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.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Philadelphia flag football players say "It Gets Better"

The Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League (GPFFL) seeks to promote the positive social and athletic enjoyment of American Flag Football.

Through our league, our events and most importantly, our members, we also seek to foster and augment the self-respect of all gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-gendered and questioning (GLBTQ) persons and to promote respect and understanding from the larger community.

While particular emphasis is placed on these specific goals, it is a fundamental principle of GPFFL that all activities, social and athletic, are to be conducted in an inclusive manner and that no individual shall be excluded from participating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic ability, physical challenge, HIV status or gender identity.

Visit our "It Gets Better" page HERE.

Mayor of Paris thanks Federation of Gay Games

Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë who was the guest of honor of an event in Lisbon was unable to attend the reception in honor of Parisian medal winners at Gay Games VIII. FGG co-president Emy Ritt presented Deputy Mayor in charge of sport Jean Vuillermoz with a Gay Games VIII participation medal, and gave him a second medal to present to the Mayor. In this letter addressed to FSGL president Bruno Aussenac, Mr. Delanoë thanks Emy, and repeats the commitment made by Mr. Vuillermoz to support the FSGL by means of a multi-year contract.

Dear Mr. President,

During your visit to City Hall last Monday 4 October, with Emy Ritt, co-president of the FGG, you were kind enough to present Jean Vuillermoz, Deputy Mayor in charge of sport, the medal of the Cologne Gay Games, for which I thank you very warmly.

By inviting you to the reception rooms of the City Hall, I wanted to salute, beyond the individual and team performances, the fight against all forms of discrimination and homophobia and for the right to respect that the athletes of your clubs carry out all year long. Their commitment, their determination, and their talent are precious assets to defend our republican values and social harmony. You know my commitment and that of the City for the respect of the identity of each person and for the calls for equal rights for each person. I am delighted with our genuine collaboration. Please accept my best wishes and my support for future actions.

ESSDA DanceSport competition in Hamburg

Equality DanceSport competition on 6 November in Hamburg, Germany.
More info HERE.

Sexual orientation and inclusion in sport

From the ENGSO manifesto on social inclusion in sport we described in our reports on the IOC Sport for All Congress in June:

Sexual Orientation

For many years homosexuality and homophobia have been taboo subjects in sport. The silence is an expression of homophobia. The negation and invisibility of homosexuality does not mean that there is no homosexuality within the sport movement. In order to counteract the silence and to combat the discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, the sport organisations, athletes, coaches, clubs and fans have to acknowledge the existence of homosexuality.

Sport organisations and their leaders should establish an atmosphere of acceptance of different sexual orientations. Education, campaigns and dissemination of information are essential tools to enhance tolerance and atmosphere of acceptance. Sport federations should enhance equality in all areas, including sexual orientation, in their daily activities. Fight against discrimination on grounds of sexual preference should be a duty of sport organisations.

Furthermore, contacts have been created between ENGSO and the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF), and this cooperation will be further developed. Both EGLSF and ENGSO are members of the Consultative Committee of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport of the Council of Europe. http://www.eglsf.info/eglsf-about.php

ENGSO calls upon its members to
  • Fight against discrimination in sport on grounds of sexual preference;
  • Educate coaches, trainers and other stakeholders. Media campaigns and dissemination of information are essential tools in fight against homophobia;
  • Establish an atmosphere of acceptance which enables and supports the coming out of gay and lesbian sports men and women.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

24 candidates for "One Quadrennial Event in 2018" joint working group

With thanks to Team Berlin (www.teamberlin.de)
A key outcome of ongoing discussions between the Federation of Gay Games and GLISA about the future of LGBT sports and culture events was the decision to set up a joint working group to move forward the project of a single event in 2018.

To choose its members to this group, the FGG called for applications, with a deadline of October 28. The FGG is extremely pleased with the number of applicants (24), their qualifications, and the diversity they represent in terms of experience, background, and skills.

In the coming days the FGG General Assembly will be voting to choose the FGG members of this group from among these candidates. The FGG members will serve staggered six-month terms on the working group.

We warmly thank all candidates for their interest and willingness to serve.

Indiana University "LGBT Appreciation Day" football match

From Ross Forman on Outsports:

Indiana University is taking yet another ground-breaking step forward with its athletic department’s strong pro-LGBT stance.

The Hoosiers play host to Northwestern University on Saturday, Oct. 30, and the football game will be LGBT Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium on the Bloomington campus.

“The idea was to use football as a symbol that would send a message to all people (that), ‘Indiana University Welcomes You!’” said Jon Kitto, 52, an IU associate director. “I felt it would send a powerful message of acceptance to have an area that has historically been associated with homophobia, sponsor a festive event for gay, lesbians, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people.”

And yes, “we do hope to make this an annual event of some type,” Kitto added.

Continue reading HERE.

Athletes R Athletes

"Athletes R Athletes" is a blog designed as an electronic hand-out and follow-up resource for the January 14th panel on Thursday morning from 9:30 to 11:00 at the 2010 NCAA National Convention in Atlanta. The session's title was "Engagement: Ensuring Fair Treatment of LGBT Student-Athletes; Issues and Resources." Panelists were Liane Summerfield, Moderator; Pat Griffin, Laurie Priest, Helen Carroll, Ted Rybka and Mark Schuster.

Find all resources on the blog HERE.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gay athletes at Yale University

Via Outsports, a great article in the Yale Daily News:

His teammates on the men’s varsity swimming team threw kickboards at him. Laughing, they taunted him throughout afternoon practice, punning on his name and cracking nasty comments.

But it wasn’t because he was gay — he’s not. And they didn’t think he was.

His teammates berated him that afternoon because he had made a homophobic comment in an e-mail thread about an openly gay member of the team.

He was immediately shot down: “Are you f--king serious?” another teammate responded in the thread.

That’s right: the team was sticking up for the gay guy.

The offending commenter immediately got defensive in another e-mail blast: “You should know I have nothing against gays,” he wrote. “I’m very liberal on the issue.”

For the record, the gay athlete in question, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not out to his family, said he did not think the comment was “really that bad.” Which is why, he said, he was surprised to walk into the locker room the next day to find his teammates yelling at the commenter for his insensitivity.

