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"Passing The Torch" Post 37 of 40

02 Sep 2022 10:02 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

Gay Games I: Swimming and Shades of Pink Flamingo

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 36 of 40 - 2 September - Gay Games I Memories: Soccer and City Tales

“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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Gay Games I soccer action at Kezar Stadium

DEREK LIECTY: The Gay Games catapulted me out of the closet. As a closeted high-level soccer referee in early 1982 , I responded to Dr. Tom Waddell’s request for referees for the first Gay Games. As a result, I referreed the first-ever Gay Games soccer match which took place in San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium. Three years later, retired and inching out of the closet, I took on the position of Facilities Coordinator for Gay Game II single-handedly arranging venues for thirty-two sporting activities and the cultural events. This public exposure gave me the confidence to be fully open about my sexuality and relieved the burden of the closet.

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CHARLIE CARSON: Switch gears today to gay choral duties. NYCGMC’s music director Gary Miller and event producer Don Moschberger are also here. First thing I do is drop off papers at the GALA office to be reproduced for GALA’s annual meeting Sunday morning. At last year’s meeting, Gary said he was surprised when a San Francisco chorus rep stood up to declare there was only one place that was appropriate to hold GALA’s first National Choral Festival in 1983. Gary was sure he was going to say San Francisco – but instead he said New York. Well, we were all very flattered. And then we heard SFGMC decided to host the first West Coast Gay Choral Festival the same week as the Games. Draw your own conclusions (again, ha).

Friends of Charlie Carson on Castro & 19th Street

Charlie and his buddies at the Maritime Museum on Fisherman's Wharf

Meet Ron, Jeff and Frank on Castro to tour and run into Rose de Castro. Castro Café – it’s a Castro fiesta! – and see Chris, J.P. and others. Tour the town. Shop at Headlines. Guy recognizes us and yells from his car about Esther Williams last night (!). Physique competition tonight at Castro Theater is sold out. MUNI to Powell and get cable car – it breaks down in Chinatown. Talk to Denver family with 3 polite blond boys in shorts (“Thank you, sir.”). Everyone, local or tourist, seems nonplused about the Gay Games taking place. Walk to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square – touristville, including us. Maritime Museum and Frank finds a man’s wallet lost in the toilet (yech). Take pictures on pier and Jeff collapses on the lawn with a cigarette. Chilly; goosebumps make my shaved legs and chest hurt. Ron and Frank change their travel to Sunday evening so they can be at the closing ceremony. Eat at Marcello’s.

Gay Games I Volleyball at SF State University

Volleyball. San Jose beats San Diego, Seattle beats Phoenix. Good music – Jane Oliver, Don McLean’s Vincent, the Go-Go’s album with Our Lips are Sealed and We Got the Beat. Afterwards meet a San Diego volleyball player on the bus and make a date for later. Well that was easy. Call home and my roommate and his friends aren’t overly excited about my medals; good reminder that life goes on in the rest of the world.

GALA Reception at one of the SFGMC member’s house on Page Street. Gary, Don and I do our PR work for the Lincoln Center festival which we’ve already titled Come Out And Sing Together (COAST). I make friends and realize my brain is working here but my heart is still focused on the Games. We’ll present our full choral program plans Sunday morning. Leave and find my way to the Castro to meet my new volleyball friend.

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

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