Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Outsports publishes coming out story of young volleyball player

Outsports has published another great coming out story, this time from a high school volleyball player:

Three dates will forever be ingrained in my mind: July 17th, 2009, the day I came out to my sister and a group of 50 (almost) random strangers. April 22nd, 2010, the day I came out to my parents with the help of my sister and introduced them to my first boyfriend. And, most recently, Aug. 26th, 2011, the day I came out publicly. These three dates signify part of who I am. Being gay is only part of me – I am also a volleyball player, a student, a son, a friend and so much more.

I first started to understand that I was different when I was 10 years old, in fifth grade, when I had my first introduction to health. Sitting at those wooden tables watching a video on puberty and health, all I could wonder about was how the other guys in the room felt about the subject of girls and guys. I wasn’t sure whether I was the only one not thinking about girls.

Keep reading HERE.

Gay Games Ambassador John Amaechi at Buckingham Palace for OBEber

Via Pink News:

Former basketball star John Amaechi says homophobia remains a “massive problem” in sport, especially football.

Amaechi, who came out as the first openly gay NBA player after retirement, spoke out after receiving the Order of the British Empire for services to sport and the voluntary sector from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

He said: “I think people approach bigotry like there’s a hierarchy. Homophobia has always been to the bottom of that ladder. “In sport there are institutions that haven’t changed in 100 years and need to.”

The star added that the Football Association had failed to counter the issue. “If you compare their emphasis on racism to what they’ve done on homophobia it’s an embarrassment,” he said. “There are people in the FA who aren’t that pleased with the idea of women in the boardroom, never mind gay people.”

Amaechi is supporting a new HIV programme aimed at African communities in the UK. The 40-year-old, who has Nigerian heritage, launched the three-year Terrence Higgins Trust programme last month.

A reminder from John Amaechi's press release in June, when the OBE was announced:

London, 11 June 2011 – The NBA basketball player-turned-social entrepreneur John Amaechi has been awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services to sport and to the voluntary sector, it was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, released today. The awards, which recognise outstanding merit and service, are published twice a year, at the beginning of the new year and on the Queen’s official birthday.
When he first picked up a basketball at the age of 17 John Amaechi was told that he was ‘too late for the game’ and ‘not athletic enough’. Proving both these assessments wrong, he went on to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association. He lead England’s Basketball squad to its first-ever international medal, at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. In 2007 he published an autobiography, Man in the Middle, which became a New York Times bestseller.
In the UK, John works with his own charity, the Amaechi Basketball Centre, as well as local and national government to create a network of holistic community and sporting centres for urban communities. He has also worked closely with the Centre for Social Justice on social cohesion and ensuring a social return on investment.
Since his retirement from basketball John has pursued a PhD in psychology and is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Today he works with medium to large institutions to help them maximise their human capital.
After serving as a sporting ambassador for Amnesty International at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 John has become a Amnesty International Ambassador. He is also a director of the Diversity Board of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, which sets the strategy for the procurement, recruitment and standards for every employee, supplier and volunteer for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games effort.

John Amaechi said: “I am deeply honoured by this recognition by Her Majesty the Queen. I believe that much of my success is directly attributable to my family and close friends who have always supported me, as well as to those individuals and organisations with whom I have been privileged to partner over the years, to promote equality and human rights here in the UK and across the world.
“I see this honour as a chance to reach out and do more to create an equality of opportunity for all people, but especially to inspire young people. I was once an overweight bookworm who hid in the corner of my school library and wished I was invisible. My Mother told me that I could do better than just disappear – she convinced me that the most unlikely of people, in the most improbable of situations can become extraordinary. I hope to use this platform to convince other young people just how true this can be for them too.”

Commenting on the news, David Stern, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association, said: “John Amaechi is an inspiration to millions, and a great ambassador for his country and the sport of basketball. As a consummate professional during his playing days and through his continued community service, John truly represents the ideals of the NBA. On behalf of the entire NBA family, I want to congratulate John. I can think of no one more deserving of such a prestigious honor.”

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said: “Amnesty International has worked with John Amaechi for a number of years, across a variety of areas of work. We have enjoyed his support, contribution and enthusiasm in a range of human rights campaigning.
“John is always willing to speak out for human rights, and has generously used his profile to highlight injustices, such as China’s restrictions on freedom and to the dire state of human rights. Most recently John was one of our judges at our prestigious media awards, which recognise excellence in human rights reporting.
“John works closely with Amnesty on LGBT rights, and often acts as a spokesperson on these issues. He is dedicated to ensuring that the world of sport operates within a human rights ethos, and to promoting a greater understanding of human rights in all sports.”
“John Amaechi is renowned as a sportsman, yet he is also a successful and devoted campaigner who continues to be a thoughtful advocate of the rights of others.”


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Those stupid fans who can't tell women boxers from men boxers without the skirts

After the pathetic attempts of the World Badminton Federation, news from BBC Sports about yet another international sports federation that thinks sport is about being sexy, that athletic women aren't sexy, and that spectators need reminders that female athletes are girl-type people. 
Women's boxing has always divided opinion but now there are splits within the sport over suggestions that competitors should wear skirts.

The latest talking point is not whether women's boxing should become the newest Olympic discipline at London 2012, but what the boxers will actually wear when they compete.

During last year's World Championships, the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) presented competitors with skirts, rather than the usual shorts, which it wanted to "phase in for international competitions".

AIBA asked boxers to trial the skirts, which they said would allow spectators to distinguish them from men, but at last week's European Championships in Rotterdam only two nations - Poland and Romania - had taken on the alternative outfits.

Keep reading HERE.

Promo video for new Cleveland Rockers flag football team

A new video from Vision Video about the Cleveland Rockers:

Cleveland is a sports town without any doubt, and when the LGBT and straight alliance community combine their forces to create a Flag Football team called the "Cleveland Rockers", it demonstrates the importance of community at its very best.

Friday, October 28, 2011

5 November 2011 / Outsport Toronto holds second SCRUM conference for athletes and organizers

A message from our newest member, Outsport Toronto. We strongly encourage athletes, fans, and all involved in LGBT sport to attend this event which, based on our experience with OTS, is sure to be enriching for all:


I'm delighted to welcome you all to OUTSPORT TORONTO's Scrum 2011, our second annual 'mini-conference' for LGBTTIQQ2SA Amateur Sport and Recreation.

