Typically there are only a small number of kinds of opponents to the Gay Games and to LGBT sport. Among the most disturbing are those in our community (almost always gay men) who complain about a “gay-only” event, despite the fact that the Gay Games are open to all. Oddly enough, they often react this way in comments on gay websites. Apparently it’s OK to have a gay website, but not a gay-friendly sporting event.
But there are a few outliers among the opponents who don’t fit in a box. Paris Foot Gay is one of them. A hybrid of an advocacy group and a football club, it has had success in raising awareness about homophobia in football. To carry out its mission, the advocacy wing receives substantial support, in particular from governments, despite questions about the nature of the organization and the use of its funds. (more…)
As I write this, the Olympic flame, which managed to get from Olympia, Greece, to Moscow just fine, has gone out twice since arriving in Russia on Sunday afternoon, including a first flame out in the Kremlin itself.
Part of the show is the Olympic Charter, chock full of fine principles. We gay folk think particularly of Principle 6, which bans discrimination on the basis of all sorts of things, but not sexual orientation. At the Federation of Gay Games, of which I’m a vice president, we’ve been concerned about this principle since before 2010, when we launched our Principle 5 Campaign. (The numbering changed with the addition of a new Principle 5, proclaiming the Olympic movement’s freedom from national governments, whether democracies or dictatorships. So now discrimination is demoted to sixth place. Make of that what you will.)
I write to you from Cleveland, Ohio, which, with Akron, will host the 2014 Gay Games next August. I’m a member of the Board of the Federation of Gay Games (FGG), here with 20 other Board members and more than 50 delegates from our member organisations for our Annual General Assembly.
The first half of our meeting will be devoted to the choice of the host for the 2018 Gay Games, which will be the tenth edition of the world’s largest sport and culture festival open to all, with no requirements other than being age 18 and over and paying the registration fee.
The final decision is due to be announced tomorrow.
Joining us will be the delegations from Limerick, London, and Paris, the three cities shortlisted as finalist by our Assembly last June. The delegations will include Olympic fencing medalist Laura Flessel and French Minister for Sport Valerie Fourneyron. The presence of such high profile personalities is a sign of the perception of the impact hosting the Gay Games can have for a city. (more…)