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, April 29, 2010

Donna Rose in Bay Area Reporter

Sports history was made over the weekend in an arena in Cleveland. No public announcement or trumpets were sounded, no press reports appeared in the local papers, and the sparse audience in attendance was for the most part unaware of the significance of the event transpiring before their eyes. But in little more than a minute's time, the interval between two shrill blasts of an official's whistle, the walls of intolerance in the sports world lost one more brick. When Donna Rosen, who last wrestled in a tournament bracket match in 1970 during the Canadian Olympic trials, pinned Missouri Valley wrestler Paloma Basulto in the U.S. Open Women's Freestyle Wrestling Championships Friday at Cleveland State University, it was believed to be the first time a transgender woman had competed in a mainstream-sanctioned women's wrestling event.

The victory in the women's 72-kilogram (158.75 pounds) quarterfinals, followed immediately by a congratulatory hug from her coach, Olympian Melvin Douglas, and a celebration in the stands with her own personal cheering section, ultimately secured Rosen a berth in the world team trials this summer in Iowa.

Continue reading HERE.

Donna Rose lives with heart

Robby Davis shares his experience seeing Donna Rose compete in Cleveland.

This past weekend in Cleveland I became a devoted wrestling fan and watched one of my heros execute a takedown and pin in a mere 1:15 seconds, in her first return to the mat. This was Donna Rose's first participation in a women-only division in major national wrestling competition, and her first match since winning a gold medal in the 2006 Chicago Gay Games (where she only had the opportunity to wrestle men in her weight class.) After her victory, she was beaming, as was I and all her friends that had gathered on this wet Friday in a massive arena that will be a host venue for Gay Games IX in 2014.
Simply put, this was about "participation, inclusion and personal best" in the most profound sense. Donna said, “it’s about living, getting in there and doing it!” She went on to lose some matches, even getting pinned once, but she held her own skilled ground against some of the fiercest woman in the USA, including a ranking national champion.

She chose this mainstream stage for her first warm-up competition prior to Cologne this summer, as the first-ever transgender woman and very likely the oldest wrestler in the meet, to step up. She grappled with woman less than half her age, younger than her own grown son!

Donna placed 6th in the women's 72-kilogram (158.75 pounds,) qualifying for the World Championship trials later this year in Iowa, where she could qualify to represent the USA. Instead of causing potential controversy and a media frenzy over the two days, she won the respect of her competitors as an athlete that was skilled and well prepared. Donna’s integrity, willpower and skill did the talking.

I met Donna Rose in Washington DC at the height of the battle over inclusion of transgender persons in the then-struggling Employees Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) legislation; where most of our national leaders were willing to compromise, she resigned from several Boards over their inability to stand for us all. Now as that legislation seems poised to pass with the protections for gender identity restored, she continues to remain highly visible, bold and as passionate as ever.

Enjoying the intense camaraderie in her favorite sport, Donna embodies our principles and is excited to be getting ready for the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne this summe, competing with the San Diego Bulldogs.

Visit Donna's website HERE.

Brian Sims at Equality Forum panel on sports tonighnt

In Philadelphia? Don't miss the Sports Panel at the Equality Forum, featuring Gay Games Ambassador Brian Sims.

All info HERE.

To be indifferent to difference

Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris, and patron of FGG member FSGL's Paris International Tournament, wrote the following editorial on his blog on the death of Jean Le Bitoux, a pioneer in gay rights in France. Here are few extracts from this text (our translation):

The fact is that much remains to be done. Let us think of those countries, those many countries, where homosexuality is still a crime subject to the death penalty, of these young men hanged in Iran, beheaded in Saudi Arabia, guilty for simply being what they are. And even here in Europe, let's not forget, for example, that in Russia all gatherings of homosexuals are still banned.

But there is no need to go so far: let's look at the situation in France. We can ask whether we haven't entered a sad period of silent regression.
It's as if a new leaden blanket was covering us, slowly, inexorably, with the arrogance of an intolerance full of self-confidence. Religion contributes to this, by making traditions into sacred cows, or by nourishing dangerous identifications; only days ago, the spokesman of the Vatican, speaking with the weight of an institution representing a moral authority over a billion human beings, linked homosexuality and pedophilia. This sum of ignorance, misinformation, bad feelings and prejudice weighs heavy and reaches deep in our tired societies.
In the name of the children chased from their homes because of their homosexuality, these humiliated children, let us work to build a society where they have their place. Homosexuals have faced all manner of suffering from rejection, fear, shame, secrecy. They have endured unheard of trials, and in particular AIDS, which struck them with such terrible violence just when they thought they had achieved, and at a great price, the right to a certain freedom to be themselves. Today, they have the right to be, to exist, to be themselves.
A society is made of differences. And its degree of civilization is measured by its capacity to see its differences with indifference. We're still far, too far, from this goal.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

American Airlines promo codes

Click HERE for info on American Airlines promo codes for LGBT events, including Gay Games VIII.

Seattle softball team wins Outsport contest

Congratulations to the 2010 Outsports Top Gay Sports Group:

Muffin Tops Softball Team

The Seattle-based group narrowly beat out the Milwaukee Gay Volleyball Association in incredibly close voting. Both groups do a great deal for their local communities, and both were able to rally national support from other teams in their sport; Kudos to them both for their positive energy!

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's contest. And special thanks to the Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany for sponsoring the contest; The Muffin Tops receive one free registration for the Gay Games for their victory. We hope to see you all in Cologne!

