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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Governor of Colorado to welcome GLISA North America site selection committee for 2015 North American Outgames bid

Governor Hickenlooper to meet with bid committee

The Denver Outgames 2015 Bid Committee (DOBC) reports that the Governor for the State of Colorado, USA, John W. Hickenlooper, is helping welcome the site selection committee of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association - North America (GLISA NA) to Denver. This site selection committee visit is one of the final steps in Denver's bid process of winning the honor of hosting the 2015 North America Outgames.

Governor Hickenlooper has been a huge proponent since the beginning of the DOBC efforts to secure the 2015 Outgames for Denver. "As an avid and public supporter of LGBT social, economic and political quality of life in Colorado, I'm excited to support Denver's bid for the 2015 North America OutGames" states Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper.

The meeting with the Governor will take place shortly before the Friday, May 6 welcome reception at Hamburger Mary's Club M. This reception is open to the public, but RSVPs are required. More reception information is available HERE.

IOC gives tacit approval to repression against athletes in... (today) Bahrain

From a report on Play the Game (h/t Zeljko Blace) on the political repression in Bahrain, and the lack of response of the IOC to the attacks on athletes:

So the initial restraint soon came to an end, and the Bahraini regime, urged and reinforced by the nervous Saudis, began to clamp down on any protest actions in a suddenly very violent manner. Moreover, the government also started applying very shrewd tactics, beginning to persecute in a systematic and brutal fashion some categories of people whose well-known faces and popularity among the crowds would have created a bad image for the rulers. So they started arresting and jailing athletes, artists and journalist, while others 'disappeared', were assaulted or simply were barred from carrying out their sports activities or their jobs. (Similar targeting has more recently begun to be exercised against groups such as teachers, engineers and businessmen).

When athletes and sports officials in Bahrain started witnessing these actions against many of their colleagues, they were obviously getting scared and started to find methods to get the information out to their contacts abroad, in addition to the rather meager coverage in international media. They sent a petition to the IOC, FIFA, IHF, FIBA and various other federations, and they contacted friends abroad. In this manner I personally got confirmation of the jailing of several players on the national handball team, an international referee, and several officials of the Bahrain Handball Association. I was urged to help spread the news in the hope that this would speed up action.

It should be noted that the Bahraini government has been completely unashamed of publicly stating their intentions. In a YouTube video, the young Prince Nasser who has been placed as President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee can be heard expressing, in a hateful and menacing manner, that all those who speak out against the government will be hunted down and cannot escape. The President of the Football Federation, another prominent member of the royal family, announced that athletes had no rights to free speech; they must stay quiet and remain loyal to their government. In other words, what is going on is not exactly a secret to anyone, and it is clear that athletes are persecuted also in the absence of any accusations of crimes but simply on the basis of voicing their opinions in public.

Accordingly I found it necessary and urgent to inquire with senior officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), about the conspicuous absence of public statements or any other form of action on the part of the IOC. The IOC's normally shows a rather obsessive insistence on autonomy for the sports movement and more specifically on the absolute prohibition against government interference. Even much less drastic cases, such as interference in federation elections and operations have quickly caused IOC to resort to suspensions and other punishment.

I noted that, given the ongoing role of the government of Bahrain, where they (just like in many other 'similar' countries, and amazingly tolerated by the IOC) totally manage or even dominate the sports scene, it would be necessary to apply as much pressure as possible, such as making it publicly known around the world that the IOC investigating the situation on an emergency basis.This just might cause the Bahraini government to come to its senses. After all, the situation literally involves life and death; it is not a minor bureaucratic issue that can be handled quietly and with low priority.

However, the scary and mind-boggling answer I have received essentially suggests that IOCmust proceed quietly and without jumping to conclusions, while awaiting more facts and evidence! I fully understand that one must be careful about throwing around accusations or verdicts, but surely there is no legal constraint involved in relying on petitions from large numbers of athletes and unanimous media reports as a basis for stating publicly that an urgent investigation is underway.

Instead, the IOC says it has requested clarifications from the Bahraini Olympic Committee, which is headed precisely by the person who has publicly stated the intention to hunt down athletes and officials who try to exercise human rights in the form of free speech. The unmistakable impression is that it is more important not to embarrass the Prince in public than it is to get the persecution, jailing and beating of athletes stopped as soon as possible!

Read in full HERE.

GLSEN Game Changer MVPs: Brad Usselman

You know Brad Usselman as the Brad of "Walk the Road". Now he's supporting Changing the Game from GLSEN's Sports Project as a Game Changer:

My name is Brad Usselman. I compete in high school cross country and track. The events I run in track are the 1600 and 3200. I have competed in these sports since the 6th grade, but I have been playing sports since I was 6. One of my sport accomplishments I am most proud of would probably have to be last year when my track team won districts. We beat every team so bad that our score was more than double the second place team’s score.

I came out as a gay athlete during a school-wide video. The video was made to promote equality as well as awareness for many different types of things and being gay was the one I did. My friends have been immensely supportive in every way possible. Also, my parents have been nothing but supportive.

Keep reading HERE.

2 July 2011 / Justin Campaign Tournament in Nottingham, England

From GayUKNews:

Keen sportsmen and women from around the UK are being invited to put their skills to the test at a University of Nottingham tournament in support of a campaign to kick homophobia into touch both on and off the pitch.

Male and female football teams are being sought to compete in this year’s Justin Campaign Tournament Nottingham, which takes place on Saturday July 2 at the Sports Centre on University Park campus.

The competition, now in its second year, has been organised by the University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Questioning (LGBTQ) staff network in partnership with the Justin Campaign, a national initiative that works with the Football Association to show homophobia within football the red card and develop ways to make the sport a safer and more comfortable place for LGBT players and fans.

The campaign — which takes its name from Justin Fashanu, the world’s first openly gay professional footballer — uses football, education, art and events to challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions that exist around gay and bisexual men and women, in both football and wider society.


For male and female teams — no mixed teams — who would like to take part, the cost is £4 per player and stall pitches are available free of charge. Anyone who is interested in submitting a team for the tournament or pitching a stall at the event should contact the LGBTQ Network by email at nottingham.events@thejustincampaign.com before June 1

Read in full HERE.

