Featured events


7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games
Brussels

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
QueergamesBern
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
Dublin
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, February 29, 2012

TIP Paris International Tournament flyers

We like the fact that the TIP has once again produced a whole series of flyers promoting their multisport tournament, that they feature athletes from the various sports on offer, and that they focus on the message of playing sport together to fight discrimination.

You can learn more and register HERE.

3 March 20121 / "Yes to Diversity" exhibition to open in Split in conjunction with EGLSF AGA

From the  Pink Paper:

This Saturday, a prestigious education centre in Croatia will open its doors for a unique photography exhibition celebrating diversity across Europe.

The exhibition - entitled Yes to Diversity, no to discrimination – is the conclusion of a Europe-wide Amnesty International competition and is being opened by renowned Amnesty supporter, BBC commentator and former NBA basketball star John Amaechi.

Amaechi was also the first professional player in the NBA to come out as gay.

The competition was open to amateur photographers across Europe and attracted over 500 entries. They were challenged to submit powerful images promoting the value of a society without discrimination.

An international jury of professional photographers and human rights activists met in Brussels to choose the top 12, and it is those 12 that will be on display at Pučko Otvoreno Učilište (the Centre for Cultural and Educational Activities) in Split from Saturday.

Keep reading HERE.

English Football Association statement on launch of anti-homophobia initiative

From the Football Association website:



The FA has pledged to continue leading the way on tackling homophobia and transphobia within football.

At a high-profile launch of the Opening Doors and Joining In campaign at Wembley Stadium, respected names from across the football family came together.

All present confirmed their support for a drive to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) communities get actively involved without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

The event included a six-point FA action plan [download HERE] promoting inclusion, widening diversity in the game and addressing discrimination in all its forms – education, visibility, partnership, recognition, reporting and monitoring.

FA General Secretary Alex Horne opened the conference and set the tone for a frank exchange of views which demonstrated how far the game has come, but also how far is still to go. The key going forward was to ensure an environment where discrimination will not be tolerated.

He said: “If you ask me whether there are any gay professional footballers, you are asking the wrong question. What today and the action plan is about is ensuring that anyone can participate in our game without fear, regardless of their sexuality.

“If someone is gay, we want them to feel secure if they choose to be open and know they will not be subject to abuse or ridicule.”

Hosted by Mark Saggers, the event featured a selection of speakers with first-hand experience of the issues including Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall and former England defenders Graeme Le Saux and John Scales. There was also Premier League, Football League, League Managers Association and Professional Footballers’ Association representation.

The FA's Director Of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking also shared his insight. In recalling his playing days and ongoing work with aspiring youngsters, he spoke of the need for greater education and setting the right example. “We have to make sure we treat everyone the same,” he said.

There was naturally strong FA representation throughout the afternoon. England Women’s Head Coach Hope Powell spoke in support of the matter being discussed in such an open forum.

“I think it’s obviously an issue that’s been long standing,” she said. “The fact that The FA has taken the lead is very positive with their agenda and with what they hope to do with this campaign. So I think the whole day went really well.”

Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone made clear that whilst this was another positive step and a “red letter day”, there was still work to be done.

“Everything I heard today made me think that this was a genuine, committed serious step forward," she said. "This is day one; we’ll see where we are on day 366. That will be the test.”

There were decisive words from Darren Bailey, The FA’s Director of Football Governance and Regulation, who pledged that strong action was being taken in terms of the rules and processes of the game. He also acknowledged that reporting of issues was key in terms of effective governance.

He said: “Homophobic and transphobic abuse is unacceptable and will be punished. It has no place in society and no place in football. We have the rules, we have the commitment and we have made a promise to change the culture of the game. What we need is to know when abuse happens.”

A successful session concluded with an address from Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington, who underlined that there was a desire to have a ‘so what’ mentality in the game, should anyone choose to be open about their sexuality. Work would continue to remove barriers and to ensure an eternal legacy where individuals are judged only on their football merits.

“We want to ensure that if any player wishes to be open about their sexuality, then they can do it with the full support of The FA. We want a "So What?" culture in football.”

Roger Brigham reports in the Bay Area Reporter on IOC Women and Sport conference

In his Bay Area Reporter column, Roger Brigham wrote an extensive review of the IOC Women and Sport conference, including the comments from FGG delegates Martha Ehrenfeld and Shamey Cramer:

Bizarre.

By all accounts, the fifth World Conference on Women and Sport, held last week in Los Angeles under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, was an energizing and empowering event, doing much to advance the fight for gender equality in the highest levels of sport and issuing 10 specific points for the IOC to address. Prominent sports icons such as swimmers Donna De Varona and Diana Nyad, former IOC Vice President Anita DeFrantz, and tennis star Billie Jean King joined with 800 fellow sports leaders from 140 countries to talk about the need for women to speak out and step up into policy-making leadership positions.

And yet ...

"There were so many lesbians in that room, so why did nobody bring up homophobia?" Martha Ehrenfeld, Team San Francisco delegate to the Federation of Gay Games, told the Bay Area Reporter. "There wasn't any discussion about homophobia."

Bizarre.

There were discussions about policies to include transgender women in Olympic sports, destined to be a rising topic with the advent of women's boxing and rugby. There were discussions about the perceptions surrounding gender presentation and expression, about uniform rules allowing women boxers to wear skirts as part of their uniforms if teams desire.

But the word "lesbian" went unuttered, as did any mention of the pervasive discrimination and inhospitable work environments that lesbian athletes and coaches face – and not just from heterosexist men. Consider that it has been less than a year since Nigerian women's soccer coach Eucharia Uche called lesbians in soccer "a dirty issue" and declared that she had driven all lesbians off of her World Cup team. The international soccer federation has promised, after public outcry, to conduct an investigation, but a positive statement on the right to respect and inclusion of lesbians in sports in the conference's closing platform would have sent a strong statement to the very sports federations the IOC is supposed to be influencing and added teeth to whatever steps the soccer federation finally takes.

The focus of this conference was on broader, more fundamental issues. The event ended with the issuance of a 10-point statement called the Los Angeles Declaration. Chief among the specific steps it asks the IOC to take are reviewing, revising, and enforcing its requirements on the number of women included in leadership roles for its member organizations; asking the international sports federations to review their policies to ensure gender participation equality; working more with organizations, especially the United Nations, that promote the welfare of girls and women with the ultimate goals of gender equality and empowerment of females; and increase outreach to government agencies.

"The Olympics is getting close to 50-50 participation," Ehrenfeld said, "but at the committee level it is very low, about 17 percent. Quotas can be a very effective tool, but the Olympic committees, which are mostly men, have to vote them in, and they aren't likely to vote in something that will replace them."

