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, May 31, 2012

Last three days to take advantage of Eurogames party promo offer

You have until 23:59 pm on Sunday 3 June 2012 to register and receive a special gift from us – a free ticket for the "Night of the Cities party", to be held in the FriGo-EuroGames Village) on the evening of Friday 29 June.

Register HERE.

Please also find the attached schedule of all the events (sports, parties, conferences, exhibitions, etc) to see that we are offering you an exceptionally colorful couple of days!

Make sure your place is booked at the awesome EuroGames Budapest, and tell your friends, too, not to miss this great opportunity!

Download the program of sports, culture, conferences and other events HERE.

Anton Hysén in finals for dance contest:

Out footballer Anton Hysén has reached the finals of Let's Dance, the Swedish version of Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing With the Stars.

The finals are Friday, so cross your fingers! And let's look forward to some same-sex dancing on these shows!

Euro Pride House welcomes fans at UEFA Euro 2012

Next week Warsaw will see the opening of “Euro Pride House”, a place for the LGBT community to enjoy Euro2012 in safety alongside straight friends, allies and fellow supporters in an environment of tolerance and respect for fundamental human rights.

Throughout June Euro Pride House will screen matches, host a table football tournament and play host to a range of debates and networking events. Of course, there is also a very well stocked bar and great local seasonal food for any fans looking for a friendly place to relax during the tournament.

For more information about the Launch of Euro Pride House contact: Lou Manders, EGLSF Co-President: lou@eglsf.info

15 August 2012 / Seattle Orcas supporting Swim for Life donor registry drive

Seattle Orca swim club had one entry two years ago and two entries last year in the Puget Sound Swim for Life. How many will sign up this year? More about the event:

It's a little-known fact that thousands of leukemia and other patients every year don't find a life-saving bone marrow donor match in time, even with a national registry of 9.5 million possible donors. The tissue-typing requirements are precise and costly and the donor registry simply isn't long enough.

Swim for Life is your opportunity to change that reality, and have fun doing it.

In just the past two years alone, the swim has raised enough to test and add 1,100 new donors to the national Be The Match registry.

Swim for Life is an annual 2.5 mile, team-based swim across Lake Washington from Medina Beach Park to Madison Park. A team is four or fewer swimmers and a kayaker, so you always have a safety boat near you.

This combination builds team spirit and a collective feeling of accomplishment; many swimmers who meet each other in this event continue to swim together over the year and return as a team the next year.

More info HERE.

You Can Play infographic of NHL participants

The website "Sixteen Wins" has made an infographic showing stats on NHL players involved in the You Can Play project.

Visit the You Can Play website HERE.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Auf Deutsch / Volker Beck warnt Homosexuelle vor Ukraine

Friend of the Gay Games Volker Beck, a German member of parliament, warns homosexuals against going to Ukraine for the Euro 2012 football cup:

Der Grünen-Politiker Volker Beck hat Homosexuelle vor einer Reise zur Fußball-EM 2012 in die Ukraine gewarnt. Ihre Sicherheit sei nicht gewährleistet. Zwar könne die Polizei für Sicherheit sorgen, wenn sie das wolle. «Aber gegenüber Menschen mit anderer Hautfarbe oder Lesben und Schwulen will sie das eben nicht» so Beck.

Die Sicherheit von Fußball-Fans in der Ukraine ist nach Auffassung des Grünen-Politikers Volker Beck während der Fußball-EM 2012 nicht gewährleistet. Es sei zu bezweifeln, dass in der Ukraine «wirklich alle Fans bei der Europameisterschaft gleichermaßen sicher sind», sagte Beck der Nachrichtenagentur dapd.

Die Polizei könne für Sicherheit sorgen, wenn sie das wolle. «Aber gegenüber bestimmten Gruppen, wie Menschen mit anderer Hautfarbe oder gegenüber Lesben und Schwulen, will sie das eben nicht», fügte der Parlamentarische Geschäftsführer der Grünen-Bundestagsfraktion hinzu.

Keep reading HERE.

San Francisco Giants 10th LGBT Night salutes Gay Games 30th Anniversary

The scene was electric. ATT Park, home field for Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants. A full house of 42,000 fans on hand for a divisional rivalry game with the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was also the 10th Annual LGBT Night game from this pioneering pro sports team. The crowd included 1,000 purchasers of a special LGBT ticket that included a private pre-game party and an exclusive rainbow-themed knit cap. For the second year in a row, these special LGBT tickets sold out weeks before the game.