University of Minnesota PhD candidate studies coaches' bios as a viewpoint on homophobia and heterosexism

University of Minnesota kinesiology Ph.D. student, Austin Calhoun, examines representations of sexuality in sport and new media through researching family narratives in coaching bios. In this video, she discusses her work.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Roger Brigham on the NAGAAA discrimination case

In his Bay Area Reporter column this week, Roger Brigham writes eloquently about a legal case that will soon be heard by a Federal judge, and a moral case that has gone on far too long. The Federation of Gay Games took a position as soon as this case became public last year that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is unacceptable, whether the victims are presumed to be gay or presumed to be straight.

An extract from the column:

Death to the -isms and the ghettos and the phobias that separate us! We advance gay liberation through the mechanisms of legal protections giving us the right to be who we are wherever we want to be whenever we want to be – the most fundamental and modest of the red-white-and-blue American dreams – and through daily personal interactions with the mainstream that show we are different but we are all of one.

Which is why the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance is wrong to restrict the number of straights who may be on teams playing in the annual Gay Softball World Series.

Dead wrong. Practically, politically, culturally, socially, morally wrong. Whether they are also legally and constitutionally wrong a federal trial in Seattle in June shall decide. A shame if the guardians of the sport allow things to go that far.

A lawsuit, filed a year ago on behalf of three San Francisco softball players after an ad hoc on-the-spot hearing determined that they were "ungay" and therefore their D2 team would have to forfeit its victories in the 2008 Seattle Gay Softball World Series, is scheduled to be tried in June in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, with Seattle District Court Judge John C. Coughenour presiding.

And another:

Some media have referred to the men as "heterosexual." Some have referred to them as "bisexual." The reality is the plaintiffs have never publicized their sexual orientations and the press who jump the gun on this trample on the dignity of people's right to define their orientations on their own terms – or to eschew labels entirely.

What the three men have done, with their gay teammates in a gay league through weeks and months and years of practice, is show publicly their solidarity and support for the queer community and the right for queers to use public playing fields: a right won in places such as California and Washington by generations of queers who lived locked-out, shut-in lives.

Read in full HERE.

A tale of two 2012 Olympic chargés de mission

Several months ago, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced that out Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Mark Tewksbury would be their chargé de mission for the 2012 Olympics.

"To lead our Canadian Olympic team into London is an incredible privilege and honour. I look forward to working closely with the Canadian Olympic Committee over the next two years, providing optimum support for Canada's athletes and coaches as we strive to shine on the world stage."

As chef de mission, Tewksbury becomes the official representative and spokesperson for the Canadian Olympic team.

During the Games, he will support and promote the Canadian squad by helping to create an onsite environment conducive to achieving optimal performance. Canada's stated goal in London is to place among the top 12 nations in total medal count.

This week, the United States Olympic Committee chose its chargé de mission for 2012, gymnast Peter Vidmar. Outsports reports on his involvement in anti-gay marriage campaigns:

A former Olympic gold medalist joined more than 250 people supporting Prop 8 at a city intersection Thursday night.

Peter Vidmar stood with other demonstrators in favor of the Nov. 4 ballot initiative that would define marriage as being between one man and one woman, undoing a California Supreme Court ruling that allowed same-sex marriages in the state.

Vidmar, who won two gold medals and one silver in the 1984 Olympic Games, says that he is in favor of equal treatment for homosexuals and in favor of Prop 8 [sic].

FSGL denounces alleged racist policies in French football federation

UPDATE: Full Mediapart exposé available in English HERE.

FGG member FSGL has issued a press release on possible institutional racism in the French football federation, stating in particular:

If these accusations prove true, this would constitute a grave attack on the principles of equality proclaimed by French football, and French sport in general. For more than 20 years, the FSGL has fought all forms of discrimination, whether for sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or any form of discrimination. One of the major issues outstanding is the fight against racism and homophobia in football, a sport that remains stained by too many cases of racism and homophobia.

For more info, here's a story from the Bangkok Post:

France manager Laurent Blanc has denied any knowledge of a controversial alleged proposal by the French Football Federation (FFF) to limit the number of black and arab players by introducing discriminatory quotas. Reports that French football chiefs, including Blanc, had discussed and approved a ceiling on non-whites emerged Thursday via Mediapart. The influential website claimed: "For the top brass in French football, the issue is settled: there are too many blacks, too many Arabs and not enough white players in French football.

Speaking at a press conference here Friday Blanc categorically dismissed Mediapart's accusations, the 1998 French World Cup winning defender denying that such a policy existed. Raymond Domenech's successor, speaking publicly for the first time since the report surfaced, said he had "never heard mention of such a project".

He added: "Since around 15 years the playing policy has been discriminatory for a certain number of players, athletic and physical criteria being essential. "Today, small players are penalised, that's discrimination," he explained, in a reference to youngsters coming through football training centres.

"What upsets me most is to add 'colour' to this. When one accuses me of this type of discimination, that annoys me. Diversity exists, on the street as in football," Blanc said.

The FFF has also denied the Mediapart report, and has launched an internal inquiry into the affair. FFF president Fernand Duchaussoy, appearing at a hastily arranged news conference at its Paris headquarters, said: "People have spoken to me about a secret meeting, I can't know everything that goes on. I heard about this on Thursday with a great deal of surprise, I was taken aback. I thought it was a joke in bad taste. These are terrible accusations."

Francois Blaquart, the FFF's technical director, also denied that any of France's football training centres had been ordered to adopt discriminatory quotas. He commented: "Our only problem is to do with dual nationality (those players developed in France who then go on to play for different national teams). This involves players of all origins, it's got nothing to do with skin colour."

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps, Blanc's former France captain, considered it "impossible" that the national coach and the FFF had implemented racial quotas. "I know Laurent Blanc well, and I can't believe there were these meetings and decisions."

Mediapart has accused Marseille of using racial quotas in its youth acedemy, but Deschamps dismissed that out of hand. "They accuse Marseille, but just look at our team. Our players come from north Africa, from black Africa, from South America... Sport is universal, there is no question of discrimination."

On Thursday a report by Mediapart claimed: "Some top officials at the French football federation's National Development Programme (DTN), including national team coach Laurent Blanc, secretly approved at the start of 2011 the principle of unofficial discriminatory quotas in training centres and schools around the country."

Mediapart added that following a meeting in January, when those involved were told to keep the proposals secret, directives to apply the measures were sent to the numerous training centres around the country. "According to internal sources at the FFF, who have been shocked by the proposals, instructions were sent to the different managers of training schools, notably the National French Institute at Clairefontaine," added the report. "The figure of 30 percent was even evoked by the Technical Director during a DTN meeting on January 18, 2011."