Ehrenfeld and Shamey Cramer, FGG officer for ceremonies, represented the Gay Games at the conference.

"Having seen the IOC up close and in action for the first time on the administrative side," Cramer said, "I can tell you this: they are no more immune to the individual personalities of their governing body than the FGG or GLISA (the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association) are. I applaud Anita DeFrantz and the IOC's Women and Sports Commission, which she chairs, for enlightening so many of their own rank and file to some critical issues facing not only Olympic athletes, but those who are marginalized around the world because of race, gender or gender preference and/or identity."

"I believe Martha and I were able to make solid inroads, not only with the IOC, but many other organizations that are making a difference," he added. "Hopefully, these connections will be able to benefit the work being done by our partners in Cleveland and Akron for Gay Games 9 in 2014. Sport is as unifying a force as music, and I was proud to represent the organization that for 30 years has stood for the use of sport to eradicate homophobia, racism and sexism around the globe."

The Friday and Saturday morning sessions were devoted to broad topics presented to the entire assembly. Actress Geena Davis, who discovered sports in her mid-30s when she prepared for her role in the movie A League of Their Own, talked about how sports helped her overcome self-consciousness about her height.

"Learning to play was about so much more than just gaining a skill and a technical ability. Learning to play affected how I saw myself," she said. "Playing sports dramatically improved my self-image and quieted that relentless voice in my brain that told me, 'You're not good enough, you're not good enough.'"

Afternoons were devoted to topic-specific workshops.

"A really fascinating workshop was about medical matters and intersex issues," Ehrenfeld said. "A presenter from a medical school said one in 2,000 tested women has a Y chromosome (in addition to two X chromosomes). But in female Olympic athletes, it is one in 200, and there's no information out there about why or if that extra chromosome makes you a stronger athlete."

Alan Abrahamson, a University of Southern California professor and member of the IOC Press Commission, led a discussion on "Women, Sport and the Media." Ehrenfeld said the speakers noted that women watch the Olympics as much as men do, but are drawn not so much by the coverage of the competition events, but by the background features presented on the athletes themselves. Participants were urged to call up local sports editors and news directors to ask for coverage of the women's sports events they want to know about.

Nyad shared her personal ordeals in sports, including being raped by a swim coach in her youth, and chided the IOC for taking so long to achieve gender parity, including resistance to adding women's Nordic ski jumping in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"How long did it take us to persuade the body of Olympic organizers that the marathon doesn't damage the female genitals?" Nyad asked. "For 100 years, women have powerfully and gracefully been flying off mountaintops with the exact same power and grace as the men. It's taken them 100 years, and now 2014 in Sochi they will be flying in the Olympic Games at last."

Read the full column HERE.
Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

13 March 2012 / San Francisco Track and Field athletes seek Cleveland qualification

A message from FGG member organization San Francisco Track and Field Club:

We are so proud to announce that a handful of our athletes will compete in the upcoming 2012 Bay Area Senior Games, on Sunday, March 11th on the campus of Stanford University. Our own Rick Thoman, Bob Callori, Chris Goodwin, Allen Eggman and Marcus Valera will be competing hard to qualify for the 2013 Summer National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio. Let's wish them the very best in the competition. If you are interested in going to the meet and see them compete, let us know!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

3 March 2012 / EGLSF Annual General Assembly in Split


We wish the best of luck to our friends from the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) for their upcoming Annual General Assembly in Split, Croatia.

Hosted by qSport in a beautiful, historic city, the AGA should be an exceptional event.

More information on the AGA HERE.
More information on EGLSF HERE.

Martha Ehrenfeld on the absence of LGBT issues at the IOC Women and Sport conference

Martha Ehrenfeld comments on the deafening silence on lesbian issues at the IOC Women and Sport conference:

There was no panel topic that covered any LGBT issues outright. Terms like "gender expression" and "gender stereotypes" came out in one panel covering “Matters Medical.”

That panel was asked about transgender rugby players and boxers. It is clear that the IOC still has a lot of work on this issue.
It would be my dream to see a NBC up-close-and-personal story feature during the Olympics cover an out LGBT athlete.

I asked Alan Abrahamson, USC Professor and international sports reporter about that—when will that happen? We agreed it was a chicken and egg situation. Athletes don’t come out because there is not a safe environment but you need out athletes to create that safe environment. He also said that some athletes had worked so hard to get the Olympics and they did not want their story to be defined by their sexual orientation.

Yet we know that there are already out athletes, and that the mainstream media usually makes great efforts to speak of their sexual orientation. We expect that there will be more out athletes than ever in London... will the world hear their story?

Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

2 March 2012 / Conference to open EGLSF AGA in Split

We wish the best of luck to this conference organized by FGG member organization qSport in conjunction with the EGLSF Annual General Assembly in Split, Croatia

Conte[s|x]ting Sport
Split, 2012

Conference for a more inclusive, diverse and sustainable sport
Friday 2nd of March 2012
City library Marko Marulić
Slobode 2
Split, Croatia

Organized by: EGLSF, EPAS and qSPORT - Zagreb with support of HBS Croatia.

The keynote speakers include Gay Games Ambassador John Amaechi.

All info HERE.

Note that some sessions may be webcast. Visit the website regularly for info on possible sessions.

Olympic diving hopeful says "It Got Better" for his dads

Jordan Windle is a young diver who made this "It Gets Better" message.

Jordan is a junior national platform diving champion and hopes to be part of Team USA at the 2012 Olympics.

Jordan's story as an adoptee is told in the book An Orphan No More, with a foreword by Gay Games Ambassador Greg Louganis.

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






Monday, February 27, 2012

EGLSF statement on José Mourinho

We are pleased to share this statement from the EGLSF:

Tackling José Mourinho on homophobia
22 February 2012

The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) today called on UEFA to take action against José Mourinho for comments in which he referred to match officials as “maricones” (“faggots” in English). The comments were made by the Real Madrid coach prior to their Champion’s League tie against CSKA Moscow. The comments were captured on film, which was later shown on the Spanish television channel Quatro.

Louise Englefield, Co-president of the EGLSF, an organisation representing over 17,000 lesbian gay bisexual and trans (LGBT) athletes across Europe, said: “Homophobia is unacceptable from anyone in football, much less from one of the game’s most senior figures. We are deeply disappointed that Mr Mourinho is casually using homophobic terms of abuse in his workplace.

It is especailly sad that these comments have been made during the International Football v Homophobia campaign week. This is a time during which the European football community should be joining forces to tackle discrimination and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people . As long-standing partners of the FARE network, we call on UEFA to take action and impose appropriate sanctions”

Shamey Cramer reports on Saturday session of IOC Women and Sport conference

Shamey Cramer reports on the Saturday session of the IOC Women and Sport conference:

During the 'Sport, Peace and Development' session, it was noted from a delegate (not a panelist) that in various parts of the world, women athletes are targeted for rape in part because of the mentality that if a woman is strong or athletic they are a threat (although the key word, "lesbian", was never spoken!). Also mentioned was the situation of girls being forced into sexual situations with coaches.