There seems to be a strange dichotomy in the world of Yale athletics — episodes where teams band together to support their LGTBQ members are numerous, but so too are ignorant comments on the part of teammates. While this dynamic varies from sport to sport, all athletes interviewed agree that their teams are generally supportive of diverse sexualities, a reflection of the University’s outspoken support of the gay community.

Still, gay athletes often hesitate before coming out to their teams. Even at Yale, there’s something hetero-normative about the culture of athletics.

Keep reading HERE.

FGG Ambassador among the best of the best

Congratulations to FGG Ambassador Brian Sims, named among the Campus Pride's top-25!

Campus Pride, the nation’s leading non-profit working to create safer, more LGBT-inclusive colleges and build future LGBT and ally leaders, announces today its 2010 HOT LIST!, the “Top 25 LGBT Favorites” including out lecturers, comedians, musicians. poets, artists, researchers, activists and more. The list serves as a unique resource for LGBT college student organizations, college activities coordinators, student life officials and others looking to bring the best and brightest talent to their campuses while also increasing awareness, inclusion and visibility of LGBT people.

Brian Sims
Speaker/Lecturer, Athletics

In 2000, Brian Sims was the captain of the Bloomsburg University football team in northeast Pennsylvania, and following the greatest season in the Division II school’s history he did the unthinkable: he came out of the closet! In doing so, the regional All-American and team captain became the only openly gay college football captain in NCAA history and the most notable college player to ever come out. Sims is currently the Staff Counsel for Policy & Planning at The Philadelphia Bar Association. He works with the Chancellor, Executive Director & Board of Governors to pursue and implement the legislative and policy agenda of the Association.

In addition to his practice, Sims serves as the President of the Board of Directors of EqualityPA and as the Chairman of GALLOP (Gay & Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia). In 2009 he was selected as a State Political Leaders Fellow by the Center for Progressive Leadership and joined the National Campaign Board of The Victory Fund. He also travels and speaks about his experiences in college level athletics for LGBT students and allies.

Read the full list HERE.

Interview with Windy City Times' Tracy Baim

From an interesting interview of Tracy Baim, a key player in Chicago Games Inc. and the winner of the 2009 FGG Legacy Award for Journalism, by Jessica Lewinstein on the OutFrontBlog:

Jessica: I know that you took a very active role in ensuring the success of Gay Games Chicago back in 2006, can you attribute it to any specific initiatives or programs that you had implemented?

Tracy: It was just pure hard work and making connections. We negotiated the best contracts we could, and then we had a few key individuals who helped us in the final stretch (Dick Uyvari, Joe LaPat, Michael Leppen and Fred Eychaner in particular) reach our final and most important goal, breaking even financially. We had thousands of volunteers, a core board, and key staff to make Gay Games come off the best we could, in the short time we had.

Jessica: What do you consider the successes of Chicago ’06? The Challenges?

Tracy: The most important success was breaking even, the first gay Games to do so in 20 years. It took a year of extra work after, but it was very important to me and my own reputation to get to break even. The challenge was the time we had to implement the Gay games, it was shortened from previous efforts, and we did had some Chicagoan who were against the Gay games coming. We had a lot of work to do. I was co-vice chair and was very lucky to have a great board, especially co-vice chair Kevin Boyer and co-chairs Sam Coady and Suzi Arnold. We had some amazing people involved, all with different skills to complement one another.

Jessica: In light of the Gay Games having moved from Chicago to Cologne, and now to Cleveland, is there anything you learned that you would like to share for future Gay Games hosts?

Tracy: Too much to say here! But for sure it is important to remain committed to a sports and culture event, and outsource as much as possible related to parties and other ancillary stuff. Make sure all businesses and groups in your community have a stake in helping, whether it is financial, providing volunteers, or helping promote the event. Work with all diverse elements of our community to ensure the event’s success.

Read the full interview HERE.

Latest issue of Participate!

View the latest issue of Participate!, the Federation of Gay Games newsletter, HERE.

In this issue:
  • Closing of earlybird registration for Wellington Outgames
  • Cleveland-Akron 2014
  • First "It Gets Better" project videos
  • Events calendar

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More federations to sign French national charter against homophobia in sport

Publishing this post partly because we like the photo (courtesy the French rugby league federation), and partly as a reminder that other national sports federations have already announced their intent to sign the charter: Football, Rugby Union, Basketball, Tennis, Judo, and Wrestling.

SF Spikes interview

EDGE San Francisco interviews Alan Trinh of the San Francisco Spikes soccer team.

EDGE: Your team went to the 2010 Gay Games, tell me what it was like, must have been amazing?

Alan Trinh: Amazing is an understatement - I would say that the Gay Games was lip-biting good. The 2010 Gay Games was held in Cologne, Germany, and being that this was my first time to the Gay Games, I had a truly life changing experience. Aside from the fact that it was "hottie-central", it was astonishing to see hundreds of athletes compete from around the world, but at the same time, share the common factor that we are all gay.

Read the full interview HERE.

New student athlete group at Eastern Michigan University

Via Outsports, this article in student university The Eastern Echo:

EMU org SAGA aims to defeat homophobia in sports
By Kyle Wackrow | THE EASTERN ECHO
Added October 24, 2010 at 8:42 pm

It’s common for homophobia to be overlooked in the world of sports, but such actions were the inspiration for Eastern Michigan University’s Student Alliance for Gay Athletes (and Allies).

“A friend was at a team party where he was being harassed and verbally abused and we didn’t want anyone else to go through that,” said Maggie Manville, co-founder of SAGA. “We thought there needed to be a lot more awareness in the athletic community because there’s barely any. There are few who know gay athletes, or gay people in general, so it’s something that isn’t talked about.”

Stemming from EMU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, SAGA is a new addition to the LGBT community of EMU and its athletic community. The group plans to promote and push for a homophobia-free athletic environment for student-athletes through awareness and education.

“SAGA member Shawn Gancarz and I started talking about it around March and it became a real organization this past fall,” Manville said. “We were corresponding with the University of Michigan’s Michigan Athletes and Allies Partnership but they fell through. Once initiative taken and we spoke to the LGBTRC’s Program Coordinator Mary Larkin, the group finally started to form. Once we were assertive things started to work out, but it was a long process.”