En français / Communiqué de la FSGL sur les accusations de racisme au sein de la Fédération française de football

La FSGL réagit aux révélations de quotas raciaux en équipe de France de football

C’est avec consternation et désarroi que la Fédération Sportive Gaie et Lesbienne apprend aujourd’hui les révélations faites par le site d’information Médiapart.

Selon le journal en ligne, la Fédération Française de Football aurait approuvé fin 2010, “le principe de quotas discriminatoires officieux dans les centres de formation et les écoles de football dans le but de limiter le nombre de joueurs français de type africains et nord-africains”. Toujours d’après Médiapart, Laurent Blanc, le sélectionneur de l’équipe de France ainsi que Fernand Duchaussoy, le président actuel de la FFF auraient tous les deux accepté cette mesure lors d’une réunion en novembre dernier.

Si ces accusations s’avéraient exactes, il s’agirait là d’une grave remise en cause des principes d’égalité et de mixité revendiqués par le football français et plus généralement le sport français. La FSGL lutte depuis plus de 20 ans contre toutes les formes de discrimination qu’elles soient liées à l’orientation sexuelle, aux origines, à la religion ou à toutes autres formes de discriminations. Un des gros chantiers actuels reste d’ailleurs la lutte contre le racisme et l’homophobie dans le football, un sport qui reste entaché par de trop nombreux cas de racisme et d’homophobie.

A look back at Coady Roundball Classic

Sam Coady, Rob Smitherman
Ross Forman reports in the Windy City Times on one of Chicago's LGBT sport landmarks:

The Coady Roundball Classic had its largest turnout and most competitive field for the 21st edition, held April 16-17 at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

The largest and longest-running LGBT basketball tournament attracted 35 teams from across the United States, the same number as last year, but 310 players—up 20 from last year. The 35 teams tied a tournament record, with new teams from Phoenix, Austin and Portland, Ore., among other cities. Organizers said the event has reached its max for the seven courts used over two days.

Twenty cities were represented in the event, including eight Chicago teams.

"Every year, the event gets better and better," said Sam Coady, an original member of the event's Hall of Fame (Class of 2000). "There were things provided [to participants] this year that no other tournament, in any sport does, including dinner for three nights, T-shirts, drink coupons, etc."

Coady did not play this season due to a recently injured knee, "but it's still very exciting to watch," he said. "I know the event is a success when others run it and do an exceptional job."

Originally called the Chicago Hoops Classic, it has been known as the Coady Roundball Classic for seven years, "and I'm very honored by that," Coady said. Ted Cappas was the organizer for the past seven years before handing the ball to Steve Waldron and Jeff Edmonds this year.

Keep reading HERE.

Video report on LGBT sports groups in New York City

A 2009 report from the LGBT Center of New York City.

Auf Deutsch / Homosexualität im Sport – (k)ein Thema?

From Deutche Welle:

An schwule Politiker oder lesbische Schauspielerinnen hat sich die Gesellschaft gewöhnt. Im Sport sieht das noch anders aus. Allerdings mehren sich die Zeichen für mehr Toleranz und Offenheit - auch im Fußball.

Der spektakuläre Fall sorgte für Schlagzeilen: Ein Fußball-Profi wird umgebracht, Tatmotiv könnte seine angebliche Homosexualität sein. In Wirklichkeit hat es diesen Mord nie gegeben, sondern nur als Film in der Krimi-Serie "Tatort". Für Schauspielerin Maria Furtwängler, die als TV-Kommissarin Charlotte Lindholm heißt, war das Thema eine "Herzensangelegenheit", wie sie dem Boulevard-Blatt "Bild" offenbarte. Einen solchen Film zu drehen, sei nicht mutig. "Wirklich mutig wäre es, wenn sich ein Spieler outen würde", sagte Furtwängler.

Diesen Mut hat in der 1. Bundesliga bislang niemand gehabt. Offenbar ist die Angst zu groß, von den Mannschaftskameraden, von den Fans verspottet und angefeindet zu werden. Ein Outing könnte das Ende der Karriere bedeuten, wenn man dem Druck nicht standhält. Das befürchten auch die Abgeordneten des Sport-Ausschusses im Deutschen Bundestag, die sich gemeinsam mit Sachverständigen dem Thema 'Homosexualität im Sport' anzunähern versuchten. Die Ausschuss-Vorsitzende Dagmar Freitag sieht die ganze Gesellschaft in der Verantwortung, um das Tabu endgültig zu brechen. Alle Politiker, nicht nur die Sport-Politiker seien aufgefordert, für mehr Akzeptanz zu werben. "Und das muss letztlich auch bis in die Fan-Kurven der großen Vereine reinreichen", meint die Sozialdemokratin, die Sportwissenschaft studiert und als Lehrerin gearbeitet hat.

Schwul-lesbische Fan-Clubs

Dort, in den Fan-Kurven, sind Schwule und Lesben längst angekommen. Meistens kann man die homosexuellen Fan-Clubs schon an ihren Namen erkennen: "Andersrum Rut-Wiess" in Köln oder "Hertha-Junxx" in Berlin. Auf Transparenten stehen Parolen wie "Fußball ist alles – auch schwul". Das Vereins-Emblem prangt auf der Regenbogen-Fahne, dem weltweiten Symbol für Toleranz und Vielfalt und eben auch der Homosexuellen.

Wäre die Fußball-Szene schon Anfang der 1990er Jahre so weit gewesen, hätte Jugend-Nationalspieler Marcus Urban vielleicht eine erfolgreiche Profi-Karriere gestartet. Doch der damals knapp 20-jährige Kicker von Rot-Weiß Erfurt befürchtete, an der Last zu zerbrechen, sein Schwulsein nicht offen ausleben zu können. "Als ich im Fußball-Internat war, habe ich mich komplett versteckt und kein Wort gesagt", erinnert sich Urban an die belastende Zeit. Inzwischen ist das Thema im Deutschen Bundestag angekommen, wo der schwule Ex-Fußballer als Sachverständiger eingeladen wurde. Das erste Outing eines Profis werde früher oder später kommen, glaubt Urban. "Ich mache mir da gar keine Sorgen, dass es nicht kommt."

Keep reading HERE.

Good luck for a fabulous Fabulous Cup!