Just before the Giants came to bat in the bottom of the 6th inning, the enormous scoreboard presented a wonderful video salute to two major anniversaries being celebrated in 2012: the 40th Anniversary of the San Francisco Gay Softball League, and the 30th Anniversary of Gay Games I. The ovation for this video must have inspired the team, since they promptly went out and scored to tie the game 1 - 1.

One inning later, a quintet of singers from the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco led the sold-out crowd in an a capella performance of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," also captured on video. This too must have inspired the home team since the Giants went on to score two more runs. They won the game 3 - 1, breaking the four year "curse" of losing on LGBT Night.
Staffing the informational table and promoting Gay Games 9
were (left to right) Martha from Team SF,
Mike from Team SF, and Tyler, co-chair of Team SF.
They're all wearing the knit cap given to the 1,000 purchasers
of the special LGBT Night game tickets.
Earlier in the game, several local LGBT organizations staffed an informational table at the Giants' "Community Clubhouse" area behind home plate. All the groups mentioned above were represented, and postcards and brochures for Gay Games 9 - Cleveland 2014 were distributed. Overhead, the recap DVD from the 2006 Chicago Gay Games showed on a large flat-screen monitor.

A portion of the proceeds from the 1,000 special LGBT tickets will be shared by several beneficiary organizations: the Federation of Gay Games, Team San Francisco, and the San Francisco Gay Softball League.

To the San Francisco Giants, for the 10th year in a row, the LGBT Community of the San Francisco Bay Area says "thank you" to the most generous and progressive of all professional sports organizations!

FGG to participate in Nike Sports Summit

The Federation of Gay Games is pleased to be invited to this event, and is looking forward to what we are sure will be productive discussions. From Outsports:

Homophobia and transphobia are persistent problems in sport that have silenced gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender athletes and coaches for much of the last century. Thanks to pioneers like former NFL player Dave Kopay, tennis great Martina Navratilova, and transgender professional tennis player Renee Richards, the climate for LGBT athletes and coaches began to shift three decades ago…but only marginally.

In contrast, 2011 was a watershed year in the fight to end homophobia and transphobia in sports. We have finally reached a tipping point when anti-gay slurs, silence and discrimination are no longer the accepted norms in sports. Increasing numbers of LGBT athletes are coming out, and many more straight allies are speaking up to support them. Joining established athletics-focused groups like the NCLR sports project and Outsports.com, LGBT advocacy groups like GLSEN, It Gets Better andGLAAD are widening their focus to include sports. It seems as though more new organizations are also coming forward to fight discrimination in sports every few weeks. Each organization is doing great things. Some target high schools sports, others target college athletics or professional sports; Some focus on legal advocacy, others outreach or media.

These changes are exciting and reflect a shifting culture in sport. Once dominated by discrimination and silence, a new climate of support and openness for LGBT athletes is emerging. The increasing numbers of groups focused on making sports a great place for everyone who wants to play or coach are helping to speed up the pace of change. But our effectiveness in ending homophobia in sports has been limited because we are not working together effectively. Despite being led by athletes and coaches whose success is built on communication and teamwork, most of these advocacy groups aren’t talking to one another. We all share the same goal, but we haven’t been playing like a team.

On June 14 in Beaverton, Ore., that will change. Thirty leaders who are actively advocating for LGBT equality in sports will come together at Nike World Headquarters for the first-ever Nike LGBT Sports Summit. The goal of this ground-breaking event is to create a team game plan for ending homophobia and transphobia in sport that takes advantage of the best thinking and strengths of each organization. The aim is to increase our ability to collaborate on bringing about the change we all are committed to.

For the better part of three days, summit participants will identify and commit to completing specific action plans toward ending anti-LGBT discrimination in sports. They’ll also forge inter-group relationships to carry out these action plans. The organizations involved in this inaugural summit include the American Alliance for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance, Athlete Ally, Br{ach the Silence,Campus Pride, ESPN, Fearless campaign, Federation of Gay Games, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), It Gets Better campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Nike, Our Group, Outsports, StandUp Foundation, and You Can Play project.

To maximize the effectiveness of our collaborative efforts, we envision this summit as the first of an annual event. Our intention is to include other organizations and individuals who share our goals as we extend our network over the coming year. The 2013 summit will be open to everyone who is committed to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports.