Wrestlers Without Borders profile

At the 1990 Gay Games in Vancouver, wrestling was an afterthought. Organization was so haphazard, longtime devotee Gene Dermody paid $300 of his own money to get mats in place for competition.

That galvanized the small but intense gay wrestling community. Realizing that no one would help them except themselves, they formed a coalition. Wrestlers Without Borders – dedicated to promoting the freestyle and Greco-Roman versions of the sport – has grown into an international umbrella organization for wrestling clubs. Its focus is on gay clubs and events, though it welcomes any group that shows “a commitment to wrestlers of all ages, genders and orientations in a safe, non-elitist environment.”

WWB has helped push wrestling to the forefront of the Gay Games. Its Web site provides a clearinghouse for LGBT wrestling events. And it offers help to any group or individual new to the sport.

In 1994, the group worked with New York organizers to include women’s wrestling in the Gay Games, says WWB chair Roger Brigham. Four years later, in Amsterdam, WWB helped introduce gay wrestling to many Europeans. That, in turn, led to an impressive wrestling presence at the 2002 Sydney Games.

Along the way, WWB has served as an ambassador for gay wrestlers. “Everywhere we go, mainstream organizations are impressed by our professionalism,” Brigham says. “We’ve gained acceptance and broken down barriers.”

Continue reading HERE.

Cory Benton, out Columbia University sprinter

Read the full story on Outsports:

One of the first steps I knew I had to take after coming out to my family was to come out to my coaches. During the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I was thinking about quitting the team, and I actually did stop running for a semester because I was so uncomfortable with myself. I always thought there was no possible way an openly gay athlete could be accepted by so many people with so many different backgrounds. One of my biggest fears was the reaction of my coaches. I was uncertain how they would react, and I worried that they might no longer want me on their team. Although email is not the best way to communicate a very important message, I decided to email all of my coaches at once to tell them about my sexuality.

My head coach, Willy Wood, quickly replied and asked if I would like to come into his office and talk about it. What started off as a silent, awkward conversation turned into daily long conversations about my life and how my family was handling me coming out. I would sit in his office for sometimes hours and discuss how I felt about being gay, and how I felt now that I was out.

My coach has become a second father to me. The amount of support that he has offered is unparalleled. He would often ask me how the other guys on the team were responding to me being gay, and if I thought there should be a team meeting to discuss any issues I might have with some of the things that teammates would say that may come off as offensive. Thankfully, there were no major issues. Moreover, when I decided to take a break from the team, Coach Wood still emailed me every week to check on me. My own father never did that.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Follow-up on Gais Musette story

Read the article (in French) HERE.

After being refused the rental of facilities in the Ardèche, French same-sex dance club the Gais Musette found a venue for their residential course in southwestern France, in the département of the Gers. Philippe Martin, the president of the Gers has made a point of welcoming the Gais Musette, reminding the public that the Gers has a gay-friendly policy.

Martin stated: "Today, once again, a wish to cry out against the boundless stupidity of this association in the Ardèche. We've unfortunately heard in recent days quite a bit of intolerance and stupidity, in sports, for example. When I see the work we are doing here to fight all that, I am very concerned. I want to reassure the Gais Musette that if they're happy to come to the Gers, we're very happy to welcome them!"

Top Irish squash player encourages all to be part of it!

From Out in Ireland:

Jonathan MacBride, one of Ulster's leading squash players, is all set for the Gay Games VIII in Cologne this summer:

Everyone should go to the Gay Games!

I went to the World Outgames in Copenhagen in 2009 and had the best time of my life. I made so many new friends, the locals - gay and straight - were welcoming, the sporting competitions were well organised and with so many sports it was fantastic to watch others compete and excel. And then there were the parties... a party every night. What that means for the serious sportsperson is that they can definitely go to a party even if there's only one night before a free day. Alternatively you can go to a party every night!

Cologne is a beautiful city and i'm really looking forward to seeing some of the sights. Everyone will be in Cologne for a good time and they'll have come from all over the world - 78 countries in the World Outgames, more expected in the Gay Games. The atmosphere is guaranteed to be incredible, from the very start of the opening ceremony till you get off the plane when you get home.

It's an amazing feeling to have thousands of sporty LGBT people all around you. At home you're usually in a minority, whether that's in an individual sport or even in a gay team. In the biggest gay sporting competition in the world you can play your game, do your thing, whatever it is that you enjoy doing, and amongst people who aren't interested in your sexuality. They don't care. We don't care. We just want to play our game, do our thing, and enjoy it.

Hammerheading to Cologne

Read the full article on the Ft. Lauderdale Hammerheads in South Florida Gay News HERE.

“We always wanted our own club up here,” he said. “So we formed the Hammerheads in 2004. Together with the Nadadores we formed Gold Coast Masters, and compete as a United States Masters swim team. Gold Coast Masters currently has 700 swimmers.

“We are always one of the perennial contenders at the national meets. We all swim together at the meets, which is great for things like relays because we have a lot more to draw from. We actually don’t allow anyone to swim in our relays who is not gold as we use the relays for rankings.”

Like the Nadadores, the big event on the Hammerhead’s calendar is the Gay Games, which will be held in Cologne, Germany this year. Grzeszczak feels pretty confident about the outcome.

“Last year, we sent 17 swimmers, and swept the entire event,” he boasts. “It was the first time a medium sized team ever took the whole thing. Everyone there won a medal and many of us left with multiple gold medals and broke multiple records.”