The Fabulous Cup is about to open in Cologne, and the FGG wants to wish all involved a successful competition. There are few if any events for LGBT figure skaters, making the Fabulous Cup all the more appreciated.

Special thanks to the organization team, which faces challenges for organizing a particularly complex event!

It's too late to register, but you can still be part of the fun. More info HERE.

Pride Sports Manchester calls for recognition of LGBT athletes in England sport survey

A message from FGG member Pride Sports on the survey of sportspeople carried out by the governing body for English sports:

Pride Sports encourages LGBT Sports participants to help shape sport in England

This week, Pride Sports, the UK’s LGBT sports development organisation launches a campaign to ensure that the voices of LGBT people are heard in Sport England’s Satisfaction Survey. The Sports Council’s online survey, which yielded a response from 44,000 people, last year, helps to inform the development of sport across England, and ensures the delivery of a ‘lasting legacy’ from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The survey asks respondents to rate their satisfaction with a number of aspects of their sporting experience; social, physical environment, staff and volunteers, coaching and opportunities to progress. However, although the survey asks respondents about their age, gender and ethnic background, it does not ask the sexual orientation question or provide an opportunity for trans people to identify themselves.

Lou Englefield, one of Pride Sports Founding Directors explains,

“The problem is, whilst Sport England fail to ask the sexual orientation question or provide an opportunity for trans people to identify themselves, the Sports Council has no way of identifying any trends which relate specifically to LGBT people and sport. For example, the survey could show that LGBT people are more than happy with their sporting experience. It could equally show that we are not.”

Pride Sports are therefore calling on LGBT people involved in sport to use the additional information box towards the end of the survey to identify as LGB or T and to state if they practice sport as part of an LGBT sports group. Lou continues,

“There are now over 100 LGBT sports and physical activity groups in England alone, new ones establishing themselves every year. But many of these are not affiliated to their sport’s National Governing Bodies and have no contact with County Sports Partnerships, which provide support for grass roots sport in England. It is time Sport England began to ask how satisfied we are with our sporting experience and to invest more in LGBT sport”

Pride Sports will be conducting its own survey of LGBT people and their experience of sport over the summer.

Further information: Lou Englefield 07949 604610

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gay Games IX website now online

We welcome the arrival on the web of the temporary website for Gay Games IX, as well as their new Facebook page and Twitter account.

The website will gain new functions progressively, but you can already get an idea of what will be on offer in 2014 in Cleveland, Akron, and all of Northeast Ohio.

WEBSITE: 2014gaygamescleveland.com

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/gaygamescleveland

TWITTER: @gaygamesclev

Homophobia rears its head at San Francisco pro baseball stadium

On 23 April at San Francisco's AT&T Park, home of the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, an ugly pre-game incident occurred involving a coach on the visiting Atlanta Braves and some fans. Pitching coach Roger McDowell insulted and threatened several fans, including a fan with his 9-year twin daughters. Lawyers and the leaders of Major League Baseball have now been involved in this rapidly evolving story.

See the local San Francisco TV news coverage of this story, including on-camera commentary by the Federation's own Roger Brigham:

On in Cleveland: Orchestre national de jazz and anti-bullying event

Orchestre National de Jazz: The Robert Wyatt Project
Friday, April 29, 2011 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – 7:00 PM
Tickets $10; call 216-987-4444.

Created by the French Ministry of Culture in 1986, Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ) is a collaborative laboratory under the artistic direction of Daniel Yvinec involving musicians, composers and arrangers. The performance pays homage to English drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt, a member of the venerable band Soft Machine, who pushed progressive rock into the direction of jazz-inspired improvisation. In a review of ONJ’s 2009 album “Around Robert Wyatt,” All About Jazz described it as “witty, accomplished and fun.

Dare2Care - Unite Against Bullying - Fashion Gala
Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 6:00pm
Old Cuyahoga County Court House, 1 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113

The Human Rights Campaign invites you to join is in our fight against teen bullying and teen suicide. Please join us for our first ever Dare2Care – Unity Against Bullying - HRC Fashion Gala at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse on May 1, 2011: A benefit designed to educate and integrate.

Our May Day Gay Day is a call to action: a distress signal to the Cleveland community that our children can be placed at significant risk from bullying and that we all share the responsibility to ensure that they do not live in fear. You are requested simply to "come as you are."

Our Gala promises to be a night of full acceptance and inclusion. There will be two 30 minute runway shows from the latest Spring and Summer collections, provided by Cleveland-based boutiques and stores, as well as live entertainment and awards.
Be prepared for an evening of fashion, glamour, outrage, song, dance, and transformation. (Please check the HRC Cleveland website and event Facebook page regularly, for updates on our performers).

6:00p - VIP Reception and Red Carpet
7:00p - General Admission
7:30p - 10:00p - Show

Ben Cohen interview with Accidental Bear

An extract from a great interview with Ben Cohen:

AB: I see you as a gay role model, yet straight. How does that sit with you?

Ben: I’d like to think that I am a role model full stop really. My message is well received within the gay community, but then it would be. I want to be able to take the message of tolerance into mainstream life – maybe schools and colleges or into the corporate arena to start a wave of tolerance through my StandUp brand. I am encouraging as many people as possible to stand up against homophobia and bullying and to stand up for love and equality.

AB: Your wife must have a wonderful sense of humor. Does she find your gay fan base amusing?

Ben: Well it can be quite funny at times. She is broad minded and doesn’t get too involved. She is busy looking after the girls and sees me as ‘hub’ and Dad – not gay role model. We’ve been together since we were 17 so she sees me differently to a lot of people. I have three ladies at home to keep me in line and keep my feet on the ground.

AB: Has your proactive role as a gay supporter ever had a negative backlash on your rugby career?

Ben: No, never, and I can’t see it ever doing that either. I keep the two separate. At work I have demands on me as a sportsman and responsibilities to the rest of the team so all the time I am doing that, nobody really takes any notice of what I am doing off pitch.

Read in full HERE.

Outsports recounts volleyball coach's journey to acceptance

Outsports profiles a young volleyball coach:

Nick Clark vividly remembers the turning point. He was driving home to Michigan in mid-2007 after a sexual rendezvous with a guy in Toledo, Ohio. It was in the wee hours of the morning and he had been heavily drinking when he started to fall asleep at the wheel. It was all he could do to stay awake and make it home.

“I then had a God moment,” Clark said. “I had this incredible urge to go to church the next day.”

