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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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  • 17 Sep 2023 18:29 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    The 2023 finalists for the prestigious Tom Waddell Award were announced on 15 September. They were chosen from a larger field of nominees who were considered by the Award Sub-Committee.

    The six individuals are:

    Award #1:

    Roger Brigham, Oakland USA

    Shamey Cramer, Los Angeles USA

    Kurt Dahl, Ft. Lauderdale USA

    Award #2:

    Laura Moore, New York City USA

    Emy Ritt, Paris France

    Annette Wachter, Cologne Germany

    Congratulations to all these finalists!

    The Tom Waddell Award Sub-Committee will make its final selection of the two Award recipients on 26 September. That decision will be confirmed at the FGG Board meeting on 8 October. At that time, all finalists will be informed of the results and the FGG will issue a press release. The results will also be posted here.

    The awards will be presented at Gay Games XI in November 2023 in both Guadalajara and Hong Kong.

    This is the second time Roger Brigham has been nominated. On the occasion of his 2018 nomination, he wrote an article in his sports column in the Bay Area Reporter newspaper. It profiles the other finalists and provides important background on the award. Read that article HERE.

    More information about the Tom Waddell Award may be found HERE.

  • 28 Aug 2023 14:18 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Today, 28 August is "Diversity In Sport Day."

    Their new podcast, "Matters of Inclusion," is now live! Tune in to hear World and Paralympic champion Candace Cable, the first woman to medal in both the Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, discussing her career, her inspirations and the topic of "ableism." At the very end of this podcast, Shamey Cramer includes a really nice reference to Gay Games XI, happening in November for the first time in Asia and in Latin America.

    World and Paralympic champion Candace Cable with DiS co-founder Shamey Cramer

    To see Candace Cable win her bronze medal in the 800m wheelchair race at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, click HERE or the photo below. To have this wheelchair event take place right in the middle of the Summer Olympics did for para athletes what the Gay Games has done for the LGBTQ+ community every four years since 1982.

    August 28 was chosen to be Diversity In Sport Day for several reasons. Primary among them is that the Opening Ceremony of Gay Games I took place exactly 41 years ago. In addition, exactly one year from today, the Paralympics in Paris will have their Opening Ceremony.

    Subscribe to our YouTube channel,  DiS Day, August 28 to listen in now.

    Diversity in Sport Day is YOUR day!

    CELEBRATE… your athletic achievements

    MOTIVATE… other athletes, coaches and administrators

    ADVOCATE… for universal equity in sport

    Commemorate the day by posting on social media, letting others know what Diversity in Sport means to you – and please use the hashtags #ThisIsYourDay #DiversityinSport #CelebrateMotivateAdvocate #dis28 #inclusionmatters

    Make sure to tag us and feel free to post on our social sites as well.

    Thank you all for allowing us to be part of your work, and  continued success to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games staff and volunteers, and to the International Paralympic Committee - we are looking forward to seeing many of you one year from today at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony!

    Happy Diversity in Sport Day, and #sharethosehashtags !

    Yours in Sport,

    Shamey Cramer and Tracey Savell Reavis

    + + + + + + + + + + + + +

    About Diversity in Sport Day | August 28

    Diversity in Sport Day, August 28 is an annual event that celebrates trailblazers, triumphs and milestones in sport, motivates others to set new standards of inclusion, and advocates for universal equity in sport and society at large. Shared Diversity in Sport stories will inspire more participation from athletes, executives, teams, and communities. With greater awareness and connection, grassroots and local action will drive our global goal of diversity and inclusion in sport. #DiversityinSport

  • 21 Aug 2023 12:23 | Duncan Campbell (Administrator)

    This month, the Federation of Gay Games is proud to welcome Sophie Cook to our board.  After an impressive career working in sports for over 20 years, Sophie boasts a huge range of skills on her resume, from business owner, politician, TED talker, campaigner, business culture  consultant, magazine editor, charity ambassador, tv broadcaster, sports photographer and many more.  

    Joining the Gay Games board as the new Officer of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Sophie sat down with Duncan Campbell to share her story with us, charting her journey from an AFC Bournemouth photographer through to the present day. 

    The Games are a beacon of hope

    Sophie decided to join the Gay Games because she recognises that sports can help to open doors to teaching people about more inclusive practices, as well as act as a catalyst for education and change.

    “I see sport as this universal language which allows us to start dialogues with a diverse range of people that don't necessarily have an awareness and understanding of the lives of LGBTQ people.  And I think that the Gay Games is such an amazing vehicle for that dialogue.”

    She describes the Gay Games as a safe place for our community, especially since so many LGBTQ people have traditionally been excluded from participating in sports.