Team Auckland Masters Swimmers mid-winter party

• Venue: Kamo Bar & Restaurant, 382 K’Rd Auckland
• Date: Friday 25 June
• Time: From 8pm
• Theme: European Fabulosity In honour of Gay Games Team going to Cologne
• Food: Fabulous finger food
• Price: $25 p/p includes glass of bubbles on arrival
Raffles; Music; Fabulosity; Tickets from Committee Members; Bar; Finger Food; Best Dressed Frau/ Mann; All Welcome; Bring a Friend.

Details on their website HERE.

London Orcas prepare for Cologne

From LGBT History Month blog:
With only 4 months to go until the Gay Games, London Orca water polo team are training hard both in and out of the pool.

Captain Ben Evans explains: "The Gay Games are a real focus for us - a wonderful opportunity to play other gay teams in a hugely enjoyable tournament. But we also play year round in straight leagues in London. For us as gay men and women it's important that we compete week in-week out in a sometimes rough team sport against people who might otherwise never engage with the gay community. It's a chance to challenge their stereotypes, and give as good as we get."

“While our focus in on achieving an outstanding performance in Cologne in July, we have a lot of work to do in the coming months with intensive training programs and a series of preliminary competitions” said Evans, “plus we are still welcoming new players to the team if anyone is interested in joining us on the podium at the Gay Games.”

To help promote the club, London Orca have recently produced a video introducing the club to potential new members:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chris Morgan takes deadlift gold in Moscow

The Federation of Gay Games is proud to announce that Gay Games Powerlifting champion and FGG Ambassador Chris Morgan has successfully defended his world deadlift championship.

He was lifting in the World Single Event Championships, held in Moscow, Russia, where he made lifts of 210kg, 240kg, and 250kg to once again clinch the World Open Deadlift title in the 82.5kg weightclass. His achievement is all the greater since he had extraordinary difficulty making it to Moscow due to the grounding of UK flights.

Speaking about the competition, Chris said: "I’m absolutely delighted to have won my third World ‘Open’ Gold Medal here at the World Drug-Free Powerlifting Championships, completing my aim of winning back-to-back World Championship titles. It has been my goal since failing to regain my first world open title in 2005, to once again win and then defend the World Open Championship. It feels very satisfying to achieve something that I’ve never managed to do before in my sporting career."

"Russia is the ultimate away fixture for a competitive Powerlifter and I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to compete in Moscow. This was always going to be the most difficult backdrop for this year’s world championships, providing both challenging conditions and environment. These championships have been one of the most fulfilling and interesting experiences of my career to date, especially meeting participants from former Soviet nations such as Moldova, Turkmenistan and Ukraine that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to meet.

"It fills me with great pride to be arriving at this year’s Gay Games in Cologne as a three time World Open Champion and to be representing the Federation of Gay Games as one of their global ambassadors. One of the key objectives at this year’s Gay Games is outreach to Eastern Europe, so it seems particularly relevant to have been able to carry the Gay Games message at this year’s World Powerlifting Championships in Moscow, Russia.’

Visit Chris's website HERE.

FSGL member club refused accommodations

FSGL member Les Gais Musette, a same-sex dance club, is in the news in France after making public an event that happens all too often. Like many clubs, they regularly organize weekends and other outings to practice their sport and enjoy spending time together in the country to practice their sport and improve gruop cohesion. These outings are an important activity for many clubs, satisfying the social goals of clubs, an important complement to their athletic objectives.

An association that rents out its facilities in the Ardèche in southern France refused the Gais Musette's reservation for a week-long residential course after deciding that the group's homosexual orientation was incompatible with their own values, and the presence of their children at the site: "Nous avons accepté vos demandes concernant l'alcool et la viande, mais l'homosexualité ne correspond pas aux énergies et à l'éthique que nous développons, sur notre lieu, pour nous-même, notre entourage, et nos enfants. Par conséquent, nous vous invitons à chercher un autre lieu" (while we accepted your requests concerning alcoholic beverages and meat, homosexuality does not correspond to the energies and ethics we develop in our establishment for ourselves, our entourage, and our children. Consequently we invite you to seek other facilities).

The Gais Musette plans to file a complaint with the French anti-discrimination authority. But the problem is one faced by many clubs in France and elsewhere. In many case, the only way clubs are able to reserve facilities is to hide the LGBT orientation of their membership, which is unacceptable.

You can read (in French) one of the many articles on this story HERE.

Visit the Gais Musette website, and maybe even register for their August outing (they found another venue), HERE.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Updated statement on death of Renae Ogletree

The Federation of Gay Games regrets to announce the death of Renae Ogletree, a member of the bidding teams both times Chicago vied to host the Gay Games. Following the success of Chicago's second bid, she served as a member of the Board of Chicago Games Inc. and proved to be a true friend of the Gay Games movement, as she was with so many other causes in Chicago and beyond. She brought her energy, enthusiasm, and talent to everything she did, and her loss will be felt in Chicago and by every person worldwide who had the good fortune to meet her. We particularly regret the loss of a woman who focused her efforts on young people, in the public school system, in the Boys and Girls Clubs, and in many other organizations devoted to children. FGG has lost a friend, and the young people of Chicago a role model.