Last year’s Scrum was the first attempt at creating a forum for networking and learning, which, even with its modest agenda and format, drew over 50 people together from across a number of organisations at Buddies in Bad Times cabaret space. We successfully started the process of breaking down silos and providing learning opportunities with two very engaging speakers that night.

This year, we’ve gone further! With only two months to go until the Scrum on Saturday, 5 November 2011, the Scrum 2011 committee has created a solid line-up of sessions covering everything from the accounting and financial controls you need to have in place to ensure your league’s assets are safeguarded to building membership to effectively incorporating young and transgendered participants. We also have a track for those who are not club organisers, but nonetheless participate, and want to get some solid information on peak performance, nutrition, and injury prevention.

Registration is easy through this website. Registration proceeds will go toward covering the cost of the Scrum, with any surplus helping to fund OUTSPORT TORONTO's other activities throughout the year, such as the SportZone at Pride.

I’m excited about this year’s Scrum, and look forward to seeing you all there!

Shawn Sheridan

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

25th anniversary of the American Run for the End of AIDS

We are currently in the midst of the 25th anniversary of the American Run for the End of AIDS which took place from 1 March 1986 to 31 October 1987.

Two events in New York City have been announced in conjunction with this anniversary.

  • 19 November 2011: "Make that feeling come again!!!" dance party at Elmo's Lounge, 156 7th Avenue, 9pm to 2am.
  • 1 December 2011: 20th "Out of the Darkness" gathering and candlelight vigil, Advent Lutheran Church, Broadway United Church of Christ, 2504 Broadway, West 93rd St.

Contact +1 212 580 7668, area.brent@gmail.com.

More about AREA:

The American Run for the End of AIDS (AREA) is an all-volunteer AIDS awareness, advocacy and education organization working at the grassroots level of AIDS activism in an urban environment. From our founding event in 1986-87, The American Run for the End of AIDS, a 20-month, 9,000 mile solo run around the continental United States, our mission has always been to provide a message of concern and compassion, of commitment to working together for an end of AIDS, a message of hope and belief that ordinary people can make extraordinary differences. AREA networks with other groups and individuals, sharing information and resources and offering support. Our purpose, first and foremost, is to help prevent any further HIV transmissions and AIDS deaths by advocating for AIDS issues and by creating opportunities for raising the levels of awareness, activism and volunteerism among our fellow citizens, as well as among our leaders in all areas of government, business, the arts, and religion. We are also dedicated to archiving the battle against AIDS and remembering those who have been lost, because we believe that history is one of our most powerful and effective tools for AIDS education and prevention.

Memorial Moment marks participants at FGG Annual General Assembly

A highlight of each Annual General Assembly of the FGG is the Memorial Moment. This year the event took place under the direction of Brent Nicholson Earle just before the important closing session of the meetings, with Kyle Chang (delegate from Team Chicago), Bettina Dietmann-Winter (board member from Munich), and Mac Gunter (delegate from Outsport Toronto) reading names, and Barbara Strewinski (delegate from SC Janus, Cologne, and 2010 Volunteer of the Year), Erica Munoz (delegate from Team Chicago), Tom Nobbe (executive director of Gay Games 9), and Wessel Van Kampen (co-president of GLISA International)  carrying out the quilt ceremony.

Shamey Cramer gave a moving homage to Richard Hunter,

More about the Memorial Moment:

The Memorial Moment was inaugurated at the 1997 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado and has become an integral part of each Annual Meeting since.

This celebration was established to not only pay tribute to the members of our immediate and extended Gay Games family who have gone before us and to acknowledge their contributions to the Gay Games movement, but to also reflect upon the founding principles, goals and spirit of fellowship that unites us in our efforts to promote and support the Gay Games.

The Memorial Moment consists of three components:

1. Reading of names from the FGG Memorial List, to which additional names are added each year.

2. Ceremonial unfolding of the Federation of Gay Games Memorial Signature Quilt Square in the tradition established by the NAMES Project.

3. After the Quilt Square is unfolded, participants are welcome to write messages on the quilt and to make any public verbal statements of celebration concerning their loved ones.

As the Memorial Moment has evolved over the years, certain elements have been added optionally, such as musical accompaniment and dancing. During a Site Selection year, the Memorial Moment has had a healing and unifying effect, especially for the representatives and supporters of those cities that have not been selected to host the Gay Games.

The fact that we always make time within the busy schedule of every Annual Meeting to remember, honor and draw inspiration from the elders, upon whose shoulders we stand, is one of the hallmarks which distinguishes the Federation of Gay Games as we continue to work and build upon Tom Waddell’s revolutionary, transformative and empowering vision.

12 November 2011 / Get Amped South Florida swim for GLAAD

A message about an event produced by Michael Holtz/MKH20 in partnership with IGLA members Hammerhead Aquatics of Ft Lauderdale and Nadadores of Miami:


Saturday, November 12, 2011

7:30 a.m. Check-in 9:00 a.m. Start gun 12:00 p.m. Finish Line Celebration TBD

1.5-mile swim benefiting GLAAD

Join over 75 swimmers on Saturday, November 12, 2011 for the first-ever GET AMPED! South Florida 1.5-mile swim helping GLAAD to amplify the voice of the LGBT community. Held in Fort Lauderdale, the GET AMPED! swim will bring together residents, visitors and local businesses in support of equality.

Be part of the action and GET AMPED!

Sign up today to swim, help a swimmer raise their $500 goal (or more!), or make a donation.
Together, we will help GLAAD share stories that build support for equality!

RSVP below to register and then visit crowdrise.com/getampedflorida and click fundraise for this event to GET AMPED! Visit www.glaad.org/getamped/florida/buildyourpage for help getting started.

Join us in the evening for the 11th Annual Noche Nadadores at the Design Within Reach furniture studio in South Beach for a swimsuit fashion show, DJ, and cocktails, supporting all inclusive year-round swim program in Miami and GLAAD's culture-changing work. All registered GET AMPED! swimmers receive free admission to this event!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Federation's Annual General Assembly closes in Toronto

Yesterday was the final day of the FGG Annual General Assembly Toronto.