Women remain the poor cousins in terms of sponsorship. Stephen Jordan of the US Chamber of Commerce noted that the US market for sports sponsorships is more than USD 9bn, and that the retail industry is worth USD 90bn. Some firms do support women athletes, such as:

- Intel focusing on women in sport internationally
- Tupperware is sponsoring both girls and boys programs in South Africa
- GlaxoSmithKlein is also offering plenty of sponsorship.

Martha and I were shocked that there was no specific mention of LGBT issues, even though it may have been skirted around in several instances, but I could see that lesbians, as a marginalized group (homosexuals) in a marginalized group (women) would be concerned about making themselves vulnerable. Even an icon like Billie Jean King never once mentioned her sexual orientation during her appearances at the conference. All this takes place in a context where many women feel the need to fight the stereotype that if you are a female athlete you're a lesbian.

The IOC always tries its best not to bring up anything too controversial. There were several instances where speakers such as Lord Coe of LOCOG were very cautious in their wording about Muslim athletes. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't have addressed the topic if it had been brought up in questioning from the floor by a delegate. Women from Kuwait, Latin America and the United States all brought up issues relevant to their cultures, as did a disabled archer, who was immediately introduced to the head of the international governing body for Archery. Panelists were extremely judicious with each response because of the large number of UN and government officials, as well as nearly twenty IOC members present, including HRH Prince Faisal al-Hussein, the younger brother to the King of Jordan and third in line to the throne.

And yet when the values of equality and freedom from religious and political interference in sport are part of the Olympic Charter, why should the IOC be afraid of speaking of such issues?

Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

FSGL extraordinary general assembly approves new initiatives

Christelle Foucault, president of the FSGL, presenting projects for 2012-2013 (photo Marc Naimark)
After the annual general assembly held in late 2011, the Fédération sportive gaie et lesbienne (FSGL), the French national LGBT sports federation, held an extraordinary general assembly on 25 February 2012, hosted by the city hall of the 19th Arrondissement.

Among the points on the agenda were a series of modifications and additions to the federation's bylaws and rules, aimed at bringing the federation into compliance with the requirements of nationally recognized affinity federations. Such federations, like national sports federations (French tennis federation, French football federation, etc.) benefit from a variety of measures and programs run by the ministry of sport, and become in integral part of the national sport system. The project is moving forward, with a first meeting held with the legal department of the ministry to review the status of the (very complex) application file.

Among the other initiatives approved was to join the Agence pour l'éducation par le sport (APELS), a public-private entity that finances and supports programs for social progress via sport. FSLG member clubs are invited to apply so as to support and share the various projects they carry out.

While planning for an expanded TIP Paris International Tournament continues apace, with the creation of a sports village open during the entire tournament, the FSGL hasn't forgotten 2013, which will be the 10th anniversary of the multisport tournament. Among the initiatives imagined is a concerted effort to open the tournament to disabled athletes, in partnership with the French disabled sport federation.
(photo Cyril Leroy)

Also planned for 2012-2013 is the creation of a "respect award", in collaboration with other partners involved in the ministry of sport's programs against discrimination in sport, and a series of events organized by associations and government authorities throughout France to fight homophobia, in particular in and by sport. A high point will be the FSGL's participation in the upcoming "Sport and HIV" event at the headquarters of the French National Olympic Committee.

After the election of a new deputy treasurer and a new first male vice president (FSGL bylaws require that the president and first vice president not be of the same gender), the Assembly closed with a vote to back a bid for Gay Games X in 2018.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

London Pride House launch video

En español / La EGLSF denuncia a Mourinho por "su comentario homófobo"

From El Mondo desportivo:

La Federación Europea de Gays y Lesbianas deportistas (EGLSF) ha denunciado a José Mourinho ante la UEFA por sus declaraciones captadas por Cuatro en las que en la previa del partido CSKA-Real Madrid dijo "y esos maricones... ¿no dicen con qué balones se juega?".

En declaraciones a Mundo Deportivo, Louise Englefield, portavoz de la asociación, ha asegurado que "queremos que la UEFA castigue al señor Mourinho por su comentario homófobo. No podemos aceptar este tipo de manifestaciones homófobas en el mundo del futbol. Estamos muy decepcionados que una persona tan prominente emplee este tipo de lenguaje homófobo tan a ligera".

Martha Ehrenfeld reports on her sessions at the IOC Women and Sport conference

FGG delegate Martha Ehrenfeld reports on a session at the IOC Women and Sport conference:

Because of a quota, I was listening to woman from Norway and man from Denmark talk about quotas! The panel was on “Government, Legislature and Attitudes” at the IOC conference on Women and Sport.

My involvement with the Federation of Gay Games had been a volunteer in NY and a tennis player in Chicago and Cologne. In Chicago, I was pulled in at the last minute to help run a tennis event by a San Francisco friend. That led me to volunteer to be a representative for Team San Franciso to the FGG Assembly.

Then in 2011, the FGG Cleveland steering committee was seeking a woman, part of their mandate to have female representation, and my name popped up. It would have never occurred to me that I would be a good fit. That is exactly the message of many of the workshops and panels: encouraging women to be more involved in leadership and management. They told us raise your hand, don’t worry if you think you are not qualified (men often do not), take an extra assignment and force yourself to go to the social hours after meetings even if that is not your thing or you have children and elder care demands.

And in fact, quotas or mandated percentage representation do work.

As the London Olympics are coming fast, it is clear the IOC is getting close to their goal to have women and men equally represented in competitions. London has also made a huge effort to have women lead major planning areas: the sports director, for example is a women, something hard to imagine in earlier Olympics. But where the IOC and its associated federations still struggle is in it’s upper level leadership. And at the end of two days of amazing stories of successful women, who came on stage to represent the IOC? Four older men.

There was a strong message that many of the athletes who went on to be involved in sports leadership had great mentors. I too will look to the women of FGG for mentorship. What advice can they offer?

It was exciting to be in such an international conference, much like how I felt at the FGG Assembly in Cologne. The attendees were mostly women but there were men too. Many were on their country’s Olympic Committee, others were representing sports such as USA Softball, UK Badminton or Canadian Swimming. There was also a large Women’s Sports Foundation presence with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title 9. I wore my FGG shirt and told anyone who would listen about us and Cleveland 2014. Most knew nothing about FGG except a nice fellow who was the event planner and recognized the logos. Gay Games participants are everywhere!


Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

Team DC same-sex dancers featured in Washington Blade

Kevin Majoros presents Terry Chasteen and Team DC's Lambda DanceSport DC in the Washington Blade: 


Just like many of us who have competed in the Gay Games, Terry Chasteen, founder of Lambda DanceSPORT DC, experienced a life-changing moment at his first Games experience.

Chasteen headed to Amsterdam in 1998 to compete in same-gender dancesport which was being contested for the first time in the history of the gay games. “I went there with no dance partner,” says Chasteen, “but they ended up pairing me with a gentleman from South Africa.

Without much practice, the duo was able to dance their way into the semi-finals in Latin dance. “Dancesport is huge in Europe and there many same-gender dance organizations such as Equality dance,” Chasteen says. “The ovations the crowds were giving us and the other dancers were amazing and it was definitely a life-defining moment.”

Keep reading HERE.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Profile of David Gilbert and the successes of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

From the Cleveland Jewish News, a profile of the acting chair of Cleveland Special Events Corporation, host of Gay Games 9:

Dan Gilbert [owner of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers] gets a lot of credit for his plans to revitalize downtown Cleveland, as well he should. But there is another Gilbert - David who is directly responsible for generating around $370 million in area economic activity. This Gilbert is the founder, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

On Feb. 2, another sellout crowd of more than 1,200 packed the Renaissance Hotel for the 12th annual Sports Awards Dinner, hosted by ESPN's Erin Andrews. The banquet honored Austin Carr, "Mr. Cavalier," among others. Wilbert's outstanding work with the sports commission has led him full circle. Last year he became president and CEO of Positively Cleveland, formerly known as the Cleveland Convention & Visitors Bureau, where he previously worked.

Representatives of sports commissions around the country were on hand to see how it is done. What they saw was pretty impressive.

Last year, the local sports commission hosted 11 national events, resulting in an estimated economic impact of $22 million. The $370 million figure comes from attracting, managing and/or creating more than 120 events. This year the sports commission is prepared to host 12 national events, including the Ohio Senior Olympics, which is a qualifying competition for the 2013 National Senior Games, which will also take place here. Also coming to town will be the American Collegiate Hockey Association Men's Division I National Championships and the 112th U.S. Women's Amateur Golf Championships. In addition, the Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival will be on the Cleveland sports calendar this year.

Keep reading HERE.

IOC Women and Sport: report on Friday afternoon from Shamey Cramer

Shamey Cramer reports on the Friday morning session of the IOC Women and Sport conference:

The most riveting session of the conference was the 'Matters Medical' dialog with IOC member Dr. Ugur Erdener serving as moderator. Biological anthropology is an emerging field of study that in proving how little we know about gender determinants and gender identity.

Also on the panel were Dr. Thomas Murray, President/CEO Hastings Center, Dr. Eric Vilain, UCLA geneticist, (both advisors to the IOC Medical Commission), IOC member Dr. Rania Elwani (Egypt) and Paralympian Aimee Mullins.

Dr. Murray presented historic cases of possible intersex athletes (those whose gender is not clearly defined as male or female) and how women and men compare physiologically, giving many men an automatic edge over many women in sports requiring strength and speed (most women runners would not be able to crack the top 500 men's times in sprint events).

Dr. Vilain presented the seven different ways in which gender can be determined, and how these determinants need to be better incorporated into the IOC's Gender Identity Procedures, as well as for the many international sports governing associations.

Following the Matters Medical panel, I had the opportunity to speak with IOC Executive Member Anita DeFrantz. When I was an Observer to the Policies and Procedures Committee, I did some initial work from 2001-2003 on the FGG Gender Policy [see the current policy, adopted in late 2011, HERE]. I commended Anita for what I know was a very difficult issue to deal with, and even though many people criticize both policies, they are at a stage where new information can be applied. She laughed and agreed wholeheartedly when I said: "And if any of them think they can do a better job, then please step forward and help us figure it out."


The dinner at the LA Live Conga Room was hosted by the Power of I, a personal growth program endorsed by several Olympians present, with awards presented to Nadia Comaneci, Michelle Kwan, Anita DeFrantz and US Softball pitcher Jennie Finch, whose lament for the loss of Women's Softball in the Olympics was a very moving moment for all in attendance.


I took this opportunity to re-introduce myself and catch up with Nadia Comaneci. She had appeared in a video I produced for the 1996 Olympics. Since her segment was at a remote location, we never got to meet face-to-face, conducting all business over the phone.


Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" airman to cycle against AIDS

Another column of interest from Roger Brigham in the Bay Area Reporter:

Randy Phillips became a celebrity of sorts last fall through a quiet act he took in a moment of profound isolation. This spring, when he rides in the 11th annual AIDS/LifeCycle, he will be able to share the joy of the moment with the thousands of fellow riders and event onlookers on his way from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Airman Phillips, 21, gave a human face to the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" last September when he returned to his room on Ramstein Air Base in Germany to call his father, back home in Alabama, to tell him he was gay. He videotaped the call and posted it on YouTube, and the video link was quickly circulated throughout the blogosphere as part of the DADT repeal coverage.

[...]

Phillips's videos caught the attention of activist and blogger Ryan Yezak of Los Angeles. Yezak rides in the AIDS/LifeCycle for Team Popular, raising nearly $400,000 in the past two rides for AIDS services at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

"He hit me up on Twitter when I did the video and talked about the ride," Phillips said. "I said, Okay,' and then within about two hours I made up my mind I was going to do it and made it 'Twitter official.'"

Never mind that Phillips, who says he has been in a steady relationship since around Thanksgiving, isn't a cyclist and has never even been to California. The former high school baseball player and wrestler lifts weights and plays a little bit of tennis and golf, but biking? Not so much.

"I have yet to hop on a bike and I have not been on a bike in years," he said, "but I ran a half-marathon yesterday. I'm trying to get in some cardio and basically do some small rallies around here and in France. It's hard to do it right now; it's freezing here. The high this week has been about 15 degrees."

Read in full HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Matthew Mitcham coming to Leeds

As many have been reporting (including the Yorkshire Evening News), the Australians are coming to Leeds:

Divers from Down Under are the latest Olympic stars to reveal they will set up camp in Leeds.

On Australia Day, it has been announced that around nine Aussie divers will be training at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport in July, before heading to London for the 2012 Games.

The team is likely to include reigning Olympic 10-metre champion Matthew Mitcham, along with Alexandra Croak – who made history in 2010 by becoming the first Australian to win gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in two different sports.

Report from Friday morning session of Women and Sport conference

Shamey Cramer reports on the Friday morning session of the IOC Women and Sport conference:

The opening sessions was 'Leadership Views on Women in the World of Sport' Moderated by Miss Anita De Frantz, Chair of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, with panelists Dr. Jacques Rogge, IOC President, Her Eminence Ms. Marjon Kamara, Chair, United Nations Commission on Women, Ms. Lakshmi Puri, UN Women, Dr. Nurhayati Assegef, Indoensian Parlimentarian and Olympic champion runner Lord Sebastien Coe.

