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. 

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  • 30 Jun 2018 7:27 PM | Anonymous

    History was made Friday morning (29 June) when (pro soccer player) Minnesota United FC midfielder Collin Martin came out in a tweet on his personal Twitter account.

    Two articles reprinted from Outsports.com
    Articles by Jeremy Brener and Cyd Zeigler



    Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

    By Jeremy Brener June 29, 2018 11:07am PDT

    The announcement comes just hours before Minnesota United hosts their Pride Night tonight against FC Dallas.


    Martin is the second openly gay player in Major League Soccer’s history with the first being Robbie Rogers back in 2013.

    Martin has been in Major League Soccer for the past six seasons and has spent the last two seasons with Minnesota United after spending his first four with D.C. United.

    Currently, Martin is now the only openly gay male active player in any major pro sports league in the United States. Hopefully his coming out will now inspire others to do the same. In 2018, the more visibility, the better.

    Congratulations to Collin on coming out and thank you for your visibility and courage to #BeTrue.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    AND THEN THERE WAS ONE

    MLS’ Collin Martin shows us all the true heart of sports: acceptance and love.

    By Cyd Zeigler  Jun 29, 2018, 9:55am PDT

    American men’s pro sports again have an openly gay athlete.

    Collin Martin, a midfielder with Minnesota United, has come out publicly as gay in celebration of his club’s Pride Night later today. In doing so, Martin has shone a very bright light on the reality of acceptance in men’s pro sports.


    Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

    When he takes the field tonight, Martin will be only the third publicly out gay man to play in a major pro sports regular season game in North America, following Jason Collins and Robbie Rogers.

    In the coming days and week’s we’ll get to know this young man better. We’ll get to know him in a way he’s never let the public — fans and the media — see him.

    Right now, what stands out about his statement, along with the beautiful photograph of him literally wrapping himself in a rainbow flag for Pride month, is what it says about the state of sports today and the courage of one man to step into the light.

    Martin’s coming out will both change the sports world and shine a light on just how far we’ve come.

    His age and place in his career are huge parts of the conversation. This isn’t a retired athlete, or someone at the end of his career. Like Rogers, and the NFL’s Michael Sam, Martin has potentially years of playing days left ahead of him. He started seven matches for the United last season and three so far this year.

    The young man’s courage is apparent, but just as newsworthy is his unwavering confidence in his club, teammates, coaches, fans and the league to absorb this news, celebrate it, and quickly move on.

    “I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer,” Martin said in a statement, “and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier.”

    Pro sports teams and leagues across America are ready to accept gay athletes.

    He went on to thank his teammates for their support, and to encourage other professional athletes to see what he has found: Pro sports teams and leagues across America are ready to accept gay athletes.

    This part of his story, focusing on the broad acceptance in sports today, may be the most lasting part of his announcement.

    While many continue to falsely paint the sports world as unwelcoming to LGBTQ people, and in particular gay men, who come out, we know that acceptance across leagues and locker rooms is widespread.

    Martin’s coming out, and his very clear statement of league-wide support, shines a very bright light on that.

    While soccer around the world (and in patches here in the United States) deals with outward homophobia, particularly from fans, the sport has also given rise to a surprising number of trailblazers. Justin Fashanu stunned the sport when he came out publicly in 1990. Robbie Rogers was the first out man to play in one of America’s Big Five sports in 2013, after the LA Galaxy had traded the league’s leading scorer to get him. Others like Anton Hysen and Ryan Atkin have continued the conversation in men’s professional soccer.

    Now Martin adds another chapter to the sport’s legacy in advancing the conversation of acceptance in men’s pro sports.

    With Martin’s announcement, now two of the three men to publicly come out while on a regular-season roster in North America have been in Major League Soccer. The league is clearly doing something right in conveying to its clubs and players that the front office offers unwavering support to athletes who will come out. This is to the credit of people across the league.

    Every time an athlete comes out, people ask if “the dam has broken,” and if we’ll now see a flood of athletes come out. No, we won’t. Coming out is a personal decision, and no one moment will suddenly open the flood gates for gay athletes to come out.

    Yet Martin’s courage will inspire others, whether they are in high school or pro sports. His statement of support from across the sport will open people’s eyes. It’s no longer a question of “if” more gay athletes will come out, but “when.”

    Either way, we’re again at a place where no one can say it’s impossible to be out and gay in men’s pro sports. We have Martin to thank for that.

  • 29 Jun 2018 8:37 PM | Anonymous

    On 21 June, 2018, the San Francisco Giants professional baseball team held their 16th Annual LGBT Night Game. Three Gay Games loyalists were honored.


