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.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"LGBT world championships: sexualized ghettos in global scale?"

Wagner Xavier de Camargo, Paris 2011
CAMARGO, Wagner Xavier de and RIAL, Carmen Silvia Moraes. LGBT world championships: sexualized ghettos in global scale?. Rev. Estud. Fem.

After a partial presentation of his work at the December 2011 conference on sport and homosexuality organized by FGG member organization FSGL in Paris, Wagner Xavier de Camargo along with Carmen Silvia Moraes Rial have published (in Portuguese) their paper in the Revista Estudos Feministas.

The positions taking are striking, but, at least based on an imperfect Google translation, many would take issue with the conclusions, and the research behind them. For example, the description of the role of the FGG Board in choosing a host city does not correspond to the reality of the process. And the role of a search for a non-sports model for a sports event in the creation of the Outgames is undoubtedly exaggerated,  and is inconsistent with the diversity of the content of the Gay Games themselves, ignoring the cultural component of the Gay Games, along with an explicit commitment to human rights (for example at the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney).

Nor do the authors take into account the diversity of participants in the Gay Games (and Outgames). While the writers were struck by the presence of affluent white men from developed countries, such people cannot be identified as the only participants in such events (it is true that as privately self-funded events, and despite efforts for outreach, finances may skew the profile of participants). And to reduce the interest of participants to tourism, and in particular to sexual tourism, is to deny participants their identity as athletes.

And while there may be some participants who prefer to remain isolated among LGBT people alone, this is in any case not the official position of organizers. All are welcome to participate. And if it is true that with some exceptions, relatively few spectators with no connection to the athletes can be found at venues, this is not specific to LGBT sport: the majority of non-elite sporting events are alas not particularly well attended by fans with no connection to those playing.

There may be validity in speaking of "ghettos" in the context of LGBT sport. But the ghetto above all is a creation of the oppressor, and this paper deals little with the very real homophobia and exclusion of mainstream sport that participate in the creation of such "ghettos". Nor does the paper adequately recognize that rather than ghettos, LGBT sport creates spaces of freedom, not just for LGBT people, but for all people anxious to do sport together, with specific values, best represented by the FGG motto of "Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best".

We look forward to further discussions, and opportunities to enrich the understanding of these researchers and others of the legacy and potential of the Gay Games and the international LGBT sports movement.

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