Lord Coe, as CEO of the 2012 London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, proudly announced that 50% of all London Olympics management staff are women, and that for the first time in Olympic history, the Director of Sport is a woman, Debbie Jevans. And although they can claim 17% ethnic diversity comprised of Asians and Blacks, there was no mention of Muslim/Middle Eastern, Latino/Hispanic or LGBT inclusion.

I met up with fellow FGG delegate Martha Ehrenfeld at the end of the session to plan our strategy for session attendance.

The second session was 'Partnerships for Progress' and included the following:

Ms. Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of the Education and Culture Affairs Bureau for the US Department of State laid out the three-prong of Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton's "Smart Power Diplomacy" initiative, which will employ Mentors, Envoys and visitors between the US and 190 countries that will engage and empower women through sports initiatives. Stating "Women active in sports achieve higher education and employment when active in sports," Ms. Stock went on to state that the Smart Power Diplomacy initiative will kick off this September, the 40th anniversary of Title IX which provided equal opportunities for women in collegiate and scholastic sports programs.

U.S. Soccer player Danielle Slayton is currently in Malaysia as part of the Dept of State's effort. As a Mentor, Slayton is focusing on teaching leadership skills, the importance of team work and how to make effective lifetime network connections. A few of the initial countries engaged in this initiative include the Caribbean, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt and Zimbabwe.

Roland Rich, Executive Director of the United Nations Democracy Fund made a presentation on what the UNDF has been doing to promote women through their efforts. "Women are the largest marginalized society on the planet" Rich stated. "Engaging them provides the greatest opportunity to change the patriarchal politics. The role of women in any given society is a good litmus test of modernity. The IOC and the UN strongly embrace this belief and look forward to a successful, continuing partnership in this effort."

Gina Drosos, President, Global Personal Beauty, Procter & Gamble (based in Cincinnati): "A partnership should improve and mutually benefit each organization. Look for partners that provide additional strengths for broader, more meaningful impact on the world."

Lunch was provided by the NCAA. Martha and I had the opportunity to speak with Karen Morrison, Director for their Office of Inclusion, Women and LGBT Outreach. We discussed the possibility of the NCAA sponsoring a conference similar in style to the IOC Women and Sport conference as part of Gay Games 9. She seemed very excited by the prospect since they have funds specifically allocated that they can use for such items.

Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

Jim Provenzano publishes new work


Our friend Jim Provenzano, winner of the FGG Legacy Award in 2007 for his sports writing, recently published a new novel:

After an abrupt encounter in a small woods of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Reid Conniff, a shy and studious high school distance runner, becomes swept up in the adventurous world of Everett Forrester, a privileged and capricious charmer. Overcoming the distance of their separate schools, parental interference, and a nearly fatal accident, the two young men find a way to be together in spite of their own doubts and fears. Set in 1979-1980, Every Time I Think of You recalls a halcyon era in America's past with a personal voice.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Federal funds will help upgrades to Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway


Via Freshwater Cleveland:

A $3.2 million grant from the federal government's Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program announced last week will help pay for green upgrades to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The private, nonprofit rail line carries nearly 200,000 passengers yearly, including more than 25,000 who carry bikes aboard the train, as it traverses through the picturesque Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Nearly half of the grant funding -- about $1.4 million -- will go towards building a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Cuyahoga River at Rockside Road. The bridge will span from the Rockside Station parking lot to the Lock 39 Trailhead along the Towpath Trail. It will facilitate safer, easier access for bikers and hikers who wish to ride the rail and take advantage of the scenic Towpath.

Steve Wait, President and CEO of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, says that the funds will also help the rail line integrate technology that will make it more efficient and environmentally friendly. "We'll be investing money in upgrading and rebuilding an older locomotive to save up to 75 percent in fuel and also reduce emissions," he says. "Many commercial railroads are investing heavily in newer green technologies, but as a small nonprofit we never had the money before."

Other planned improvements for the rail line include rebuilding an older passenger car to make it more accessible, retooling a baggage car to add extra room for bikes, and replacing an old power generator rail car to make it greener and more efficient.

Shamey Cramer comments on the opening day of the IOC Women and Sport conference

Shamey Cramer's comments on the opening of the IOC Women and Sport conference:

Among the attendees was Alicia McConnell, US Olympic Committee's Director Athlete Services. Her previous Gay Games connection was as serving on the International Advisory Board for the Los Angeles 2006, Inc. Bid Committee for Gay Games VII. We've known each other ten years from serving on the Gay/Lesbian Athletic Foundation Advisory Board. She is the senior-most 'out' employee at the USOC.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday honoured five women and one organisation for their outstanding contributions to the development of women’s participation in sport and sports administration during a ceremony for the 2012 IOC Women and Sport Awards in Los Angeles.

A Roundatable discussion followed. Moderated by Michelle Kwan, panelists included Billie Jean King, Julie Foudy (USA Soccer) and award-winner Manisha Malhotra.

I noted this statement from Gay Games Ambassador Billie Jean King: "The men who are in power are the ones who will make a difference. After all, we're in this together. We -- men and women -- must be a team in the effort for gender equality".

King, Faudy, Malhotra, Kwan (photo Shamey Cramer)
Without a doubt, Billie Jean was the most revered and respected woman on that stage tonight - you literally could feel the respect all these amazing women - athletic superstars and administrators - give to her, even when she is simply sitting on a stage with other amazing athletes.

Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

En français / Les Dégommeuses entreprennent de faire venir une équipe de foot féminin de Durban pour un tournoi à Paris


Les Dégommeuses, une équipe de foot féminin créée pour le Tournoi international de Paris de 2010, s'engage dans un beau projet : faire venir une équipe de foot féminin de Durban dans l'Afrique du Sud au tournoi organisé par le Paris Foot Gay en juin. Voici une vidéo produite par leur partenaire Yagg sur cette initiative.

Trouver plus d'infos sur leur blog sur Yagg ICI.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Athletes at Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day are coming to Cleveland+Akron!

video
Thanks to Paul White and Kate Rowe for this video taken at this year's Sydney Mardi Gras fair day in Victoria Park!

Melbourne Dance Cats talk on Joy FM radio about Midsumma same-sex dance event in Melbourne

No Olympics in Portland?

Just who are we seeing from the back here in this still from an upcoming episode of IFC television series Portlandia?

Hint: The episode's title is "No Olympics", and it's coming up in a couple of weeks.