Keep reading HERE.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chelsea's Florent Malouda on homophobia in football

From an interview with French left winger Florent Malouda on the Chelsea FC website:

The football world is now beginning to fight another long-standing enemy in homophobia, an issue Malouda believes is no different to other forms of discrimination in society.

'It is the same,' he says. 'Before people couldn't even speak about that like they were rejecting it and saying it is not existing - people who do it are wrong, hiding behind religion to explain their behaviour against gays, but you have to accept people as they are and once you understand that, you understand our differences are our strength.'

Read the full interview HERE.

Wellington Outgames: Earlybird registration closes 31 October!

Earlybird prices for registration for the Wellington Asia-Pacific Outgames closes on Sunday 31 October! Act fast to get the best price for this event.

Register HERE and enter a drawing to win a luxury weekend for two at Hamurana Lodge, Rotorua. I've been to Rotorua... it's beautiful!

Dallas rugby tournament this weekend

From the Dallas Voice:

Every tournament has its hook, but for the Dallas Diablos Rugby Football Team, that hook comes at the end of a bloody stump.
Or maybe a fairy princess or Sarah Palin impersonator. Point is, it’s Halloween.

The Diablos didn’t really expect HellFest, their one-day rugby tourney to be held Oct. 30, to be such a hit, even though they knew they had a good idea.

“Originally, what we wanted was to have two or three teams come down, play some games, hang out for the [Cedar Springs] block party,” says Will Padilla, team captain and one of the organizers of HellFest. “We said, ‘Let’s try it out and see if we can get people interested in coming.’”

The interest was there and it grew exponentially. The previous year, an attempt to attract gay rugby teams from around the country resulted in only one attendee: the Minneapolis Mayhem. But word of mouth spread, “and more people asked to come, then more and more,” says Padilla. “I eventually had to cap it because it’s only a one-day tournament and we wanted everyone to get to play.”

Right now, 160 players representing eight teams from as many cities as far away as Atlanta are set to descend on Dallas for what looks to be one of the bigger gay rugby matches going.

Keep reading HERE.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gay Games Honorary Life Member Derek Liecty says: "It Gets Better"

On 26 October, after viewing the many other "It Gets Better" videos on YouTube, Derek Liecty, Honorary Life Member of the FGG and winner of the 2006 Tom Waddell Award ,  decided to post one of his own.

It's a compelling story that goes back in time to his high school and college days when things certainly weren't as "better" as they are now. There are some very important messages here that young people can learn from this video. Enjoy!

Visit our "It Gets Better" page HERE.

Team Chicago Gay Games VIII reunion this Friday

Sports Friday on October 29th will also be Team Chicago's Gay Games VIII reunion event.

Please join Team Chicago for Sports Friday at Big Chicks (5204 N. Sheridan Road) from 6:00 to 8:30 PM on Friday October 29. Big Chicks will have some great specials:
$3.00 pints of Miller Lite and Leinenkugel Red

They also serve Beck's Beer in bottles if you are missing your Koelsch-drinking days in Cologne.

Team Chicago inherited this event from Frontrunners/Frontwalkers Chicago at the end of 2009. Frontrunners objective for the event was to provide a social setting in which individual sport participants could mix and mingle. Most sport teams get together after they play; and the leagues host an end-of-the-year event of some sort. This event was originally called "Final Friday" as it occurs on the last Friday of the month. But that title made you wonder if it was the last one that would ever occur. Because of this it was renamed "Sports Friday."

We have hosted a social get-together most months. If you have any questions, contact us at info@teamchicago.org.

Text of the French national charter against homophobia in sport

Here is our translation of the text of the French national charter against homophobia in sport. The first national sports federation to sign was the French Rugby League federation (see HERE). 

The national sports federations and associations, the leagues, clubs, associations, public institutions or other bodies that sign the present charter are committed to:

1. Explicitly recognize and homophobia as a form of discrimination contrary to the universal principles of the protection of human rights.

2. Repudiate and take appropriate sanctions against any homophobic attitude, whether manifested in discriminatory behavior or by verbal or physical abuse or abusive language on the grounds of real or supposed sexual orientation.

3. Promote diversity in sport and disseminate messages of tolerance, respect and dignity, while systematically including sexual orientation and the fight against homophobia.

4. Provide assistance and support to athletes, coaches and other people involved in sport who may be harassed, insulted or ostracized because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

5. Develop educational courses on the fight against all forms of discrimination, including homophobia, aimed at all those involved in sport: educators and coaches must prevent or stop any form of discrimination, and must be trained to do so.

6. Identify acts of homophobia and report them regularly to the Ministry of Sports (national unit for the prevention of violence and discrimination in sport) in order to monitor the evolution of behavior in sport and to adjust actions to be undertaken.

Where do your gym membership fees go?

It may be a cliché that gays work out, but it's probably a reality where LGBT athletes are concerned.

Where do their gym membership fees go?

If you're familiar with Curves gyms, you know that the founder of the chain is a big contributor to anti-choice groups.

Now, it's Gold's Gym that's in the news, as described in this column from the
San Francisco Examiner:

It seems like déjà vu all over again. Just a few months ago, Target and Best Buy gave thousands of dollars to a conservative Minnesota group that campaigned for a candidate who opposes same-sex marriage. Now another big chain company has jumped on the bandwagon to fund anti-gay politicians. This time the culprit is Gold’s Gym

Just days after it became public that the owner of Gold's Gym gave $2 million to American Crossroads, the conservative group that is funding candidates who are anti-gay, the Director of Operations for four Bay Area franchises announced they will be leaving the brand. It’s great to see a small business franchise owner willing to stand up to big business homophobes. If only more of the franchises would follow suit. Check out the community response from the Bay Area franchise below:

Dear Gold's Gym Members,

In response to the donation to American Crossroads from Robert Rowling, the CEO of TRT holdings, Gold's Gym San Francisco Bay Area would like to make you aware of the following:

We are a local, family run business of 4 gyms. A large percentage of our employees and members are from the LGBT community. Our company works tirelessly to support the LGBT community with financial donations to almost every major local LGBT charity. We are sponsors of the Academy of Friends, Folsom Street Fair, ALCS Riders, SF AIDS Foundation, PAWS, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Maitri, SF PRIDE and many, many more.

