Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

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

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

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

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

Learn more HERE.

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

Learn more HERE.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A message to French participants in Gay Games VIII from the minister of sport

Rama Yade, the French secretary of sport, is the patron of Equipe France, and has put her money where her mouth is with a generous grant that allows the more than 400 French athletes present in Cologne to wear with pride the colors of France, and the FSGL's message: "against all forms of discrimination, let's play sport together".

Here is Madame Yade's message to the members of Equipe France:

I share a fundamental conviction with the organizers of the Gay Games, and those who participate in them: the belief that sport has virtues of exemplarity, and that it can change the way others look at us, and the way we look at ourselves. Whether individual or team sports, recreational or competitive, sport should and must be at its core a school for respect for oneself and for others. Sport is a moral value, and more than perhaps any other human activity, levels the playing field.

In this respect, an event of this size, which welcomes athletes of all sexual orientations, plays an important role in demonstrating that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals are also great athletes, who can, at the Gay Games, express their personality more freely than in the traditional sporting world.

But these Gay Games, of course, also carry a symbolic impact. Let's not be mistaken: they are not there to organize an insularity, a defensive retreat from the world. Their goal is to publicly affirm the existence, the visibility, and the pride of a minority that remains the victim of great discrimination throughout the world. Sport is a mirror of society: let us break the stereotypes we find there.

The Gay Games are not the be all and end all of the fight against homophobia: their existence is merely the proof that discrimination persists. The end of the need for Gay Games would mean that discrimination based on sexual orientation has been eradicated. But the Gay Games remain today a means to change opinions and support those who suffer the consequences of prejudice on a daily basis.

This is why I'm proud today that the Ministry of Sport has made a commitment to encourage the French delegation to the Cologne Gay Games by means of financial and moral support for the Fédération sportive gaie et lesbienne which leads it.

Good luck in Cologne!

-- Rama Yade, secretary of state for sport

"The Road to Cologne": Donald Alexander

Here's an extract of a profile of a Gay Games VIII athlete. Read the full profile in Living in the Queer Times HERE:
June 27–Having played sports in high school, college and in the army, I naturally segued into the first Gay Games held in San Francisco, and then four Games after that.

While on a trip to San Francisco, I talked with Tom Waddell (sp?) about his Olympic experience in Mexico City competing in the decathlon and got enthused about track and field events, especially the javelin. With little training and expertise, I competed in the first Games with Tom and others and got walloped. I then told Tom we should have the games more often than every four years because I would be, obviously, four years older, and he said, “We’ll all be four years older.”

So I came back home to Los Angeles, bought several tapes recorded by former Olympians in throwing the javelin, the discus, the shot put and hammer, plus some tapes on running. Subsequently, I competed in four more Gay Games – in Vancouver, New York, Amsterdam and Sydney, missing the second one in San Francisco and Chicago, winning about 25 or 26 medals, 20 being gold.

Gay Games profile: martial artist Ellen Sullivan

Gay Games VIII media partner Outsports has launched a series of athlete profiles. Tell your story to the world! More info HERE.

And read a this profile of martial artist Ellen Sullivan HERE.

Here's an extract:

I live in Chicago and competed in my first Gay Games here in 2006. I had only been studying tai chi for a year, but I had to compete against black belts because I had already earned a black belt, even though it was in karate.

My goal was not to look out of place with my fellow competitors, most of who had been training in their styles for many years. My teacher spent extra time helping me prepare, then she and several of my fellow tai chi students came to cheer me on. Many friends at my old karate school were also there to compete. We had a great time. I didn’t win a medal, but I certainly didn’t feel out of place.

I’m looking forward to my second Games. Once again, I’ll be competing in martial arts, doing a tai chi empty-hands form. My goal this time around is similar – not to look out of place the other participants and to represent my school, the Tai Chi Center of Chicago, and its lineage to the best of my ability. I’m also looking forward to my third trip to Germany. On my first two trips, I was in denial about my sexuality. This time, at 47 years of age and in a 13-year relationship, I’ll see the “Kölner Dom” from an entirely new perspective.

Rugby team fined for fans' homophobic chants

Via Outsports, this story reported in Sporting Life:

The decision by the Rugby Football League to punish Castleford for homophobic chanting by their fans aimed at Gareth Thomas has been hailed as "historic" by the player's agent.

The Engage Super League club were fined £40,000 after being found guilty of misconduct, although they have signalled their intention to appeal and have 15 days to do so.

Sections of the Castleford crowd directed homophobic chanting at Crusaders winger Thomas during the League fixture between the two clubs at the Jungle on March 26.

Thomas, who announced he was gay in December, joined Crusaders in March and the Castleford game was his second for the club.

A statement from the RFL read: "Castleford were found guilty of unacceptable behaviour, of breaching the RFL's respect policy, of misconduct by their supporters and of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the sport.