Thanks to Nike’s commitment to making sport a respectful and inclusive experience for LGBT athletes, we have an opportunity to make the next 12 months an even more amazing year of progress for LGBT athletes and coaches at all levels of sports. We’re also blessed to have the support of online sports leader SB Nation and worldwide tech leader Microsoft. The commitment of these companies, along with the organizations involved, opens an opportunity like never before to make equality in sports a reality for all.

We hope that pioneers of our movement will be proud to see the progress we are forging on the foundation of their courage and determination. Together, we will end homophobia and transphobia in sports. We hope you will join us in the coming year.

Ben Cohen profile

MetroSource magazine has an in-depth profile of Ben Cohen:

His StandUp foundation has become a major force for good in the lives of LGBT students. Now, Ben Cohen speaks to Metrosource about how he went from scoring rugby goals to fighting for kids’ rights.

If you’re a fan of international sports, you might know Ben Cohen as a British rugby star. If you’re an admirer of brawny, hairy-chested men, you may recognize him from his series of sexy pin-up calendars. But if you’re a member of the gay community, you’re probably most familiar with him as the founder of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, the organization he created to combat homophobia and bullying among schoolkids.

So how did this straight sportsman become a champion of gay kids’ rights? In some ways, the gay community chose Cohen. “While I was playing rugby, I realized that I had a gay following,” Cohen tells me. About six years ago, it was brought to his attention that — of his tens of thousands of Facebook fans — a vast majority of them were gay men. Cohen didn’t mind that these fans might like him more for his pecs than his performance on the field, but it did plant the seed of an idea: He wanted to do something to give back. “To be able to say, ‘Look guys, there’s more to me than — and I can’t believe I’m saying it — looks and a hairy chest,’” he says.

Keep reading HERE.

Greater Cleveland Sports Commission hosts national youth wrestling championship in Akron

From USA Wrestling:

This event features competition for University age athletes (born 1988-1994 and must have graduated from high school; 2012 graduates not eligible) in Men's Freestyle and Greco-Roman. In 2011, the event set records for competitors in the Men's Freestyle division. Sign up today to be a part of the action!

The event also features competition for FILA Cadet age athletes (born 1995-1997) in Men's Freestyle and Greco-Roman. The champion in each FILA Cadet weight class qualifies to represent the United States at the 2012 FILA Cadet World Championships.

Top three place winners at this event qualify for your state's Cadet national teams (above the state limit) in the style in which you qualify. This is only for athletes born in 1996 or 1997. Athletes born in 1995 do not qualify for their Cadet national team. Athletes must still adhere to all state policies and you qualify in the style in which you place. The ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships will be held in Fargo, ND, from July 14-21.

Sports clubs featured in NYC Pride Guide

Sports clubs featured in NYC Pride Guide

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why LGBT sport? A great example from the TIP Paris International Tournament

At last weekend's TIP Paris International Tournament there was a screening of clips from TV and movies about LGBT sport. During the discussion period I took issue with the moderator's position that in the absence of homophobia, there would be no need for LGBT sport.

I believe that there is a need for LGBT sport, independent of the very real problem of homophobia, in part because of the social role of sport. I also feel that there are modalities and values of sport found in the LGBT community that are distinct and worthwhile.

We saw an example of this at the TIP track meet. The last-place runner in the 5K track event was far behind everyone else. For the final lap, dozens of runners joined her to encourage her to the end. It's a moment that people who were there will take with them forever, and perhaps more meaningful than any medal they might have won. 

-- Marc Naimark

(Thanks to Jean François Vansnick for this great photo)

14 July 2012 / Pride Games adds Rowing challenge

Pride Games is an annual multi sports festival for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their friends. Held at various sporting sites in Manchester, it's the perfect opportunity to try a new sport, re-awaken old talents or brush up on current skills...have loads of fun and meet new people!  ​

After Track and field on 14 June and Squash on 21 June, Pride Games is adding a new event, Ergonomic Rowing, on 14 July 2012.

The Rowing ergometer challenge (2km) is brought to you by Open Athletics.

In the spirit of indoors rowing, complete 2k on a indoor rowing ergometer...but 'al fresco' and as quick as you can! Come anytime from 3pm to 5pm to complete the challenge and record your time. Medals for the 3 fastest men and women to cover the distance.

Register online now at www.pridesports.org.uk or just turn up and pay on the day.

More info HERE.

IGLA 2012 opens in Reykjavik

Accreditation is open at Reykjavik's Mál og Menning bookstore for IGLA 2012 annual championships.