During elections, three interim appointments were confirmed for the remaining year of their two-year term: Jennifer Forward as officer-at-large/people coordinator, Marc Naimark as vice president for -external affairs, and Kurt Dahl as vice-president for host relations.

Reelected for a new two-year term were Emy Ritt as co-president, Jon Baldan as vice-president for operations, Paul Oostenbrug as vice-president for membership, Doug Litwin as officer for marketing, Sebastien Datiche as officer for sports, Paul White as officer for international development, Dennis Sneyers as officer for site selection, and Sonia Abécassis as officer at large.

Elected for the first time were Sonya Jaquez Lewis as officer for communications, Shamey Cramer as officer for ceremonies, and Roger Brigham as officer at large.

A final session on 1QE took place midday, with many of the bylaw amendments and other motions dealing with this important issue relating to the future of the quadrennial sports and culture event.

More details on the AGA will be available soon, but members of the board expressed great satisfaction at the tone and outcome of the meetings and associated events.

Report on Invisible Athletes event in Boston

A press release from Northeastern University on a forum we announced HERE.

Boston, MA (10-19-11) - On October 17th, Sport in Society and Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies co-hosted GForce Sports as they presented their “Invisible Athlete” forum. GForce is an organization that is breaking down negative stereotypes about gay athletes through competitive play and educational outreach.

Boston’s Bean Pot schools were fully represented as the men and women’s ice hockey teams from each institution piled into the room. The event was open to the public and many chose to stand in the back just to get a chance to listen to the panel. Patrick Burke, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and son of Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, emceed the event. Patrick's brother Brendan courageously came out to his University of Miami hockey team in November of 2009 and was the first person associated with the NHL to be openly gay. Not two months later, Brendan was tragically killed in a car accident. Patrick explained, “Since that time our family has vowed to pick up where Brendan left off.”

The “Invisible Athlete” forum is both in memoriam of Brendan Burke and a means to discuss LGBT topics in a predominantly heterosexual environment. An accomplished athletic trio made up the panel, including: Andrew Goldstein, former Major League Lacrosse standout and the first openly gay male athlete in professional team-sports; Lee-J Mirasolo, assistant coach for Princeton University and former women’s hockey captain at Boston College; and David Farber, one of the first openly gay college athletes who came out while playing hockey for the University of Pennsylvania. The panel spoke about their reasons for coming out when they did and the positive impact it has had in their personal lives as well as the world of sport.

Patrick asked the panel a series of questions relative to coming out, locker room atmosphere, their roles as leaders, and negatives they may have experienced as a result of coming out. Andrew, Lee-J and David were honest, poised, and relatable when answering sensitive questions.

The decision to come out to friends, family and teammates was discussed at length. The athletes explained the intense fear leading up to their coming out. They decided to come out not solely for themselves but for any LGBT individual who may feel trapped; for the college athlete scared to lose his/her spot on the team roster, the high school teen thinking that suicide is the only option, or the professional athlete who is ashamed to admit who they truly are. Andrew announced on ESPN that he was gay, as a way to speak to his younger self who longed for a gay role model in professional sports. Andrew never had that role model growing up so he in turn became one for countless others.

“Invisible Athlete” reached a vital audience in the effort to break down negative stereotypes about gay athletes. College athletes must become more aware that their words can create an environment of fear and oppression for their closeted teammates. Though not intended to offend their teammate, friend, coach or even their opponent, homophobic slurs still create a hostile environment.

Sport in Society coop, Courtney Mortimer, said of the event, "I hope that the panel sparked a larger acceptance of LGBT athletes, as that is a fundamental component of a team’s growth and success. If possible, I would ask that the “Invisible Athlete” group speak to every team at Northeastern in order to open the minds of college athletes and inspire those looking for resolution."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FGG Annual General Assembly: Day 3

Today is the third day of the FGG's Annual General Assembly in Toronto.

Yesterday opened with a new feature of FGG AGAs, a "meet the candidates" forum prior to elections of board offices that will take place first thing this morning.

Following this forum, in which delegates had a first chance to question new candidates Sonya Lewis (Team Colorado), who is running for Officer for Communication, and Shamey Cramer (IGLA), who is running for Officer for Ceremonies, our last host, Games Cologne, and our next host, CSEC, made their reports to the Assembly.
Games Cologne

Delegates applauded Cologne for Gay Games VIII, noting the excellent sport events, the great village, and outstanding volunteers. The Assembly was impressed by the status report from Cologne, and in particular the hiring of sports manager Rob Smitherman. After delays due to the legal issues surrounding the event, Cleveland+Akron are ready to launch.
Interim chair of CSEC David Gilbert, executive director Tom Nobbe, and Valarie McCall of the Cleveland Mayor's office

The afternoon opened with more committee meetings (technology and development), and another session on  the future 2018 event.

Today the main business of the FGG will take place, with elections and voting on various motions.

Elaios were ratified as new members, to the applause of the assembly. The morning also saw the first of several sessions devoted to the project for a single event in 2018, in the presence of Wessel Van Kaloampen, co-president of GLISA, who made the trip from the Netherlands to meet with the more than 60 FGG delegates, board m

Pan Am Games news: trans athlete places in track and field in Guadalajara 2011, looking forward to Toronto 2015

From Outsports:

Keelin Godsey, a former track & field standout at Bates College, placed fifth in the hammer throw at the Pan American Games today as a member of the United States National Track & Field team. There were 14 women in the competition; Godsey threw a distance of 67.84m, which is his third-best distance ever.

Godsey is a male transgender athlete competing against women from Canada to Argentina. That may be a confusing dynamic to some, but he is in the same boat as Kye Allums: A pre-transition transgender athlete

See Keelin's blog HERE.

Read a great profile of Keelin by Dan Woog HERE.

The Pan Am Games are taking place now in Guadalajara, but in 2015 they'll be coming to Toronto, where the FGG is currently holding its Annual General Assembly.

We had the pleasure of meeting with new member Outsport Toronto who is closely involved with the efforts of the local organizing committee to ensure all forms of diversity at the Games, and more important, to do so in a way that will leave a lasting legacy. The FGG is pleased with the offer of Outsport Toronto to continue to explore ways in which the FGG can support this great initiative.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 2 of the FGG Annual General Assembly

Today is the second day of the FGG's Annual General Assembly in Toronto.