From Kurt Dahl, co-president of the FGG, and former board member of Chicago Games, Inc.:

I had the honor to meet Renae when I joined the board of Chicago Games Inc. I learned so much from Renae about what it means to be an activist and a fighter. I am truly saddened to hear of Renae’s passing and offer my condolences to her family and friends.

From FGG Co-President Emy Ritt:

I met Renae a few years before Gay Games VII and always found her to be smiling, positive, and full of enthusiasm. At the Gay Games VII Opening Ceremony, I had the distinct privilege to walk into Soldier Field hand-in-hand with Renae as the Chicago Games Inc and FGG teams marched in together. We were blessed to have her support, and send our condolences to Renea's friends and family and the entire CGI team.

At 2004 signing of License Agreement between CGI and FGG. FGG co-presidents Roberto Mantaci and Kathleen Webster seated, Renae Ogletree and Kurt Dahl standing (photo Kevin Boyer)

News from Berlin!

Queer sports day tomorrow, 25 April, in Berlin as a warm-up for Gay Games VIII.

More info HERE.

And athletes coming from Berlin and intermediate stops can take the Gay Party Train on 30 July to arrive in plenty of time for Gay Games VIII, and have a great time along the way!

More info HERE.

London Cruisers win in Duessefdorf warm-up to Cologne Gay Games

Pink Paper story on Gay Games partner London Cruisers:

Women's basketball team celebrate after trophy win
Players from London Cruisers women’s basketball team are celebrating after their recent win at this year’s annual Duessel-Cup.

Jeni Quirke
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Players from London Cruisers women’s basketball team are celebrating after their recent win at this year’s annual Duessel-Cup.

The team competed in five basketball matches with just five players at the German multisport gay and lesbian tournament against local teams and a club from Belgium.

The semi-final saw the London players score 31 points against 15 from Weiberkram Duesseldorf and then 41 in the final vs Berlin Allstars who came away with just 14.

The Cruiser’s team have attended every Duessel-Cup since its launch in 2007 and have won the women’s basketball competition each year.

The London Cruisers are also competing in the London Metropolitan Basketball League and are currently sitting in fifth place with four matches to play before the season ends.

The club also plan to compete at this year’s Gay Games taking place from 31 July – 7 August in Cologne, Germany.

To find out more about training with the team see www.cruisers.org.uk

Ice Hockey and Football featured sports on Gay Games VIII website

Info on Ice Hockey and Football, including the special football party at Playa in Cologne, HERE.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Renae Ogletree, friend of Gay Games, dies at age 58

The Federation of Gay Games regrets to announce the death of Renae Ogletree, a member of the bidding teams both times Chicago vied to host the Gay Games. Following the success of Chicago's second bid, she served as a member of the Board of Chicago Games Inc. and proved to be a true friend of the Gay Games movement, as she was with so many other causes in Chicago and beyond. She brought her energy, enthusiasm, and talent to everything she did, and her loss will be felt in Chicago and by every person worldwide who had the good fortune to meet her. We particularly regret the loss of a woman who focused her efforts on young people, in the public school system, in the Boys and Girls Clubs, and in many other organizations devoted to children. FGG has lost a friend, and the young people of Chicago a role model.

From FGG Co-President Emy Ritt:

I met Renae a few years before Gay Games VII and always found her to be smiling, positive, and full of enthusiasm. At the Gay Games VII Opening Ceremony, I had the distinct privilege to walk into Soldier Field hand-in-hand with Renae as the Chicago Games Inc and FGG teams marched in together. We were blessed to have her support, and send our condolences to Renea's friends and family and the entire CGI team.

From the Windy City Times:

Chicago activist Renae Ogletree, 58, died Friday, April 23, after a recurrence of lung cancer that had spread throughout her body. A public memorial service is being planned, with details to be released soon.

In recent weeks, friends had helped provide support for Ogletree, as she fought back against the cancer. She was able to live most of her final days at home, thanks to the support of friends and even strangers in the community.

Ogletree was an instrumental and influential part of many community organizations in Chicago, including the Gay Games VII, Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays, Lesbian Community Cancer ( Care ) Project, The Color Triangle, the Belmont Rocks, Yahimba, and many more. She was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame and received the 1997 Chicago Commission on Human Relations Award. She also participated in the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and on the Chicago Police Department's 23d District Gay and Lesbian Advisory Committee.

Read more and find relevant links HERE.

Gay Games VIII opening party

PrideSports launches Team Manchester website, announces PrideGames program

Visit the new Team Manchester website HERE for information for and on Mancunians heading to Cologne.

And below, find the program for the 2010 Manchester PrideGames!

Salon.com on lesbophobia in sport

If you go by the official record, Sherri Murrell of Portland State University is the only lesbian coach in Division One women's basketball. She is, after all, the first and only coach to come out. The first and only, out of more than 350 teams.

One lesbian coach. Do you believe it?

Coach Murrell herself said that fear is thick for other gay coaches. "There's a lot of negative recruiting going on right now," she said in a recent interview. That is, coaches competing for the best talent will dismiss another program as being a haven for dykes, playing on the homophobia of prospective athletes and their families, and so make their own program supposedly moret appealing. Says Murrell: "You may not lose your job because of discrimination, but you may lose your job because all the sudden people are saying, don't go to that program because coach is a lesbian and then boom the program goes downhill. You lose your job because the program is not successful."

Continue reading HERE.