Gold's Gym San Francisco has long been a pillar of the gay community. We will continue to be. It is very unfortunate that the CEO of TRT holdings has chosen this course of action. We do not support it in any way. Our original contractual obligations to Gold's Gym International were signed over 22 years ago and TRT holdings is just the latest in a series of ownership groups that has presided over Gold's Gym.

Our company has worked for over twenty years to support our LGBT staff, members and community in everyway possible and we will continue to.

We were as surprised by Mr. Rowling's action as anyone but because our company believes in and lives up to the ideals of equality for all we are going to take the following actions:

1. Our contractual obligation with Gold's Gym expires on September 15th, 2012 and on or prior to that date (our legal counsel is reviewing our options) we will leave the Gold's Gym brand. It is a major initiative to create a new brand and leave Gold's Gym which has been our identity for over 20 years but we will begin that process today.
2. For every dollar we pay Gold's Gym in franchise fees we will donate an equal or greater amount to LGBT charities. While we donate much more than this to charities and community groups that support the LGBT community we want to make a commitment to match or exceed this amount until our relationship with Gold's Gym can be severed.
3. Our management and staff will continue to support LGBT causes in every way possible and we will use our business as a platform to fight for change and equality for everyone. We have always taken great pride in being a leader in the LGBT community and we will continue to.

Thank you,
Don Dickerson
Director of Operations
Gold's Gym Bay Area

If you live outside the Bay Area, make sure you visit your local Gold’s Gym and show them this article so they can follow in the footsteps of the Bay Area franchise. Ask them for a public response to the CEO’s homophobic actions, and if they won’t give you an acceptable one, feel free to boycott, protest, or picket. As for the Bay Area chain, feel free to send them your praise for doing the right thing.

The impact of the Gay Games: a view from St Francis Xavier University

From the "2010 Pride Issue" of The Xaverian, the official student newspaper of St Francis Xavier (StFX) University in Nova Scotia, Canada:

Out of the closet and on to the field

by Jami Parisien
October 12, 2010 2:23 PM

While any student who has participated in sport knows that early morning practices, grueling workouts and time consuming competitions can at times be challenging, many athletes may not have considered the huge barrier that sexual orientation can be to participation in sport.

Unfortunately, for many LGBTQ persons, participating in sport and being open about their sexual orientation are mutually exclusive.

However, since the Gay Games were started in 1982 by Dr. Tom Waddell, the notion of homosexuals being unable to both show athletic promise and be open about their sexuality has changed in many ways.

StFX Human Kinetics professor, Charlene Weaving, talked about how the Gay Games are a momentous challenge of homophobia in sport.

“It provides an opportunity for open homosexuals to participate in sport at an elite level, at a major international competition and not have to face any type of homophobia,” says Weaving.

For over a quarter of a century now, the Gay Games have been changing attitudes toward the LGBTQ community and giving power to thousands of people through the positive effects of sport and competition.

“The Gay Games are not separatist, they are not exclusive, they are not oriented to victory, and they are not for commercial gain,” says Waddell in an article on the Gay Games website.

“They are, however, intended to bring a global community together in friendship, to experience participation, to elevate consciousness and self-esteem, and to achieve a form of cultural and intellectual synergy.... We are involved in the process of altering opinions whose foundations lie in ignorance.”

Waddell wanted to bring homosexual men and women together in an unprecedented effort, and he wanted “to dispel the prevailing attitudes in sport regarding ageism, sexism and racism.”

Professor Weaving confirms Waddell’s clarification of the games.

“I think it’s important to understand the purpose of the Gay Games is not to showcase the top or the absolute best athletes in the world. It is to provide this amazing opportunity where many of the top elite athletes who may happen to be gay, bisexual are closeted at the Olympic level.”

As Waddell and Weaving suggested, the Gay Games are not exclusive. The Gay Games have been created to transform those negative attitudes about the LGBTQ population, which is why anyone can compete in the games.

This past summer, from July 31 to Aug. 7, over 10,000 participants from more than 70 nations gathered in Cologne, Germany for Gay Games VIII.

The motto of the Games this year was be part of it! The invitation was open to everyone, whether heterosexual or homosexual, male, female, transgender or transsexual, and regardless of religion, nationality, ethnic heritage, political convictions, athletic skills, physical capabilities, age or physical condition.

The Gay Games are definitely opening the door for homosexual athletes around the world, hopefully encouraging elite athletes to come out in mainstream sport.

Weaving says that she does believe that the Gay Games encourage elite athletes to come out, “… the problem is if they had any aspirations of moving up higher … there would still be some concern about coming out fully, in case of wanting to peruse a very elite career, because of the lack of sponsorship.”

“It’s just that it is so homophobic at that level, especially in North America. You need that kind of positive media coverage in order to succeed as an athlete”, Weaving adds.

Weaving continues with this train of thought as she adds, “I think the Gay Games are a really good opportunity, but there is just such a fear with the Olympics and being so homophobic that if an athlete was trying to make it to the Olympics, if that was their be all and end all, then I think they would hesitate.”

Setting professional sport and the homophobia within it aside, the Gay Games have no doubt changed the way the world views homosexuality and sport.

After only 28 years in the running, the Games are still in their infancy. As the years pass, the Gay Games will continue to influence people and sport, hopefully bringing an end to the homophobia that surrounds athletic competition.

h/t Kevin Boyer

Pat Griffin to lead new education project

NEW YORK - GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is pleased to announce that Dr. Pat Griffin, former Director of It Takes a Team Education Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues in Sport at the Women's Sports Foundation, has joined GLSEN to develop and direct a program to address homophobia in K-12 sports.

The GLSEN Sports Project, which will launch next year, will assist K-12 schools in creating and maintaining an athletic and physical education climate that is based on the core principals of respect, safety and equal access for all students and coaches regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

"We are thrilled to work with Pat Griffin to ensure that GLSEN's efforts to create safe and enriching schools extend to playgrounds, playing fields and locker rooms," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "Every child should have the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of sports in a safe and affirming environment, and Pat is a sports icon who has dedicated her career to making that dream a reality."