"The tribunal was chaired by his Honour Judge Rodney Grant, who criticised the club for failing to take steps to stop the homophobic chanting, for failing to identify the perpetrators, for failing to challenge the chanting and for their failure to undertake a meaningful inquiry afterwards.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gay Games VIII at Cologne Pride

Cologne fever in the streets of New York

Ji Wallace, Gay Games Ambassador and 2000 Sydney Olympic silver medalist (Trampoline), joined Federation of Gay Games board member Laura Moore and members of Team New York Aquatics and Gotham Volleyball at the start of New York City's 41st annual Gay Pride Parade to cheer on all participants at Cologne's upcoming Gay Games VIII.

Laura Moore, Ji Wallace, and FGG Honorary Life Member Charlie Carson

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why LGBT sport? Sport and development

An interesting essay by Daniela Preti, which you can read in full HERE.

After the international spotlight on South Africa's football stadiums fades to black, questions about the legacy and social impact of such sporting events remain. For one, how can sport contribute to youth empowerment and social transformation at the grassroots level?

'Sport and Development' refers to the use of sport as a tool for development, where sport is not considered an end in itself but rather a means to create social change. From a development perspective, sport is used to reach out to as many individuals as possible – emphasizing participation and inclusion rather than competition and selection. Furthermore, sport is generally understood in its broadest sense, including all sorts of physical activities that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction, such as play, recreation, organized sport and indigenous games and dances. The Sport and Development approach aims at contributing to sustainable human development, a concept that moves beyond the classic development paradigm of economic growth and rather puts people – as the principal actors and intended beneficiaries of development – at the center.

The right of access to and participation in sport and play has long been recognized in a number of international conventions. In 1978, UNESCO described sport and physical education as a "fundamental right for all." Similarly, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (adopted in 1989) recognized "the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts." This allows for sport, recreation and play to be considered not only as a necessary component of child and youth development (a 'needs'-based perspective) but also one in which these activities are considered entitlements (a 'rights'-based perspective).

Despite international recognition of the importance of physical activity and play as part of a holistic education, sport was historically underestimated as a major tool of humanitarian and development programs and was rarely used in a systematic way. More recently, however, interest has increased – with development organizations incorporating sport more frequently into their programmatic repertoire.

Melbourne farewell party

QSAM held its farewell party for Melbourne participants in Gay Games VIII.

Some 70 athletes and friends attended the event at DT's, a local gay and lesbian pub in Melbourne's inner city suburb of Richmond, on Sunday 27 June.

The local state Labour MP gave the official farewell speech. A message from Philipp Lischke, Games Cologne's rep in Australia and a 2010 FGG Volunteer of the Year, was read in his absence.

Kate Rowe, VP External affairs attended on behalf of the FGG and gave the crowd a few facts and figures to help give participants a sense of what's to come. Everyone was excited to hear that Australian Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham will be reading the oath of athletes at the opening ceremony.

Also in attendance and speaking at the event was Daniel Kowalski, a silver medalist Olympian in the 1500-metre swim. Daniel (photo above with Kate Rowe) recently came out and he said he was sorry that he has missed out on Cologne, but is already targeting Cleveland to participate and get back into training for.

A film crew was there to cover the event for a documentary, to be broadcast on ABC, following the journey of the DANCECATS a group of women from Melbourne who will be participating in DanceSport at Gay Games VIII.

Melbourne tennis players Judy, Charlotte, Rachel and Moira

Chris Morgan profile in Mate Magazine

Find out where to find Mate Magazine HERE.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stanley Cup to ride in the Chicago Gay Pride

The Stanley Cup, the trophy annually awarded to the champion team of the [North American] National Hockey League, will be on display at this Sunday's Chicago Gay Pride Parade – its first appearance at a gay-themed event.

The Chicago Blackhawks were extended an invite to be part of the parade by The Chicago Gay Hockey Association, and have accepted. The team have just won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. Also present will be the Chicago Cubs, who will have their own float in the parade.

The team's vehicle will be festooned with a brick-and-ivy motif after the style of their home ground of Wrigley Field, which is only blocks away from the parade route.

The Cubs have given their support to various gay community causes over the past few years. The team's vice president of community, Mike Lufrano, said, "We know we have many fans in the community".

As for the Blackhawks, Defenseman [sic] Brent Sopel, a 33-year-old father of three, will accompany the Stanley Cup on the parade. Mr Sopel said he would be taking part in the celebrations in honour of the late gay son of his former boss, the ice hockey executive and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brian Burke.

Continue reading HERE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Brent Minor on the disabled list!

It is with great regret that the FGG has learned that Brent Minor will not be attending Gay Games VIII. In addition to our loss of his enthusiasm and good company, we will not be able to use this opportunity to publicly display our appreciation of his leadership and contributions to LGBT sport and the Gay Games movement.

Brent was to be recognized at our Tribute to Gay Games bidders, our attempt to thank the many men and women who have worked tirelessly to offer the Federation such outstanding choices for potential host cities. Brent left the FGG to take on duties of director of Washington Metropolitan Gaymes, which bid for the 2014 Gay Games.