    “I think the Games are essential because in so many parts of the world LGBTQ people still face a lot of prejudice and a lot of restrictions on their rights, and the Games provide a beacon of hope for people. I think that is such an essential part of what the Gay Games does for our community”

    Sport gives us an opening for communication

    Sophie’s career has landed her in a variety of interesting situations, all tied together because of the unifying force that is sport.  

    Eight years ago, whilst preparing to address a school assembly, she was confronted with a room full of  school boys giggling at the trans woman they saw before them.  Those giggles quickly stopped when she started talking about her prestigious career in football. 

    And during a sponsored bike ride from one end of Vietnam to another, kids would approach her shouting “Hello David Beckham” - the only three words of English that they knew.  “Sport has a unique place in that it gives us an opening where we can start to communicate”.

    Sophie has also been invited to Moscow to speak to Russian LGBTQ people during the 2018 World Cup. “This was an amazing experience and a chance to really show support” she says.  “Last year I was given the opportunity to go to Qatar but unfortunately, the opportunity to engage with LGBT people on the ground was denied me. So I refused the trip.”
    “I am very lucky that I get these opportunities and that every single thing I do is something that I’m passionate about.  That is one of the greatest gifts I've been given.”

    Sophie also played a variety of sports when she was growing up, taking the role of wicket-keeper in cricket, and goalie in hockey and football.  But after an accident in her 20s racing motorbikes in the Middle East that broke her shoulder into “a million pieces” she had to retire from racing and sports in general.  “I'm still known to pull on a pair of football boots occasionally for a charity football match and I once did three half marathons in a year.”

    Opportunities from living authentically

    Sophie started her career as the cub photographer for AFC Bournemouth, right back before Bournemouth were promoted to the Premier League.  

    “During that summer, I came out to the club as a trans woman. I received a lot of support - from our manager, from the players and most importantly from the fans.  So my first game as Sophie was in the Premier League and I remember being stood on the pitch, photographing the captains in the center circle before kick off and it all being live broadcast.  I had the world’s TV cameras pointed at me - a trans woman - right in the centre of the pitch.”

    “It gave me a lot of hope that when we stand up and realize that we need to live authentically, it opens up other opportunities.  I could either keep my head down and hope that no one noticed the  trans person on the touchline, or I could use the fact that I had this position within the game to try and speak out about the things that were important.”

    Taking joy in having an impact on other people

    Having known that she was trans since she was about seven years old, Sophie really struggled coming to terms with her gender and understanding how there was a way forward for her.  Struggling with her mental health and addiction she had come close to taking her life many times.

    “Then about five years ago, I came up with a philosophy to keep myself safe: ‘I know that one day I might try to take my own life because I don't know how to stop feeling this way, but it won't be today. And in the meantime, I'm going to do the best that I can to enjoy every single day.’ It gave me permission to have those days without guilt or shame.  As soon as I let go of the guilt and shame, I could stop thinking about it emotionally, and start thinking about it logically”. 

    “It's all about living in the day, living in the moment. understanding what our contribution to the world around us can be and taking joy in that contribution, and the way in which our lives can impact other people”

    Sophie wears a starfish pendant around her neck as a reminder of her mission to help others.

    “When I first started speaking publicly about mental health, I was told this story and I’ve carried it with me ever since: There was a woman walking along the beach, and the beach was covered in starfish. She starts picking them up and throwing them back in the sea. This old lady comes over and she says ‘You do realize that this beach is covered in millions of starfish. You can't hope to make a difference.’  But the woman bends down, picks up a starfish and throws it back in the water and she says ‘I have made a difference to that one.”

    “Every single day, if I can make a difference to one starfish, then that was a day when it was worth me being on this planet.  That's my purpose. That's why I do what I do. That's how I take joy in the life that I've been given.  Despite all the trials and tribulations along the path, they're the things that made me who I am and they're the things that give me that awareness of what a gift I have now.”

  • 07 Aug 2023 23:43 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    By Roger Brigham

    I was disappointed to miss out on the chance to make history at the first Gay Games in 1982 in San Francisco – but am delighted to have the opportunity to make history this year at Gay Games XI in Guadalajara.

    Roger Brigham at the 2019 FGG annual meeting in Guadalajara

    Come November, I’ll be one of the longtime Gay Games supporters greeting athletes and artists, coaches and officials, as they gather in the land of tequila and mariachi to wrestle and run, cheer and shoot, dance and dive, in what has proven to be one of the most enduring and valuable institutions our community has ever supported.

    For years we have listened to lamentations as a global pandemic and political upheaval posed threats to one event after another. It often appeared the Gay Games would be among the casualties. Those fears overlooked one reality:

    The Gay Games are athlete strong.