Griffin is a Professor Emeritus in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is author of Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbian and Homophobia in Sports and co-editor of Teaching For Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Trainers.

The former three-sport athlete at University of Maryland brings more than 25 years of experience as a coach and educator working to change the sports culture so that younger generations of LGBT athletes can live openly, be recognized for who they are and respected for their character. In 2007, Griffin was recognized as 100 most influential sports educators by the International Sports Institute.

"I am excited to work with GLSEN on this important project," Griffin said. "I have great respect for what GLSEN does to make schools safe for LGBT students, and I look forward to creating a top notch resource for athletics and physical education."


GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gareth Thomas at launch of French national charter against homophobia in sport

FGG member FSGL is part of the working group on this project. Read our translation of the charter HERE.

From French regional daily
La Dépêche du Midi (our translation):

Gareth Thomas, patron of the Charter against homophobia in sport
DISCRIMINATION. Rama Yade presented the Charter yesterday in Albi [soutwestern France]. The Welsh rugby player, in his heart a man of southwestern France, says he is proud to support this cause.

It is to Albi, a land of tolerance, that Rama Yade came to officially present last night the Charter against homophobia in sport. Alongside the Junior Minister for Sport, a living legend of Welsh rugby, Gareth Thomas. On the playing field of the Albi Stadium, the player who has represented his country on the Welsh national team more often than any, had only recently raised the European Rugby League cup [on Saturday] alongside his fellow members of the Welsh team. "To come back to France, a country I love, and to win this match [here in Albi], delights me, of course. If this 23rd of October is a great day, it's also because of the signature of this Charter. It's the beginning of a change for sport in FRance", explained Gareth Thomas.

The former Stade Toulousain fullback broke his silence, and a taboo, in December 2009, when he came out. Rama Yade, who chose Thomas as the first patron of this Charter ("Amélie Mauresmo and decathlete Romain Barras, champion of Europe, will be at our sides in thie fight", declared the Minister), praised Thomas's courage.

"When I came out, it was with the goal of using my international rugby career as a means to advance this cause in other countries and other sports. Sport is the last bastion where this kind of problem must be fought." Yesterday in Albi, Rugby Leagues was the first sports federation to sign the text. League president Nicolas Larrat is aware of what is at stake. "ON a daily basis we have to repeat to old and young these principles, without which people cannot live together." For the Minister, "Sport must never accept any compromise with violence or discrimination. It cannot remain unaware of the ideal on which it is founded."

SC Janus hosts Street Soccer for Tolerance event

From 26-28 November 2010, FGG member SC Janus,Europe's largest gay and lesbian sports organization with nearly 1,500 members, will be organising an event, Strassenfussball für Toleranz, in conjunction with the Cologne youth centre ANYWAY.

The goal of this award-winning program is to integrate gay and lesbian and multicultural groups by means of sport, to promote social activity for young people, and to reduce inhibitions and prejudices against homosexuals. The project aims to youth and young adults, regardless of their sexual orientation, nationality or religious belief.

This street soccer event uses a special scoring system that takes into account the relevant aspects of teamwork, conflict management, listening, and active participation. In addition to points for win, draw or defeat, "fair play" points will be awarded.

The related fair-play rules will be discussed before the game with the game manager, allowing the game to be run run without a referee. Independent player-observers verify compliance with the rules and distribute points accordingly . "Fair play points," thus play a major role in the final of the tournament.

The tournament itself will take place on Saturday 27 November. Applications are open to all youth/young adults who like to play football. A team consists of 5 field players and 1 or 2 observers. Participation is open to all aged 16 to 28 years.

More info HERE.

Last chance to volunteer for London Olympics!


The Federation of Gay Games is supporting efforts of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to make the 2012 Summer Olympics diverse and inclusive.

LOCOG is keen that all aspects of the Games respect its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and this includes its volunteer force.

To do this, LOCOG has reached out to the FGG to support the recruitment of LGBT sports volunteers.

Applications  are open for two more days only to the public for generalist roles



* Make sure you use the Diversity and Inclusion section of the application to indicate that you are applying as an LGBT volunteer.
* To request a code that you can enter with your application that will flag your application as coming from the FGG, write immediately to london2012@gaygames.org.


  • 15 September 2010: Applications open to the public for generalist roles and continue for specialist roles
  • December 2010: LOCOG will start inviting short-listed applicants to a selection event*
  • February 2011-February 2012: Selection events will take place and all invited applicants will be interviewed.
  • Late 2011: LOCOG will start sending out offers to successful applicants.
  • February 2012: Orientation training will begin.
  • March 2012: Role-specific training will begin.
  • April 2012: Distribution of uniforms and accreditation passes will begin.
  • June 2012: Venue training will begin.

*This is a mandatory step, which includes an interview. It will take place at one of several UK locations.

You are responsible for your own expenses, including for travel, for all events and training sessions as well as at the Games themselves. We regret that this will limit the number of members of the FGG family who will be able to volunteer, but encourage those who can do this to consider applying.


We recommend that you visit the site now so as to become familiar with the roles and responsibilities of volunteers, and to make filing your application faster and easier.

And please let us know what happens! We would love to share the stories of LGBT volunteers at the 2012 Olympics from start to finish. Write london2012@gaygames.org with your stories, suggestions, and any other feedback about the 2012 Olympics.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NY Times feature on visiting Cleveland

See the New York Times slideshow on things to do in Cleveland.

And see what the Times recommends for 36 Hours in Cleveland:

“YOU Gotta Be Tough” was a popular T-shirt slogan worn by Clevelanders during the 1970s, a grim period marked by industrial decline, large-scale population flight and an urban environment so toxic the Cuyahoga River actually caught on fire. These days it still helps to be at least a little tough; a fiercely blue-collar ethos endures. But instead of abandoning the city, local entrepreneurs and bohemian dreamers alike are sinking roots; opening a wave of funky boutiques, offbeat art galleries and sophisticated restaurants; and injecting fresh life into previously rusted-out spaces. It’s a vibrant spirit best exemplified by Cleveland’s new all-female roller derby league, whose wry name, the Burning River Roller Girls, and home, a former GM auto factory retooled into a 60,000-square-foot sports facility, say it all.

