch bei der 4. Auflage der Kölschen Sportnaach widerspiegeln. Erneut heißt das Motto „Wir feiern den Kölner Sport und ehren unsere Besten“.

Neben den Ehrungen in den Kategorien „Kölns Sportlerin 2010“, „Kölns Sportler 2010“ und „Kölns Team 2010“ werden auch die „Person des Kölner Sports“ sowie der Nachwuchs im Sportjugend Köln Nachwuchsblock ausgezeichnet. Beeindruckende Showeinlagen, ein großes Kölsches Buffet und ein gemütlicher Ausklang mit Party werden den Abend abrunden.

Wir freuen uns das Projekt der „Person des Kölner Sports“ mit einer Spende von 500,- Euro unterstützen zu können. Doch auch der Nachwuchs soll am Abend der 4. Kölschen Sportnaach nicht zu kurz kommen. Im Sportjugend Köln Nachwuchsblock werden zum einen erfolgreiche Nachwuchssportler für Ihre Erfolge ausgezeichnet, zum anderen wird ehrenamtliches Engagement geehrt und mit einem finanziellen Zuschuss honoriert.

In der heutigen Zeit ist ein Miteinander im Breiten- und Leistungssport von besonderer Wichtigkeit. Und wenn dies auch nach außen sichtbar wird, wie es bei der "Kölschen Sportnaach“ der Fall ist, kann wirklich von einem großen Erfolg gesprochen werden.

Für die kommende Kölsche Sportnaach sind alle Titelverteidiger des Jahres 2010 erneut nominiert. Doch neben den letztjährigen Siegern Britta Heidemann, Max Hoff und den Inlineskater-Hockey-Spielern des HC Köln West haben auch viele neue Gesichter des Kölner Sports den Kampf um die Titel aufgenommen. Es wird sicher wieder sehr spannend.

Und so freuen wir uns alle gemeinsam bei der 4. Kölsche Sportnaach am 19. März 2011 im Tanzbrunnen den Kölner Sport feiern und die Sieger ehren zu können.

Sportliche Grüße

Helmut Wasserfuhr (Vorsitzender StadtSportBund Köln)

Kölns Team 2010
Die Wahl zu Kölns Team 2010 wird Ihnen präsentiert von der KVB.

Kölns Team 2010
Dr. Caroline Privou / Dr.Petra Zimmermann
mit 47% Stimmanteil
folgende Teams standen zur Wahl

Cleveland International Film Festival features movies of interest to Gay Games fans

Among the films you'll find at the Cleveland International Film Festival are quite a few that could interest fans of the Gay Games, including:

Autumn Gold (Herbstgold)
An absolutely charming film that soars triumphantly above all the hackneyed sports movies you’ve ever seen. Five European athletes are training for the 2009 World Masters track and field championships in Finland. They stretch, lift weights, and jog around parks. They explain their dietary plans and reminisce about former wins and losses. Sound pretty ho-hum so far? It’s not. These athletes are all between 83 and 100 years old, and a more astonishing group you’ve never met. Jiri runs up five stories in a minute and then pauses to dole out some wisdom on life. Gabre, an Italian beauty in full make-up and jewelry, throws her discus with her sunglasses perched on her head scarf. Herbert is 90 and runs the 100m sprint. Shot-putter Ilse dances around her living room like she was 45 and not 85. Alfred, a Viennese discus thrower and a designer for 80 years, sketches a nude model at 100. Though they’ve been athletes all their lives — Gabre and Alfred even competed in the 1936 Olympics — their positive attitudes and refusal to slow down are keys to their vitality. Come on, shake a leg and get inspired. (In Czech, German, Italian, and English with subtitles)

A Marine Story
A solitary Marine crosses the dry California terrain on foot, her pack on her back. She’s heading home after leaving the service involuntarily. In A MARINE STORY Alex is a lean fighting machine and a top-notch career officer from a military family. But when her commanding officer heard that she harbored lesbian tendencies, she was let go. Alex is a victim of the nation’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy—repealed last December after 17 years and 13,500 discharges. Separated now from the institution that represents her whole world, Alex settles uneasily back into civilian life. She goes drinking in one of her old haunts, is taunted by some rednecks, and holds her own in a brawl. When Alex accosts some punks robbing a store, her training kicks in and she subdues them. One is a sullen young woman named Saffron who has been in trouble before. Now a judge gives her an ultimatum: jail or the military. When Saffron submits to being trained by Alex for boot camp, she gains a new identity—as one of the few and the proud.