Best wishes to hosts, volunteers, and participants in the competitions that begin tomorrow!

Video on UK's Rugby Football League "Tackle It" diversity initiative

The RFL has launched a new game wide 'Tackle IT' Equality and Diversity programme which aims to increase awareness of issues such as racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination and prejudice within Rugby League.
The 'Tackle IT' campaign features seven promotional posters and a promotional DVD which will be made available to all professional and community clubs in the UK. The campaign sees the RFL become the first UK sports governing body to produce a resource that simultaneously tackles and celebrates all six key equality strands of; race, sexuality, gender, disability, age and religion.

The campaign is fronted by famous names from the sport of Rugby League such as former St Helens and Hull KR star Anthony Sullivan, whose father Clive became the first ever black captain of a British sporting side when he led Great Britain to World Cup glory in 1972, and Sarah Bennison, who became the first female ever to referee a game in the professional ranks in July 2011 when she took charge of Norway versus Germany.
RFL Chairman Richard Lewis said: “We are committed to making Rugby League one of the most open and friendly sports in the UK and the Tackle IT campaign is the latest step aimed at ensuring we can achieve that goal.

“The RFL has worked very hard in recent years to improve our equality programmes and encourage people from all walks of life to get involved with the game and we hope that this latest initiative will continue to boost the successes we have seen over the past few seasons.

“However, the challenge now is for us not to rest on our laurels but to continue working hard at improving our pathways and equality initiatives at all levels.”

The unveiling of ‘Tackle IT’ follows a successful 12-month period for Rugby League that began with the RFL becoming the first sporting organisation ever to enter the Stonewall Top 100 Equality Employers Index in 2011 before rising 40 places to reach 53rd position in the index in January 2012.

Co-operative Championship club Sheffield Eagles broke new ground when they became the first UK sports club ever to wear a strip displaying an anti-homophobia message in March and they were joined by all 14 Super League clubs in signing up to the Government’s Charter Against Homophobia in Sport in April.
Building on this recent success, the RFL is also in the process of developing an educational resource to complement the ‘Tackle IT’ campaign which will be distributed to schools throughout the UK later this year.

“We hope that Tackle IT! will be a thought provoking programme that will encourage and support all those involved in our sport to continue reaching out to diverse communities to ensure Rugby League remains a truly inclusive and welcoming family sport," said RFL Equality and Diversity Manager Sarah Williams.

“The RFL believes that sport can and should lead the way in terms of equality and diversity as sport is about fairness, identifying new talent, enabling everyone to reach their full potential and bringing people and communities together in a shared passion for their sport.

“Education is an essential part of this and is the most important tool for promoting a zero tolerance approach towards discrimination, prejudice and abuse, while also celebrating diversity in Rugby League and in the wider community.”

University of Connecticut ice hockey team leaders issue the You Can Play captains' challenge

The captains of the University of Connecticut men's ice hockey team issue a challenge to other captains in this You Can Play video.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Matthew Mitcham officially selected for Olympics

We are delighted to learn that Gay Games Ambassador Matthew Mitcham has been selected for the Australian team for the 2012 Olympics. Despite outstanding performance at the Olympic trials, he underperformed at the last Grand Prix event, meaning his qualification was not automatic, and depended on a decision from Diving Australia which has just been announced.

Good luck to Matthew in London!

Foot for Love seeks donations to bring a South African women's football team to Paris tournament

The Federation of Gay Games supports this initiative, and hopes it will lead to the participation of the Thokozani Football Club in Gay Games 9 in Cleveland+Akron in August 2014:

Join the team “Foot For Love” by making a donation on the fundraising site Kisskissbankbank ! Help us to welcome in Paris a south-African female football team, so that they can participate to an exhibition match against discriminations on 24 June. This event will be followed by a whole week of actions against discriminations, including sport, culture, activism and festive moments.


Foot for Love

"Foot For Love" is an initiative to promote the fight against violence and discrimination targeting lesbians, particularly through sport. To do so, we invite to Paris a delegation of the Thokozani Football Club during a week punctuated by sport, cultural and activist events. The name of this club, located in a township in Durban celebrates Thokozani Qwabe, a lesbian soccer player murdered in 2007 because of her sexual orientation. Since then, many hate crimes (murders, “corrective rapes” ...) have been committed against lesbians or transgenders, in South Africa.