Keep reading HERE.

Boga Basket , the first LGBT basketball club in Italy

Adapted from an article from Têtu, via Google Translation:

Despite an unfavorable climate for gay visibility in Italy, LGBT sport keeps growing. Clubs continue to be founded, some with huge support, such as the Bologna basketball club, which has just celebrated it first anniversary.

It all began in 2009 when a few players from the local LGBT volleyball club (a very popular sport in the country) decided to turn to dribbles and baskets. The Boga (for Bologna Gay) Basketball club was born, and the team will soon take in new players, "most of whom were part of straight basketball teams in the past, some even played in the first Italian league," says Fabio, one of the first recruits of the Boga. "Volleyball is represented throughout the country: Milan, Florence, Rome, Turin and Catania, and football, swimming and tennis are found in Milan. If a gay basketball team was to be born, it had to be in Bologna, the Italian capital of the sport."

IGRA finals this weekend

Laughlin, Nevada hosts the 2010 World Gay Rodeo Finals this weekend. You'll find more info HERE.

Philipp and Christian's video diary

FGG Volunteer of the Year Philipp Lischke and his partner Christian Skaar have posted a great video of their time in Cologne.

Link: 2 4 u from 242 - Part 12 'Gay Games Cologne 2010'

More on the Trowbridge Tigers football team

We've posted on this story before, but here's another interesting take on the team, from the Wiltshire Times:

A TEAM of Trowbridge footballers have created a sensation within the gay community having become the first mixed team to be allowed to play in a gay football league.
The Trowbridge Tigers are keen to show that straight and gay men can enjoy the sport together – the squad of about 40 is predominantly straight, but now has about five gay players.

Founder Tim Brown, 32, whose gay cousin Nick Pitcher is also a team player, said: “I had been accepted into a gay football team that my friends were a part of and after playing with them it seemed there was quite a bit of interest locally and we formed a new team. We only take on people who are open-minded.”

Mr Pitcher, 55, said: “This team is really breaking down any barriers that were there. Things are very different nowadays to how they used to be and young guys now don’t care whether you are gay or straight. They just want to play football. Attitudes have really changed for the better.”

The team has already scooped the top prize in the 2009 Bristol Pride tournament – beating other gay football teams from around the south west.

Their latest endeavour is playing in the Gay Football Supporters’ Network league who have accepted the mixed team for the first time. The latest match on Sunday saw the team win 3-2 against the London-based Leftfooters, one of the league’s strongest teams. They also thrashed Cardiff Dragons 8-2 a week earlier.

Luke Potter, 17 and straight, said: “I saw that there was football training and I went along. When they first asked me to play they didn’t tell me until I was about to go on to the first game. I didn’t mind at all. It is no different from any other football game. It’s all the same to me so it doesn’t matter.”

Steve Lisowski, 22, from Warminster and straight, said: “I was a bit shocked at first but it doesn’t matter because we all get along and just play the football.”

The team’s success has seen them travel as far as the Gay Games in Cologne earlier this year.

Mr Brown added: “This is our first season in the GFSN league. All the teams are really friendly and there’s a more social aspect about the games. We all go for drinks together and socialise. You get the odd comments about us being the only mixed team but everyone gets on really well and that is a great testament to the times we are in now.”

For more information on Trowbridge Tigers visit www.clubwebsite.co.uk/trowbridgetigers.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

qSport report on Gay Games VIII

From the website of FGG member organization qSport Zagreb:

Although this is not the first time Croatians participated in GayGames events (there were individuals in previous 3 instances and also Bura soccer team in Chicago), it was by far the biggest representation so far. It included members of lesbian/feminist chorus group LeZbor (who made a lot of people impressed at their performances - me included, as new their humble start from few years ago), few key qSPORT members (unfortunately some were canceling participation few months in advance), few Croatians from diaspora living in Germany and an undisclosed group of volleyball players (spin off from qSPORT). Thanks to LeZbor's kraft skills they all got a hand made red-white checker colors on CRAVAT, which is a symbol originating from Napoleon's soldiers from Croatian...

All-in-all Croatian group was the biggest of South Eastern European country, with about 25 representatives - it was also bigger then number of Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian or Bulgarian representation. This was mainly due to outreach stipends that were awarded based on applications submitted year ago to organizers, rather then pro-active outreach in the region (that Cologne organizers originally committed to in their bid for GayGames). For this reason there was no opportunity for networking with new people and first time or fresh LGBTQ sport participants but rather chit chat with usual suspects - hugely disappointing, especially considering that from around 10.000 registered participants majority were coming from just handful of countries (Germany and USA by far the biggest, followed by French, Dutch and British).

In terms of success of performances and representation, qSPORT's member won a silver medal in swimming competition, while other achieved personal bests in very competitive disciplines. Vice-president and secretary of qSPORT also attended official and informal meetings and continued to network with officials of FGG and other present organizations. Opening COLOR party and Rotterdam stage included performances of KARIS WILDE as a guest performer as a result of qSPORT networking.

Read in full, with photos HERE.

Stephen Frost in Washington for diversity meeting and award ceremony

Frost, seen here (r) with winners Brent Nicholson Earle and Sara Waddell Lewinstein, spoke on LOCOG's efforts at the 2010 Tom Waddell Award briefing
Stephen Frost, head of diversity and inclusion for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) will be speaking at the Workforce Opportunity Network Meeting at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The subject of his talk is:

"Diversity on a Deadline: Bringing Diversity and Inclusion to the 2012 Olympic Games"

With less than 800 days until the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympic Games, Stephen Frost has a huge job overseeing the diversity and inclusion efforts of LOCOG. He will share with meeting participants the approach they are taking on the enormous task to ensure diversity and inclusion in the workforce, in procurement and in service delivery. Inculcating diversity within the world's biggest event is incredibly complex and demanding, and Stephen will speak about how he is working to amass as much support as possible to reinforce and communicate the systems that ensure London's legacy in staging the most diverse Games ever in 2012 and setting new standards for inclusion.