Brent has been a board member and co-president of the Federation, and a leader of Team DC. For these contributions, he will be recognized as a finalist for the Tom Waddell Award, the highest honor granted by the FGG to those who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to the Gay Games movement.

Unfortunately, Brent has suffered an injury which requires surgery and prevents him from traveling to Cologne. The FGG particularly appreciates his generous offer to transfer his personal registration in Gay Games VIII, and his lodging, to a scholarship recipient.

We look forward to seeing Brent among us as soon as possible, and wish him the best of luck for a speedy recovery!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Taylor Dayne records Cologne Gay Games anthem

It has a beat. It is uplifting. It is from a dance music icon. This new track was released on YouTube today by Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010.

Taylor Dayne sings the Gay Games song

Soul Diva Taylor Dayne will sing the official song for Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010. The American singer will perform the song “Facing a Miracle” at the opening ceremony on July 31 in the RheinEnergieStadium. Taylor Dayne became well known in the 80s, when she had an international hit with “Tell it to my heart”.

Annette Wachter, manager of the Gay Games Cologne gGmbH, is looking forward to meeting the US star: “We are enthusiastic that an international artist like Taylor Dayne is supporting the sport- and cultural event.” The song was well received from the start. Contracts have been signed with the management of the singer. Taylor Dayne is well known in the USA for her charity engagements, recorded the song, a short time ago in California.

With “Tell it to my Heart”, Taylor Dayne reached number one in the chart shows in Germany in 1987. Also her hits “Prove your love” and “I´ll will always love you” were placed in the charts. In 2008, ten years after her last publishing, she released her new album “Satisfied”. Taylor Dayne is also successful as composer. She wrote the hit “Whatever you want” for Tina Turner.

The hymn of the Gay Games originates from a composer team from Sweden and the Netherlands. The song writer Peter Hägeras, Bruce R.F. Smith, Dan Sundquist and Ralph van Manen won the composer competition of the Gay Games Cologne with the song “Facing a miracle”. The Dance song which has the makings of a hit encourages all to fulfill our own dreams. That the song will be performed by an international known artist, makes Peter Hägeras happy: “Being openly gay myself, it means a lot to me to get the possibility to write and produce the song for the Gay Games, by far the biggest event this year. Even more interesting is the possibility to work with Taylor Dayne. I am still fairly young so for me it´s a fantastic feeling to work with an idol of my youth, especially as she still is delivering top performances and scored top rankings at the billboards. For me, the word “Pride” gets a complete new and important meaning.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Background on International Rainbow Memorial Run

The 2010 International Rainbow Memorial Run is a series of events to bring the Rainbow Flag around the world as a symbolic “torch” and symbol for AIDS and breast cancer awareness.

Kicking off from San Francisco, the “Athens” of the Gay Games, February 21, the Rainbow Run will travel to past Gay Games Host Cities Vancouver, Sydney, Amsterdam, New York and Chicago before reaching Cologne for Gay Games VIII on July 31.

The 2010 International Rainbow Memorial Run events pay tribute to the memory of artist Keith Haring, lesbian activist Rikki Streicher and Dr. Tom Waddell, the Founder of the Gay Games.

The run is organized and sponsored by:
American Run for the End of AIDS (AREA)
Federation of Gay Games
The Keith Haring Foundation (Keith Haring has been an honoree of the Rainbow Run since its first incarnation in 1990. The past six arrivals of the Rainbow Flag to the Gay Games have been sponsored by the Keith Haring Foundation, which has also granted permission to incorporate Keith's "little runner" into the design of The Rainbow Run every four years.)
NAMES Project Foundation
Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010
and the Front Runners clubs in host cities.

New York leg of International Rainbow Memorial Run

On June 19, New York Frontrunners welcomed the NYC leg of the International Rainbow Memorial Run as part of their weekly Central Park fun run. Here are some photos of the run, and the memorial moment in honor of those in the Gay Games family lost to AIDS and breast cancer.

The founder of the run, Brent Nicholson Earle, made the following speech:

On February 21st we launched the 2010 International Rainbow Memorial Run to bring the Rainbow Flag as a symbolic “torch” and symbol for AIDS and breast cancer awareness from San Francisco, the “Athens” of the Gay Games, to Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany [see our post on this leg HERE]. Since then the Rainbow Flag has been run in past Gay Games Host Cities – Vancouver, Amsterdam, Sydney – and this morning – New York!

Members of Front Runners New York and their friends passed this Flag to one another during their fun run in Central Park. Back at Rutgers Church where the club meets every Saturday, we held a Quilt Unfolding Ceremony. We read names of loved ones lost to AIDS, breast cancer and other causes – some of them pioneers of the Gay Games movement and the struggle for our rights. Then we left written memorials on this new Quilt made for us by Gert McMullin of the NAMES Project, as she’s done for the past five efforts to bring the Rainbow Flag to the Gay Games.