Chosen Few: Belles of the Ball

In the courtyard of the former Johannesburg Women's Gaol, the girls slip into their long socks and studs. This is their improvised changing room -- a few plastic chairs dragged from a nearby office and a locker crudely sprayed in red and grey, matching the bricks and corrugated iron blocks of the former prison. Once booted up, the squad jogs down Constitution Hill to a piece of wasteland between the BP petrol station on Empire Road and a car park. In the middle of this metropolis of eight million people they begin their training.

There are a dozen of them -- husky, many with shaved heads. The patchwork of their miscellaneous clothes brightens against the red soil. Pinky Zulu, the captain, is sandwiched between "Feminist leader" and "Fighting against patriarchy and homophobia". These slogans printed on their shirts offer clues to spectators.

These are the members of the Chosen Few. They are women from Alex, Hillbrow, Soweto, Katlehong and other townships; butch, dyke, femme -- they are lesbians and footballers, one and all.

To be chosen for the Chosen Few candidates must "be out", have passed the physical aptitude trials and be committed to defending homosexual and women's rights.

Continue reading HERE.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

German coverage of Gay Games VIII: InternetCologne

The following is an approximate translation of the article from InternetCologne that you can find HERE.
Gay and lesbian Olympics
Gay Games in Cologne - This is fun!

In 100 days, starting in the Gay Games VIII Cologne: From 31 July to 7 August, about 10,000 participants will take part under the motto "Be of it!" expected to be the world's largest gay and lesbian sports competition.

PHOTO: Armin Lohrmann and Annette Wachter, Gay Games organizers, and Gay Games Ambassador Yvonne de Bark (top to bottom)

For five years they have worked for the big day, now is the countdown of the last 100 days for the makers of Gay Games VII in Cologne: From 31 July and 7 August some 10,000 participants are expected in the cathedral city, under the motto "Be part of it!", to take part in the world's largest gay and lesbian sporting event.

German coverage of Gay Games VIII: KSTA

The following is an approximate translation of the article from KSTA.de that you can find HERE.

Competing under a false name in Cologne
Created 21:04:10, 21:00, last updated 21:04:10, 21:39

On 31 July the Gay Games will begin in Cologne's Rhein-Energie-Stadion with a large fireworks display. The organizers expect 12,000 particpants and approximately one million visitors. Participants will come from more than 70 nations.

PHOTO: Only 100 days until the opening ceremony: Annette Wachter (right), Ambassador Yvonne de Bark and Armin Lohrmann (Image: Grönert)

COLOGNE - It is a closely guarded secret, exactly will happen on the evening of 31 July in the Rhein-Energie-Stadion. A fireworks display will take place, athletes from around the world will solemnly march into the stadium, a few speeches will be made. Other than that, the opening ceremony of the Cologne Gay Games will be a big surprise for all. One thing is certain however: that the organizers have only one hundred days until the start of the sporting and cultural event.

German coverage of Gay Games VIII: Express

The following is an approximate translation of the article from Express that you can find HERE.

"GAY GAMES" 2010
So beautiful is Homolympia
(photo of Ambassador Ulrike Folkerts from TV series Tatort)

This will be the hottest week of the year: From 31 July to 7 August in Cologne will take place the "Gay Games", the gay and lesbian Olympic Games with athletes from all over the world.

There will be 35 sports competitions including football, ice hockey, diving, cycling. "We currently have 6500 registrations, but with 10,000 participants expected," said organizer Annette Wachter. "These are as many as at the Olympic Games in Beijing."

These are the Gay Games
The first Gay Games were held in 1982 in San Francisco. Most recently they took place in Sydney in 2002 and in Chicago in 2006. In Europe, they have only been held once, in 1998 in Amsterdam.

Actually, they should be called the "Gay Olympics". But the US Olympic Committee prevented this from happening.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gay Games welcome straight athletes and artists

Built upon the principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best, since 1982 the Gay Games have empowered thousands of LGBT athletes and artists through sport, culture, and fellowship.

The mission of the Federation of Gay Games is to promote equality through the organization of the premiere international LGBT and gay-friendly sports and cultural event known as the Gay Games.

While particular emphasis is placed on these specific goals, it is a fundamental principle of the Federation of Gay Games that all activities conducted under its auspices shall be inclusive in nature and that no individual shall be excluded from participating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political belief(s), athletic/artistic ability, physical challenge, age, or health status.

Women's access to sport via Title IX

Vice President Biden Announces Strengthening of Title IX
April 20, 2010

Washington, D.C. — Today, Vice President Biden announced that the Administration has issued a 'Dear Colleague' letter that withdraws a 2005 interpretation of Title IX policy. Enacted in 1972, Title IX mandates that any educational institution receiving federal funding for programs and activities cannot discriminate on the basis of sex. The 2005 policy issued compliance standards that were widely criticized for being inadequate and inconsistent with Title IX's nondiscrimination goals. Today's announcement reverses this interpretation, and returns to a more thorough test for assessing compliance with Title IX. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, joined the Vice President at George Washington University for this announcement.

"Making Title IX as strong as possible is a no-brainer," said Vice President Biden. "What we're doing here today will better ensure equal opportunity in athletics, and allow women to realize their potential - so this nation can realize its potential."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NCLR sues NAGAAA for softball discrmination

From the Advocate: Three Bay Area amateur softball players are suing a national gay sports association for alleged discrimination after officials questioned their sexuality and disqualified them following a 2008 championship game.