During his stay in Washington, Stephen will be honored as the winner of the 2010 ORC Peter Robertson Award. The award will be presented to Mr. Frost by Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The reception will be hosted by Christopher Metzler, PhD, Associate Dean of Human Resources for the Masters of Professional Studies at Georgetown University.

"The ORC Peter Robertson Award recognizes those unsung heroes who demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to the value that diversity and equality bring to their organizations and communities,” said Patrice Hall, who leads Mercer’s ORC Networks Global Equality, Diversity and Inclusion practice. “Mr. Frost has worked tirelessly in the areas of disability, age, and gay and lesbian rights and successfully collaborated with community and industry groups for the benefit of those who are economically disadvantaged. He has an entrepreneurial style that breaks down boundaries and enables real change, even in unreceptive environments.”

The FGG will be represented at the reception by Brent Minor, former co-president and leader of FGG member orgnaization Team DC.

Seattle bowling tournament this weekend

Team Seattle member club Seattle Unified Bowling Association is hosting this weekend'sSeattle Espresso Cup at the West Seattle Bowl, 4505 39th Ave. SW in Seattle.

More info HERE.

Vorspiel hosts the largest LGBT volleyball tournament in Europe

The new date is set: From 12 to 14 November 2010, Vorspiel and the women/lesbian sports club Seitenwechsel invite you again to the international Goldelsen-Cup in Berlin. We welcome all who come back or who want to be there this time.

A word of explanation for non-Berliners: Goldelse is the nickname Berliners give to the bronze sculpture on the Victory Column. Her real name is actually Viktoria, the goddess of victory, and she has the finest view over Berlin. She looks down from a height of over 66 metres on the capital, in particular the Tiergarten park and thus also the annual CSD parade (Gay Pride). Incidentally, you can enjoy this great view for yourself before or after the tournament, if you don't mind climbing the 285 steps to the viewing platform!

GO 4 GOLD - Berlin invites you to the most colorful sports event of the year

Facts about GOLDELSENCUP 2010 BERLIN - Europe's largest gay and lesbian volleyball tournament

* THE NUMBERS: 55 teams with over 500 athletes from 26 Cities and 13 countries, mostly from Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland
* THE TOURNAMENT: will take place on Saturday (13.11.) from 9 am to 9 pm in the Max-Schmeling-Halle (Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg). Free admission for all.
* THE PARTY: the Awards ceremony and closing party takes part from 22 pm in The glass house Arena (Berlin-Treptow) under the label JUMP! For the first time the party is from 23 pm on open for non-participants - an additional 300 party-goers are expected. JUMP is going to get the biggest party in Berlin for lesbians and gay men.
The line-up: DJ Olympic & DJ Ipek.
* THE HOSTS: Vorspiel Berlin, Europe's largest gay and lesbian sports club, and Seitenwechsel Berlin, Europe's largest women's and lesbian club, get together for this sports event.
* THE GOAL: sport, fair play, multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance and fun to bring under one roof.
* THE PATRONAGE: The GOLDELSENCUP is supported by Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit.

More info and registration HERE.

SC Janus team at charity regatta

Gay Games VIII may be over, but the athletes of SC Janus are still at it!

A rowing team from SC Janus took part in the Benefizregetta, a charity event on 26 September at Fuehlingersee, a venue many Gay Games VIII participants are familiar with. Benefits from the race were split between the Children's Hospital and a sports project at a cancer treatment center.

The SC Janus team of  Kelly, Thomas, Torsten, Nicolai and Alf took third place, earning a medal presented by Deputy Mayor Elfi Scho-Antwerpes, who many will remember from her speech at closing ceremony at Tanzbrunnen.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trevor Project video

The Trevor Project has pulled together a group of true Broadway stars, who sing a moving and heartfelt invitation to LGBT youth who are being bullied and harassed. Given the Gay Games' strong cultural history, we wanted to make sure you saw (and heard) it. Click here: Trevor Project.

It can't get better soon enough for us, though.

Israeli version of "Dancing With the Stars" will feature first same-sex couple

From BBC News:

Israel's version of Dancing With The Stars is to include the show's first same-sex couple in the new series. TV presenter Gili Shem Tov, who has a female partner in real life, said dancing with another woman felt "natural" to her. She will be partnered with professional dancer Dorit Milman when the show's sixth season begins on 1 November. The couple will take it in turns to take on the traditional male role of leading the dances.

Dance professional Milman, who is heterosexual, has appeared on the programme since its first series. "I have realised that dance is about co-ordination and energy between two people, whether female or male," Tov said. "The challenge to dance with a woman in a public contest interested me because it's unique and has never been done before. Because I share my life with a woman and have a family with her, to me this is the most natural thing to do."

The show - known as Rokdim Im Kokhavim in Israel - will also feature a guest appearance by Pamela Anderson. The former Baywatch actress, who took part in the US version of Dancing With The Stars, will make two appearances in the Israeli show, where she will comment on the dances and perform her own routine.

Twelve celebrities, including Israel's boxing champion Merhav Mohar and singer Sharon Haziz, will compete in the competition until the end of January 2011 when the winner will be selected by public vote.

Outsport features aspiring Olympian

Outsports features a profile of an aspiring American football player who's now focusing on wrestling:

After his NFL plans were dashed in 2007, he went to Montana for a short time to play semipro football. But his heart was not into it and he became grossly overweight. “I weighed 385 pounds,” AK said. “I was a disgusting human being.”

AK then left football for good and started devoting himself to Greco Roman wrestling (he had been a champion high school wrestler). He got into great shape and has stopped partying. He moved to Maryland and volunteered to help coach a college team.

AK works full time as a youth counselor (he wants to get a certificate in addiction counseling) and also trains in wrestling, keeping his eye on his goal of being an Olympian. “I love wrestling,” AK says. “The sport is a part of me.”

While he is not publicly out in the sport, he also does not hide who he is. He has a couple of wrestling friends who know he is gay. “They'll razz me by pointing to a guy and saying, 'No, no AK – he's not for you.' ” AK was in one brief relationship with a man, but says that between work and wrestling he doesn't have much of a social life.