    Left to right: Faham Zakariaei (S.F. Giants), Jim Hahn (bowling), Seth Shapiro (swimming), Rick Thoman (track & field)

    In addition to the Giants winning the game, the evening featured several notable highlights:

    - A pre-game performance on the field by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.

    - The National Anthem sung beautifully by transgender opera singer Breanna Sinclaire.

    - An in-game scoreboard salute to the local artists and athletes going to Paris in August for Gay Games 10.

    One of the biggest highlights took place just before the game started. Three local members of an exclusive club were honored and given the chance to yell out "Play Ball" on the field. These three men are among a very small group of people who have participated in all 9 editions of the Gay Games since 1982 (and they're all going to Paris in August for Gay Games 10).

    Honored at this baseball game were:

    Jim Hahn (bowling)
    Seth Shapiro (swimming)
    Rick Thoman (track & field)

    It was a great moment. Check out the video HERE to see their performance:

  • 18 Jun 2018 8:35 PM | Anonymous

    Read about Jill’s journey past military and domestic foes on her way to the Paris Gay Games.

    Reprinted with permission from "My Life and Thymes" blog

    By Tom Hymes


    The first Gay Games were held in San Francisco in 1982, and Jill Waters competed in tennis and track. She’d already battled a U.S. Navy intent on expelling LGBT people. Waters, now 64, has attended all but one of the Games, and though her blonde ponytail is now silvered, she still strides on strong runner’s legs and cracks a hard serve. Gay Games 10 will be contested in Paris in August 2018, and Waters is preparing to battle new athletic opponents by facing past demons.

    The first Games introduced an LGBT-friendly sports and cultural event. But marching into the stadium with fellow athletes wasn’t entirely uplifting. Waters relates, “You were proclaiming to the world you were gay. And in the ’80s, that was still difficult. That was dangerous.”

    Waters had known similar fear in her Navy service. She was one of the first women to join a gender-integrated military and faced male superiors who tried to bully women out of the service on false charges.

    Being gay drew added persecution. Randy Shilts’s 1993 book “Conduct Unbecoming” documents interrogations of LGBT service members under threat of imprisonment and disgrace. Waters recalls that when she arrived at a new base without prior associations, her superior told her, “I know there’s lesbians. I want you to tell me who they are. I’ll give you special favors.”

    The witch hunt would later be turned on Waters despite her “walk on water” performance reviews. She feigns a deep voice to mimic Naval Investigative Service authorities who would summon her to face “stories we’ve been hearing about you.” She wasn’t dating so couldn’t be found out, nor was she selling drugs as accused. Still, she found it “very threatening” and traces ongoing PTSD to the mistreatment.

    Waters tempers her account in the belief that today’s U.S. military is far more accepting, and it’s now paying for her medical care and therapy.

    The Gay Games began to feel safer too and steadily flourished. By 2006, participants in Chicago numbered over 11,000 from 70 countries. Waters recalls that, “The opening ceremony was at Soldier Field — where the Chicago Bears play. That’s mainstream.”

    In 2018, her battleground has shifted home to Oceanside.

    During her childhood there, Title IX hadn’t yet mandated equal access for females to school sports, but her mother was proud of Waters’ athletic talent. As the only girl on the boys’ baseball team, she was praised for her strong pitching arm.

    The battle now is at the well-kept country club nearby, where Waters plays on a traditionally named “ladies’” team. Being asked why she’s never married echoes past inquisitions, so she’s still not ready to come out or have her girlfriend of three years come watch her play.

    The earlier military interrogations left Waters traumatized by threatening raised voices, and that fear of conflict is another issue in her relationship. Her own voice becomes urgent when she grasps her need to remain an outsider at the club.

    “I NEED the tennis.” Concentrated training is the path to her ninth Gay Games. Waters confides, “I cannot afford for someone to say, “‘I don’t want that gay woman on my team.’”

    After the Games, she can choose whether to remain a demure-sounding “lady” at the club. She’s a woman, an athlete, a veteran — and suddenly laughs with girlish glee that when she turns 65, she’ll become a young player in the next age division.

    But the prescribed tennis skirt irks Waters. She recently warned her team captain she wouldn’t wear one.

    “The other day, the captain came up to me and said, ‘Look what I did!’ And she had shorts on.”

    “She said, ‘I didn’t want you to feel alone.’”

  • 18 Jun 2018 10:31 AM | Anonymous

    After a long period of Injury and illness Chris Morgan has returned from the GPC European Powerlifting Championships in Nancy, France with a Gold Medal in the Masters 2, Unequipped Deadlift and has set a new British record at 235 kilos at a bodyweight of the 88.8 kilos class (90 Kilo Class). Chris will arrive at the Gay Games in Paris this summer as a current European and World Champion.