In a rare instance of an LGBT legal advocacy group suing a gay organization, the National Center for Lesbian Rights on Tuesday filed suit on behalf of the players in U.S. district court for the western district of Washington. According to the complaint, NCLR alleges that the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) broke state public accommodations law by enforcing a discriminatory rule that only two heterosexuals can play on each team.

NCLR further claims that during the 2008 Gay Softball World Series in Seattle, NAGAAA officials interrogated the three plaintiffs, whom a competing team had suspected of being straight, about their sexual orientation. All three have asserted that they are bisexual.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Aussie Olympian comes out

Former Olympian Daniel Kowalski has joined the small number of elite Australian sportsmen who have publicly announced that they are gay.

Kowalski joins many other athletes that have decided to not live one foot in the closet, and one foot out of the closet. FGG Australian board member and VP of External Affairs, Kate Rowe has already sent a note of support to Daniel Kowalski.

Proud and Strong, Daniel Kowalski, another Sports Champion

CLICK HERE to read the full story in the Sydney Morning Herald.


We note in particular this passage:

He feels now that he had been in denial about his sexuality during his high-profile career. "Things pop in my head that make me realise that I clearly suppressed these thoughts of being gay … because it was 'wrong', as a male it's 'wrong' but even more as an elite athlete."

And this denial may have affected his competitive edge. "I always knew that I lacked confidence when I stood up on the blocks and I do wonder sometimes if that lack of confidence was fear - fear of not really knowing who I am," he said.

"On the sporting side, I lost to some amazing champions, so I'm not for a second saying that this is the reason I didn't win. I often wonder if the lack of self-confidence and lack of identity in many ways held me back from reaching my potential."

This is precisely the reason the Federation of Gay Games has placed a high priority on raising the issue of the fight against homophobia at the highest levels of sport: the principle of sport for all, and for allowing each athlete to reach his or her full potential, requires a safe and supporting environment for athletes whatever the race, ethnicity, religion... and sexual orientation. Those entities who deprive young athletes of this environment will directly suffer from lowered performance from athletes suffering from homophobia, and from the lack of potentially talented athletes participating in competitive sport.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"The Relevance of LGBT Sport in the 21st Century"

Work will be starting in late April on a paper entitled "The Relevance of LGBT Sport in the 21st Century". The project will be spearheaded by Julia Applegate, Co-President of GLISA.

With a goal of making a draft available by September, the final paper is planned to be presented at the ILGA World Conference in December. If you are interested in working on this project, please contact julia.applegate@glisa.org.

The following is a draft outline that will evolve as the project progresses:
1. Overview of LGBT sport movement (Tom Waddell, Gay Games, World Outgames, etc)
2. Overview of LGBT human rights movement post Stonewall
a. Emphasize differences by region, race, class status, etc.
3. Discussion of advances in LGBT Human Rights, discussion of ‘post gay’ (not relevant in 95% of the world)
4. Discussion of links between homophobia/discrimination based on gender expression, etc. and ability/inability of athletes to play their sport in a safe atmosphere
5. Discussion of links between sport and human rights
6. Discussion of what GLISA/FGG has to offer global LGBT community
a. Discussion of development opportunities
b. Relationships between Global South and Global North
c. Linkages with organizations like ILGA, ARC International, etc.
7. Future: links between LGBT HR movement and global sport/hr/culture (quadrennial games, continental associations, etc.)

To participate in this project, contact julia.applegate@glisa.org .

Attention wrestlers: Don Jung Memorial Cup

25th. Annual Golden Gate Wrestling Don Jung Memorial WeekEnd Tournament...
A perfect warm up for Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany.
GGWC will also 'rassle' at the May 23 First Official California Harvey Milk Day celebration at the SF Armory.

Info HERE.

Greg Louganis hits the boards

Gay Games Ambassador Greg Louganis is starring with longtime friend Dawnn Lewis in The Little Dog Laughed in Palm Desert, California.

From the Desert News story on the production:

Louganis retired after winning two gold medals at the 1988 Summer Olympics, and six years later, he began to reveal his secrets. In 1994, Louganis came out of the closet at the Gay Games in New York, and one year later, he disclosed his HIV status in an interview with Barbara Walters and his autobiography, “Breaking the Surface.”

“I came out about my sexuality, which was no surprise to most people, but it was a surprise to some,” Louganis said. “I came out with my HIV status, which was a surprise to a lot of people.”

Diagnosed in 1988, Louganis is healthy. He takes a daily drug cocktail and exercises regularly. He turned 50 in January, and only his gray hair hints at his age. Louganis has revisited his younger years while preparing for “The Little Dog Laughed.”

“Bits and pieces of this play kind of mirror what I've been through,” Louganis said.

In the show, Louganis plays Mitchell, a burgeoning Hollywood star. Played by Lewis, Diane, his agent, keeps his sexuality under wraps as she puts together a hit movie starring Mitchell.

“The Little Dog Laughed”

When: Today to Sunday, and April 23 to 25. The show opens at 7 p.m. tonight, followed by performances at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Indian Wells Theater at the Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert campus.

Who: The play stars Greg Louganis, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, and Dawnn Lewis, whose credits include “Dreamgirls” and “A Different World.” Courtney Bell and Brian Normoyle are co-stars.

Tickets: They are still available. Prices range from $30 to $60.
The play features adult themes and nudity.