Clark had been raised a Catholic but was not very religious. The next day at church, though, “I really felt like someone was speaking to me. Everything was speaking to me – the songs, the priests. From that point, my life really started to change.”

Clark, 25, is the assistant men’s volleyball coach at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich. He is now openly and comfortably gay with a boyfriend whom he is crazy about. In the past month, he came out to his coach, Mike Watkins, who told him his sexual orientation doesn’t change anything.

Clark went from a closeted young man whose sole interactions with gay men were furtive sexual meetings on Manhunt, to an active member of the religious Athletes in Action, to someone who now wants to help other gay athletes and coaches come out. All this happened in the space of less than four years.

Keep reading HERE.

Vote for sports group for GLOSS Awards

Chile's LGBT news site GLOSS is holding online voting for its GLOSS Awards.

Among the categories is best LGBT website for Chile, and one of the candidates is sports group Chile Gay Deportes CDG.

You can vote for them HERE . Voting closes today!

Flashback: Romain Mesnil nude in the streets of Paris

Romain Mesnil is a straight ally, and is a patron of this years TIP Paris International Tournament.

Two years ago, Romain Mesnil, silver medal in pole vaulting at the European track and field championships, found himself without a sponsor. His response was to do some self-promotion via a video showing him running nude in the streets of Paris. The video is safe for work, thanks to a modest black rectangle!

New York Time reports on colleges cheating on women's participation in sport

From the New York Times, a look at Title IX, the law promoting equitable treatment of male and female athletes in university sport:

College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equity

Ever since Congress passed the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX, universities have opened their gyms and athletic fields to millions of women who previously did not have chances to play. But as women have surged into a majority on campus in recent years, many institutions have resorted to subterfuge to make it look as if they are offering more spots to women.

At the University of South Florida, more than half of the 71 women on the cross-country roster failed to run a race in 2009. Asked about it, a few laughed and said they did not know they were on the team.

At Marshall University, the women’s tennis coach recently invited three freshmen onto the team even though he knew they were not good enough to practice against his scholarship athletes, let alone compete. They could come to practice whenever they liked, he told them, and would not have to travel with the team.

At Cornell, only when the 34 fencers on the women’s team take off their protective masks at practice does it become clear that 15 of them are men. Texas A&M and Duke are among the elite women’s basketball teams that also take advantage of a federal loophole that allows them to report male practice players as female participants.

Keep reading HERE.

Cleveland in NCAA "Championship City" pilot program

From the NCAA News in 2008, a story on the launch of a pilot program to designate host cities for multiple NCAA (US university sport) championships, which include Cleveland, where the following events were scheduled:

  • 2009 Division III Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships
  • 2009 Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship
  • 2010 Division III Men’s Tennis Championships
  • 2010 Division III Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships
  • 2011 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships
Here's the background:

In a recent two-year stretch when St. Louis was hosting a Division I men’s basketball regional, two Division I Wrestling Championships and a Men’s Final Four, sports commission president Frank Viverito had a banner made that appropriately said, “Welcome to Championship City.”

Viverito may want to use that banner again, since the NCAA is engaging in a pilot program that designates six cities – St. Louis; Cleveland; San Antonio; Indianapolis; San Diego and Cary, North Carolina – as “Championship Cities” for the next four years.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Video message from patrons of TIP Paris International Tournament (with English translation)

Paris International Tournament (TIP) / 10-13 June 2011
Promoting tolerance and openness in the world of sport

Marielle Bousquet / Age 26 / Sweeper / French national volleyball team / Patron of the TIP 2011

I’ve been playing volleyball for about 10 years, and on the national team for the last 5 years, with a regular spot on the team for the last two years.

From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a look at the preparation for their next exhibition: "Women Who Rock"

From the blog of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

We are now just less than a month out from the opening of our next major exhibit, Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power, the world’s first exhibition of its kind dedicated to honoring some of rock and roll’s most talented artists. The exhibit is going to cover nearly a century’s worth of music and feature more than 70 artists, filling two entire floors of the museum with costumes, instruments, handwritten lyrics, video and listening stations, plus much more.

We’ll be documenting the exhibit installation process throughout the next four weeks and will share some of our favorite images here on the Rock Hall blog up until the grand opening of the exhibit on Friday, May 13.

Preparing the canvas: the walls have been freshly painted and are nearly ready for the next steps: installing large scale graphic art to frame the eight rock and roll eras that will be featured in the exhibit.

GLSEN Game Changer MVPs: Emma Delsohn

You will recall Emma Delsohn from a profile on Outsports. Now she's supporting Changing the Game from GLSEN's Sports Project as a Game Changer:

My name is Emma Delsohn, and I am a basketball player. I started playing basketball when I was 5 years old (very competitive play) and have played the game each year ever since.

My proudest accomplishments in basketball can be narrowed down to two specific events: being named captain of our team for my senior year, and hitting 4 three-point shots in the first half of a particularly difficult game. We were the blatant underdogs, but we managed to win by 4 points. It was a fantastic feeling, let me tell you.

Keep reading HERE.

Full house at SC Janus Annual General Assembly

As we post this, the Annual General Assembly of FGG member SC Janus is taking place in a venue familiar to all who attended Gay Games VIII last summer: the Hahnentorburg, the fortified city gate at Rudolfplatz.

Our best wishes for a productive meeting to all members of SC Janus!

Sports on the agenda of Bay Area Youth Summit

The Bay Area Youth Summit (BAYS) was an event hosted by Aragon High’s Gay/Straight Alliance in San Mateo, CA on Saturday, April 23, 2011. The main topic of this important summit was bullying, and the many ways to effectively stand up to them and make sure schools are safe.

The Federation of Gay Games was represented by Wrestlers Without Borders delegate Roger Brigham. Brigham presented a workshop entitled "Empowerment through Inclusive Sports" for the youth-initiative event.

"The Gay-Straight Alliance did a great job of putting together this summit, which it hopes to turn into an annual event," Brigham said. "The workshop I conducted was the only sports element in the summit, so it was important to be involved."

Topics covered in the workshop included personal and community benefits of sports involvement, barriers to participation, and an inclusive rather than an elitist approach to sports.

"This was a really good chance to meet with young gay and straight athletes," Brigham said. "They were excited to learn about not just what they can do within their current scholastic programs, but about the wider choice of sports they will have after school through LGBT clubs."