Info HERE.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New report points out Olympic hypocrisy with regard to Islamist exclusion of women from sport

While the IOC is celebrating Women and Sport in Los Angeles, a new report points out the hypocrisy of the IOC in accepting the participation of countries that exclude women from sport. We recall that the Federation of Gay Games has signed on to an appeal to the International Olympic Committee to respect its principles of sport for all free from religious interference. Read more from Inside the Games:

February 16 - Saudi Arabia should be banned from London 2012 unless they pledge to end discrimination against women which means that the Gulf nation has never sent a female athlete to the Olympics, a new report published today by Human Rights Watch claims.

Saudi Arabia is one of only three countries, long with Brunei and Qatar, never to have sent a female athlete to the Olympics, although Qatar has promised to send women competitors to London providing they qualify.

But in a 51-page report, 'Steps of the Devil': Denial of Women and Girls' Right to Sport in Saudi Arabia," Human Rights Watch claims that Saudi Arabia actively denies girls girls physical education in state schools, as well as following discriminatory practices in licensing women's gyms and supporting only all-male sports clubs.

The Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee also has no programmes for women athletes, which violates the Olympic Charter claims Human Rights Watch, an international non-Governmental organisation based in New York City.

The Charter explicitly forbids "any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise."

"'No women allowed,' is the Kingdom's message to Saudi women and girls who want to play sports," said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Keep reading HERE.

Read the HRC report HERE.

17 February 2012 fundraiser for Gay Games 9


Thanks to Vision Video for this video from Friday's event!

"Football needs a culture change, not a gay role model"

After a landmark broadcast on the BBC, journalist Adrian Tippetts points out in the Pink News the vacuousness of waiting for the first out player in a top UK football team, when the real issue is the need for action within the sport to fight homophobia within management, the team, the pitch, and the stadiums.

Monday’s BBC3 programme Britains Gay Footballers presented by Amal Fashanu, niece of Justin Fashanu, generated serious debate about homophobia in football, in mainstream media and the football blogosphere.

Barnsley FC’s goalie David Preece suggested Amal Fashanu was the wrong choice to investigate the matter. This viewpoint, in an otherwise thoughtful article , is somewhat unkind: it’s arguably the very fact that so few footballers are willing to candidly speak out on homophobia that it has been left to a 23-year media studies graduate and model to ask some hard questions.

Amal deserves credit for being the first to call to account her own father, John Fashanu, whose chilling, public rejection of his vastly more talented brother, compounded the devastation that Justin must have felt.

The programme was most notable for challenging the perception of football being an impenetrable bastion of homophobia. Max Clifford’s intransigent doom-mongering about how coming out would ruin a footballer’s career challenged, by footage of Sweden’s openly gay player Anton Hysén enjoying changing-room banter with team-mates and support from the stands. Perhaps the greatest coup of all was the willingness of a premiership player, QPR captain Joey Barton, to speak out and ridicule ‘archaic’ attitudes of managers who are preventing players from being open.

There is in fact more reason for hope in the offence taken by Preece at what he regards as the demonisation of footballers. “I couldn’t think of a more welcoming place to reveal your sexual preferences than inside a footballer’s dressing room’

However, the overall picture is far from one of acceptance. Homophobic chanting is a weekly endurance for Brighton’s fans; and a string of homophobic callers, one asking for separate changing rooms, left Danny Campbell and guests of his BBC Radio 5 phone-in dumbfounded last Thursday. Statistics show that 29 percent of the UK population thinks same-sex relations are sometimes or always wrong, and an Observer poll in 2008 stated that nearly one in four thinks homosexuality should be recriminalised. Football, being the nation’s favourite sport is simply a barometer of the bigotry that is rife and unchallenged in society.

The disappointment with the programme was that no managers or high-ranking FA officials were interviewed. A significant amount of direction and resources will be needed to change the culture and attitudes within football, through club hierarchies and at grass roots, Sunday league level too.

Currently, the FA and the government are patting themselves on the back for putting together an LGBT charter, full of good intentions about banishing homophobia and transphobia from the game. But the precise details of how this campaign will make life better for LGBT players and supporters are anything but clear.

However, instead of pressing the FA on this matter, the media and some in the gay community obsess themselves with the moronic question: when will we see an out gay player? I suspect this is driven as much by the tabloid press going to ever more desperate measures to titillate readers and buck declining sales figures, and some activists seeking another trophy in the role model cabinet.

Why should a footballer come out to the whole nation? Most of us are out to friends and work-colleagues, but that’s all. True, the media is no longer full of homophobic columnists like the Star’s Brian Hitchen and the Sun’s Gary Bushell, whose innuendo-laden diatribes reinforced the very worst prejudices. But even if the coming out were reported in glowing terms, the very experience of being in the media spotlight can be ruinous for concentration and performance. And as the Leveson inquiry has revealed, the extremes that reporters go to, to sniff out an exclusive could make life intolerable.

Keep reading HERE.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Billy Bean to be inducted into college conference Hall of Honor

From Loyola Marymount University, news of Gay Games Ambassador Billy Bean:

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Former LMU baseball standout Billy Bean is one of nine members of the newest class to enter the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor. The class will be inducted on Saturday, March 3 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. The induction ceremony will be part of the Conference's celebration of its rich history in athletics and academics during the 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships from February 29-March 5 at the Orleans Arena.

"This year's WCC Hall of Honor class includes nine, highly accomplished student-athletes and administrators who have made their marks on their respective institutions and beyond," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "We look forward to recognizing our inductees in Las Vegas as part of our celebration to honor those who represent the West Coast Conference and its long history of athletic and academic excellence."

The 2012 WCC Hall of Honor class includes: BYU's Elaine Michaelis (Volleyball), Gonzaga University's Blake Stepp (Men's Basketball), Loyola Marymount University's Billy Bean (Baseball), Pepperdine University's Dana Jones (Men's Basketball), University of Portland's Kasey Keller (Men's Soccer), Saint Mary's College's Tom Candiotti (Baseball), University of San Diego's Thomas Burke (Administration), University of San Francisco's K.C. Jones (Men's Basketball), and Santa Clara University's Kurt Rambis (Men's Basketball).

All nine Hall of Honor members will be formally inducted at the WCC Hall of Honor Brunch on Saturday, March 3 at 9:00 AM at the Mardi Gras Ballroom in the Orleans Hotel and will be honored during halftime of the first men's semifinal later that evening.

Tickets to the WCC Hall of Honor Brunch & Induction Ceremony are available to the public for $40 and may be purchased online using the Hall of Honor Ticket Form on WCCsports.com. Tickets must be purchased by Tuesday, February 28.