Seattle haloPONY fundraiser for Gay Games VIII

The haloPONY soccer team wants to compete and represent Seattle in the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany. They need your help in raising the funds to get there so they are having a fundraiser and social event on Sunday, April 25, 2010 from 6:30pm-9:30pm. 22 Doors on 15th Ave has graciously offered to host the event. There is a suggested donation of $10 which will also enter you into the evening raffle. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 each. There will also be an auction for some amazing items at the event Here are some of the items:
Banya5 Urban Spa - You and 4 guests enjoy a day of shvitzing at Banya5.
Glass by Artist Mike Holberg - This is your chance to win a one-of-a-kind glass piece created and donated by local artist Mike Holberg.
A Staycation at the Monaco - Enjoy a romantic night in the Monte Carlo Suite.
Box Seats at the Mariners Game! - Enjoy 2 box seats for a Seattle Mariners game of your choice!
A night at Willows Lodge - Located in the heart of Western Washington’s wine country.
VIP Party for 20 at Fox Sports Grill - Enjoy two hours in the VIP lounge with complimentary appetizers and food.
Glitter and be GAY! - Enjoy two tickets to see Candide at the 5th Avenue Theatre!
Local Artists - A wide range of drawings, paintings, blown glass and photography from local artists.

RSVP on Facebook HERE.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Swimmers coming to Cologne

From the Sydney Star Observer, an interview with swimmer Corey Buckman:

Q: What is your greatest sporting moment? Why?
A: Winning eight medals at the 2002 Gay Games. I had a great result and the support from friends was amazing.

Q: What motivates you to keep going?
A: What motivates me to keep going at the moment is my focus on the Gay Games in Cologne in August 2010 and the support of my partner, family and friends.

Q: Are you single or in a relationship? Does your partner participate in sport? Which one?
A: I have been with my partner James for six years. James participates in cycling and will be competing in cycling in Cologne.
And in Metro Weekly, a profile of Project Runway's Jack Mackenroth:

METRO WEEKLY: Your bio tempts me to divide you into three parts: swimming, fashion and activism. I know the least about the swimming.

JACK MACKENROTH: I started swimming competitively when I was 6. I come from a swimming family -- brother, sister, we all swam. I started taking it seriously when I was about 12. When I moved to New York, I started swimming with Team New York Aquatics, which is the gay masters-level team there. I recently went to the Out Games in Copenhagen and I won eight medals. I'm training right now for the Gay Games, this July and August in Cologne, Germany. I'm a sprinter now, because I'm too old to do anything else. [Laughs.] I'm a sprint breaststroker and sprint freestyler.

New Italian group fighting homophobia in/with sport

ICONS CALCIO is a gay football team with the goal of using sport to become a reference point to achieve a more mature and conscious integration between the various social realities that populate our world.

ICONS CALCIO was born in February 2010, after a meeting with the founders of the
"Justin Campaign - Football Against Homophobia" in Manchester, England. Our aim is to break down prejudices and to unite all our different human realities to say NO to homophobia in sports and to say YES to solidarity in sport.

The team consists of a group of gay and straight players, friends who, despite their obvious differences, demonstrate that in the world of sport we are all equal.

More info HERE.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seattle gay prom supports Cologne-bound athletes

We hope you're ready for a night you will never forget!
We welcome you to a traditional style prom done your way: come and celebrate being you with whomever you want to be with. Dance the night away in your tux/suit or dress -- anyone can wear either!

Gay Prom will help several teams to represent Seattle at this year's Gay Games in Cologne, Germany: men's teams Stonewall FC and Jet City Strikers (both defending gold medals!), and haloPony; and a women's team, the Rain City Surge.

Celebrate with us! Ticket sales are limited! Get yours soon!

More info HERE.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Windy City profile: Trent Shepard

Another Windy City Times profile of a Gay Games athlete:

It's not the medals or a personal best time that Trent Shepard swims for in the Gay Games. It's the cause.

Shepard, 58, is single, retired and now living in New Zealand, but he will be back living in Urbana in the spring. And next summer, he will be in Cologne, Germany for Gay Games VIII. Shepard has competed in the last four Gay Games: New York, Amsterdam, Sydney and Chicago.

"My main goal [ in Cologne ] is to be effective at helping run the swimming meet. I worked with registration [ in ] Chicago and am already on the crew list of the Cologne meet director," Shepard said. "The Gay Games are the only master's meets I've ever competed in. I'm not in it to win, or for a personal best time, but to be part of an event I believe in.

"I really enjoyed helping run the [ 2006 Gay Games ] swimming event, being at the pool every day, and meeting so many wonderful swimmers. One of the swimmers who had registration problems and needed lots of attention became a very close friend. He, his partner, and I have spent time together in New Zealand, my Illinois home, and at their home in Michigan. We're friends for life."

Shanghai track meet

Like sports? Participate with other gay and lesbian sports enthusiasts in a Spring meet held by several of Shanghai's most active LGBT social/volunteer organizations: In-Lemon, Rainbow League, ShanghaiLGBT, and the Chi Heng Foundation.

Events include a variety of individual and relay races, a long jump, jump rope, a tug of war, and other competitions.

For more information contact In-Lemon's Maomao, 135 0180 6965, frandyguo@hotmail.com (speaks English), or Leesan, 139 1887 7442, itosho502@hotmail.com . ShanghaiLGBT's Charlene, 137 6159 1300, shanghailgbt@yahoogroups.com , Rainbow League's Rio, 138 1880 0238, and Chi Heng's Simon, 139 1671 9652, simon@chiheng.org , who all speak English, will also be able to help with organizational details.