    Instead of stepping back, the Gay Games are stepping up and breaking new ground. For the first time, this will not be one event held in Europe, Australia, or the United States: it will be simultaneous events in Asia and Latin America. For the first time, it will be in an odd-numbered year, pandemic-delayed for the first time in the quadrennial cycle so athletes and artists will not be hindered by governmental travel restrictions.

    Opening Ceremonies for Gay Games XI will be held November 3 in Hong Kong and Guadalajara. Hong Kong was originally selected to host the Gay Games, but when COVID travel restrictions made it unrealistic to expected 12,000-plus athletes and artists to gather in 2022, the event was postponed for one year and Guadalajara, which had already bid to host the Gay Games, was named as co-host.

    The Gay Games freestyle wrestling and grappling tournament will be hosted by Guadalajara at Polideportivo Alcalde II and sanctioned by Wrestlers WithOut Borders. As Chairman Emeritus of WWB, I have been sitting in on discussions with organizers as they make final arrangements. Already a critical mass of registrants is assured.

    Wrestler Carlin Yetts of Ohio and I will be coaching a dozen or so wrestlers from Australia in Guadalajara – a circumstance that illustrates what a magically different and invaluable sort of sporting event the Gay Games are.

    Consider that when I showed up to wrestle at the inaugural 1982 Gay Games, I was not allowed to compete because I hadn’t received the registration information in Alaska. Job and health circumstances kept me out of the following five Gay Games until I finally was able to wrestle in the 2006 Gay Games VII in Chicago, winning gold.

    But for three years before I got on the mat in Chicago, I worked as a volunteer and coach in the Gay Games Movement. As I served on committees, led policy discussions, and spearheaded communications initiatives, I grew more and more in love with the inclusive culture of the movement and its member organizations. I had long taken for granted the rich sports competition opportunities I benefited from in my athletic youth. I became more and more committed to helping nurture those opportunities for others from all walks of life.

    Roger Brigham with fellow FGG and Wrestling legend Gene Dermody

    At the 2010 Gay Games VIII in Cologne, I made friends with three wrestlers from Sydney, Australia. It was an enjoyable, positive experience, and so it was only natural I should coach their larger squad four years later in Cleveland. In 2018 I had a kidney transplant but was on a plane just five weeks later, flying to Paris to coach not just the Sydney team, but a new team from Melbourne – then flew to Australia just months later to coach clinics in both of those cities.

    I believe the emergence of growing numbers of Australians at the Gay Games is symbolic of the success of the Games and underlines the important role the Gay Games play in the greater LGBTQ+ sports movement. For four decades the Gay Games have fought to break down our geographic isolation and improve the quality and variety of competition experiences we can access. The wrestling / grappling tournament will provide my Aussie wrestlers with the chance to test themselves against wrestlers with skill sets they rarely get to face back home.

    I am particularly excited about the chance to be part of the history that will be made in Mexico. There have been pockets of growth in LGBTQ+ sports in many parts of Latin America and this will be the best opportunity to bring them together in the Gay Games Movement. Guadalajara is a fun and welcoming host; it hosted the Pan American Games in 2011, is a tourism hub for Central and Latin America, and Puerto Vallarta is just a quick trip away! I was fortunate enough to visit Guadalajara four years ago on Federation of Gay Games business and found the city delightful, the weather great, the people hospitable, and the food delicious.

    The mariachi and the tequila? Well, they speak for themselves.

    Here’s looking forward to our chance to make history together.

    Learn more about Gay Games XI in Guadalajara HERE

    Learn more about Gay Games XI Wrestling registration HERE

    Learn more about Wrestlers WithOut Borders HERE

    Learn more about Gay Games 11 in Hong Kong HERE

  • 25 Jun 2023 19:35 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Gay Games pioneer Jean-Nickolaus Tretter passed away at age 74 in December 2022. On 24 June 2023, a crowd celebrated Tretter's life on the first day of the Twin Cities Pride Festival in Minnesota, USA. Tretter was an organizer of the first Twin Cities Pride event in 1972, and was a major participant and organizer during Gay Games I and beyond. 

    Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies - Wikipedia

    Read more about the life of Jean-Nickolaus Tretter and his impact on the Gay Games HERE.

    The Federation of Gay Games was represented at this event by Honorary Life Member Shamey Cramer of Los Angeles, CA.

    This article was written by Jessie Van Berkel and appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

  • 18 Jun 2023 23:42 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    The Globe and Mail in Toronto published an excellent article about the Gay Games on 17 June 2023. The article tells an accurate history of the Gay Games. Told from a Canadian point of view, it contains quotes from several FGG Board Members, profiles other participants, and looks forward to the co-hosted Gay Games XI in Hong Kong and Guadalajara.