2012 WCC HALL OF HONOR CLASS



Billy Bean spent four seasons with the Loyola Marymount Lions baseball team where he still is a record holder in numerous categories. Bean led the Lions to the program's first ever College World Series appearance in 1986 during his senior season. He was named to the All-WCC first team twice in his career, and was a member of the ABCA All-American second team in his senior season. Collegiate baseball named him Honorable Mention All-American as a junior. Bean holds the WCC single-season record for walks with 66, is the LMU single-season record holder for runs scored with 84, and still ranks among WCC career leaders in five offensive categories.

He was a fourth round draft pick in 1986 to the Detroit Tigers where he played two seasons and was traded the L.A. Dodgers mid-season. He took some time off and was picked up in 1993 where he played two seasons with the San Diego Padres where he finished his professional baseball career.

The Loyola Marymount Baseball team retired his No. 44 jersey and in 1992 he was inducted into the LMU Hall of Fame.

Registration open for TIP Paris International Tournament

Find all info HERE.

The 9th Paris International Tournament (Tournoi International de Paris or "TIP") will take place from May 25th to May 28th, 2012.

Once again, this year's TIP will feature 15 sports in competitions and workshops, along with social events, such as the famous TIP Party on Sunday night! The new attraction at this year's TIP is the "sports village" in the heart of Paris, where you can enjoy sports demonstrations, a drink with friends and many more festivities!

So come be part of the Tournament and join the 1,500 athletes from all over the world who are coming for this great event!

The Sports Village at Espace des Blancs-Manteaux, 48 rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 PARIS, Métro Saint-Paul or Hôtel-de-Ville (line 1) will be open throughout the TIP weekend.

Come and enjoy the booths offering:

information about the Tournament and all of the events
TIP goodies and merchandise
information about GLBT resources and health
information about our sponsors and partners
Refreshments:

snacks and drinks
a friendly space to sit and chat with friends
video broadcasts of previous years' TIP highlights and other sporting events
Entertainment:

Sport workshops: such as yoga, swedish gym, tai-chi-chuan
Sports demonstrations
Debates


John Amaechi reacts to FA anti-homophobia video

Gay Games Ambassador John Amaechi reacts to the latest initiative of the English FA to fight homophobia in the sport:

The Football Association is responsible for a climate of homophobia in the game, according to former NBA basketball player John Amaechi.

The governing body launches a new six-year inclusion and anti-homophobia plan on Monday with no openly gay players among almost 3,000 professionals.

But Amaechi, who came out in 2007 and has been vocal in his criticisms of football's attitude towards homosexuality, says the issue will only be solved by greater diversity among the FA board members - not "posters and platitudes".

The FA plans to use a new video discussing homophobia in football , which features former players John Scales, Brendan Batson and Aidy Williams.

They recently fined former Leicester City player Michael Ball £6,000 after he tweeted homophobic comments and has charged West Ham's Ravel Morrison in a similar case. Fans have also been banned after homophobic chanting at a game between Southampton and Brighton, and others have been arrested at a recent game involving Millwall and Brighton.

But Amaechi says the FA should stop pointing the finger at others and accept it is to blame.
He told BBC Sport: "I don't understand why football fans aren't more angry by the way they are portrayed by the football authorities. "If you look at the first horrible video they did on anti-homophobia, it made it very clear that the problem lies with you. You stupid, blue-collar people in the terraces. It's you stupid urban, re black, people on the field. It's your fault. "Then they sit in their boxes and their boardrooms and all the attention is deflected away from them. Well, it's 2012 and they have just appointed their first woman to the board. Does that really tell you they are a progressive organisation or they are now reacting to the fact the focus is starting to shift on to them? A board that has just voted a woman on to the board in 2012 is not progressive. They are by definition the problem."

Keep reading HERE.

England Football Association launches anti-homophobia initiative

After its most recent initiative against homophobia in football flopped, the FA is trying again. We'll post on Gay Games Ambassador John Amaechi's reponse to the prelaunch video described below, but a viewer could be struck by the fact that representatives of the governing body of the sport treat the behavior of clubs and more important, supporters, as some sort of naturally occuring phenomenon that occurs independent of the FA itself:

The FA has released a brand new film around anti-Homophobia in Football ahead of announcing an action plan on the subject at Wembley Stadium next week.

The film features Brendon Batson and former FA Cup winner and England international John Scales, plus ex-Reading skipper Ady Williams who was capped 13 times by Wales.

Filmed in the dressing rooms at Wembley Stadium, the 30-minute discussion on tackling homophobia in the game has been made as football remembers Justin Fashanu’s birthday on 19 February and leads in to The FA’s action plan launch on Monday 20 February.

Last year saw The FA become one of the founding signatories on the Government’s Charter for Action in this area while all 20 Premier League clubs signed up at the start of this month.

Looking ahead to the Action Plan launch on Monday, FA Chairman, David Bernstein, commented: “Football’s response to combating racism has demonstrated that a collective approach with partners from inside and outside the football family is effective.

“We all have a collective responsibility to ensure that football remains accessible to all and to combat homophobic and transphobic abuse in the game.”

Home Office Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone added: "The whole world admires the skill and competitive drama on display in our football grounds but sometimes we also see the worst of intolerance and discrimination.

"That's why the government launched the Sports Charter last year. It's a rallying cry for all of us to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport.

“The FA were one of the founding signatories of this Charter and I am delighted to see them take forward their commitment to ensure football is a welcoming place for everyone.”

Anti-Homophobia in Football events continue next week with Kick It Out teaming up with Pride Sports for a panel discussion in Nottingham on 21 February.

The Panel see representation from both sides of the River Trent with Forest Chairman Frank Clark, and County’s Sam Sodje both in attendance.

Kick It Out’s Earl Barrett said: “I think if we can educate people about the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) presence in, and appetite for, football, then we’ll be taking a step in the right direction.”


Reactions to the exclusion of men from international synchronized swimming

The issue of the ban on men in international synchronized swimming competitions has generated some reactions:

Shamey Cramer, who is a delegate from the FGG at the IOC Women and Sport conference currently underway in Los Angeles, writes:


It was noted at the Women and Sport conference tonight that Synchro Swimming will be the ONLY sport that does not have gender equity at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Very sad statement, indeed -- even women Olympians and administrators are confounded by FINA's old-world stubbornness.

We published the following on Le Nouvel Observateur' article:

The paradox is that LGBT sport is often accused of creating "ghettos". But with a few regrettable exceptions (in particular in the USA, in men's softball and men's flag football), the fundamental principle of LGBT sport is openness, in the spirit of the Olympic charter's commitment to "sport for all".

With Synchronized Swimming, we see a strong example of this principle. A man who wants to practice this sport internationally can only do so in LGBT competitions such as the Gay Games or IGLA international championships.

