Federation of Gay Games News

Here you will find all the latest news from The Federation of Gay Games and on sport and culture in our community. 

If you have any news you would like to include or have any media enquiries please contact the relevant person on our contact page.

You can also check out the history of the Gay Games in photos and videos by visiting our massive online archives HERE.

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  • 21 Nov 2020 10:22 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    The GGHK team are pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Lam as co-chair of Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 (GGHK). Lisa joined the GGHK management team in November 2018 as General Counsel. In addition to building up and managing the GGHK legal function working closely with internal team and external partners, Lisa has been working closely with Dennis Philipse, Co-Chair GGHK to engage with key government and community partners working hand in hand to produce a successful Gay Games in November 2022.


    Lisa Lam brings extensive leadership and legal experience to this role. She currently serves as Managing Consultant – Founder and Partner of Imagine 3 Consultants which provides bespoke legal solutions to innovative financial businesses. She has previously served in senior legal leadership roles in Alipay and Western Union. Lisa will continue to serve as General Counsel and as a member of the GGHK Management team.

    Lisa succeeds Sabrina Yang, who will step down for now from the management team to dedicate time to her new job. The GGHK team thanks Sabrina for her significant  contributions to the organization. Sabrina remains a member of the GGHK2022 team of volunteers.

    Please join us in welcoming Lisa in her new role!

  • 11 Oct 2020 12:08 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA, 11 October 2020

    The Federation of Gay Games is both shocked and appalled by World Rugby’s decision to ban transgender women from competing in the sport. 

    According to the press release, World Rugby convened cross-functional experts from the trans, player, medical, social and legal communities to assess the impact of this inclusion from many angles, but unfortunately the ban has been brought in, despite huge push back from around the world after the policy documents were leaked. 

    The Federation of Gay Games firmly believes in the power of sport to unite and to change lives, and the continued marginalization of sections of society prevents them from experiencing true inclusion. This decision from World Rugby has set a precedent for other world level governing bodies, and for national rugby unions around the World. This policy could have a global impact at a participation level to ban trans women from playing rugby, and this has to be recognized and prevented.

    Moreover, World Rugby informed all their Member Unions that there would be a Council vote on this topic in November. A governing body is answerable to its members and this decision goes against the rules of adherence and collaboration that a true consultative process requires. 

    The Federation of Gay Games condemns this decision by World Rugby, and refuses to work with any organization that places any kind of restrictions of any member of the LGBTQ+ community to take part in any of their initiatives.

    The Gay Games is devoted to Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™, and as a result, the FGG’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee has developed a gender inclusion policy to provide everyone a safe and inclusive space to participate in their sport or cultural event at the Gay Games in the gender with which they identify. 

    We take huge pride in being able to support the entire LGBTQ+ global community to take part in the Gay Games whatever their sex or gender identify might be, or any other characteristic.

    Other sports teams and organizations are showing progressive intention behind their belief to be fully inclusive. We applaud the San Diego Loyal soccer team for taking stands against racial and homophobic abuse directed against their players, and to the NFL for making a video for National Coming Out Day that features gay and bi former players with current players vocalizing their support.

    These organizations, as much as individuals, are role models that are driving positive growth, and world level governing bodies of sport should be doing the same, not banning groups of people from taking part. 

    There is no place for any kind of homophobia, biphobia, lesbophobia or transphobia in sport. 

    Request to show your support

    Rugby For All is running a campaign and we encourage all to support and contribute. The details of the campaign are below:

    There are two options to participate in the social media campaign. On October 15, post a photo of you holding a statement about a time you’ve felt unsafe as a woman in sport OR posting a video using the template. 

    Option 1 (PHOTO):

    Have someone take a picture of you holding your statement. Make sure the writing is large and legible. (See below for some sample reasons.) Tag us if you can: IG: @rugbyforall.co; Twitter: @RugbyForAll; TikTok: @rugbyforall.co 

    Write:

    As a woman in sport, I’ve felt unsafe when:

    • My team was forced to use a rusty scrum sled because that’s all we had.

    • My team played a season without a coach because we couldn’t afford it.

    • Members of our club made sexist/homophobic/racist comments during team events.

    • I was sexually harassed by another member of our club.

    • My right to play my sport was questioned because of the way I look.I found out my coach was sleeping with one of my teammates.

    • We had an inexperienced ref who lost control of the match. 

    Here is the updated post copy (please post this with your photo AND/OR video on October 15.

    INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK

    @WorldRugby has banned trans women on the basis of “safety” without conclusive evidence. This makes the 2021@rugbyworldcup the first openly anti-trans world sporting event.

    This is not inclusivity. This is not solidarity. This is not rugby.

    As women in sport, there are many times we’ve felt unsafe, but sharing the pitch with trans women is not one of them. Join @rugbyforall.coand share a time you felt unsafe as a woman in sport to tell @worldrugby to focus on the things that undoubtedly harm women’s sport, let trans women play, and keep #RugbyForAll. #TackleTransphobia #LetUsPlay #RugbyParaTodeswww.rugbyforall.co

    TWITTER

    @WorldRugby has banned trans women b/c of “safety” w/o conclusive evidence. As women in sport, there are times we’ve felt unsafe, but sharing the field w/ trans women is not one of them. Join @rugbyforall, share your story, and tell WR to keep #RugbyForAll. #TackleTransphobia

    Option 2 (VIDEO):

    Share a 30-second (or less) story of a time when you’ve been made to feel unsafe as a woman in sport.

    1. Use the video template below with your teammates or by yourself. Make it personal using your own experiences and words.

    2. Everyone who participates will be asked to post on October 15. 

    Script template:

    “As a women’s [insert sport] player, I’ve felt unsafe when [reason 1], when [reason 2], and when [reason 3]. I’ve felt unsafe when [reason 4]. 

    But I have never felt unsafe sharing the pitch with trans women. I/We call on World Rugby to focus on the things that undoubtedly harm women’s rugby and keep Rugby For All.”

    Shooting notes:

    Use vertical video, holding phone up and down

    Make sure light source is in front of you, natural light is best

    Minimize background noise

    Make it your own, put it into your own words

    Visuals: solo or group, video (speaking to camera or holding written reason)

    Use the following tags if you can: IG: @rugbyforall.co; Twitter: @RugbyForAll; TikTok: @rugbyforall.co

    It’s time World Rugby listened to the rugby community. Let’s be loud and proud for our trans teammates. Please plan to release your post on October 15. (If you can’t do the 15th, any time after would still work.)  Thank you for speaking up and helping to keep #RugbyForAll.

    *******

    About the Federation of Gay Games

    The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, as a way to empower thousands of LGBTQ+ athletes and artists through sport, culture, and fellowship. It was first held in San Francisco in 1982. Subsequent Gay Games were held in San Francisco (1986), Vancouver (1990), New York (1994), Amsterdam (1998), Sydney (2002), Chicago (2006), Cologne (2010), Cleveland+Akron (2014), and Paris (2018). Gay Games 11 will be held in Hong Kong in 2022. Visit www.gaygameshk2022.com for more information.

  • 10 Oct 2020 18:42 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)


    The National Football League (USA professional football) is celebrating National Coming Out Month and Day as never before. On Sunday, 11 October (National Coming Out Day), the NFL will air an inspirational video showing star players such as Rob Gronkowski and DeAndre Hopkins voicing their support for any gay or bi teammate who comes out.


    In the video, which will initially air during Sunday’s early-game Fox telecasts, former players Ryan O’Callahan, Jeff Rohrer, RK Russell and Wade Davis, all of who came out as gay or bi after retiring, begin by saying: “To all current players who are thinking of coming out, when you are ready, so are we.”

    The video then cuts to a string of NFL players responding, “I support you, I got you, we got you, we support you, it takes all of us, and you deserve to be all you.”

    To read more about the story, visit Outsports.com.

    To see the primary video, click HERE. You will also see 11 other videos produced by the NFL for National Coming Out Month, including one that focuses on Gay Games Ambassador Esera Tuaolo.

    The Federation of Gay Games congratulates the NFL on taking these bold steps to stand in support of equality in sports.

  • 08 Oct 2020 19:32 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)


    Join the next Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 Outreach Webinar!


    The specific focus of this Webinar is "Women in Sports" with 3 women who understand the strengths and challenges that sports participation brings in their lives.

    Date: Thursday 15 October 7 PM Hong Kong time (7 AM New York time, 12 PM London time, 10 PM Sydney time).