    Speaking about the recent European Championships, Chris said…

    "It's wonderful to be back in the Great Britain Team representing my country again, this time winning medals and setting records in Masters categories. Powerlifting as a sport has always helped with my own personal evolution, so to be back after a short career break, it feels wonderful."

    "What Powerlifting means to me has changed over this last few years, with me starting to enjoy the sport again thank to the members of GPC-GB,  I feel very grateful to have this  opportunity. After so many injuries over this last few years, it feels wonderful to be back in contention for medals and records."

    "I'm very much looking forward to representing the Federation of Gay Games in Paris as one of their Global Ambassadors, helping them to promote their Scholarship programme and assisting them to deliver the message of - Participation, Inclusion, Personal Best".

    The Gay Games are happening  in Paris on August 4 -12 and as of 16 June there are 9,500 participants already registered. Details about Gay Games can be found at www.paris2018.com  and www.gaygames.org Chris will be available to press and media from Friday 3rd to Wednesday 8 August in Paris.

    He may be contacted at chunky@chunkymuscle.com

    Forthcoming Competitions & Events 2018 - 2019
    July 2018 - LGBT International Powerlifting Championships (London, England) - Meet Director
    August 2018 - Federation of Gay Games (Paris, France) - Ambassador Duties
    Sept 2018 - GPC World Powerlifting Championships (Eger, Hungary) - Lifting and Refereeing
    May 2019 - GPC European Powerlifting Championships (Tiszakecske, Hungary) -Lifting and Refereeing
    July 2019 - LGBT International Powerlifting Championships (TBC - Bid Stage) - Meet Director
    October 2019 - GPC World Powerlifting Championships (Nove Zamky, Slovakia) - Lifting and Refereeing

  • 21 May 2018 7:19 AM | Anonymous

    "We have the right to choose love and to be loved," he says.


    Jingsen, or ASam, is a surfer from China.

    Reprinted from Outsports.com
    By Jim Buzinski  May 18, 2018

    A professional surfer in China has come out publicly as gay, believed to be the first Chinese athlete who has come out as LGBT.

    The surfer, Xu Jingsen, or ASam in an Anglicized translation, will attend the August Gay Games in Paris.

    In a post on China’s popular messaging service Weibo, read by more than 360,000 people, ASam explained his decision (as translated by the Federation of Gay Games and Bing):

    “Hello everyone! I am ASam. I will attend the global Gay Games in Paris, France, in August this year and serve as an ambassador. Life is human, the ultimate measure of our inner courage. Yes, I am gay.

    We have the right to choose love and to be loved. Sex, age and skin color are not shackles. We are all the same, living in the sun. Today, I am brave to be my most true self, and I see it as the greatest gift I have ever given. If my bravery brings comfort to those who feel lonely, and encourages them to support equality, then everything I do will be more meaningful.

    Thanks everyone

    The post was accompanied by ASam surfing against a rainbow backdrop:


    While homosexuality is legal in China, LGBT people still face societal and legal pressure. We can’t find another example of a Chinese athlete who has come out as LGBT. We also don’t know how extensive ASam’s athletic background is, though the World Surf database lists a Xu Jingsen who competed professionally in 2013.

    Surfing is not a sport at the Gay Games, but a photo from the Federation of Gay Games indicated ASam will be swimming and playing basketball. Regardless, he is taking a brave step forward for LGBT athletes from China.

    The 2022 Gay Games will be held in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong.


  • 13 May 2018 6:12 AM | Anonymous

    LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland announced an official reunion of 2014 Gay Games participants as the closing event of Pride.


    Reprinted from Cleveland Patch
    May 11, 2018 10:59 am ET

    The Cleveland Foundation and the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland (The Center) today announced an official reunion of 2014 Gay Games participants as the closing event of Pride in the CLE 2018. “Gay Games 9 Reunion Beach Brunch” is scheduled for Sunday, June 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Edgewater Beach.

    The 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation (Gay Games 9) took place from August 9-16, 2014, in venues throughout Cleveland and Akron. More than 35 sports and cultural events were held, with more than 20,000 people from 50 countries participating and visiting. The event generated more than $52 million for the Northeast Ohio economy.

    “Before the world prepares to head to Paris, France in August to be part of Gay Games 10, we are thrilled to partner with The Center to celebrate the legacy and impact of Gay Games 9 in our community,” said Michael D. Murphy, Chief Marketing Officer, Cleveland Foundation. “Pride in the CLE is an amazing opportunity to reunite thousands of Gay Games 9 athletes, volunteers and supporters from around our region while supporting The Center as it continues its critical mission of empowering the LGBTQ+ community.”