At yesterday's opening session, Outsport Toronto and Elaios were ratified as new members, to the applause of the assembly. The morning also saw the first of several sessions devoted to the project for a single event in 2018, in the presence of Wessel Van Kampen, co-president of GLISA, who made the trip from the Netherlands to meet with the more than 60 FGG delegates, board members, and volunteers gathered in Toronto.

The afternoon saw the first committee meetings, those of external affairs and culture, and a large gathering for sports committee, at which delegates met Rob Smitherman, the newly hired sports director for Gay Game 9. Rob is a familiar face to FGG people, as a sports manager for some particularly challenging sports at Gay Games VII in Chicago, and assistant sports manager in Cologne for Gay Games VIII.

Today's schedule includes more committee meetings (technology and development), more 1QE discussions, and reports from our last host in Cologne and our next host in Cleveland. At the end of the day, the public reception will take place at Woody's bar, during which the FGG will present its 2011 Awards to people such as Angela James and Brian Burke.

Time Out London catalogs local LGBT sports groups

From Time Out London:

Gay sports clubs in London
Find the best gay-friendly places to exercise in the capital

The world has come a long way when it comes to accepting gay men and women, but sports is yet, on the whole, to get the message. Time Out finds the best clubs in London to offer security, empathy and a great place to work out.

Badminton | Basketball | Bowling | Cricket | Cycling | Dance | Football | Golf | Hockey | Kickboxing | Martial Arts | Motorcycling | Rugby | Running | Sailing | Softball | Squash | Swimming | Tennis | Volleyball | Walking | Yoga

For all details on the above sports, click HERE.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Profile of Michael Holtz

An extract from an entertaining profile of Michael Holtz, founder of Swim for Equality, in Fruitflylife:

Mr. Holtz treads lightly on other subjects, dipping his toes into the pool of deep thought, but often receding and straying toward something else entirely. He’s a very pleasant man -- chipper, sensible, even keeled -- and seems very passionate about the causes he’s created. In fact, he single-handedly conceptualized, produced, and implemented two of the first ever long distance swims on both the East and West coasts. He did so through his production company, MKH20 productions, which seems to be the nucleus of his empire. He also continues to participate actively in a variety of LGBT-centric charities, and he’s expected to engineer somewhere between three to five more events in this vain by the time 2011 concludes. In short, this motherfucker’s busy, and that doesn’t leave much time for Mr. Holtz or his partner, a med student and someone whom he describes as “very busy too, but in a different way.”

It seems, above all else, Mr. Holtz’s agenda is to spread acceptance through charity based projects aimed at the LGBT community. Beyond that, however, Mr. Holtz continues to attempt furthering his entrepreneurial interests. He hopes to brand himself on water bottles, but doesn’t, as suspected, provide much detail. He’d be like the Paul Newman of good ol’ H20. Fun! He’s in shape, he’s competitive, he’s noble, caring, considerate, loving, loyal, and driven. In short, Michael Holtz is actually a golden retriever.


All jokes aside, Mr. Holtz is one of those few jocks who doesn’t measure his worth by the amount of time he spends as the gym. H It seems as though his aim is two fold: to inspire change, but to also democratize health for the emerging generation.

Read the full article HERE.

2011 Annual General Assembly: Opening session this morning

The Federation of Gay Games Annual General Assembly opens today in Toronto.

At the preliminary meeting held yesterday, the FGG board of directors decided to make some changes to the meeting schedule to respond to requests to for more time for exchanges about current discussions with GLISA International on holding a single event in 2018.

A special session was held with a delegation from Cleveland Special Events Corporation, the host of Gay Games 9. Board members were impressed with the progress made, particularly in development of our host's own board of directors, which now includes more than 80% members from the region's LGBT community, and even more satisfying, 50% women.

After these board meetings, board members joined delegates and volunteers for a welcome welcome drink.

The modified meeting schedule calls for a new delegate orientation, followed by the opening session of the AGA.

FGG's Kate Rowe and Michelle Ferris in article from The Age on

Australia's The Age looks at coming out... and not... in sport. It's a great in-depth article that features, among others, some FGG people:

Actors do it. Judges do it. Even political leaders do it. So why don't elite athlete come out of the closet?

Gus Johnston was a champion hockey goalkeeper. A gutsy player who regularly put his body on the line for his team, Johnston represented Victoria for 12 years and was vice-captain of his local club Essendon for seven. While his flame-red hair and natural ability made him a big identity in his sport, he was little known outside hockey circles. Until last month, that is, when he posted an emotional 12-minute video on YouTube in which he outed himself as gay.

In the film, which he called ''The reality of homophobia in sport'', Johnston looks the viewer in the eye as he says: ''My name is Gus Johnston, I'm a writer, art director, filmmaker and a hockey goalkeeper. I'm also a gay man - and that's something I never thought I would say in such a public forum like this.''

Sport is the last bastion of public life in Australia in which same-sex attraction is kept under wraps. The last closet in which it is safer to stay silent than speak up. Elite Australian athletes who are gay or lesbian mostly play it straight.
It is harder to learn about the experiences of gay elite sportswomen. Several lesbian athletes were contacted either directly or by third parties for this story. [Gay Games Ambassador] Ferris was the only woman prepared to speak publicly. Other former athletes declined to speak, even anonymously.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tonight! Team DC Champions Awards Reception

2011 Champions Awards Reception

Saturday, October 22 - 6PM-8PM - Location: HRC Equality Forum Hall

Champions Awards recognize leaders in the LGBT Sports Community and include MVP Award, Trailblazer Award, and Community Support Award.

This will be the fourth annual event to recognize local leaders in and supporters of the region’s LGBT sports community. Three awards are given annually based on nominations submitted by local sport participants and chosen by the Awards Committee.

Our special guest at the Champions Reception will be Hudson Taylor, the 3 time All-American wrestler from the University of Maryland and the driving force behind the Athlete Ally organization which helps to address homophobia in sports. As a straight ally, Hudson has been a vocal supporter for greater inclusion of LGBT athletes at all levels. More about Hudson and his organization can be found at www.athleteally.com.

More info and tickets HERE.

