FGG Scholarship Program

Thanks to some robust fundraising and a generous scholarship program, hundreds from highly underserved countries and communities have been brought to the Gay Games to witness “participation, inclusion, and personal best™” first-hand and see the collective power of those values.


FGG Scholarship Program

Thanks to some robust fundraising and a generous scholarship program, hundreds from highly underserved countries and communities have been brought to the Gay Games to witness “participation, inclusion, and personal best™” first-hand and see the collective power of those values.

As the world’s largest sports and cultural event open to all, the Gay Games have created and nurtured a movement that has become among the greatest forces for community empowerment and social change.

Since 1998, Gay Games Scholarships have been awarded to nearly 800 underfunded individuals from 70 countries, providing a life-changing week of acceptance and encouragement that the recipients would never have experienced otherwise.  

Help the Federation of Gay Games "Change the World" by helping send athletes and artists from all over the world to Paris 2018 - Gay Games 10! Join us in our cause of promoting equality in sport and culture, since 1982!

The FGG is grateful for 35 years of support from thousands around the globe, as well as the historic support from Hillary Clinton andBarack Obama.

Throughout the year The Federation runs a number of campaigns to raise funds for the FGG Scholarship Program. Sign up to keep up to date with these campaigns and more on how you can get involved with FGG and help send athletes from around the world to the Games.

Donate NOW!


The Federation of Gay Games “Five for 10”.

Over the coming months and as part of our Scholarship fund raising activities, we will deliver to you five empowering and personal stories from Gay Games participants and previous scholarship recipients to help raise money for the Federation’s Gay Games 10 Scholarship Fund.

Since 1998, The Federation of Gay Games Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly 800 scholarships to underfunded recipients from 70 countries around the world, enabling them to attend the Gay Games and providing a life-changing week of acceptance and encouragement.

Your donations enable recipients from the LGBTI+ community, in countries where the daily struggle for equality is harsh and often dangerous, to experience “participation, inclusion and personal best™ first-hand and see the collective power of those values.

Please enjoy these “Five for 10” stories and help The Federation of Gay Games “Change the World” by helping send athletes and artists from all over the world to Paris 2018 – Gay Games 10. 


"Most gay people in South Africa, especially black butch lesbians, are discriminated against in the work place. I’ve lost friends through unspeakable hate crimes. Some have survived, but left with gruesome and permanent physical, psychological and emotional damage.

The reason we formed KZN LGBT Recreation in 2009 was to fight against homophobic injustices and provide a safe space for the LGBT+ community, the victims, and those who live in fear.

It was 2002. I had never been outside of South Africa and was still in the closet. I received a scholarship to compete in Track & Field Athletics at Gay Games VI: Sydney 2002. It was both awesome and overwhelming at the same time. After years of boycotts and exclusion, South Africans were still a novelty at international sporting events as our fledgling democracy recovered from apartheid. I medalled 7 times in Sydney: 2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze. Without the scholarship, it wouldn't have been possible.

I received another scholarship to compete at Gay Games VII: Chicago 2006. I was at the peak of my athletic performance and career, finishing with 7 gold medals. I was on the cover of the Windy City Times with Cyndi Lauper and became a member of the FGG Assembly, sitting on the Sports Committee. I had lost my fear of the closet by then, and though not all of the media coverage back home was positive, it was a platform from which to broadcast a public message of hope and acceptance for the LGBT+ community and the country.

At Gay Games VIII: Cologne 2010, I was asked to be a flagbearer of the FGG flag in the Opening Ceremony. I won 7 medals in Cologne and 5 more at Gay Games 9: Cleveland + Akron 2014.

I've gone on to co-found the Afro Games, in conjunction and with the support of the Pietermaritzburg Gay Network, the Durban Gay Centre, KwaZulu-Natal Gay & Lesbian Tourism (KZNGALTA), SameLove and the Durban LGBT Film Festival.

The concept of the AfroGames started in 2015. We tried to establish an event in 2016, but it was postponed until December 2018 due to lack of available resources.

But it all started with the scholarship to Gay Games VI: Sydney 2002. It changed my life and left a lasting impact and legacy on LGBT+ life in South Africa. Thank you FGG!".

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JEFF SOUSA, CDG BRASILFlorianopolis, Brasil

"I always loved sports and health but I was painfully shy. During university, where I received my degree in physical education, I knew I was attracted to other men. But I wasn’t being transparent; I wasn’t being ‘me’ at home, at work and with my friends.

I decided to search the Internet for non-government organizations and LGBT+ sports. I found two organizations: CDG Brasil, and the Federation of Gay Games. I realized in that moment there are more people working for a better place and environment to LGBT+ athletes, artists and advocates.

Through their scholarship program, I was able to make a presentation at the Federation's 2014 "Building Bridges” symposium, and participate in Volleyball at Gay Games 9 in Cleveland that summer. My team captured a gold medal. When I returned, I came out to my family, and also came out on Brasil national television in Brasil. Through my work with CDG Brasil, with the support of the FGG, we produced Rio 2016 Olympic Pride House and a multisport festival in conjunction with Sao Paulo Pride 2017. And in October 2017, I became the first Latin American member of the FGG Board of Directors.

The Gay Games helped me to grow to be a man: an out and proud Gay man, a human being. And I am an out and proud professional physical education teacher who provides events and activities through my work with CDG Brasil and now, the FGG.

I believe in a better world where the differences about your gender or orientation aren’t a problem. Every day I still need to fight for my life, for my privacy and personal space. The Gay Games help me to see the world every day with open eyes, and how can I achieve completeness in my work and my life".

         Donate NOW!

Leigh-Ann Naidoo, 

2004 Olympian & Gay Games Ambassador

Leigh-Ann Naidoo tells us how important the scholarship program was to her and other recipients in the video below.


As we continue sharing our series of powerful personal stories this holiday season from scholarship recipients and participants who have been positively and profoundly affected by support received through the Federation Of Gay Games, we are pleased to announce that all Scholarship Program donations in December will be matched by a gift from a major benefactor. 

That’s TWICE the life-changing impact delivered to athletes and artists from around the world that need your help!


“My Gay Games Story”
Paul Oostenbrug, Honorary Life Member, FGG and Co-Chair of the FGG’s Scholarship Committee.

"One of the highlights of my many years of involvement in the Gay Games movement was witnessing the announcement in a room full of cheering scholarship recipients at the Gay Games VI in Chicago that a group of South African futbol team members had received last-minute, emergency visas and were on their way from Johannesburg to be with them.

I have had so many life-changing experiences since I began competing as a runner at the New York City at Gay Games IV in 1994. That year, and as part of the closing ceremonies, I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of stepping onto the outfield at Yankee Stadium. Amazingly, in 2006, I entered another iconic stadium, leading 2000+ members of Team Chicago at Soldier Field, where I experienced the ultimate rush of pride and solidarity in front of thousands of spectators, including my supportive parents who were cheering me on on the field.

I remain committed to the Federation Of Gay Games movement to this day as an Honorary Life Member and Co-Chair of the FGG’s Scholarship Committee. The FGG works tirelessly in advance of every quadrennial Gay Games event to raise funds to get as many disadvantaged athletes and artists to the Games as possible. 

We depend entirely on the generosity and support of individual donors like you to make this happen. Click on the link above to see how far every dollar donated can go in bringing Scholarship applicants from all parts of the world to Paris 2018 for the experience of a lifetime!"

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