Gracing the Pride Rally stage today is her Quilt from Gay Games VII four years ago. The other is one of four Quilts she made for us to bring from San Francisco to New York in 1994 for Gay Games IV with the Rainbow Roll for the End of AIDS. Five other inline skaters helped me rollerblade this Rainbow Flag 4300 miles across the country!

Our Old Glory here has quite a history. Twenty years ago I was running her a thousand miles from San Francisco to Vancouver for Gay Games III. And next week she’ll join Chicago’s Proud To Run event [info HERE] before completing her journey on July 31st in Cologne for the Opening of Gay Games VIII!

Since 1990 we’ve paid tribute with the Rainbow Run to artist Keith Haring and Dr. Tom Waddell, the Founder of the Gay Games. In 1998 when we changed the event to a series of memorial runs and ceremonies and included breast cancer in our awareness campaign, we added lesbian activist Rikki Streicher as an honoree. She may have been tiny but she had a mighty influence.

And now we’re about ready to run into the Rally a section of the historic Mile-Long Rainbow Flag from Stonewall 25 in 1994! There isn’t time to thank all the people and groups who’ve contributed to the Rainbow Run but I want to offer special thanks to Heritage of Pride, the Keith Haring Foundation, and Front Runners New York. A week from today will be their 29th Gay Pride Run in Central Park! Thank you all so much – we’ll see you four years from now on our way to Gay Games IX in Cleveland, Ohio! Happy Pride, Everybody!

See all posts on the International Rainbow Memorial Run HERE.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"The Road to Cologne": Bob Lubarsky

Here's an extract of a profile of a Gay Games VIII athlete. Read the full profile in Living in the Queer Times HERE:

1998, the Gay Games in Amsterdam: The gold just four years before was a highlight; at the same time, there were also some knocks. Foremost of which, my tenure was denied. Having no particular reason to stay where I was, in ’96 I moved to where I wanted to be – Germany. I picked Cologne, mostly because it’s their gay capital. Upon arrival, I asked around for the local gay wrestling club, only to find there wasn’t one. Figuring that was the end of my wrestling career, I set about setting up life there anyway. When I heard about the Games in Amsterdam, just two hours away, it was two hard to say no. And if there was no gay wrestling group for me to get some training with, that just meant I had to join a non-gay one.

The closest club to home was the Ringer Club Ehrenfeld, and it was my childhood nightmare. Wrestling is mostly a working-class sport, so the guys in the club included an electrician, a truck driver, even a thief who had spent time in jail; I was a former college professor. They were mostly around 20; I was pushing 40. There were Germans and Turks there, an occasional Iraqi or Iranian; I’m a Jew. And they were straight, and I’m gay. There was some adjustment we all had to go through at first. In the end, though, what started as just a sideshow for me, just a place to get some training for the Games, ended up eclipsing the Games in importance. The Ehrenfelders were part of the league system there, and I eventually wrestled on the team in the competitions,
helping them rise into the next higher league. In the course of time, the confidence it gave me and the fun I had led me to be the one to found within Janus, the city’s gay sports club, the wrestling group.

Monday, June 21, 2010

TIP 2010 a smashing success!

The 2010 edition of the Tournoi international de Paris organized by FGG member organization FSGL and sponsored by the Federation and Games Cologne was a huge success. Despite fears that the poor economy and the focus of many teams on Gay Games VIII would result in low participation numbers, nearly 1400 athletes came, 40% of them from outside of France. The event was a financial success, which is important for the participating member clubs, for whom this is the primary source of operating revenue, allowing them to keep their own membership fees affordable, encouraging broader membership.

Congratulations to the TIP, and we look forward to the TIP 2011, and before that the the Forum FSGL this September.

Football and Basketball


Martial Arts and Wrestling


Roller Blading


More soon!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chosen Few profile in The Guardian

From The Guardian's World Cup coverage:

Lerato Marumolwa is preparing for her personal World Cup. Next month she and her colleagues from "The Chosen Few", South Africa's only openly lesbian football team are flying to Cologne, Germany to take part in this summer's Gay Games.

Considering the Rainbow Nation's much praised post apartheid constitution was the first in the world to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, Marumolwa and the rest of the Chosen Few endure a depressingly tough time. They train in their native Johannesburg, on dusty, dirty, puddle-riddled waste ground only a few hundred metres from that city's constitutional court – and bastion of gay rights.

The 21-year-old Marumolwa fully appreciates the irony. "It's the only spot we could find to train," she says. "We tried many places but no one wanted us, they didn't let us stay. In the townships we get discriminated against, we get raped, we get beaten up, people swear at us."

Marumolwa's sanctuary is the Chosen Few. Founded in 2004 by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (Few) it is the focal point of the 25 woman squad's lives and, perhaps appropriately, has its office in Johannesburg's former apartheid era women's prison, now mainly a museum, situated next to the constitutional court.

"Few is my family," Marumolwa says. "It's a space where I feel at home. I can be myself. My team-mates all come from different backgrounds but when we are together we are one big family. At home we have to watch what we do, watch what we say. We don't go around at night so Few is a good space for us."