The MVP Award recognizes individuals that have made a significant contribution to their sport club or tournament over the past year.
  • Martin Espinoza (Stonewall Kickball) and
  • Chris Cormier (DC Gay Flag Football League)

The Trailblazer Award recognizes individuals that have worked for many years to support and in some cases, establish their teams and tournaments.

  • Brandon Waggoner (DC Gay Flag Football League) and
  • Phil Piga & Tony Watkins (Anywhere Goes)

The Community Support Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have supported the teams and the entire LGBT sporting community.

  • Town Danceboutique and
  • Hudson Taylor (Athlete Ally)

Additional Recognition
In addition to honoring individuals with the Champions Awards, we also recognize the recipients of the Team DC College Scholarships. This year there were three Scholarships given to the following individuals:
  • Jorge Acevedo is a graduating senior from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. He was a member of the Swim Team and will be attending Northern Virginia Community College in the fall.
  • Nate Eckland is a graduating senior from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. Nate was a Captain of his Varsity Coed Volleyball team and will be attending Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Justin Kanga is a graduating senior from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland where he competed in Track and Field and Diving. Justin will be attending the University of Maryland, College Park this fall.

Washington Post reports on Team DC student-athlete scholarships

Photo Linda Davidson/Washington Post
The Washington Post reports on a great program for LGBT student athletes run by FGG member organization Team DC:

Scholarship reflects challenges of coming out for gay student-athletes

Brent Minor and his colleagues developed a college scholarship that was innovative and important: an award for local student athletes who came out of the closet during high school.

There was just one problem: The students couldn’t be found.

“It was more challenging than we originally thought,’’ said Minor, the program director for Team DC, a local sports networking and advocacy group for area gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. “Much more challenging.”
In one of this year’s winning applications to Team DC, Kanga wrote that his participation in sports instilled a confidence that allowed him to tell his friends he was gay.

“It was April 25, 2009, at 3 a.m.,” said Kanga, now a freshman at University of Maryland at College Park. “We were up all night talking and it just felt right.”

Kanga wasn’t too surprised when his friends shrugged and moved on. Reflecting on that day, he said he’d been worried because “once that is revealed, you can’t take it back. You have to live with it. I felt blessed that I had such good friends.”

Read in full HERE.

2011 Annual General Assembly: First meetings today

The Federation of Gay Games Annual General Assembly opens this weekend in Toronto.

On the agenda today, a series of board meetings, the first opportunity for the organization's board of directors since last year's AGA in Cologne. One of the sessions will be devoted to a working session with the host organization for Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Delegates have already started arriving for the opening session of the AGA tomorrow morning, but will have a first encounter this evening at a reception at the host hotel.

Gay Games Ambassador David Kopay LGBT History Month Icon

Gay Games Ambassador David Kopay was the Icon for 21 October for Equality Forum's LGBT History Month series:

b. June 28, 1942

“I hear from people all over the world that my coming out has empowered them in their search for self.”

Dave Kopay made headlines in 1975 when he became the first NFL payer and one of the first professional athletes to come out. His autobiography, now in its fifth printing, was a New York Times best seller.

The second of four children, Kopay was born in Chicago into a strict Roman Catholic family. When he was in grammar school, the family moved to North Hollywood, California.

Kopay began his football career at Notre Dame High School in Los Angeles, a school known for its championship athletics. He was named to the all-Catholic conference all-star football team. He enrolled at the University of Washington and as team co-captain led the Huskies to the PAC-10 conference title. The following year, he was named an All-American running back.

In 1964, Kopay was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He was the team’s leading rusher in his rookie year. He played for five NFL teams in his nine-year career, including the Detroit Lions, the Washington Redskins, the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers.

While playing for the Redskins, Kopay had relationships with women and men, including teammate Jerry Smith, who died of AIDS in 1986. At the suggestion of his therapist, Kopay married a woman to try to fix what he perceived as a problem. The marriage lasted a year.

Three years after retiring from the NFL, Kopay came out publicly in an interview with the Washington Star. He shared details about his struggle with homophobia and sports in “The David Kopay Story,” published in 1977. Kopay pursued coaching positions with NCAA and NFL teams, but believes he wasn’t hired because he is gay. Since 1982, he has worked in his family’s business.

Kopay is one of the founding Gay Games Ambassadors, and has been present to support participating athletes and artists at every edition of the Games.

A champion of gay rights for more than 30 years, Kopay has given hundreds of speeches and media interviews. In 2007, he donated $1 million to the University of Washington’s LGBT center.

Despite suffering serious injuries during his football career, Kopay still misses the thrill of playing for the NFL. “There’s nothing like the rush of playing on Monday Night Football,” he says. “There’s nothing that will ever fill that void.”

Kopay resides in Los Angeles.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Advocate's Fortune Feimster is passionate about the Gay Games

In each edition of The Advocate, a contributor shares a list of things they're passionate about:

Here’s what Fortune Feimster, a writer and roundtable regular on E!’s Chelsea Lately, is passionate about this month.

I Advocate...
the Federation of Gay Games. I love gay sports. The sports themselves aren’t gay, but there are many gay and gay-friendly sporting associations out there, and the Federation of Gay Games is made up of individuals and athletic organizations from four continents. I’ve been a member of the Greater Los Angeles Softball Association and the Los Angeles Tennis Association since 2004. In fact, I played softball in Gay Games VII in Chicago in 2006. It’s just a great way to stay active, make friends with fellow LGBT people, and build community in the process. Plus it’s not too soon to start planning for Gay Games IX in Cleveland in 2014. GayGames.org.

Hudson Taylor explains how he became an Athlete Ally

Hudson Taylor tells his story in the Huffington Post:

Like many athletes, I started playing sports at a young age. My earliest memories take me back to wrestling mats and arenas and early-morning drives with my father as we traveled to find the best competitions and open tournaments. We spent thousands of hours (yes, thousands) together in the car preparing for matches and talking about life. Though these conversations focused mainly on wrestling technique and tournament brackets, more often than not my dad found a way to weave lessons about decency and morality into discussions about athletic achievement. As he talked about his heroes -- the New York Yankee legends of the1950s who lifted American spirits in the wake of World War II -- my father set up a hierarchy of sports-based integrity that is still with me: Athletes become worthy of the greatest respect not when they win at their sport but when they stand up for the dignity of others and represent something bigger than themselves.

Keep reading HERE.