    Our guest speakers are:

    • Victoria Campos: One of Asia’s best female CrossFit athletes
    • Alicia Lui: Founder of Women In Sports Empowered Hong Kong (WISE HK)
    • Jackie Vierow: Gay Games Hong Kong Sports Director

    Please register here to join the webinar: http://ow.ly/w2RH50BN1wq

    Buy #GGHK merchandise or get involved NOW as donor, fundraiser, sponsor, volunteer, sign up for our newsletter here!

    http://ow.ly/oQm050BN1wp

    #GGHK #gghk2022 #GayGamesHK2022 #UnityInDiversity #GayGames #LGBTQ # # ️‍ #gay #lesbian #bisexual #transgender #queer #loveislove #pride #lgbtcommunity #diversity #sports #lgbtpride #rainbowflag #gaysport #gaystagram #gaywomen #lqueerart #arts #culture #hongkong #discoverhongkong #brandhongkong #asiasworldcity

  • 05 Oct 2020 14:52 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Photo courtesy of The Guardian

    On Wednesday September 30, 2020, US professional soccer team San Diego Loyal walked off the pitch after halftime of its match against Phoenix Rising to take a stand against alleged homophobic abuse against one of its players, openly gay Collin Martin. With this walk-off, Loyal forfeited the match (they were winning 3 - 1 at the time) and their chances of reaching playoffs were dashed.

    This incident happened one week after the Loyal’s Elijah Martin endured a racial slur by LA Galaxy’s, Omar Ontiveros. Omar Ontiveros was given a seven-game suspension by the USL Championship and released by the club.

    The FGG applauds Loyal and its head coach and co-owner, Landon Donovan, for standing by these decisions, sacrificing a chance at the playoffs, but not sacrificing their character or values of decency, kindness, acceptance, and respect. Standing up against homophobia and racial bias is what allies and heroes are made of. We need, now more than ever, role models such as these.

    Sport is a great force that can unite us and divide us at the same time. At FGG, we aim to promote the unity factor in sport and culture to eliminate any type of bias in order to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all participants.

    There is no place for bias in sport.


    NOTE: HERE and HERE are relevant videos regarding this situation, including interviews with Collin Martin and Landon Donovan. There is also this excellent article from SportsIllustrated.com

  • 29 Aug 2020 08:37 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    17 de Agosto del 2020

    Al World Rugby Transgender Working Group,

    La Federación de Gay Games entiende que el World Rugby está proponiendo prohibir a todas las mujeres trans de jugar en competencias de nivel mundial en el rugby.

    Los Titanes Rugby Club en Chile ha traído este asunto a nuestra atención por primera vez, y queremos expresar firmemente nuestra posición de apoyo a la inclusión trans, junto con la comunidad deportiva LGBTQ + global.

    Los principios fundamentales de la FGG son “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best” (participación, inclusión y mejor marca personal). Estos principios nos ayudan a gobernar nuestras operaciones del día-a-día y tener una propuesta que excluya a las mujeres trans de los equipos de rugby femenino va en contra de estos principios.

    Su propuesta no contiene pruebas suficientes para promover una prohibición general de todas las jugadoras trans. Por supuesto, existen diferencias entre los cuerpos masculinos y femeninos y sus habilidades asociadas, pero esto debe considerarse como individuo.

    Las comparaciones realizadas a lo largo de sus documentos se basan en evaluaciones de personas "típicas", lo cual es insuficiente e injusto para sacar conclusiones.

    Es bueno que la política reconozca los riesgos involucrados desde la perspectiva de un jugador individual, pero esto debe ir más allá. Por ejemplo, se debe considerar cuidadosamente la necesidad de que un hombre trans se mueva directamente a la competencia masculina tan pronto como comience su transición.

    Por mucho que se trate de una decisión sobre las competiciones de rugby de élite a un nivel mundial, establecerá un presidente importante para todos los demás órganos de gobierno a nivel mundial y, en última instancia, todos los sindicatos miembros buscarán adoptar esta postura. Eso significa que esta política tiene el potencial real de tener un impacto global a nivel de participación para prohibir que las mujeres trans jueguen, y esto debe ser reconocido y considerado de manera apropiada.

    Por lo tanto, imploramos a World Rugby Group que revise su política nuevamente y que no avance con su propuesta de prohibir el juego a todas las mujeres trans.

    El deporte debe provenir primero de un lugar de inclusión y luego encontrar las razones adecuadas para excluirlo si es necesario.

    Atentamente,

    William F. McManus

    Vicepresidente - Member Services

    Federation of Gay Games

  • 24 Aug 2020 18:37 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    The AIDS Memorial Quilt is an enormous memorial to celebrate the lives of people who have died of AIDS-related causes. Comprising 48,000 individual panels and weighing an estimated 54 tons, it is the largest piece of community folk art in the world as of 2020.