The Thokozani Football Club (TFC) was created in response to these violences by Zanele Muholi , photographer and activist working for the rights of women and homosexuals s in South Africa. On their website, they describe their aims as follows: “ As an all black lesbian-women soccer team, we at Thokozani believe that through sport and soccer, we can make a difference in the lives of other young and queer women struggling against homophobia and violence. We play for peace. We want to educate each other and our families, friends and communities that we exist, that we contribute to building a physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and democratic South African society, and that we deserve a life free of discrimination and violence due to homophobia. We have the right as athletes to play and compete in a safe and supportive environment no matter what our gender, race, class, or sexual orientation.”

The Thokozani Football Club

The club is affiliated to the South African Football Association (SAFA women's section) and plays in a league official (ABSA League). It currently has twenty lesbians players, aged from 18 to 41 years. The province of Kwa-Zulu Natal (Durban) is generally characterized by high levels of poverty, a very high HIV prevalence (which does not spare lesbians) and very high exposure of women and homosexuals to violence.

Les Dégommeuses at the Paris Football Arc en ciel football tournament at the TIP Paris International Tournament.

Gay Games bodybuilding pioneer passes away

George Birimisa in his later years 
We are very sorry to learn of the death of George Birimisa. Reprinted from Bay Area Reporter, 17 May 2012:

George Birimisa, a beloved San Francisco playwright, teacher, and firebrand, died on May 10. He was 88.

Mr. Birimisa died at California Pacific Medical Center of cumulative complications related to emphysema, said his friend Steve Susoyev.

Mr. Birimisa was the first openly gay playwright to receive a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Friends said that the award was a mixed blessing for Mr. Birimisa, who had grown up in dire poverty and for whom the name "Rockefeller" was synonymous with the worst of capitalism.

A young Birimisa

Mr. Birimisa began writing stories at age 8, just after his father died in jail and his mother placed him in an orphanage. Insecure about his lack of education beyond the 10th grade, in writing for the stage during the 1960s, he discovered an art form in which he didn't have to worry about his grammar.

With enthusiastic reviews for his early work in the Village Voice, the New York Times and the Advocate , a world of creativity opened up to him. Tennessee Williams wrote of the wildly controversial Georgie Porgie : "Bravo! A beautiful, courageous play. I loved it."

During his early theater career, friends said that Mr. Birimisa alienated many people through backbiting behavior that, he later acknowledged, was motivated by envy.

"Other playwrights were a threat to my self-esteem," he admitted in a 2009 interview. "I couldn't see anything worthwhile in anyone else's work."

Birimisa as a Gay Games
bodybuilding competition

He demonstrated introspective insight in other ways as well. At age 67, after a near-fatal encounter with a street hustler whom he had paid to rough him up, Mr. Birimisa entered 12-step recovery for sex addiction. During the next 20 years, he sponsored dozens of people who had found themselves on the same path. A former sex worker himself, he was a favorite performer in Kirk Read's Sex Worker Art Show. Abstinence from his sexually compulsive behaviors never made him shy about discussing his past in the most colorful terms possible.

Mr. Birimisa moved to San Francisco in 1980, where he facilitated an intergenerational writing workshop at the old LGBT center, a group that included an 18-year-old lesbian and two transgenders in their 70s.

His plays Pogey Bait and The Man With Straight Hair premiered at Theater Rhinoceros in San Francisco, and he starred in Looking for Mr. America, which premiered at Josie's Cabaret in San Francisco and later moved to La Mama E.T.C. in Greenwich Village.

Never content to pursue only one passion, in 1986 Mr. Birimisa founded the gay and lesbian Arcadia Bodybuilding Society. He participated in five Gay Games as a bodybuilder, and won one gold medal, two silver and one bronze.

Throughout his life, Mr. Birimisa was a tireless advocate for oppressed people. He won the Harry Hay Award in 2005 for his decades of inspiration to gay activists and writers.

He received numerous literary and theatrical awards as well, including a 2007 Lambda Literary Foundation book award for co-editing Return to the Caffe Cino, published by Moving Finger Press. In 2010 he releasedBirimisa: Portraits, Plays, Perversions – a collection of his plays, short stories, and profiles by his friends, colleagues, and rivals.

A celebration of Mr. Birimisa's life will take place in early July. Updates on preparations for the event can be found on his blog site, http://www.GayGeorge.com.

Outreach to Latin American academics in San Francisco

Left to right: Derek Liecty, Yasmin Portales, Doug Litwin
On 25 May 2012, FGG Honorary Life Member Derek Liecty and FGG Officer of Marketing Doug Litwin attended part of the 2012 conference of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) held in San Francisco.