We Were Here
They were there when all their friends were dying. They were the lovers, friends, co-workers, and counselors of the stricken, or even the stricken themselves. They survived the HIV/AIDS scourge of the 1980s, and they lived to tell about it. WE WERE HERE is a hugely affecting piece of filmmaking. Five individuals, all of whom lived in San Francisco prior to the epidemic, relate their harrowing experiences on the front lines. In the late 70s the city was a hotbed of sexual freedom and social experimentation. Soon, of course, mass tragedy struck. With thousands dying of the mysterious “gay plague,” the queer community huddled together to shelter and comfort their own. The interviewees’ stories are not only intensely personal, but also illuminate the much larger themes of that era: the political and sexual complexities, the terrible emotional toll, the role of women – particularly lesbians – in caring for and fighting for their gay brothers. Archival imagery conveys a sense of San Francisco in the pre-AIDS years and a very visceral sense of the horrors of the disease itself.

Cleveland to build new marina at heart of Gay Games IX venues

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer blog:

Boaters looking to make a short stop at Cleveland's North Coast Harbor may soon have a place to call home.

The city, powered by a $1.5 million federal grant and about $500,000 in matching municipal funds, will finally begin work this summer on a 53-slip marina in the harbor, at the southwest corner of the East Ninth Street Pier.

Proposals to give boaters easier access to the doorstep of downtown -- especially the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Great Lakes Science Center and Browns Stadium -- have been talked about for years in the redevelopment plans of more than one city administration.

"We think this is an exciting project that will bring some life to our lakefront," said Port Control Director Ricky Smith. "This is really part of a larger lakefront plan that Mayor Jackson has embarked upon.

"What makes the lakefront attractive is the water and efforts in the past to bring people to the lakefront didn't really address the water this way."

Downtown visitors will see some construction this summer on a restroom, shower and laundry facility that will be built alongside the marina, but neither is likely to open until spring 2012, city officials said.

There are several private, long-term marinas along the waterfront in Northeast Ohio, but this site would offer spots for boats 26 feet long or less and for a maximum of 10 days, though most would probably be for shorter stays, Smith said.

The marina would be open to any boater, even boat owners who have permanent slips from other nearby marinas. The daily cost for boaters to dock at the marina has not been set, a city spokeswoman said.

"This is intended for in-and-out, but we'd also like to put in a longer-term marina in the future and we have plans for a restaurant on the site where the old skate park used to be," Smith said.

The federal money, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant, will be funneled through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Watercraft. The federal agency said the aim was to benefit tourism downtown, estimated to generate more than $1.1 million annually for the Cleveland area, the service said.

"Downtown Cleveland is home to many attractions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, waterfront museums, entertainment and professional sports venues," said Julie Morin, grant coordinator with the service.

"The transient marina and amenities will attract boaters to the Cleveland area and thus provide an economic boost for the local community."

"We also hope to be able to bring in some vendors to make it more festive on the pier, more like New York's Central Park or other places," he said. 

High school wrestler follows in footsteps of Hudson Taylor

Via Outsports:

Jonathan Correia is a 17-year-old sophomore high school wrestler from East Providence, R.I. In a sign of support for gay rights, he wore a sticker for the Human Rights Campaign on his headgear during matches and practices this season.

Jonathan was inspired by the same gesture made by then-University of Maryland wrestler Hudson Taylor last season. Jonathan’s then-girlfriend saw the Outsports profile of Taylor and encouraged him to follow suit.

Keep reading HERE.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

7 April 2011 / Team DC SportFest

Interested in sports? Looking to join a team this season? Come mingle with the players representing nearly every LGBT sports group in DC’s metro area. It’s the ultimate networking/social event for all current LGBT athletes and interested newcomers. This “open house expo” features registration spaces for 20+ groups and their reps who can answer your questions.

Plus: beer & soft drinks, DJ, unique venue w/ outside deck, and more! Invite your Facebook friends and teammates.