All around Cleveland: Cuyahoga County Fair, Greenfield Village, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Eastern Shore of Maryland, historic Quebec City

Each week, we'll be featuring a place of interest around Cleveland, site of Gay Games IX in 2014. Cleveland, Akron, and Northeast Ohio are great places to visit, and are also great places from which to experience some of the finest destinations in the USA and Canada.

Within 50 km of Cleveland:
Cuyahoga County Fair

The county fair is a great tradition of rural America. Rides for children, displays of the best farm animals, produce, arts and crafts, sports events, live music, all are part of this annual event.

Cleveland is a vibrant city in a rich agricultural region. It is the seat of Cuyahoga County, and the county fair takes place each August in nearby Berea, the venue for Gay Games VIII Track and Field.

More info HERE.

And if you like your fairs on a somewhat bigger scale, you can visit the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, also in late July/early August.

More info HERE.

Within 250 km of Cleveland:
Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan

"The Henry Ford" in Dearborn, just outside Detroit, includes the Henry Ford Automobile Museum, an IMAX theater, and Greenfield Park. It is the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in America. Nearly one hundred historical buildings were moved to the property from their original locations and arranged in a "village" setting. The museum's intent is to show how Americans lived and worked since the founding of the country. The Village includes buildings from the 17th century to the present, many of which are staffed by costumed interpreters who conduct period tasks like farming, sewing and cooking. A collection of craft buildings such as pottery, glass-blowing, and tin shops provide demonstrations while producing materials used in the Village and for sale.

The transportation system provides rides by horse-drawn omnibus, steam locomotive, a 1931 Model AA bus (one of about 15 left known to exist), and authentic Ford Model Ts. The railroad, unusually for a heritage railway, has a direct connection to Amtrak.

Some of the most notable homes and buildings include:
  • Noah Webster's Connecticut home.
  • the Wright brothers' bicycle shop and home from Dayton, Ohio
  • Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory from New Jersey
  • Henry Ford's birthplace
  • Henry Ford's prototype garage where he built the Ford Quadricycle
  • Harvey Firestone family farm
  • the Logan County, Illinois courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law
  • William Holmes McGuffey's birthplace
  • Luther Burbank's office
More info HERE.

Within 500 km of Cleveland:
Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana, and is perhaps best known for the annual Indianapolis 500 automobile race, which is the star of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, an automotive museum on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Museum houses the Auto Racing Hall of Fame. It is intrinsically linked to the Indianapolis 500, but it also includes exhibits reflecting other forms of motorsports, passenger cars and general automotive history. In 2006, it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Many Indy 500-winning cars are on display.
More info on visiting Indianopolis HERE.

Within 750 km of Cleveland:
The Eastern Shore of Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is part of the peninsula separating the Atlantic Ocean from Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay is likely the main attraction on the Eastern Shore. It is rich with activities, watermen culture, great seafood, and is simply beautiful. To learn more about Chesapeake culture, there are a number of good museums around the region, such as the J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum and seafood processing plant tour in Crisfield and the the Maritime Museum of St. Michaels. Smith Island is another great stop for Chesapeake watermen culture, where you'll find accents dating back to Victorian England, and a local sense of place and purpose inseparable from the Bay and its sea harvests. Hooper's Island is a bit less exotic than Smith Island, but still a great off-the-beaten-path locale for natural beauty and the historic Phillips Seafood Factory. The ever-popular resort town of Ocean City, in addition to the beach and boardwalk, has a couple offbeat museums, most notably the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum.

It is also right next door to the gorgeous barrier island of Assateague Island National Seashore. Assateague, with its natural beauty and wild ponies strolling the long, quiet, white sand beach, is not to be missed.

Other picturesque tourist destinations include the small historic towns around the region, particularly south of US-50. The town of St. Michaels on a neck surrounded by water, the colonial former port of Oxford, Chestertown, Stevensville on Kent Island, and Snow Hill are all great options for lazy strolls and historical sightseeing.

Ocean City has been a tourist destination for Baltimoreans and Marylanders from the Western Shore in general, thus rendering the flavor of Ocean City life unlike that of the rest of the Shore. The skyline, containing many tall hotels and condominiums, is in contrast to the rest of Delmarva. On the southern end of Ocean City is a recreational boardwalk spanning over thirty blocks and containing carnival rides and games, restaurants, bars, arcades, and clothing boutiques.

Other tourist destinations include the town of St. Michael's on a neck surrounded by water; the colonial former port of Oxford; Chestertown; and isolated Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay. North of Crisfield is Janes Island State Park, which has camping and kayaking trails through marshlands.

More info HERE.

Within (approx) 1000 km of Cleveland:
Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America, founded in 1608. The former capital of New France remains the capital of the Province of Quebec. In a region of outstanding natural beauty, Quebec City is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Explore the Fortifications of Québec, which span close to 4.6 kilometers around Old Québec. They're one of a kind this side of Mexico! Then wander over to Artillery Park, where characters in period costume will welcome you to defensive buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Round off your trip by learning all about Jacques Cartier's first winter in Québec City in 1535 and the history of the Jesuits at Cartier-Brébeuf Park.

A key part of the city's fortifications, the star-shaped Citadel showcases Québec's military history. The Royal 22e Régiment museum (housed in a 1750 powder magazine and a military prison dating back to 1842), the summer military ceremonies (changing of the guard, firing of the cannon), and the Governor General of Canada's official residence are all worth seeing.

Discover Québec City's military heritage!
Plains of Abraham Battlefields Park is not only one of the world's finest city parks, it is also a lasting reminder of the site's storied past. Visit Martello Tower 1 to learn all about feats of military engineering or take part in an exciting murder mystery dinner at Martello Tower 2.

Early August is the time to be whisked back to the days of New France in the authentic surroundings of Old Québec during the "New France Festival". Costumed parades, street entertainment, shows, plays, historical reenactments, and public markets provide a window onto bygone days at this exciting historic festival!

More info HERE.

PBS documentary on Stonewall Riots in New York

Watch the full episode. See more American Experience.

Gay Games IV were part of the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. These events launched an assertive movement by LGBT men and women to defend their rights. US public broadcasting station WGBH in Boston has produced a new documentary on Stonewall in their "American Experience" series. You can view the first chapter above, and the whole film, along with resource documentation and transcript, on their website HERE.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

17 May 2011 / IDAHO in New York City

What are you planning for the International Day Against HOmophobia? Write us at blog@gaygames.org to let us know!