An organization of more than 7,000 members, 45% of whom reside outside the United States, LASA brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe. Their mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

Armed with FGG and Gay Games 9 materials, Derek and Doug were hoping to meet Mariela Castro, the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana and an activist for LGBT rights in Cuba. She also happens to be the daughter of Cuban president Raúl Castro and the niece of former president Fidel Castro. Her group campaigns for effective AIDS prevention as well as recognition and acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, and transsexual human rights. 

While Ms. Castro had appeared at other events in town, she was not in attendance at the 25 May reception. Seizing the moment, Derek and Doug attended a “Human Sexualities” reception for LASA members during which they met numerous interesting individuals from such places as Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and numerous US universities. Among those was Yasmin Portales from Cuba (see photo), a well-known Marxist feminist blogger. Since Yasmin knows Mariela Castro, she offered to pass along the FGG and Gay Games 9 materials to the President’s daughter, with the goal is to ensure the participation of Cuban athletes and artists in Gay Games 9 in 2014.

Last day at TIP sports village

Sunday was the last full day at the Sports Village of the TIP Paris International Tournament. The day was focused on dancing, and opened with a screening of Australian documentary Ballroom Rules, which follows a group of same-sex dancers training for and competing at Gay Games VIII in Cologne, 2010.
Les Gais Musette continued the day with a series of open classes and dance sessions in the demonstration area.

FGG board members Marc Naimark and Sonia Abécassis had the pleasure of meeting Barbara and Adam from Eurogames 2011.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trans athlete to compete on US wome's track and field team in Olympics

From NPR:

A central question of gender and sports is facing officials as they prepare for London's Summer Olympics: In a system that segregates athletic competition by sex for reasons of fairness, where do transgender athletes fit?

Take, for example, Keelin Godsey, the first openly transgender contender for the U.S. Olympic team. Last month, Godsey qualified for the women's track and field Olympic trials in the hammer throw.

Godsey was born female, identifies as male, and competes in the female division — a situation that attracted the attention of writer Pablo Torre and Sports Illustrated. As Torre tells NPR's Michel Martin, cases such as Godsey's might present "the most thorny question" for sports organizers.

"For Keelin, it's a question of identity," Torre says. "Keelin's identity was formed as a women's sports athlete, before Keelin came out as transgender male. And the reality is, for a lot of college athletes who are transgender, they have scholarships, they have spots on their teams in elite sports, and they're physically that gender — physically female, for example, in Keelin's case. And really, that's enough for a governing body. Or, it should be enough."

Torre co-wrote a story about transgender athletes for Sports Illustrated's current issue. He's also a regular contributor to Tell Me More's Barbershop segment. And he says there are no physical or medical differences between Keelin and a biological woman — there have been no hormone treatments, for instance.

Keep reading and listen HERE.

Outsport Toronto runs workshop for Toronto District School Board

Earlier this month, for the Toronto District School Board's FUTURES Conference on Equity and Inclusive Education, FGG member organization ran a seminar entitled "Making It Better Now: Ending Homophobia and Transphobia in School Athletics and Physical Education", and produced an introductory video.

Three quarters of LGBTQ students feel unsafe in at least
one place at school, with PE change rooms rated as the
most unsafe. Half of straight students agree. (EGALE
Canada, 2009).

OutSport Toronto, in cooperation with educators from the
TDSB and the University of Waterloo, have put together a
workshop that will leverage our collective insights on the
importance of an inclusive physical education and
athletics programme, sharing our own experiences, and
providing tactics and strategies that can be deployed in
schools immediately.

The benefits of physical education are undisputed. A
physical education program - including intramurals and
varsity athletics - builds healthy students, and builds
long lasting character traits such as teamwork,
dedication, perseverance, and confidence. These
benefits must be afforded to all students, yet the fact is
many students feel unsafe from the gymnasium, to the
track, to the field, to the PE change room.
The members of OutSport Toronto have experienced
the homophobia and exclusion of high school athletics,
the inclusiveness of LGBTQ sports associations, and
the joy of being part of the team . We know how
important it is to eradicate homophobia - the last
bastion of acceptable discriminatory language - from
our schools’ athletics and physical education
programmes, and create an environment where
everyone can get out and play and be safe.