    The National AIDS Memorial has just announced, through a partnership with the AIDS Quilt Touch team, that all 48,000 panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt may now be experienced via an interactive search tool. People anywhere in the world can experience the beauty of the Quilt and witness the love and stories stitched into each panel.

    To use this amazing new search tool, click HERE. For example, a search of Gay Games founder Tom Waddell turned up 12 individual panels featuring his name.


    If you need a guide to this tool, please see this pdf.

    The history of the Gay Games and the AIDS Memorial Quilt are closely intertwined. There are hundreds of Gay Games participants who are memorialized on these panels. Also, at every Gay Games, the International Rainbow Memorial Relay is held in their honor, and a partial selection of panels from the Quilt are displayed in a high-visibility space. As evidence, here are a few photos showing this from the previous three Gay Games events in 2010, 2014, and 2018.

      
    Gay Games X, Paris, France, 2018



    Gay Games IX, Cleveland, Ohio, 2014



    Gay Games VIII, Cologne, Germany, 2010

  • 20 Aug 2020 12:30 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Reprinted from PinkNews

    A thousand miles lie between the start of the UK’s first-ever Tour de Trans and the finish line.


    Following one of the most iconic cycle routes in Britain, from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland, the Tour de Trans will ride the entire length of the UK, from the southernmost to the northernmost tip. The event takes place between 13 - 25 August.

    The challenging route, known as LEJOG, is attempted by thousands of people each year. The latest people to set off from Land’s End are a non-binary person, Pateon McGuire, and their 17-year-old son, Callum.

    Billing their ride as the Tour de Trans, the duo are fundraising for trans-support charity Chrysalis and want to use the trip to raise awareness about the issues transgender people face, as well as promoting inclusivity in sport.


    To read the complete article, including profiles of several Tour de Trans participants, click HERE.

  • 20 Aug 2020 12:16 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    The following letter was sent on 17 August from Federation of Gay Games Vice President of Member Services to World Rugby regarding their proposed new anti- trans rules.


    17 August, 2020

    To the World Rugby Transgender Working Group,

    The Federation of Gay Games understands that World Rugby is proposing to ban all trans women from playing rugby in world level competitions.

    The Titanes Rugby Club in Chile first brought this matter to our attention, and we wish to firmly express our position as standing in support of trans inclusion, along with the wider global LGBTQ+ sporting community.

    The Federation of Gay Games’ guiding principles are “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best.” These principles help us govern our day to day operations and having a proposal excluding trans women from women’s rugby teams goes against these principles.

    Your proposal does not contain sufficient evidence to promote a global blanket ban of all trans female players. Of course, there are differences between male and female bodies and their associated abilities, but this absolutely has to be considered on an individual basis.

    The comparisons made throughout your papers are based on assessments of “typical” people, which is totally insufficient and unfair to draw conclusions from at this level.

    It is good that the policy recognises the risks involved from an individual player's perspective, but this needs to go further still. For example, there needs to be careful consideration requiring a trans man to move straight into men's competition as soon as they start their transition.

    As much as this is a decision about rugby competitions at an elite global level, it will set an important precedent for all other world level governing bodies, and ultimately all your member unions will look to adopt this stance. That means that this policy has the very real potential to have a global impact at a participation level to ban trans women from playing, and this has to be recognised and considered appropriately.

    Therefore, we implore World Rugby Group to review their policy again and not to move forward with their proposal to ban all trans women from playing.

    Sport must come from a place of inclusion first, and then find appropriate reasons to exclude if necessary.

    Sincerely,

    William F. McManus

    Vice President-Member Services

    Federation of Gay Games

  • 19 Aug 2020 10:23 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Make shopping your new cardio as you look forward to participating in Gay Games 11 2022 in Hong Kong.

                    

    Shop now at the the Official GGHK2022 online store for logo T-Shirts, Tank Tops, Towels in various sizes, and cool Rainbow Masks. More items will be coming soon to this store. Everything has been designed with love in-house, and shipping around the world is available.

    Click HERE to visit the store and start your shopping adventure.

    Special "Store Opening" introductory offer: Shipping will be free on all orders for T-Shirts and Tank Tops!

    Note: Due to CoViD-19, certain destinations may experience shipping delays or other disruptions. Please get the latest news and updates for your region before completing your order. Thank you for your understanding.

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