Matthew Mitcham meets his Queen

Gay Games Ambassador Matthew Mitcham writes on his Facebook page:


Or as the Herald Sun writes:

AUSTRALIA has grown into a prosperous, energetic and dynamic nation that should be proud of its economic and academic achievements, despite the devastation caused by disaster and war, the Queen says.

The 85-year-old British monarch gave a brief speech this evening at Canberra's Parliament House, where she and the Duke of Edinburgh were welcomed as the guests of honour at a special government reception.

She told the eclectic crowd, which included Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, billionaire miner Clive Palmer, Australian of the Year Simon McKeon and a mix of past and present MPs, that she'd watched Australia develop at a rapid pace since first visiting in 1954.

"This country has made dramatic progress economically, in social, scientific and industrial endeavours and, above all, in self-confidence," said the Queen, who was dressed in a cream-coloured sheath under a silver-threaded jacket.

"Australia has flourished and achieved excellence on the world stage."


Prime Minister Julia Gillard, wearing a silver suit, earlier welcomed the Queen as a woman who has endured, having "walked fully two-thirds of Australia's national journey with us".

"In this home of Australian democracy, you are a vital constitutional part, not a guest," Ms Gillard said.

"Just as in this nation, you can only ever be welcomed as a beloved and respected friend."


After the speeches, the 200 or so guests were treated to a performance by ARIA award-winning indigenous artist Gurrumul Yunupingu before Ms Gillard and the Queen mingled with guests on the floor of the Great Hall.

The royal couple were invited to sign Parliament House's visitors book before heading "home" to Government House.

Charlie Carson's top-ten moments in LGBT aquatics history

photo glanzbilder.org
In response to Outsports top-100 moments in LGBT sports history, Charlie Carson proposes his list of top-ten moments in IGLA history.

You can read the detailed explanations in Charlie's well-written and enlightening piece on Outsports HERE, but here's the bare-bones list:

1. Gay Games I, 1982.
2. Beginning of IGLA, Gay Games II, 1986.
3. First world records, Gay Games III, 1990.
4. Bruce Hayes, first Olympic medalist, Gay Games III, 1990.
5. Pink Flamingo relay/skits, Gay Games III, 1990.
6. EuroGames II in The Hague, 1993.
7. Greg Louganis, Gay Games IV, 1994.
8. Synchronized swimming added to IGLA competitions, 1995.
9. First inclusion of sexual orientation in nondiscrimination language of a national aquatics organization’s bylaws,
10. FINA decision to deny world records at Gay Games 2010 and Asia-Pacific Outgames 2011.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Video report on Outsport Toronto

As the FGG heads for Toronto this weekend for our Annual General Assembly, we thank Outsport Toronto for their help. Here's a report from Canadian TV on Outsport Toronto.

Research project on friendships between gay and straight student athletes

You'll remember college runner Brenner Green. He has launched an appeal on Outsports for interview subjects for his honors thesis, which we're passing on:

Hi, my name is Brenner Green and I am a senior undergraduate student at Connecticut College majoring in Psychology. I am writing to tell you about a study that I am conducting for my senior honors thesis.

My research interest is in the friendships between gay and straight high school (and college) male teammates. I am interested in what makes these friendships meaningful and how they may differ from the friendships between two straight-identified male teammates.

My research involves the gay athlete and the straight teammate in each friendship pair being interviewed separately about their friendships (approximately a one-hour interview via Skype or in-person).

If you are under the age of 18 and decide to participate in this study, you will be provided a parental consent form that one of your parents must sign in order to obtain consent for the research. Therefore, your parent should recognize that either you are gay or a straight-identified friend of an openly gay teammate (for gay interviewee and straight-identified interviewee, respectively).

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved this research study. If you are interested in learning more about this study, please contact Brenner either via e-mail at bgreen@conncoll.edu or by phone at (860) 451-9853.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

20 October 2011 / Get Amped! Run/walk in Dallas for GLAAD

A message about an event produced by Michael Holtz/MKH20 in partnership with Frontrunners Dallas:

Thursday, October 20, 2011
5:30pm ‐ 9:00pm
Reverchon Park - Katy Trail
3505 Maple Ave
Dallas, TX

Check-in 5:30 p.m.
Start gun 7:00 p.m.
Finish Line & Celebration 9:00 p.m

Join hundreds of runners and walkers on Thursday, October 20, 2011 for the first-ever GET AMPED! Dallas-Fort Worth 5K Run/Walk, benefiting GLAAD’s culture-changing work to amplify LGBT voices! Held during LGBT History Month, the GET AMPED! 5K Run/Walk will bring together residents, visitors and local businesses in raising critical funds to help GLAAD share stories that build support for equality.

Be part of the action and GET AMPED!

Sign up today to Run, help a Runner raise their $250 goal (or more!), or make a donation.
Together, we will amplify the voice of the LGBT community.

RSVP below to register and then visit crowdrise.com/getampeddallas and click fundraise for this event to GET AMPED! Visit www.glaad.org/getamped/dallas/buildyourpage for help getting started.

All links and info HERE.

Join us for the Official GET AMPED! 2011 Dallas 5K Walk/Run Afterparty, Sponsored by ABSOLUT, at The RoundUp Saloon (3912 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75219) at 9:30 PM
Enjoy hosted Absolut vodka cocktails from 9pm to 11pm
Runners: Free
Guests: Suggested $20 donation

Bidding for 2015 Eurogames open

A message from our friends at the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation:

The bidding procedure for the 15th EuroGames 2015 is open. The General Assembly of the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) decided this year in Frankfurt that in 2015 there will be a large scale Eurogames. This means that at least 14 sports must be offered, and the capacity of participants must exceed 3,000 athletes.

EuroGames are the European LGBT Sport Championships organized by authority of the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF). In the last decade EuroGames has proved to be the ultimate LGBT sport event in Europe and is recognized as a very strong brand of EGLSF both in and outside Europe.

The bidding manual offers guidelines for all organizations who are possibly interested in organizing EuroGames in 2015. As EuroGames are licensed by EGLSF, only EGLSF member clubs can bid for the EuroGames.

The draft bid book must be submitted until December 31, 2011. The organiser will be chosen at the EGLSF AGA 2012, to take place in the beggining of March 2012 in Split, Croatia.