    Gay Games 9 Reunion Beach Brunch will take place on Sunday, June 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Kite Field at Edgewater Beach (6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway), overlooking the shores of Lake Erie. Food, drinks, entertainment and a resource fair of Gay Games 9 community partners will be available during the event. Bronze, silver and gold medal ticket packages are available at http://bit.ly/GG9BeachBrunch with proceeds from the event to benefit The Center’s Facility Endowment Fund at the Cleveland Foundation, which will support the maintenance, upkeep and renovation of The Center's new facility. Tickets are required to attend the event.

    “We are honored to partner with the Cleveland Foundation to present the Gay Games 9 Reunion Beach Brunch. This event reminds us of the spirit of collaboration and partnership that made GG9 a success in Northeast Ohio,” said Phyllis Harris, Executive Director, LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. “The team of individuals working to present Pride in the CLE have continued the legacy of inclusion and cooperation to create experiences that we can all be proud of.”

    Each June, communities all over the world celebrate Pride to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that sparked the LGBTQ+ rights movement in America. Cleveland's traditions were among the very first of such celebrations started in the country. In March 2018, The Center and Cleveland Pride Inc. reached an agreement to consolidate Cleveland's two annual Pride events into a single annual event under the Pride in the CLE brand, which will include a series of fun, inclusive events throughout the community from Thursday, May 31 to Sunday, June 3. The Pride in the CLE march and festival will be held on Saturday, June 2 at Cleveland's Public Square. For more information on Pride in the CLE, visit www.prideinthecle.com.

  • 8 May 2018 8:36 PM | Anonymous

    Games open to all and are a "hymn to love" and social diversity



    Reprinted from Irish Times
    Wed, May 2, 2018, 19:17
    By Kitty Holland

    About 100 athletes will travel to Paris in August to take part in the 10th Gay Games.

    Founded in 1982 to promote the visibility of gay people in sport, they are now open to anyone who is competent in their sport, and are described as “a hymn to love” to advocate a society for social diversity.

    Irish athletes will take part in 40 sports, including running, boxing, badminton and soccer over the 10-day event, from August 4th.

    Aidan Walsh, chairman of the national committee for Team Ireland, said there remained a lack of role models for Irish gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in sports.

    While “rugby and GAA have been very good” there remained a dearth of role models for the community in soccer. He said there was about 20 per cent fewer LGBT people involved in sport than there were in the general population, and while reasons for this needed to be explored, it was “clear there remains a stigma” about being gay and interested in sports.

    Team Ireland is fundraising for a team kit, which Mr Walsh estimates would cost a total of €5,000-€6,000.

  • 3 May 2018 8:52 AM | Anonymous

    Squash champion Todd Harrity, who has twice picked up the US Nationals title, became the first openly gay man at the top of the sport this week.


    Reprinted from Pink News 30 April 2018. By Nick Duffy

    In a post to social media, the 27-year-old athlete wrote: “To everyone I know, and to all who know me, I have something that I am finally ready to get off my chest.

    “I am gay, and I’m ready to live my life as an openly gay man. I have decided to come out because I am convinced that having everyone know this about me is the only way I can truly be content. I also think it is what’s best for everyone around me, so that we can more fully understand each other.”

    “To the people that I have already told, thank you. I was not ready to have everyone know this about me. I appreciate you keeping my secret, and not telling any curious people who might have asked you.”

    He added: “To the Pro Squash world, we are a diverse group of different nationalities, ethnicities, and faiths. I don’t know how this will be received by everyone. But I have been dealing with this for a long time. This is what’s necessary for me to be myself, and best enjoy the rest of my time on the circuit, and beyond.”

    Harrity added: “I am not famous. But if I can be a source of inspiration to any others in a similar situation, I am pleased. This has not been easy for me. It has taken me a long time to accept myself as I am. But now I have, and am ready to put all of this behind me and move on with my life.”


    There are few openly gay men at the top levels of most professional sports, although there are many gay role models in women’s leagues.

    Last year the former world No.1 and No.2 female squash players came out as gay and revealed they’re actually a couple. Aussie champ Rachael Grinham and England’s Jenny Duncalf met through the sport, falling in love after competing against each other professionally. The pair, who between them hold six gold medals and a whopping 44 Tour titles, dominated the sport for years. The two players came out together in May 2017, explaining they want to help others “feel more comfortable in their own skin.”