Relevant research will include the 2009 EGALE study.
This workshop will illustrate the negative effects of
homophobia and transphobia, particularly in physical
education and athletics, and provide practical ideas to
help reduce them. Methods to be discussed will include
(but not limited to) awareness campaigns, training for
school personnel in creating safe and welcoming
spaces within physical education and athletics
programmes, leveraging GSAs and other clubs to sway
sentiment and encourage positive attitudes toward
LGBT and other diverse groups, and offering effective
support for LGBT students participating in physical
education and athletics. Participants will be involved in
determining the most effective follow-up activities to
encourage lasting positive change from this workshop.

OutSport Toronto is an incorporated not-for-profit
amateur athletic association. Our mission is to support
the amateur LGBT sports community through
promotion of sports, facilitation of networking and
education, and effectively advocating to external
stakeholders. Please visit www.OutSportToronto.org
for more information.

Em portugues / Leader of CDG Brasil to be honored at Sao Paulo gay pride

A message from Erico Santos of FGG member organization CDG Brasil, announcing that he will be honored with the Respect and Diversity prize in the 'sport' category by the organizers of the Sao Paulo gay pride march. Congratulations from the FGG!

Nossa que felicidade gente hoje recebi a notícia que serei homenageado pela APOGLBT SP que é a Associação que organiza a Parada Gay de SP. Serei homenageado no 12º Prêmio Cidadania em Respeito à Diversidade na categoria ESPORTE e fico muito feliz em saber que estou sendo reconhecido e contribuindo um pouco para levar o respeito e a diversidade aos esportistas LGBT´s Brasileiros !!! Depois posto mais detalhes da premiação, pois quero todo mundo lá neste momento especial para mim !!!

French junior education minister presents trophies at TIP football tournament

George Pau-Langevin (center), recently named junior minister for educational success, was on hand at the trophy ceremony for the tournament organized by Paris Football Club Arc en ciel as part of the TIP Paris International Tournament. The tournament took place in the 20th Arrondissement, where Mme Pau-Langevin served as MP until being named to the current cabinet.

Also seen are FSGL president Christelle Foucault (left) and PFC Arc en ciel president Cyril Belier.

Will San Francisco Giants break the LGBT Night "curse"?

Note the rainbow caps!
We previously excerpted this article, and thank the Bay Area Reporter for permission to reprint it in full:

Baseball thrives on superstitions, from never speaking about no-hitters when they are in progress to coaches skipping over the third baseline when approaching the pitching mound. From playoff beards to victory thongs, players are reluctant to change anything after a win or to continue anything after a loss. Statistical coincidence is mentally morphed into a double-play combo of cause and effect.

Thus, I note that the past three LGBT Nights at AT&T Park, the San Francisco Giants lost. In 2009, Tim "Timmmmmmay!" Lincecum, on his way to his second consecutive Cy Young Award, started well but the defense collapsed in the late innings. In 2010, Jonathan Sanchez, who struck out 200 hitters that year and pitched the victory that put the Giants into the postseason and on their way to the World Series championship, pitched eight shutout innings, but the Colorado Rockies rallied in the ninth against ace closer Brian Wilson. Last year, Lincecum got bombed like a Haight-Ashbury junkie in a five-run seventh inning by the Chicago Cubs. (Yes, the Cubs!)

Had they won all three times, we'd probably see the players this year wearing the fabulous promotional rainbow-logo hats they gave away at last year's game.

For this year's LGBT Night Out on Tuesday, May 29, the G-men are taking no chances. They put Wilson on the disabled list, ostensibly for Tommy John elbow surgery, but no doubt just as a superstitious precaution. They traded away Sanchez for Melky Cabrera, who has provided lights-out hitting in right field. And Lincecum, who has struggled unfathomably this season, is not scheduled to start in the game. If the pitchers stay in their normal scheduled rotation, we'll see last year's surprise sensation Ryan Vogelsong, who led the team starters going into this week with a 2.27 ERA and a 2-2 record.

All 1,000 special LGBT Night tickets were sold out two weeks ago according to Doug Litwin, marketing officer for the Federation of Gay Games, who said partial funds raised by the ticket sales will go toward the scholarship funds of Team SF and the FGG as well as the San Francisco Gay Softball League.

"The SFGSL was added in 2012 in honor of their 40th anniversary," Litwin told the Bay Area Reporter.

Last year's beneficiaries were the FGG, Team SF, and the Gay Straight Alliance, who equally divided $3,700, Litwin said.