The manual is available upon request to the EGLSF Treasurer Juha Meronen - juha@eglsf.info.
Info about EuroGames: www.eurogames.info

Former college football star says "It Gets Better" and tells his coming out story as a student athlete

A new video for "It Gets Better" via Outsports.

"In 1994, I came out to my college football team at Texas Christian University. After I came out, I recorded 4.5 sacks in our final game against Texas Tech, and I helped my team win a share of the conference title and go to a bowl game. It gets better. This video shares my story."

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

Support "Out For the Long Run", a documentary about young LGBT athletes

A message from the makers of Out For the Long Run, a documentary about which we posted HERE.

Hey everyone!

Our Film is being considered for inclusion in the first ever Arclight Documentary Film Festival. The trailers for all the films have been posted on the Arclight Cinemas FB Page HERE.

And on their You Tube page as well HERE.

The 10 films that receive the most "likes" will be the films selected to play the festival. Please take a moment to vote for us either here on Facebook or on You Tube and help us get this amazing film it's Los Angeles Premier screening at one of Hollywood's most amazing venues.

5 November 2011 / Federation of Gay Games at Compete Sports Diversity Expo and Awards

Visit the FGG booth at this event, meet Gay Games Ambassador Brian Sims, and more!
More info HERE.

Wear purple tomorrow 20 October for "Spirit Day" against bullying of LGBT youth

Millions of Americans [and others!] wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Getting involved is easy -- participants are asked to simply "go purple" on October 20 as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.

From Wikipedia:

In early October 2010, Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan promulgated the observance of a new commemoration called Spirit Day, the first observance of which took place on October 20, 2010, in which people wear the color purple to show support for LGBT young people who are victims of bullying. Promoted by GLAAD, many Hollywood celebrities wore purple on this day to show their support of this cause, and many websites added a prominent purple shade to their design.

The name, Spirit Day comes from the purple stripe of the Rainbow Flag, defined by Gilbert Baker, creator of that flag, as 'representing "spirit"'.

The observance was inaugurated in response to a rash of widely-publicized bullying-related suicides of gay school students in 2010, including that of Tyler Clementi. Over 1.6 million Facebook users signed up for the event globally.

More info on the day and how to "purple" your Facebook and other social media profiles photo HERE.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

En français / Levez-vous ! Parlez-en ! Une campagne contre l'homophobie dans le sport

L'Association canadienne pour l'avancement des femmes, du sport et de l'activité physique (ACAFS) a lancé une initiative intitulée "Levez-vous ! Parlez-en !" pour lutter contre l'homophobie dans le sport :

Levez-vous! Parlez-en! Ralliez la campagne pour un sport inclusif! consiste en une initiative nationale conjointe menée par des organismes nationaux de sport qui vise à encourager les athlètes, les entraîneurs et entraîneures, les officiels et officielles, les administrateurs et administratrices de sport, les parents, les amateurs et les autres membres de la communauté sportive canadienne à respecter tous les individus qui pratiquent un sport, sans tenir compte de leur orientation sexuelle réelle ou perçue. Elle s’inspire de la campagne Athlete Ally de Hudson Taylor qui bat son plein aux États-Unis avec l’espoir que la communauté sportive canadienne se lèvera et se prononcera elle aussi contre l’homophobie dans le sport.

Au Canada, trop souvent, le sport n’est pas accueillant pour les personnes étant ou perçues comme étant lesbiennes, gaies, bisexuelles, transgenres ou « queer » (LGBTQ). Il existe de nombreux athlètes, entraîneurs et entraîneures et autres leaders sportifs LGBTQ qui sont hésitants à vivre leur vie au grand jour par crainte de rejet ou d’autres formes de discrimination, subtile ou évidente, de la part de leur communauté sportive.

Retrouver plein de ressources sur leur site ICI.

Seattle Lesbian interview with LGBA music directors

Member organization Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) is currently holding its annual conference and concert in Seattle, hosted by the Rainbow City Band. Charlene Strong interviews some of the directors involved in the conference in the Seattle Lesbian. Here's an extract:

Directing a band is likely not an easy endeavor; with that said, was it difficult to find enough interested parties in the LGBT community in your area to put together a fully positioned band? Or, another way of looking at it, how hard was it for you to motivate our community to be a part of a band?

Michael Clark: We are blessed here in Seattle to live in a community in which the arts are alive and well, and there is a vibrant musical scene. Rainbow City Band (RCB) has grown exponentially over the past several years, and we generally have 70-plus musicians per term, with new members joining us every season. Much of our growth comes from word of mouth, and fortunately we have grown every year as words spread about how fun it is to be part of RCB…and that you can remember how to play your instrument after 20 years away from it.

Read in full HERE.

A martial artists says "It Gets Better"

A nice "It Gets Better" message from a fellow who says that "It Gets Better" by practicing martial arts!

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

The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport has launched a great initiative, "Step Up! Speak Out!":

Step Up! Speak Out! Ally Campaign for Inclusive Sport is a partner initiative led by national sport organizations designed to encourage athletes, coaches, officials, sport administrators, parents, fans and other members of the Canadian sport community to respect all individuals involved in sport, regardless of perceived or actual sexual orientation. It is inspired by Hudson Taylor's Athlete Ally™ campaign in the United States in the hopes that the Canadian sport community will also Step Up! and Speak Out! against homophobia in sport.

All too often, sport in Canada is not welcoming to those who are, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirited or questioning (LGBTQ). There are many LGBTQ athletes, coaches and other sport leaders who remain hesitant to live their lives out in the open for fear of rejection and other forms of subtle and not so subtle discrimination from the sport community.

You'll find all sorts of resources on their website HERE.

Em portugues / 18 September 2012 / Jogos Nacionais da Diversidade LGBTS, Campo Granden Brazil

A message from CDG Brasil about the first Brazilian national LGBT games to be held in September 2012:

OI Gente se você gosta de esporte e quer participar da primeira Olimpíada GLS Brasileira, visite a página dos Jogos Nacionais da Diversidade LGBTS que será realizada em 2012 na maravilhosa cidade de Campo Grande/MS.

O evento vai conceder bolsas de participação com alimentação e hospedagem, além de alguns estados ajudarem com o transporte também.