    Duncalf wrote: “We felt that if by openly ‘coming out in professional sport’ we could help just one person feel more comfortable and encouraged about their own journey, then it would be more than worthwhile doing so.”

    Grinham added: “I think some people in sport, especially high profile sports, feel that they are contracted to have a certain image and are afraid that being gay would lose them fans and endorsements. But I also think it is way better today than it has been in the past thanks to all those who have endured tough times and rallied for gay rights. 20 years ago I would have been afraid of coming out publicly but I’m proud of the way people’s minds have opened in recent years and I can certainly say that I was confident that this news would get more positive feedback today than negative. And if we can help others, then it’s worth doing.”

  • 24 Feb 2018 8:53 PM | Anonymous

    Openly gay athletes at the 2018 Olympic Games are becoming fan favourites. When South Korean organizers failed to raise enough money to build a Pride House at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the Canadian Olympic Committee stepped in to help.

    Reprinted from the Vancouver Courier

    By Sandra Thomas

    February 22, 2018



    Adam Rippon (left) and Gus Kenworthy show some LGBTQ pride at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Rippon is the first openly gay man from the U.S. to win a Winter Olympic medal. Photograph By @GUSKENWORTHY / TWITTER

    The first Pride House was created in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics as a safe place for LGBTQ+ athletes, fans and their allies from across the globe to gather.

    And from photos available online, it looks like Pride House in PyeongChang is a big hit. Team Canada’s Eric Radford posted a selfie of himself and fiancé Spanish ice dancer Luis Fenero on Twitter Feb. 10 with the caption, “Was so nice to spend some time with this man at #canadahouse and #PrideHouse. #Olympics #pyeongchang2018 #pride #love #Fiancée.”

    Also frequenting Pride House is Adam Rippon, who became the first openly gay man from the U.S. to win a Winter Olympic medal when he was awarded the bronze in the men’s free skate Feb. 11.

    English figure skater John Curry won the gold medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, but was outed by the media after having what he thought was an off-the-record conversation. Following that public outing, Curry faced more questions about his personal life than any of his athletic accomplishments. U.S. figure skater Brian Boitano won the gold in 1988, but didn’t publicly confirm he was gay for 25 years. Even the always over-the-top Jonny Weir didn’t officially come out until the year after he charmed the world at the 2010 Olympics.

    But in 2018, there are 15 openly gay and lesbian athletes competing at the Winter Games — and they’re winning medals. Canadian figure skater Eric Radford became the first openly gay Winter Olympian to win a gold medal, while Dutch skater Ireen Wust won a gold in the 1,500 metres and a silver medal in the 3,000 metres, making her the most decorated Dutch Olympic athlete ever. Wust has eight medals and is openly bisexual.

    It was freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy who broke the ice on opening day of the 2018 Olympic Games by posting a photo on Twitter stating, “We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.” But it was Rippon’s response to a question about what it’s like to be a gay athlete, that quickly made him an Olympic favourite.

    “It’s exactly like being a straight athlete. Lots of hard work, but usually done with better eyebrows.”


  • 24 Feb 2018 6:47 PM | Anonymous

    Six teams have already applied for this program. Make your team the next one!

    The Gay Games Uniform Program is back. Save big on customized NIKE merchandise for your team.


    If your team is getting ready for Gay Games 10 in Paris, don’t miss this opportunity to order customized NIKE wearable items at 30% discount prices. This program was a big hit in 2014 at Gay Games 9 in Cleveland + Akron…

    • 87% of participating teams were very satisfied with the program
    • 67% were glad they took part in the program
    • 57% said the merchandise was a great value
    • 71% said participating in this program was easy
    • 64% said people commented favorably about my team’s NIKE merchandise

    The Gay Games Uniform Program is launching earlier this time, giving more teams the opportunity to get top-quality NIKE merchandise featuring your team’s logo. Dozens of colors and styles are available. You can even add individual names and numbers to your team's uniforms.

    The exclusive Gay Games Uniform program is presented by the Federation of Gay Games, NIKE, and BSN Sports.

    If your team wishes to participate in this program, it’s easy. One person from the team should complete an online application and pay the required administrative fee. The designated “Uniform Captain” will then be contacted by a professional representative of BSN Sports to set up the customized online “My Team Store” that your team will use to shop for the items you choose.

    APPLY HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GGUP

    Both FGG member organisations and non-member organisations in all countries are eligible to participate in this program. See the online application and program web page (https://gaygames.org/NIKE-Gay-Games-Uniform-Program) for full details.

    Make sure your team looks great in Paris. CLICK HERE for the Gay Games Uniform Program!

    Paris 2018 Gay Games 10 Official Merchandise can be purchased HERE.

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