Events like the Gay Games are a laboratory for innovation and openness in sport, one that goes beyond the issue of men's participation in synchronized swimming. They included women's wrestling years before the sport joined the Olympics, and include same-sex pairs in sports like dancesport, figure skating and bodybuilding, where mainstream sport continues to reject them.

A message to the Olympic movement, including FINA: to respect the universality of your Charter, stop sex discrimination, react to the exclusion of women from sport in the name of "tradition", maintain the protection of women's participation from religious pressure.



Le paradoxe c'est que le sport LGBT est souvent accusé de créer des "ghettos". Or, avec quelques regrettables exceptions (notamment aux Etats Unis lors des championnats de softball gay et de football américain), le principe de base du sport LGBT est l'ouverture, selon le principe olympique du "sport pour tous".

Avec la natation synchronisée nous voyons une manifestation forte de ce principe : un homme qui veut pratiquer ce sport au niveau international ne peut le faire que dans des compétitions LGBT, comme les Gay Games ou les championnats de la fédération affinitaire IGLA.

Des évènements comme les Gay Games sont un laboratoire pour l'innovation et l'ouverture dans le sport qui dépasse la participation masculine à la natation synchronisée. On y a trouvé la lutte féminine de nombreuses années avant qu'elle n'entre aux JO, on y trouve des couples du même sexe dans des sports comme la danse sportive, le patinage artistique, et le culturisme, des sports où cette formule reste interdite dans des compétitions "normales".

Un message du sport LGBT au grand mouvement olympique, dont fait partie FINA : pour respecter le message d'universalité de votre charte, arrêter la discrimination du genre, réagir à l'exclusion des femmes au nom de la tradition, maintenir la protection de la participation féminine de pressions religieuses.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

IOC Women and Sport conference: Canadian Olympic Committee hosts reception


Following the awards ceremony at the IOC Women and Sport conference yesterday, the Canadian Olympic Committee welcomed delegates to a reception. Thanks to FGG delegate to the conference Shamey Cramer for these photos of the events, which featured a panel discussion including Gay Games Ambassador Billie Jean King.

USOC chair Larry Probst

Donna De Varona
Anita DeFrantz

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Sebastian Coe



Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

Ross Hayduk hiking for the AIDS Memorial Grove

We are pleased to share some news from Ross Hayduk, former Team San Francisco delegate to the Federation of Gay Games.

Ross Hayduk, an inspiring friend to – and volunteer of – the National AIDS Memorial Grove, is embarking on an incredible journey. Inspired by the life of Dr. Tom Waddell (whose name was inscribed in the Grove in 2011), Ross became a Gay Games athlete in the 2002 and 2006 events, earning medals in Track & Field and Powerlifting. After participating in a 200-mile cycling event in 2010 and a 218-mile hiking event in 2011, Ross decided to combine his passions for endurance events and fundraising by planning to hike the 2,184-mile Appalachian Trail in 2012 to benefit the National AIDS Memorial Grove.

“I decided I could either traverse the Grove 7,688 times or hike 2,184 miles along the great American trail,” Ross jokes. “But as I hike, I will have a daily reminder of the beauty of this national memorial set in the heart of Golden Gate Park.” Inspired by the message of healing, hope and remembrance, Ross is investing his personal resources, as well as six months of his life, into a long-distance hike to draw attention to HIV-related health issues.

“I believe we can overcome challenges to our health like HIV, substance abuse, and bipolar depression, especially with the support of non-profit HIV/AIDS service organizations. But we must remember those who have gone before, who did not have the breadth of services available today. The only reason I am able to hike over two thousand miles is due to the sacrifices made by those whose names are inscribed within the Circle of Friends.”

Those interested in following his hike online [and donating] may visit www.HikeRossHike.org. Beginning in March in Georgia and ending in September in Maine, Ross looks forward to the adventure of a lifetime, trusting that his efforts will bring greater awareness to the National AIDS Memorial Grove in 2012.

En français / Tribune sur l'exclusion des hommes de la natation syncrhonisée

Après le reportage dans Métro, le Nouvel observateur publie une tribune d'un nageur de Paris Aquatique sur l'interdiction édictée par FINA à la participation de nageurs masculins aux compétitions internationales de natation synchronisée :

Est-il normal, en 2012, que l’accès aux compétitions d’un sport ou d’un autre soit encore limité à un seul sexe ?

Nombreux sont les exemples au sein du milieu sportif, où les femmes doivent se battre pour trouver leur place au niveau international. Mais elles ne sont pas les seules !

Chorégraphie de l'équipe masculine de natation synchronisée , 2 octobre 2011 , Paris Aquatique

Nous sommes des hommes nageurs de natation synchronisée et interdits de participation aux compétitions organisées par la FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur).

Les efforts et les progrès de la section créée en 1998 au sein de mon club, "Paris Aquatique", ont su convaincre la FFN (Fédération Française de Natation) de notre entière légitimité dans ce sport. Depuis la modification du règlement national en 2005, les ballets entièrement masculins sont acceptés en compétitions et intégrés au classement. Les podiums sont séparés dès qu’il y a au moins 4 équipes du même sexe par catégorie.

Continuer à lire ICI.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

IOC Women and Sport conference: report from Friday morning

A report from Shamey Cramer from the IOC Women and Sport conference in Los Angeles:

During Friday's opening session, Lord Sebastien Coe, head of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, proudly announced that 50% of all London Olympics management staff are women, and that for the first time in Olympic history, the Director of Sport is a woman (Debbie Jevans). While Lord Coe announced 17% ethnic diversity, there was alas no mention of LGBT inclusion. We know has been an effort for LOCOG, and regret that Lord Coe remained silent on this "thread" of diversity.

Ms. Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of the Education and culture Affairs Bureau for the US Department of State, laid out the three-pronged effort of Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton's "Smart Power Diplomacy" initiative, which will employ Mentors, Envoys and visitors between the US and 190 countries to engage and empower women through sports initiatives. Stating "Women achieve higher education and employment when active in sports," Ms. Stock went on to state that the Smart Power Diplomacy initiative will kick off this September, the 40th anniversary of Title IX which provided equal opportunities for women in collegiate and scholastic sports programs. US soccer player Danielle Slayton is currently in Malaysia as part of the State Department's effort. As a Mentor, Slayton is focusing on teaching leadership skills, the importance of team work and how to make effective lifetime network connections. A few of the initial countries engaged in this initiative include the Caribbean, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt and Zimbabwe.


Roland Rich, Executive Director of the United Nations Democracy Fund made a presentation on what the UNDF has been doing to promote women through their efforts. "Women are the largest marginalized society on the planet" Rich stated. "Engaging them provides the greatest opportunity to change the patriarchal politics. The role of women in any given society is a good litmus test of modernity. The IOC and the UN strongly embrace this belief and look forward to a successful, continuing partnership in this effort."

Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.