Several LGBT sports organizations will have informational tables. This year, the tables will be located in the Community Clubhouse area, which is on the Promenade Level (main field level), right behind home plate.

A retrospective tribute to the 40th anniversary of SFGSL and the 30th anniversary of the Gay Games are scheduled to be shown during the sixth inning, and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco will lead the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch.

The Giants are fresh off the first of their two Bay Area series interleague battles with the Oakland A's, who took the finale against Lincecum in his latest tortured outing Sunday. The teams are following bizarrely parallel courses this year, and the Bay Bridge Series is always a delightful torment for bi-bay fans.

Last year the teams promised high and delivered low. Many had them picked to win their divisions; both finished abysmally out of the running. Familiar faces from the vaunted pitching staffs were traded away and have been replaced by players who, when the planets are aligned just right, deliver improved offense. Both have been hobbled by crucial injuries and both have mucked around the .500 level all season.

But hope springs eternal, and for the first time in recent memory both teams have speed on the base paths. If they can survive the injuries that have beset them thus far, we may see them challenge the Dodgers and Rangers down the stretch.

If not, bring back the victory thongs and get Madonna to pitch in next year's LGBT Night.

Watch this blog for photos and videos from the LGBT Night Game on 29 May.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gay football fans in danger at UEFA Euro 2012 in Ukraine

From the Independent, coverage of the risk for fans at the coming UEFA championship to be held in Poland and the Ukraine:

Gay England football fans travelling to Ukraine for Euro 2012 have been warned to keep a low profile for their own safety. The advice came after Kiev's first ever gay pride parade was cancelled on Sunday amid fears of violence from far-right thugs.

Television pictures showed Svyatoslav Sheremet, head of the Gay Forum of Ukraine, being kicked and jumped on by a group of men after the event was stopped. Amnesty International said police in the capital advised organisers to abandon the march just 30 minutes before it was due to start after 500 ultra-right football hooligans had gathered.

Thousands of England fans will travel to the eastern European country for Euro 2012, which begins on June 8. Amnesty International Ukraine campaigner Max Tucker said: "Gay England football fans will have extremely good reason to be concerned. "Not only will they have to deal with violent football hooligans who deliberately target gay people and people of ethnic minorities, they will also face an extremely corrupt police force who have a track record of beating and mistreating people because of their sexual orientation." He added: "I would advise any gay England football supporters going to the Ukraine to go there with extreme caution and be on the lookout for both the police and hooligans and try to keep as low a profile as possible."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued a travel warning which said conditions for gay people in Ukraine were deteriorating. It stated: "Although homosexuality is legal in Ukraine, public attitudes are less tolerant than in the UK and public displays of affection may attract negative attention. "There is no provision under Ukrainian legislation guaranteeing freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and there has recently been an increase in hostility towards the LGBT community."

Gay rights campaign group Stonewall called on the UK authorities to provide reassurance over fans' safety. Sam Dick, head of policy at the organisation, said: "The shocking violence against gay people in Ukraine will be of considerable further concern to the many lesbian and gay fans heading to watch Euro 2012. "We expect both the Football Association (FA) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to answer the serious questions about what they have done to make sure gay people visiting and living in the Ukraine are safe during the tournament and beyond."

Keep reading HERE.

Saturday at TIP Sports Village

Saturday morning saw the first day of sport at the TIP Paris International Tournament, and the weather was smashing. Little wonder that the sports village got off to a slow start, with TIPsters joining sun-starved Parisians outdoors.

That said, the "Swedish gymnastics" class drew a nice crowd and got the ball rolling for the day's activities.

No, they are not intentionally imitating Mark Tewkesbury...

A set of film clips from films and TV programs on LGBT sport was produced for last December's conference organized by the FSGL. It was shown again in the presence of conference chairs Philippe Liotard and Chriss Lag. The room was full, and the discussions rich, including those provoked by a student working on a paper on the notion of segregation and LGBT sport (the student seemed a bit ignorant on the subject, so the films perhaps did her some good...).

Sports demonstrations took place in the late afternoon. Here is Niji Kan martial arts.

Antoine Le Blanc has done a fantastic job planning and executing the sports village. Here he's presenting La Mélodie du bonheur and Envie de chanter, two choirs who performed at the opening of the Apéri-TIP get-together.

After a road race in the leafy Bois de Vincennes in the morning, FGG sports officer Sebastien Datiche rushed to the Espace des Blancs Manteaux to help staff the FGG table in the afternoon.