She is a star of a team that won bronze medals at the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago and the 2008 International Gay and Lesbian FA Cup in London and trains religiously twice a week. Every session begins after a burst of singing and dancing and concludes with a group huddle followed by a recitation of the Lord's Prayer.

The squad certainly felt their prayers were answered four years ago when, after a three-month immigration wrangle, the US authorities finally allowed this group of unmarried and largely unemployed township women to fly into Chicago and take their place in the tournament. For most of the party, who are not paid to play but receive funding to cover expenses largely from overseas, it was the first time they had travelled abroad.

Continue reading HERE.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Barriers to change in sports federations

The example of the resistance of Indian sports federations to government plans to limit the terms of officials shows how hard it can be to make changes that encourage the arrival of new generations of leaders, including women, in governing bodies at all levels.

Read about it HERE in Inside the Games:

May 25 - India's Sports Minister M.S Gill (pictured) is to seek urgent talks with Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), over the row which could lead to the country being suspended from the London 2012 Games.

The Sports Ministry have written to Rogge claiming that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have created a !false situation of crisis" over plans by the Government to limit the amount of time senior officials can serve in their posts.

Among those that would be affected by the proposed changes are Suresh Kalmadi, the President of the IOA, and Randhir Singh, the secretary general of the IOA and a member of the IOC.

In his letter to Rogge, the Ministry's Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas claimed that they have not received the latest letter from IOC National Olympic Committee (NOC) Relations Director Pere Miro and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director general Husain Al-Musallam warning that if the plan was not dropped the issue would be referred to the IOC Executive Board meeting next month.

Under the rules of the Olympic Charter, the IOC Executive Board have the power to suspend countries if they decide there is Government interference in the running of an NOC.

Srinivas wrote to Rogge: "We are confident that IOC will acquaint itself with the full facts before forming any view in the present case.

"We expect that our meeting with you can be scheduled early to enable a comprehensive appreciation of the entire matter."

Srinivas claimed that Singh has misled the IOC over the situation and that he and Kalmadi were just trying to protect themselves.

He wrote: "It is unfortunate that the IOC member from India has not even cared to consult us before taking up this matter with you.

"This is an attempt to create a false situation of crisis, by a few interested persons, whose only aim is to protect their unduly long tenures in the IOA and the NSFs (National Sports Federations)."

The guidelines issued earlier this month by the Ministry of Sport restricted the tenure of Presidents of the National Sports Federations and the IOA to 12 years, that of the secretaries and treasurers for eight years in one stretch and that all executives should retire by the age of 70.

In the letter to Rogge, the Ministry cited Government sports regulations in countries like the United States and Malaysia to assert that ensuring accountability of NSFs was not in violation of the Olympic charter.

The Indian Government claim that Singh has deliberately tried to shield this information.

Srinivas wrote: "He is fully aware of the proceedings before the Delhi High Court, as IOA is a respondent, in the ongoing Public Interest Litigation.

"Further, as the Secretary General of OCA, he is conversant with the sports legislations of Malaysia and Sri Lanka."

UK survey on homophobia and football

While at the 13th Sport for All congress, Darl Schaaff met the people behind this survey. More info on it from PinkNews, where you can find the full text:

University researchers are conducting a study on the attitudes of football fans towards out gay players.

Staffordshire University is launching the self-selecting online survey this week and a small pilot study has found positive attitudes to homosexuality. The pilot study of 250 fans found that four-fifths were relaxed about the presence of gay footballers in the English leagues and would welcome more honesty from players about their sexuality. Researchers now want to widen the study and it is being distributed to online fan forums.

Ellis Cashmore, professor of culture, media and sport, said initial findings indicate that fans believe that as many as one in ten professional players are in the closet. “Fans are surprisingly blasé about this,” he said. “What irks them is the lack of honesty: no fan believes every player is heterosexual.”


He added: “Fans understand that, as in any sport, football has many gay players, yet it remains one of the last remaining areas of society where homosexuality remains taboo: there are cultural customs restricting open discussion on homosexuality.

Co-researcher Dr Jamie Cleland suggested that if more players were aware of fans' positive attitudes, they were more likely to come out.

He said: "Fans encourage footballers to come out. As one fan put it, ‘someone needs to do something heroic, and step forward before it [homophobia] can become a thing of the past’.”

You can respond to the survey HERE.

FGG at 13th World Sport for All Congress, post 7

Here's a complement to the reports from Darl Schaaff, who is representing the FGG at the 13th World Sport for All Congress (more info on the congress HERE.)

You can download the final declaration of the 13th Sport for All Congress HERE.

FGG at 13th World Sport for All Congress, post 6

Here's a complement to the reports from Darl Schaaff, who is representing the FGG at the 13th World Sport for All Congress (more info on the congress HERE.)The following is the abstract for the presentation made by the Norwegian Olympic Committe for the Congress:

"With Sports Against Homophobia": Experiences from a 3-year project in the National Olympic Committee

Presented by Mr. Havard B. Ovregard,
Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) havard.ovregard@idrettsforbundet.no


The project “With Sport s Against Homophobia” has been run by The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) in partnership with LLH - The Norwegian LGBT Association, and The Norwegian People’s Aid (working with anti-racism), the project lasted for 3 years 07-09. The project was partly funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality.