    Catherine Meade, a lesbian and a woman of colour, said "This was my first inclusive sport experience, and it was life altering, life affirming.”

    Sean Fitzgerald, co-president for the Federation of Gay Games (FGG), said “To suddenly have a place where you can go be yourself and participate, to see what’s out there, and what other cities and clubs do. At that event my two worlds merged for the first time. To have the camaraderie of that many people was incredible.”

    Vong Sho, who will make the trip to Hong Kong to compete at badminton and volleyball, said “I use the Gay Games and other sporting events as an excuse to go somewhere I’ve never been before. A common activity is sort of how I bond with people. So the first time I really felt like, ‘Oh, now I feel like I belong,’ was playing gay sports.”

    Carlos Delgado is set to attend his first Gay Games and commented “Competition matters,” he said. “But having that sense of unity and acceptance is what I’m looking forward to, and continuing to build those support systems that we all need.”

    Kimberly Hadley of Edmonton, an officer of sport on the FGG’s board and an organizer at the 2023 Gay Games said “I think it’s vital for us to hold the games in places like this, because we’re reaching people that we haven’t been able to reach before.”

    Read the full article written by Rachel Brady HERE.

  • 25 May 2023 12:01 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    She gave the iconic performance at the Gay Games I Opening Ceremony in 1982.

    The entire global Gay Games community is saddened to hear of the passing of long time ally and iconic legend Tina Turner. We are grateful that Ms. Turner was the featured entertainer at Gay Games I (also called the “first Gay OLYMPIC Games") at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco on 28 August 1982.

    Tina Turner's performance was referenced numerous times in the 40-part "Passing The Torch" series published by the FGG in 2022 as part of the 40th Anniversary celebration. To read some of those comments from post #32, click HERE.

    Below are some photos of Tina on the stage in 1982 at Gay Games I.

    Rest in power. #GayGames #GamesThatChangeTheWorld

    #TinaTurner #SimplyTheBest

  • 25 Mar 2023 18:36 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)



    FGG Reaction to the Unilateral Ban on Transwomen Competing in Athletics

    As with the decision by Swimming’s governing sport body FINA and then by World Rugby (WRU), the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision by World Athletics that has chosen to ban transgender women from competing in the female category at international events.

    Even with the 17 studies cited by anti trans activists, like Sharron Davies MBE, that show that transwomen will always have some advantage over cisgender women because of having gone through male puberty, the previous rules had always allowed women to compete as long as they reached a certain level of testosterone in the body. For the past eight years, that rule has been successfully implemented with no issues at all.

    There have been so few transwomen, two in fact out of 88,000 women competing at that level in Athletics. That means the studies used are not able to determine whether that advantage is significant. Even it was, there would need to be such a large influx of trans women athletes to make any significant difference. This is simply a decision taken by World Athletics to discriminate and exclude transwomen, which the FGG wholly opposes.

    The FGG reinforces its message of inclusion for all trans and non-binary athletes and artists for cultural events at the Gay Games. They will be able to participate or attend in their chosen gender, and there will be support and encouragement based are our three key founding values of Participation, Personal Best and above all Inclusion for our trans and non-binary siblings.

    We look forward to trans and non-binary participation in November 2023 at our co-hosted Gay Games 11 in Guadalajara and Hong Kong. If you haven’t yet registered, please go to where you can click on either city’s logo to learn more and register today.

    Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett

    FGG Vice President of External Relations


  • 04 Mar 2023 10:26 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    If you're not familiar with myGwork, you may want to check them out and join this group. Find them at Here is a description of this organization:

    myGwork is the business community for LGBT+ professionals, students, inclusive employers and anyone who believes in workplace equality. They want to empower the LGBT+ community by offering our individual members a safe space where they can connect with inclusive employers, find jobs, mentors, professional events and news. myGwork is an Award Winning Company. Its founders won the Attitude Award Young LGBT+ Entrepreneur of the Year and the organisation was listed in the Top 5 startup with Pride by Geek Times.

    February was LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK. As part of the celebration, myGwork posted a very nice story about the 40th Anniversary of the Gay Games.

    Click HERE to read the entire post. Thank you, myGwork!

  • 17 Feb 2023 09:09 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Share your personal story and you might appear in a new film about the Gay Games!

    The Federation Of Gay Games is working with an award-winning British filmmaker who is planning to produce a documentary about the Gay Games. It will focus both on our 40+ year history AND the upcoming events in Hong Kong and Guadalajara.

    The film will feature a handful of individuals of all kinds and backgrounds. If you are interested in possibly being in this film and sharing your Gay Games story and 2023 preparation plans for Hong Kong or Guadalajara, please complete this short survey, and pass it along to others you know:

    Please complete this survey before the end of February.

    Link to survey HERE

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