Study on closeted American college football players

From a report on Inside Higher Ed, the free daily news website for people who work in higher education, on a study on former US university football players:

Although the former players no longer purport to be straight, they all insisted on anonymity for the study because they didn’t want their teams to find out they’d been gay. Those interviews, along with the fair amount of past research Mrozek analyzed for this study, make clear that not only have non-straight football players faced disturbing discrimination from teammates and even coaches because of the hypermasculine nature of the sport, they’ve also feared that coming out would alienate fans and others on the team, and jeopardize their shot at being drafted at the professional level.

But when players were found out, they could become targets. One former student who witnessed a couple of people being outed said that when his team found out a player was gay, “they became like a pariah; they had to be gotten rid of.” In an interview with Mrozek, he described how this drove one player to self-destruction. “Other members of the team found out, and what they basically did, they just started beating the crap out of him whenever they could catch him alone,” he said. “He was so upset about it he ended up – he was actually found somewhere outside of town – because he didn’t want to play football and he didn’t want to tell his parents and, I know it was deliberate…. He mangled up his legs so that he couldn’t play.”

Read the article in full HERE.

22 May 2011 / Paris Tournament spins off women's multisport events

On 22 May, a few weeks before the TIP Paris International Tournament, will take place a sister event, the Sous le Short des Filles multisport tournament for women.

The event was launched with success at last year's TIP, and this year has been spun off to allow more women to participate. Participants will compete in all three sports on offer: handball, basketball, and indoor football.

A welcome party and accreditation will take place on Friday 20 May, with all sports taking place on Sunday 22 May. Registration, including continental breakfast and lunch on Sunday, is only 10 euros, to allow as many women as possible to participate.

The goal is to play sport together, to provide mutual support between sports, and to discover new activities in a friendly environment.

All women are welcome and can register HERE.

Gay and straight athletes on cover of Dutch magazine

From Outsports:

L’HOMO, a special edition of the Dutch women’s magazine Linda, features seven shirtless athletes on its cover in an issue dealing with gays in sports. The catch is that only two of the athletes are gay, with the rest showing their support for the subject. The athletes show a lot of skin in the magazine and in backstage videos.

The out athletes are gymnast Jeffrey Wammes and race car driver Mike Verschuur.

Read more, and find the pertinent links HERE.

Human Rights Campaign and Compete Magazine support Ben Cohen's US tour

From Compete:

As one of the sponsors of the Ben Cohen American Acceptance Tour ("Stand Up Against Homophobia and Bullying"), Compete Sports Media is happy to report some new sponsors as well---HRC and David von Storch of Washington, D.C.

According to "Team Ben" : "David's company is opening a brand new $4 million, 7500 square foot restaurant named 901, and has offered his sexy new restaurant for a two tiered VIP event on Wednesday night, May 25th. We expect close to 200 guests in attendance. This is incredibly generous, and to quote David after he learned more about our tour: ' This is very compelling and I fully support your effortsl. We would be delighted to play a significant role in helping Ben and his team achieve success in spreading this important message.'"

In addition, Ben Cohen will be writing entries for a blog hosted by Compete:

Hello Everyone!

Thank you to Compete Sports Media for teaming up with us so that I can bring you all the news about my first ever Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour.

Many people ask me how I started on my quest to stand up against bullying and work alongside my friends in the gay community to stand up for love and equality. When I think about this question I find it difficult to answer. The reality is that it just felt right. I believe if you are privileged to have a 'voice', you should use it to make a difference, and that is exactly what I am doing.

Through my blog on Compete Network I will be keeping you up to date with how the tour is going and also I'll let you into a few behind the scenes secrets as well. We'll have a bit of fun.

It will also be an opportunity to highlight some things that we as a team are learning along the way.

ben-cohen-april25As a straight man I had no idea how the thoughtless, cruel actions of others were destroying the lives of so many in the LGBT community. It was something that had not crossed my radar. Then when I started to get to know some of my gay friends and colleagues and we began to receive emails
and messages telling is stories of bullying and harassment, I realised what was going on, and even more importantly, I knew I had to do something about it.

Our tour is about bringing awareness to everyone on this planet. Through every communication method possible, we will be asking people from all walks of life to stand up with us against the bullies. Never has the saying 'together we are stronger' been more appropriate.

So this is my first 'Ben Cohen shout out' asking you to join the team and spread the word. As we prepare to take the tour on the road, think how you can get involved and let's go out there and make a difference.

Until next time, best wishes. Ben.

Some guests of interest at wedding of William Mountbatten-Windsor and Kate Middleton

The upcoming wedding to be held at Westminster Abbey has attracted some media attention. A few of the guests are of interest to fans of the Gay Games: Gay Games Ambassador Sir Elton John, a friend of the groom's late mother, and Gareth Thomas, who knows the groom through the Welsh national rugby team.

The Telegraph:

Royal wedding: Gay rugby star Gareth Thomas wins invitation through friendship with Prince William
Gareth Thomas, the first openly homosexual leading rugby player, has been invited to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.

Gareth Thomas, the celebrated Welsh rugby player, was delighted with the response when he "came out" as the sport's first homosexual in 2009. Now, he has received an honour of which he is equally proud: he has been invited to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.

"I'm in London to get a suit fitted," Thomas tells Mandrake at a party to launch the Nintendo 3DS. "I'm a friend of William through rugby. I'm just going to the service. I'm not nervous about it. It will be really good."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Auf Deutsch / Homosexualität im Fußball: Wie der DFB gegen Schwulenhass angeht

Ahrens & Zwanziger
From Die Zeit, an article featuring EGLSF's former representative to FARE, Tanja Walther-Ahrens:

Das Aufweichen von Homophobie, der unbegründeten Angst vor Homosexuellen, ist ein Kern der Politik des DFB. Unter Präsident Theo Zwanziger arbeitet der Verband seit fünf Jahren mit der EGLSF (European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation), den Queer Football Fanclubs, dem LSVD (Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland) und weiteren Gruppen zusammen, fördert sie bei Publikationen und Veranstaltungen.

Drei Beispiele: Zur Frauen-WM 2011 plant die DFB-Kulturstiftung, an allen neun Spielorten das Theaterstück "Seitenwechsel" aufführen zu lassen, das die Geschichte eines schwulen Fußballtrainers behandelt. Vor dem Länderspiel gegen Finnland in Hamburg im Jahr 2009 organisierte der DFB einen Runden Tisch gegen Homophobie mit anschließendem Pressegespräch. Derzeit konzipiert der Verband unter Federführung der Kulturwissenschaftlerin Tatjana Eggeling eine Broschüre mit Informationen für alle Vereine.