AK says he is telling his story because “I don't want a 15- or 16-year-old kid to have to experience what I did,” hoping he can make a difference. AK is much more at peace with himself than when he was a scared yet wild college athlete.

“Nothing changes if nothing changes,” he said.

Read the full profile HERE.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton contribute to "It Gets Better" project

US President Barack Obama has made a video contribution to the "It Gets Better" project. While some contest the pertinence of this contribution, given that the President has failed to follow through on commitments to advance equality for LGBT Americans, others applaud this recognition of the need to act to prevent suicide among LGBT young people. Prior to Obama's video, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her own video, which you can also view here.

Video recap of the 2nd Forum FSGL

Personal recommendation: go to the end of the video for the sports demonstrations.

ESPN report on the issue of intersex athletes

From ESPN's Outside the Lines:

Caster Semenya's life changed because of eight seconds. It took 11 months before she could start to piece it back together.

In August 2009, the South African runner won the 800-meter world championship in 1:55:45. Immediately following the race, Semenya was forced to skip the postrace news conference and ushered out of the stadium.

A representative from the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field's world governing body, took her place at the podium and explained that an eight-second improvement from her time at a race several weeks prior had triggered an investigation. The investigation included sex determination testing to confirm Semenya's eligibility to race as a woman.

A yearlong run of worldwide attention, embarrassment and questions about how sports should handle the delicate issue of sex determination followed. Semenya didn't compete for nearly the entire time. Though her test results remain private, she was cleared to run as a woman in July.

The string of events concerns Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University. The professor, who has no connection to Semenya or the testing in Semenya's case, has been outspoken that it is imperative for sports organizations to create policies on how to best handle athletes with potential disorders of sexual development.

Such issues are extremely complicated, Dreger says, and it is unfortunate that athletes may suddenly have their sex called into question on an international stage.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Team Sydney announces board openings

From the Sydney Star Observer:

Team Sydney’s annual general meeting is only four weeks away, and will be held from 5pm on Saturday, November 20 at Level 1 of the Brighton Hotel in Darlinghurst.

There are three positions on Team Sydney’s board up for nomination at the AGM, and they’re casting the net wide for potential new applicants, including women and younger people, two areas that are somewhat under-represented on the current board.

Specifically, Team Sydney are looking for young people to train and develop in community leadership.

You may have particular skills or a few spare hours per month to complete tasks on a sub-committee. You may be a frustrated creative type with a few ideas you’d like to propose for the gay and lesbian sporting community.

You might have a strong social conscience and a passion for breaking down barriers to participation for gays and lesbians within sport broken down further.

You might have valuable contacts or e-communications skills that would help get Team Sydney’s message out to the world at large.

info: Contact David Kyles at ts-communications@teamsydney.org.au or Wally Salinger at president.freezone@yahoo.com.au

TopFan survey discussed on BBC Radio 4

On BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor examines some new research about homophobia and football and talks to Professor Ellis Cashmore from Staffordshire University about how fans, players and management respond to the issue. They're joined by writer and broadcaster David Goldblatt who has a strong interest in sport.

Listen HERE.

Nat Utrecht slideshow from Gay Games VIII

Caroline Symons' thesis now online

Caroline Symons was awarded the 2009 FGG Legacy Award for Research and Scholarship. You can now read online her doctoral thesis entitled The Gay Games : the play of sexuality, sport and community. Find it on the Victoria University (Melbourne) website HERE.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ireland focuses on LGBT sport to attract the "pink pound"

From this article promoting Ireland as a gay tourist destination:

Tourism Ireland says it promotes Ireland as a gay-friendly holiday destination at various gay sporting events, including this year's Gay Games in Cologne. At the World Outgames in Copenhagen last year, it even promoted special low airfares to Ireland with the slogan "learn a little Gaylic and get to know the locals".

Team Sydney welcome-home party

From the Sydney Star Observer:

On Thursday, October 21, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association (SGLBA) is hosting a welcome home party for Team Sydney members who went to the Gay Games In Cologne.

To be held at Bourke Street’s Beresford Hotel, the event will be a celebration of the fantastic effort Team Sydney — and the Australian contingent as a whole — put in during the August games. Australia’s 365 participating athletes — more than 200 of them from Team Sydney — shone at Gay Games VIII in Cologne, netting more than 200 medals in disciplines as diverse as wrestling and dance: 90 gold, 92 silver and 53 bronze in total.

SGLBA were Team Sydney’s main sponsors for the Cologne trip, so Team Sydney winners, wear your Games uniforms, don your medals with pride and head to the Beresford to bask in sporting glory and enjoy a well-deserved drink and catch-up with Cologne teammates.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making University of Pennsylvania's athletics program inclusive

Lambda Alliance and Penn Athletics work to help LGBT athletes

While Penn is one of the most gay-friendly universities in the country, the athletic community here is arguably lagging behind.

The Lambda Alliance ­— Penn’s umbrella organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students — is hoping to change this by collaborating with Penn Athletics to develop a diversity training program for team captains, according to Lambda Chairman and Wharton and Engineering junior Tyler Ernst.

In the coming weeks, Lambda will be issuing an electronic survey to all student athletes to gauge their attitudes toward LGBT issues. ­The confidential survey, which will include questions about sexual orientation, will form the basis of the training program for captains to be implemented in spring 2011 at the earliest.

In addition to this, coaches will be required to read the University’s zero-tolerance discrimination policy at the beginning of each season.

“Our goal is to bring the athletic arena up to par with the rest of Penn,” Ernst said.

Currently, LGBT students are “tolerated” by the athletic community, but don’t always feel accepted, according to College junior Corinne Rich, current track and field team member and president of Penn Athletes and Allies Tackling Homophobia.

Continue reading HERE.

Hudson Taylor's photos for NoH8

Via Outsports:

Former champion collegiate wrestler Hudson Taylor is a huge advocate for gay rights. Cyd and I interviewed him for our weekly podcast that is worth checking out.

Taylor and his fiancee Lia Alexandra Mandaglio were also out in Los Angeles recently to appear in the NoH8 photo campaign to raise awareness of gay rights.

To learn more about Hudson and see the other photos, see all Outsports posts HERE.