The project aimed to promote sport as an open and secure arena where LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons feel at home as athletes, coaches, referees and fans.

As one of the first larger scale project by a national mainstream sport organisation addressing sexual orientation and homophobia, the project provides unique experience from a topical area usually avoided or ignored by sport organisations.


The NIF Sport Policy Document 2007-2011 states zero-tolerance for discrimination and harassment regardless of gender, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation and disability. It also specifically mentions that lesbians, gays and bisexuals are – differing from many other minorities – an invisible group, and that it is therefore an extra challenge to contribute to dissemination of knowledge and information in order for this group to be fully accepted within sports.

FGG at 13th World Sport for All Congress, post 5

Here's a final report from Darl Schaaff, who is representing the FGG at the 13th World Sport for All Congress (more info on the congress HERE.):Today was final day of the congress, and I have become very visible. Some participants are curious and want to talk about LGBT issues in sport, while others are clearly not as comfortable with the thought.

The day began for me with a presentation from ENGSO (European Non-Governmental Sports Organizations, basically national Olympic/sport federations) that included a manifesto to the European Parliament that included sexual orientation in the protected classes.

During the Q&A after the presentation, the representative of ENGSO agreed that they felt that LGBT inclusion was an extremely important issue and wanted it to be part of their work.

The final presentation [read the abstract HERE] on the final day was from Håvard B. Øvregård on the efforts of the Norwegian Olympic Committee to combat homophobia in sport. He had only 10 minutes to present a three-year program. My impression was that the moderator of the session was not too comfortable with the topic, and people I spoke with afterwards agreed with me. Havard spoke of the principle of non-discrimination in the Olympic Charter, and of the fear and discomfort created by homophobia, for both coaches and athletes. He spoke in terms of ending homophobia with a zero-tolerance policy for any language, innuendo or jokes in the locker room or on the field.

For some reason, while all other presentations had a fairly lengthy Q&A at the end, the moderator limited this session to a single question. I made sure I was the questioner…

I said:
“My name is Darl Schaaff, on behalf of the international Federation of Gay Games and I am here today to represent the thousands of athletes around the world who have been disenfranchised by homophobia. On behalf of those gay and lesbian athletes I thank the Norwegian Olympic Committee for its brave stand on fighting homophobia, and the concrete steps it has taken to create and implement an effective policy.

“My question is twofold: first, do other National Olympic Committees have this same language? If not what can they do to add it to their charters?”

Havard answered that Norway was the only NOC that has included sexual orientation and a zero-tolerance policy, but that others had expressed interest, and he and his team were available to support them.

I was happy that the FGG chose to be present at this congress. There are thousands and tens of thousands of LGBT athletes, and the Olympic movement and the worldwide sports community needs to know this. Some people welcome our presence, and we need to work with them to advance the cause of inclusion. And some people dislike or are uncomfortable with our presence… which is further proof of why we need to show up, be visible, and speak out.

I want to thank the organizers for welcoming us, and thank the FGG Board and External Affairs Committee for sending me on this assignment, which has been a bit taxing, but also enriching and enlightening.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Volunteering for London 2012

The Federation of Gay Games is supporting the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) in recruiting LGBT volunteers for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

As part of these efforts, here is some information on what is required to volunteer:

The key requirements to become a volunteer are:

• Be able to volunteer a minimum of ten days at either, or both, of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

• Be eligible to work as a volunteer in the UK in accordance with UK immigration laws.

• Commit to attend a minimum of three training sessions prior to the Games.

• Pass certain security and background checks.

We have set a general entry point at 18 years old on 1 January 2012. In line with our vision to inspire young people, we are also looking at opportunities for those under 18.

Please also note that volunteer positions are unpaid, and volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and room and board.

Key dates:

Summer 2010: Official Games-time Volunteer Programme launches and application process starts

27 July – 12 Aug 2012: London 2012 Olympic Games

29 Aug – 9 Sept 2012: London 2012 Paralympic Games

Register with LOCOG as a potential volunteer HERE.
Sign up for the FGG newsletter to receive specific information for LGBT volunteers HERE.

Gay Game profile: track athlete Reggie Snowden

Gay Games VIII media partner Outsports has launched a series of athlete profiles. Tell your story to the world! More info HERE.

And read a this profile of Reggie Snowden HERE.

Here's an extract:

My first Gay Games attended was New York in 1994. I was only 29 and didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I was 29 in a category of 18 to 29. I trained hard with the San Francisco Track and Field club coached by the late, great Frank Demby. As a team, we achieved much more than I could ever imagine. We trained a few days a week and formed great relay teams and had a great time in preparation.