Divulguem essa iniciativa por favor pois tem muita gente que não conhece este evento e que pode se interessar.

Info HERE.

Enjoy rugby in the capital of love...

The campaign is over and the site is no longer active, but the image is still fun...

3 December 2011 / LGBT sport at World LGBTQ Youth Leaders Summit in Tel Aviv

We are pleased to announce that sport will be on the agenda of the World LGBTQ Youth Leaders Summit this December in Tel Aviv.

Andrew Langenfeld, an elite collegiate swimmer from the USA will be part of the education panel at the summit. Andrew is a founder of Our Group, a support group for out LGBT student athletes.

More info soon!

Website: lgbtqsummit.org

25 May 2012 / Tournoi international de Paris - Paris International Tournament

Pour lutter contre les discriminations de toutes formes et favoriser l'échange entre les sportifs français et étrangers, le Tournoi International de Paris regroupe chaque année une vingtaine de disciplines sportives. Ce tournoi vise à favoriser l'ouverture d'esprit, la tolérance et la convivialité dans le milieu sportif.
En 2012 le tournoi aura lieu du 25 au 28 mai.

To fight against all forms of discrimination and want to promote exchanges between French and international athletes, each year the Paris International Tournament offers twenty sports. The tournament aims to promote openness, tolerance and friendliness in sports.
In 2012, the tournament will be held from 25-28 May (Pentecost weekend).


Monday, October 17, 2011

Federation of Gay Games Gender Equity Policy

Just a reminder as we head out for our Annual General Assembly...

In October 2007, at the annual meeting held in Cape Town, a presentation and workshop was held on gender parity. Out of this interactive workshop, the beginnings of a policy and strategic plan were formulated. This paper is the outcome.

In order to continue the vision of Dr Tom Waddell, the founder of the Gay Games movement, the following (paraphrased) quote allows for context and acts as a starting point.
“We are just as racist, ageist, sexist, nationalistic and chauvinistic as everybody else. It seems that somehow we have to make ourselves exemplary. How do we do that? Let’s use the same processes of self liberation that we learned through coming out to get at other issues. Let’s get at sexism issues. Let’s get at the ageism issue. Let’s make ourselves an exemplary community”.

The question of gender parity within the FGG and its member organizations needs to be addressed with a realistic approach . This process needs the involvement of everyone to ensure that gender equity becomes a reality and not just a question of paying lip service.

Much has been achieved over the last 27 years and now it is time to implement a strategic plan to move this forward.
The participation of women in the Gay Games and the board has hovered around 20-30%, with representation of women on the board somewhere between 15-20%.

The reasons for implementing a policy and strategic plan for women are:
• Women make up the largest underrepresented group
• Women are more than half the world’s population
• Women bring a distinct view of the world to the Federation
• Women often bring a different perspective and way of working that can benefit everyone

• Increasing the participation of women within the board and its members will attract more women’s involvement in the FGG and at the GG
• To raise awareness of assembly members and the board of understanding the particular challenges that women face
• Acknowledgement of diversity of experience in first and developing countries, race and ethnicity
• Create good will and enable a desire to work on improving women’s involvement at all levels of the Federation. This includes the Board, the Assembly and member organizations .
• To put forward a motion to have this policy and strategic plan accepted and adopted at the next annual meeting to be held in Cologne, Germany September 2009.

The following points outline the gender parity policy
• To increase the number of women in key positions
• To evaluate the possibility of setting quotas, targets and timeframes
• Develop a reward system for attaining such targets
• Build networks and support with and for high profile lesbian sports women
• Pursue the availability of sponsorship and endorsements for lesbian women
• Develop a list of visible role models and mentors
• Have equal media coverage for lesbian events and athletes
• Create a gender parity committee within the Federation with equal status as all other committees
• This committee to be added to the list of required committee space at all annual meetings.
• To develop and implement a marketing strategy for women
• To explore the possibility of including a gender parity specific budget with the FGG
• To have ongoing monitoring and evaluation of this policy.

Strategic plan

• A female keynote speaker be identified for the annual meetings whenever possible
• Scholarships awarded for attendance at annual meetings be prioritized for women
• In conjunction with Games Cologne, a Women’s space be made available at the games in 2010 and that publicity of this space be put on in a prominent position on the GC website
• That there be a large presence women on the FGG website
• Of the 5 “officer at large position available on the board, 2 be reserved for women
• Review the election schedule of the existing 2 female board positions
• The current by Laws be reviewed for gender quality by 2 volunteers from the BOD and Vice President Diversity
• A mentor program for women be developed in conjunction with the assembly organizations
• This strategic policy be reviewed by the board and the assembly on an annual basis

Pat Griffin reports on National Coming Out Day event at Nike headquarters

GLSEN Sports Project's Pat Griffin, along with Hudson Taylor and Jessica Mendoza, participated in an event for National Coming Out Week at Nike headquarters on Thursday, October 13 focused on straight allies and their role in making a sports great place for LGBT participants. Here's her report:

Last spring just after GLSEN launched Changing the Game, our new sports project, I got an email from Edward Tylicki from Nike. Edward is a member of Nike’s LGBT and Friends Network. Edward sought me out as director for the Sports Project because he wanted to know how Nike could support Changing the Game. My initial reactions were complicated. On one hand, getting the support of a huge corporation like Nike was exciting and held enormous possibilities for helping us to get our message of safety, respect and inclusion in K-12 sports and physical education out there in a big way. On the other hand, I worried about what it would mean to accept the support of a company that had been targeted as a participant in taking advantage of “sweatshop” labor in their factories around the world. I have not bought anything with a swoosh on it for years in my own personal attempt to send Nike a message about this.

So, I did some homework. In addition to going to the internet to read more about this, when I finally met Edward at GLSEN’s Respect dinner in May, I asked him to talk about Nike’s current labor policy and practices and about how Nike responds to these criticisms. What I learned is that, over the last 10 years, Nike has taken some significant steps to monitor and correct the problems that labor advocates have been protesting. In addition, Nike has initiated a “better world” campaign to focus on their “eco-conscious, people- and planet-improving goals” and, most importantly, Nike is putting its money where its mouth is.

Keep reading HERE.

Kansas City Carnivores rugby players say "It Gets Better"

Kansas City Carnivores Rugby team have made this video for the "It Gets Better" project.

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