Location: playing fields of the Baoshan No.3 Central Primary School, 792 Huma Rd, near #1 subway line's Tonghe Xincun station, seven stops north of the Shanghai Railway station.

More info HERE.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Brian Sims and Jeff Sheng at Quinnipiac for National Day of Silence

Jeff Sheng, founder of the Fearless Campus Tour, a collection of photographs of high school and collegiate athletes who openly self-identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, will discuss his work at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14, in Alumni Hall at Quinnipiac University.

Sheng's talk will be followed by an exhibition of his work, which includes photographs of more than 100 athletes from the United States and Canada.

Also on April 14, Brian Sims, the first openly gay college football captain in NCAA history, will appear in Alumni Hall at 7 p.m. to discuss his experience. Now a LGBT advocate, Sims is the policy attorney for the Philadelphia Bar Association and chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia.

Both campus-wide events are part of the National Day of Silence, which started in 1996 to raise awareness about the harassment aimed at gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual students. Today, participation from more than 8,000 schools and universities remain silent throughout the day, with the exception of "breaking the silence" events organized to encourage students to stop hurtful name-calling and create safer schools.

The student organizations, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Supporters (GLASS) and the QU Democrats, are sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call 203-582-8652.

Marie and Britta's video diary recap

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

FGG supports ILGA Asia

The Federation of Gay Games expresses its solidarity with ILGA Asia following the violent repression of their Indonesia conference (read their statement in full HERE). From their statement:

By midday the board had received information that a group of fundamentalists had mobilised themselves after Friday prayers and were heading towards the hotel. For the safety of the participants and in the best interest of all those involved, the board decided to cancel the programme of events for the afternoon session. The heads of the fundamentalist groups entered the hotel and sat around a table in the lobby, adjacent to the elevators, talking to one another, while other demonstrators grew into a larger threatening crowd outside of the hotel lobby. The heads of the opposing groups (the Unity Front of the Community of Islam (FPUI), an ad-hoc coalition of 7 conservative and hard-line Islamic groups including the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI), Indonesia's top Muslim clerical body, the Islamic Defender Front (FPI), a local extremist group that is known for violent tactics, and the Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), a local chapter of a worldwide network by the same name that is believed to be very active in a number of countries including the United Kingdom despite being banned by many governments) demanded to speak to the ILGA ASIA organisers and Mr King Oey, a member of the ILGA ASIA board and part of the organising committee tried to reason with them, only to be assaulted in return.

Moments later, the regional board and the Secretaries Generals of ILGA and the communications team met to analyse the situation and to take necessary measures and further precautions. This involved hours of negotiation with the police and the management of the hotel. At around 4 pm, dozens more protesters arrived at the Oval Hotel and the atmosphere became more heated. The police wanted to terminate their responsibility by pressuring the conference delegates and organisers to leave the hotel immediately. Only after the mediation of some prominent public figures who were among the participants, the police finally offered protection to the participants and the hotel management accepted that they could remain in the hotel until the end of their reservations. The police also negotiated with the demonstrators and told them that it had decided to give protection to the delegates. The demonstrators however refused to leave and began to put more and more pressure on to the organising committee promising to return armed the next day. By early evening, it became necessary to evacuate the participants in groups of four. Some were aided by their embassies, others who managed to change their flights were taken directly to the airport, whilst others were moved to different hotels and some left Surabaya by land to neighbouring cities. A few remained at the hotel as “tourists”. The ILGA ASIA board wishes to thank all Indonesian activists who coordinated and put their necks on the line to ensure the safety of all the participants.

Monday, April 5, 2010

FGG Ambassador at Equality Forum

Brian Sims, the latest leader to join the list of Gay Games Ambassadors, will participate in the National Sports Panel at the Equity Forum
Thursday, April 29, 8:30 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Arts Bank
601 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA

A panel of athletes and sports experts discusses the toxic effect of homophobia in college and professional sports.

Gail Shister (Moderator)
Adjunct Professor
University of Pennsylvania
One of the nation’s first female sportswriters and among the first openly gay mainstream reporters, Gail Shister was the TV columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years. Shister teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, covers television as a columnist for TVNewser.com, and appears regularly on CNN’s "Reliable Sources." In 2008, she was inducted into the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association Hall of Fame.

Anna Aagenes (Panelist)
University of Pennsylvania
Anna Aagenes is a senior at University of Pennsylvania. Aagenes served as Chair of the Queer Student Alliance and Penn Athletes and Allies Tackling Homophobia (PATH). She is a member of the Penn women's track team.

Dr. Pat Griffin (Panelist)
Professor Emeritus, Social Justice Education
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Pat Griffin is the former Director of “It Takes A Team!” - an education campaign for LGBT issues in sport. Dr. Griffin is a Professor Emeritus in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She won a gold medal in Hammer Throw at the 1998 Gay Games.

Brian Sims, Esq. (Panelist)
Equality Advocates Pennsylvania
Brian Sims is a GLBT advocate, a policy attorney for the Philadelphia Bar Association, and serves as the Chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia (GALLOP). Sims was the first openly gay college football captain in NCAA history.

Dan Woog (Panelist)
Dan Woog is an educator, coach, journalist, author and activist. He has written six books on gay issues, including the highly acclaimed “Jocks” series that examines gay sports in America. His column, “The OutField,” appears in GLBT newspapers nationwide.