When I arrived in New York, I ended up competing in the 110 hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, triple jump, long jump, 4X100 relay and 4X400 relay. Besides winning the gold in both hurdle events combined with the triple jump and 4X100, I met great participants from the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Stockholm and Texas. Meeting other gay athletes from around the world who shared the same ideas of wellness, competition and a healthy lifestyle of taking care of ourselves was a general theme.

Women and Sport conference: progress report

From Kumamoto to Sydney, the 2006-2010 progress report from the International Working Group on Women and Sport has been published. You can download it HERE.

FGG at 13th World Sport for All Congress, post 4

Here's a third report from Darl Schaaff, who is representing the FGG at the 13th World Sport for All Congress (more info on the congress HERE.):

The second day of presentations [16 June] began with one on the World Masters Games. While the FGG had good relations with the hosts of the last Games in Sydney, contact with the International Masters Games Association has not been as productive, and based on the reactions I've observed at this congress, that doesn't seem likely to change soon...

A more positive encounter was with Willem van Mechelen, professor of Occupational and Sports Medicine at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, who is active with the European branch of the WHO and the European Olympic Committee. He was keen to discuss cooperation between FGG and his organizations.

I also spoke at length to the woman who will head up the International Working Group on Women and Sport, who will be hosting the next conference in 2014. We discussed the issues of lesbians in sport, and she said she had just been present at the 2010 Women and Sport conference in Sydney, where she met a "feisty woman" [Kate Rowe] determined to have conversations about this. She recalled that this led to very lively discussions.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, when Havard will present the work of the Norwegian Olympic Committee, bringing LGBT issues off of my FGG shirt, and onto the table of this Sport for All Congress.

Gay Games profile: runner Tedd Konya

Gay Games VIII media partner Outsports has launched a series of athlete profiles. Tell your story to the world! More info HERE.

And read a this profile of runner Tedd Konya HERE.

Here's an extract:

This will be my first Gay Games and I will be running in the 5K and 10K road races. I had always heard about the Gay Games, but thought it was like the Olympics and that athletes needed to qualify to participate. That was before I met my now husband.

Four years ago I met Garry at Pride in Toronto, Canada (while I was vacationing from my home in Pittsburgh) and he told me that he was going to play soccer at the Gay Games in Chicago and that anyone could participate. I decided to research the finishing times for the road races and realized that if I trained I might have a chance at medaling. So I set a loose goal of training to attend the games in Cologne.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

C*A*R*G*O to rejoin (indirectly) the FGG

C*A*R*G*O, the Lyon-based multisport club that co-hosted the 2006 FGG Annual Meeting, was unable to maintain its membership in the Federation of Gay Games, but will soon be rejoining the Federation in an indirect fashion, as a member club of the Fédération sportive gaie et lesbienne (FSGL).

This move strengthens the claims and the ability of the FSGL to represent LGBT sport not just in the Paris area, but throughout France, and allows C*A*R*G*O to be represented in organizations such at the EGLSF and the FGG, when its own human and financial resources make such a representation difficult.

In any case, the FGG is delighted to see our friends in Lyon again, and congratulates them and the FSGL on this partnership.
In addition to C*A*R*G*O, the FSGL has received a membership application from the organization behind "Face à face", the St Etienne gay and lesbian film festival. A first contact was made during a screening of Take the Flame several months ago, and we look forward to the next edition of the festival, which will be devoted devoted to sport and homosexuality, capping a year of LGBT film festivals in France in honor of the 2010 Gay Games.

The action of the festival goes beyond screening films, with their participation this month in a major operation on racism and homophobia in football entitled "Tous différents, tous gagnants" (We're all different, we're all winners).

"The Road to Cologne": NeVaar

Here's an extract of a profile of a Gay Games VIII athlete. Read the full profile in Living in the Queer Times HERE:

Regardless of these challenges, however, participation in the Games continues to expand my mental and spiritual self-definition just as much as my physical self-definition. I am already finding as I grow older that I am preserving my ability to participate in life, to explore new possibilities, and to continue doing many things (hiking, skiing, etc.), which acquaintances younger than myself have surrendered. Within every bodybuilding competition, I have been inspired by participants who were in their sixties and seventies. I hope someday to be a similar sort of inspiration to those younger than myself. Thanks to the Gay Games, I continue to strive for Tom Waddell’s principles of inclusion, participation, and personal best, in every area of my life. I am very much looking forward to the celebration in Cologne, when I and thousands of other participants and spectators will again affirm these principles and show the world that more is possible than we have perhaps ever previously allowed ourselves to dream. Hold onto your dreams and join me in Cologne, to see how the Gay Games can give you strength and determination to pursue them, with all of the faith, hope, and love you can muster.