Thursday, April 7 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Room and Board
1840 14th St. NW
Washington, DC

Watchdog for women's participation in Olympic sport on Iranian call for respect of Olympic Charter

French feminist group "Ligue du droit international des femmes", leader of the "Atlanta Plus" Committee, has issued this press release following Iranian complaints about the logo of the 2012 Olympics:

Iran’s calls for IOC to respect Olympic Charter: when will Iran remove the beam from its eye?
Paris, 28 February 2011

After the Iranian protest against the London 2012 logo, the International Olympic Committee must commit to full participation of women in the Olympics, free from religious strictures

Iran has lodged a protest with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the logo of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, claiming the logo is “racist”. We will set aside any discussion of the Iranian obsession with Israel, of which this absurd claim is the latest, and one of the more laughable, example, to focus on the Iranian use of the Olympic Charter to support their accusation.

As reported, Iran claims that the logo does not respect the Olympic Charter: "highlighting the values of Olympic [sic], which ban any sorts of partiality, political, religious and racial measures in this field, may have a leading role to hold London Games better [sic]."

While Iran is correct as to the principles of the Olympic Movement, Iran (and the Islamist countries it claims to represent) is itself in complete contradiction with the Olympic Charter when we consider its own behaviour in the Olympics. Islamist countries, and in particular Iran, are historically (and currently) the most likely to exclude women from an open and free practice of sport, and to impose restrictive garments during competition, on the basis of religious strictures.

Ben Cohen interview in Towleroad

From the Towleroad interview with British rugby player and ally Ben Cohen:

He openly stated that Rugby was ready for an openly gay player just months before Gareth Thomas' momentous coming out and earlier this year shot an anti-bullying video alongside Bravo's Andy Cohen. I spoke to him as he prepares to visit the United States in May for his Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour.

SP: You've recorded a couple of anti-bullying videos with words of support toward suicidal or bullied young people. What would you say to those who are doing the bullying?

BC: I say simply stop and think. What is that person were to finish their life because of you. How would that feel? Also, bullies often have issues of their own – why else would they do it. Maybe they need to face their issues.

SP: Have you yourself ever been the victim of a bully?

BC: Not in the true sense of the word but I have been the victim of the media at times – goes with the territory, but it is still not nice. You have to say to yourself "Don’t take it personally" but thats not easy –especially when the claims made about you are unjust. It’s frustrating.

SP: You're touring the USA this summer with your "Acceptance Tour 2011" to combat homophobia. What sparked the idea for the tour?

BC: For some years now we have been receiving messages and emails from people all over the world with some heart wrenching stories. I really felt that I wanted to do something about it and I felt that I could. The video I made sparked off all sorts of things really, as well as emotions in me as a sports figure and as a Dad, so we started thinking about what we could do. Then we received an invitation to go to a sports bar in New York. And then a proposal from a Gay/Gay Friendly rugby club in Atlanta at the same time. We work with Geoff in Florida who just came on the team to help Jill with the Calendar, but then became involved representing my work in the USA and he has been linking up ever since pulling everything together. Exciting times!

Read more HERE.

Is "out" the new "in" in sports?

By Roger Brigham, Bay Area Reporter
Published 17 March 2010
Reprinted with permission

Over the years, the stories blur together as their authors fill in the blanks of seemingly templated scripts. "(Name here) revealed this week he is gay, becoming the first active athlete in (pro sport here) to publicly disclose his homosexuality."

Last week, Swedish pro soccer player Anton Hysén became the latest professional athlete on a team to inform news media he is gay, coming out in an interview with the Swedish soccer magazine Offside . His disclosure came less than a week after Steven Davies, a British rising star in international cricket, became the first active athlete in that sport to come out.

Hoorays and salutations from colleagues and management alike have greeted both athletes. Promises of support have been made. Joy reigns. But is this headline news? At what point do events cease to be salutary milestones and become tiny type footnotes, expected steps on an evolving path?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Darl Schaaff: down and far from out!

Friend of the Gay Games Darl Schaaff, seen here at Gay Games VIII, playing the victim to Trevor Storrs, has just had hip replacement surgery. We hear he's recovering well, and hope that he will soon be back to tip-top shape!

Latest issue of SportsFriendly magazine available online

In the third issue of SportsFriendly, available online HERE, you'll find a special section on football, including interviews on reformed homophobic president of Montpellier Louis Nicollin, former French international and activist for equality Lilian Thuram, and Yoann Lemaire, emblematic victim of homophobia in football.

Also in this issue, a comparison of Paris gyms, and news from the FSGL and its member clubs.

Ben Cohen supports the UK LGBT Sports Charter

Find the Facebook page for the Charter at www.facebook.com/lgbtsportscharter