"Passing The Torch" Post 16b of 40

12 Aug 2022 11:16 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

Produced and curated by Federation of Gay Games Archivist Doug Litwin and FGG Honourary Life Member Shamey Cramer
with Ankush Gupta, FGG Officer of Communications

Read the entire "Passing The Torch" series as it is posted daily HERE.

Post 16b of 40 - 12 August Gay Games VII

15 - 22 July, 2006; 11,000 participants; Chicago, IL USA

“Passing The Torch: Ruby Anniversary Edition” is a factual timeline of the major events that have been part of the Gay Games evolution since its inception. The series will run from 28 July 2022 - one month before the 40th anniversary of the original Opening Ceremony at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium - through 5 September, the anniversary of Gay Games I Closing Ceremony. All postings will remain online and available for viewing at the FGG website.


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Left: Bradley Erickson skating with Laura Moore. Right: Laura and her rainbow corset. Photos: Israel Wright & Alice Cooperman.

LAURA MOORE: Bradley Erickson and I skated together in Chicago. He had taken the mantle of managing IGFSU through ISI and would later be chosen for the 2014 FGG Volunteer of the Year award. Pairs with a man 16” taller than I was very different than skating with a woman. We had a great time working on our “All That Jazz” number from the musical Chicago. The audience roared when he stripped his warm-up pants off and revealed little shorts and fishnets with garters to match mine.

I, too, did a bit of a striptease in my solo number. “Ride on a Rainbow”, sung by Johnny Mathis was my love song to the lesbians in the audience, especially my spouse. The crystal studded rainbow corset under my plain white shirt has had a long life in other skating numbers and at many Pride events.

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Gay Games VII Bowling action. Photos: Becker Media & Y Marino

JAMES HAHN: Gay Games VII was originally awarded to Montreal. As a result of a fundamental disagreement on the nature and presentation of the Games, Montreal chose to walk away from negotiations and the Games were awarded to Chicago after an accelerated re-bidding process. Chicago rose admirably to the challenge and pulled off a successful Gay Games in two-plus years instead of the usual five.

The Opening Ceremony took place at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears NFL team. The Closing Ceremony took place at historic Wrigley Field, which sits on the edge of what is called “Boys Town.” I like to think we turned it into the world's largest gay bar that day. It was also the second time Cindy Lauper performed for us.

Most of the Gay Games take place in the summer in the host city, and that was true in Chicago as well. At one point, the bowling center suffered brownout with reduced electrical voltage. The bowling machinery was still operating but the air conditioning was not. This was as dose as I've ever come to bowling in my underwear and I’m sure I was not the only one. The only air conditioner working was in the ceiling of the snack bar, but it exhausted itself and caught fire. The fire department soon arrived and bowling stopped as the bowlers went to check things out. Many of us couldn't wait to go somewhere cooler and less humid.

At the Closing Ceremony, it was announced that the Games would return to Europe in 2010.

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Read the entire "Passing The Torch" series as it is posted daily HERE.

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