"The Road to Cologne": Richard Sypniewski

Here's an extract of a profile of a Gay Games VIII athlete. Read the full profile in Living in the Queer Times HERE:

The opening ceremony [of Gay Games VII] gave me an incredible feeling running out on the field with my teammates to a stadium of tens of thousands with people from all over the world. I remember lining up before the ceremony outside the stadium there was a group of religious protesters holding signs stating, “Homosexuality is a sin”. My friend and I have a picture of us kissing underneath this sign holding the American flag. I still have that photo on my wall today. Running into the stadium gives a person such a rush. By no means would I be considered a true Olympic athlete but to feel that similar experience is like nothing else in the world. This is why the Gay Games is so important, to demonstrate to the world that the GLBT community is vast and broad and that by coming together in the spirit of competition and inclusion, we are a group of beautiful and special people.

"The Road to Cologne": Cathy Schmitz

Here's an extract of a profile of a Gay Games VIII athlete. Read the full profile in Living in the Queer Times HERE:

Cologne will be the first time I participate in an event & I chose chess, speed chess to be specific. Speed chess is played in 5 minute games, if I only play one game, I will have played. I only learned to play chess recently when I was recruited by a friend whose child played chess at my church’s grade school to be the club leader. You didn’t have to know how to play chess, the kids knew how, what they needed was an adult willing to be there and be responsible. I have been working with the kids for two years now; they have taught me a lot. I tell them chess is like life, the inevitable is going to happen. How we prepare for, and react to twist and turns in the road is what makes us who we are. The kids, both boys and girls are grades two – eight, some are siblings and the older is not always the better player. Our annual tournament champion was a fifth grade boy this year with two third graders in second and third. I told them I was traveling to Germany for a tournament and hoped to make them proud and would tell them all about it next fall.

FGG at 13th World Sport for All Congress, post 3

Here's a second report from Darl Schaaff, who is representing the FGG at the 13th World Sport for All Congress (more info on the congress HERE.):

The first day of presentations [15 June] was a bit tough, and not just because it began with a recital of all sorts of statistics about the practice of sport... I wore with pride my FGG shirt, and couldn't help but think that the presence of a visible member of an LGBT organization made quite a few people a  bit uncomfortable.

But part of the reason to attend these conferences is to remind officials in mainstream sport that there are LGBT athletes in their organizations, and that there are LGBT sports organizations serving thousands of athletes around the world.

An important element of any conference of this sort is a social program, and during our boat trip this evening, it was much easier to make contact with people. Among the great conversations I had was with Professor Doctor Gudrun Doll-Tepper, former president of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education and current Vice President for Education of the German Olympic Committee. As a researcher and professor, her specialty is inclusive sport, for which in 2009 she received an award from the International Paralympic Committee. We had a great discussion on the issues related to women's leadership in sport, and I'm counting on continuing this exchange after the conference.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Soccer... and 34 other gay sports on offer in Cologne ;)

Soccer Officially Announces It Is Gay

You can still register for Gay Games VIII! And of course, all are welcome to attend and support the 9000 participants in 35 sports and multiple cultural events.

See the Gay Games VIII website HERE for more info.


Monday, June 14, 2010

FGG at 13th World Sport for All Congress, post 2

Here's a first report from Darl Schaaff, who is representing the FGG at the 13th World Sport for All Congress (more info on the congress HERE.):

I just sat through the opening ceremony of the World Sport for All Congress. The keynote address was by Dr. Jacques Rogge, the President of the IOC, which demonstrates the concern of the IOC for the subject of Sport for All.
The congress has brought together 700 participants from 90 countries. I've met up with Håvard B. Øvregård from Norway, and met with other participants from the Netherlands, Germany, Zambia, Finland and elsewhere.

In every conversation I talked freely about the Games, our role in human rights, the sports movement of 30 years. Everyone seemed quite interested and has asked many questions.

FGG at 13th World Sport for All Congress

For the first time ever, the Federation of Gay Games is attending the World Sport for All Congress, held this year at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee, the World Health Organization, and SportAccord.

The FGG is represented by Officer for Ceremonies Darl Schaaff of Anchorage, Alaska who is currently residing in Cologne, Germany in anticipation of Gay Games VIII which open on 31 July.

Among the presentations to look out for is that of the Norwegian Olympic Committee on the integration of the fight against homophobia at all levels of sport.

More information on the congress can be found HERE.
All our posts on the congress can be found HERE.
More information on the IOC Sport for All commission can be found HERE.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ambassador David Kopay at Seattle Run/Walk with Pride

Gerry Lewis, Kelly Stevens, and Dave Kopay
Gerry has attend 6 Gay Games so far.

David Kopay at RWWP event.

Gay Games Ambassador David Kopay attended Seattle Run and Walk with Pride today, proudly wearing his Cologne Gay Games red shirt. Ambassador Kopay will help hand out winning medals in Cologne, Germany at Gay Games VIII. David Kopay was the first American Football player to publicly "Come Out".

Are you a woman? Do you play hockey (ice or field)? Cologne needs you!

Online registration for Gay Games VIII may be closed, but manual registration remains possible in some sports (more info HERE).

In particular, Games Cologne is keen to find a few more women's ice hockey and field hockey teams. Individual players are welcome: Games Cologne can help you put together a team for the event.