Zudem tritt der DFB öffentlich für seine Sache ein. Theo Zwanziger hat im Völklinger Kreis, dem Bundesverband schwuler Führungskräfte, eine Rede gehalten – erstaunlich für ein CDU-Mitglied. Auf dem Christopher-Street-Day sponsert der DFB seit drei Jahren einen Wagen.

In der DFB-Kommission Nachhaltigkeit, wo das Thema Homophobie verortet ist, verantwortet die Sonderpädagogin und EGLSF-Delegierte Tanja Walther-Ahrens den Bereich Bildung. Die Homosexuelle ist Vertraute Zwanzigers, sie schätzt sein Engagement: "Theo Zwanziger hat uns sehr viel unterstützt, zum einen durch Geld, zum anderen durch seine Aussagen und seine Präsenz. Die lesbisch-schwule Community Deutschlands ist ihm zu Dank verpflichtet."

Read in full HERE.

Cheer San Francisco on reality television competition

Our friends at Cheer SF have just been featured as instructors on a reality television competition.

"Training Rules": the "lost" interviews of male athletes

Training Rules is a remarkable film about homophobia in women's collegiate sport, focusing on Penn State basketball coach Rene Portland. But the filmmakers originally planned a broader take on the issue, and interviewed several men. Here's a selection of the interviews with people like, baseball umpire Dave Pallone, college volleyball player Jonathan Golder, author Dan Woog, and Gay Games Ambassadors Billy Bean and Esera Tuaolo,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A new view of Cleveland: aerial footage of Cleveland and surroundings

Happy Easter to our readers!

We want to extend our wishes for a very happy Easter holiday (and Passover, and spring,and anything else you may choose to be celebrating) to all our readers and friends!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter weekend sees annual Akron antiquarian book fair

Each year, the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society holds a book fair in Akron, specialized in antique books. More than 60 vendors offer rare and collectible books, maps, posters and other printed materials at the John S. Knight Convention Center.

America's National Public Radio reported on this year's edition on today's All Things Considered. You can listen to it on their website or on our player below. 

Federation of Gay Games 2011 annual meeting mini-website online

The FGG's 2011 Annual General Assembly (AGA, or Annual Meeting) will take place in Toronto.

You can find information on the AGA at the following address: :http://gaymes.info/aga2011.

In particular, you'll find links there to the excellent hotel deal we have worked out with the Host Hotel*, as well as great information about Toronto, transportation and a first draft for the schedule.

*Accommodations: The deadline to reserve a room at a discounted rate at the host hotel, a Marriott Courtyard, has been extended. The discounted rates will now expire on 15 May 2011.

10 June 2011 / IGLFA Annual Meeting, Manchester

The 2011 IGLFA House of Delegates Meeting has been called to take place at the IGLFA European Invitational Cup on Friday June 10th at 6:30PM by IGLFA President Klaus Heusslein.

More info HERE.

In italiano / Anton Hysén; "Non avrei mai fatto coming out in Italia"

From gay.it:

Giovedì 21 Aprile 2011

Il calciatore svedese, protagonista del primo coming out del mondo del calcio del suo paese, si racconta in un'intervista e spiega che non avrebbe mai rivelato la propria omosessualità in Italia.

From Il primo calciatore professionista svedese a fare coming out, Anton Hysen, si racconta in un'intervista in cui spiega che sì, anche nella civilissima Svezia, ogni tanto, dagli spalti del campo di Goteborg su cui si allena, gli arriva qualche "finocchio!", ma che non per questo si è pentito di aver rivelato la propria omosessualità. "Cos'avrò dispeciale - chiede alla giornalista del Corriere della Sera Gaia Piccardi - se tutti questi giornalisti vengono a cercarmi? Che sono gay?".

"Non ho niente da nascondere - spiega -, ho fatto coming out per poter vivere me stesso alla luce del sole. Certo vivo in Svezia, un Paese ateo e liberale, una scelta del genere in una nazione cattolica come l'Italia sarebbe stata più difficile. Ai tifosi dovrebbe interessare che sono un giocatore tecnico e non velocissimo, se mi schierano in difesa o esterno di centrocampo, e non con chi vado a letto".

Keep reading HERE.

Friday, April 22, 2011

US ice hockey team to act against homophobic abuse

From the GLAAD blog:

The Hershey Bears, top minor league affiliate of the Washington Capitals, told GLAAD this week the team would be taking steps to put a stop to anti-gay taunts from fans.

The incidents were brought to the team’s attention by Bears fan Abigail Habbert. Habbert and her partner are season ticket holders, and noticed in January that some fans were taunting opponents with anti-gay slurs, game after game. Rather than sit quietly (and really, who sits quietly at a hockey game?) Abigail spoke up. She reached out to the manager of season tickets for the Bears, who sent her complaint to the head of security for the stadium.

Despite extra security measures, and the team speaking with the parties believed to be at fault, the taunts continued. Abigail reached out to GLAAD, and this week it was discovered that the team had actually been speaking with the wrong fans. The head of stadium security told us they’ve found the actual parties responsible for night after night of homophobic slurs being shouted. He also agreed to implement a similar system to what the New York Yankees did last year, after we brought a similar situation to their attention. Hershey Entertainment Complex Security Director Jason White told us his crew will soon be working on an announcement that will play during games, warning fans that discriminatory conduct or language will not be tolerated.

The way LGBT acceptance is seen throughout the sports landscape is changing rapidly, and for the better. I was struck during my conversations with White about how he kept referring to a need to keep Bears’ games “family friendly,” and why clamping down on homophobic attitudes would help him acheive this goal. The Hershey Bears understand that there is no place in sports for anti-gay attitudes, and should be a model for other teams to follow.

We cannot thank Abigail enough for standing up. It was her efforts in speaking to team and stadium officials that led to this victory, and it’s thanks to her that thousands of her fellow Bears fans will be able to enjoy games for years to come, without having to endure a constant onslaught of anti-gay slurs. We also thank the Bears and Hershey Entertainment Complex officials for recognizing the importance of putting a stop to this type of behavior, and for having taken steps to correct it long before GLAAD became involved – and we wish the Bears luck in the AHL division semi-finals, which begin tomorrow night!