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.

  • 20 Apr 2020 00:22 | Anonymous

    The Federation of Gay Games is deeply mourning the death of Bruno Ferré in Paris, France. Bruno was instrumental in the successes of Gay Games 10 held in Paris in 2018.


    Here is the official notification from his associates at Paris 2018...

    The entire Directors Committee of Paris 2018 is sad to hear very bad news this morning. At 2:30am on 19 April, after more than four weeks of fighting, Bruno Ferré died in a Paris hospital as a result of covid-19.

    Bruno Ferré was one of the volunteer directors of Paris 2018, in charge of the Gay Games 10 festivities for more than 4 years. An activist for over 20 years in LGBT sports, he was president of the Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (FSGL) and actively participated in the two bid committees to organize the Gay Games in Paris for the 2010 and 2018 editions. He was also member of the LGBT-friendly volleyball club, Contrepied. Born in Saint-Malo, he had another passion: race horses and horse riding.

    “We express our condolences to his family and friends,” said Pascale Reinteau, co-chair. “Many of us have crossed paths with him in his various commitments and we thank him for all his work for the LGBT community. ”

    “I am devastated by the news,” said Manuel Picaud, co-chair. “He was a rock. I couldn’t imagine he would end so soon in such circumstances. We have spent so many hours of fun or working together in so many places around the world. ”

    “We keep the memory of his strength of character, his motivation, his qualities as a negotiator and a leader,” add Jean-Philippe Franqueville, Arnaud Novella and Thomas Grunemwald who worked alongside him.

  • 17 Apr 2020 14:38 | Anonymous

    The Out Athlete Fund is fiscally sponsored by the Federation of Gay Games. An April 17 article on Outsports.com details the latest initiative of OutAF with FGG member organization International Front Runners.

    Under this program, each Tuesday from April 21 through May 5, the newly launched non profit Out Athlete Fund (OutAF), sponsored by Federation Gay Games, will hold its first Tuesday10K Fundraiser to support college runners through a need based grant. International Front Runners (IFR) is promoting this virtual run as a way for its global running community to come together at this time.


    Chris Rauchle, International Front Runners President

    There are many ways you can help and support this event. To register for the run and/or donate, use the following link: https://www.outathletefund.org/virtualrun. You can also make a personal plea video and post it on your social media. Like and follow OutAF on Facebook (OutAthleteFund) and Instagram (@outathletefund) to stay up to date on the Tuesday10K, see the personal pleas, and to follow and join in on future work the fund will be doing!

    To read the complete article, on Outsports.com, published on 17 April 2020, click HERE.

  • 17 Apr 2020 10:34 | Anonymous

    The international Federation of Gay Games joins many other individuals and organizations in mourning the passing of LGBTQ+ activist, philanthropist, Gay Gay Games athlete, elite realtor, and much more. He passed away in New York City the weekend of April 11 & 12 from COVID-19 complications. He was 72 years old.

      

    Left: Greg Louganis & Robby Browne; Right: Robby Browne

    Robby's connection to the FGG centered around Gay Games IV in New York City in 1994. There, he helped his close friend (and Gay Games Ambassador) Greg Louganis come out publicly during the Opening Ceremony at Columbia University. Later in the week, Browne medaled in his division of the diving event. One of the first same-sex kisses to air on mainstream news was between Robby and Greg Louganis.

    To read more tributes to Robby Browne, click HERE and HERE.

  • 30 Mar 2020 10:18 | Anonymous

    By Bob Callori, San Francisco Track & Field

    It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that my very dear friend Merrill P. "Bud" Budlong passed away March 20, 2020 after a long illness.


    Bud Budlong, left, with his husband, the late Don Smith, in an undated photo. Photo: Courtesy Facebook.  

    Along with Jack Baker and Gardner Pond, both of whom are now also deceased, Bud was one of the founders of the San Francisco FrontRunners. Jack and Gardner had advertised the group beginning in late 1974. Bud joined in 1975, and, in his typical fashion, very quickly accepted much of the leadership responsibility. It was under Bud’s leadership that the small group which met informally on Sunday mornings was organized into a club and named the FrontRunners in 1978. It was he who led all of the runs in the early years and also led all of the meetings which led to the formation of an organized group. He was still a leader in 1983 when the club was officially incorporated.

    Bud Budlong, second from right

    Bud and his partner Don Smith supported all of the runners who showed up on Sunday mornings. Many who showed up in those days were early in their process of coming out, and Bud was a friend to them all.

    In recent years, Bud and Don had been living in an assisted living facility near Don’s family in State College, Pennsylvania. Don preceded Bud in death on October 17, 2018. They had been together for more than forty years.

    Bud was always reluctant to take credit for his very central role in the development of the group, but it is fair to say that without his strong and sustained leadership, the remarkable story that is today the International FrontRunners would never have happened. That's the global group which has brought friendship and health and encouragement (and more than a few marriages) to many thousands of GLBT people. We should all be grateful for his contributions.

    Bud had many accomplishments in his life and was an active participant in the early years of the gay liberation movement in San Francisco. But his contribution to the FrontRunners was one of the things of which he was quietly most proud. Bud will be remembered by some as the author of the official “History of the FrontRunners” published in the July 1994 edition of the Footprint newsletterwhich gives an account of the early years of the organization.

    Bud was 82 years old.

    Obituaries for Bud Budlong have also been published on:

    San Francisco FrontRunners In Memoriam Page

    StateCollege.com

    Bay Area Reporter

    Outsports.com

    Onetruevoiceonline.com

  • 24 Mar 2020 10:36 | Anonymous

    Reprinted from the Washington Blade

    March 23, 2020 at 2:08 pm EDT, by John Paul King

    Another international pro athlete has come out as gay, in a podcast interview dropped by Outsports on Monday 23 March.

    Denis Finnegan, a 10-time national track-and-field title winner in Ireland, made his revelation on the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast, telling interviewer Cyd Zeigler that he has been “drifting” toward coming out in recent years even though being gay is only a small part of who he is “as a person, and an even smaller part as an athlete,” in order to help other LGBTQ people in sports feel less alone.

    10-time Irish national triple jump champion Denis Finnegan (Image via Instagram)

    “For younger people it will hopefully give them more confidence in what they’re doing,” the 33-year-old Finnegan said. “There are still people who are scared or unsure of what’s happening, so I hope just telling my story might help one person notice there’s more acceptance out there.”

    The athlete, who won his 10 championships in triple jump, said that he eventually gravitated toward track and field – as opposed to team sports like basketball and Gaelic football, which he played in his younger years – because he found the atmosphere more welcoming.

    “Athletics was always a place that, because it was quite mixed, it was a place I could have gotten away from everything,” he told the podcast.

    “I think those sports, because they were a team sport with males, there were times when it wasn’t comfortable,” he elaborated. “Athletics was always my favorite sport, it was always the sport that was the one that was the most open. I’d be training with girls, I’d be training with guys, and I think that did help a bit. I was never worried about any kind of comments on the track. But when I was going for, say, football, it was more of an issue.”

    He also said that after growing up with sports as a major part of his identity, it was important for him to find a way to continue participating after his university years.

    “I loved sport and my whole family was sporty. I’d want to be doing the sports, but there was a part of them I wasn’t enjoying at all,” he said, echoing a sentiment shared by many LGBTQ athletes who feel pressured to remain closeted due to the hyper-masculine environment and hetero-normative expectations typically found in male-dominated team sports.

    In the interview, Finnegan also opens up about the strains of being publicly “closeted” while maintaining a personal life, as well as additional issues he faced in both the public and private sphere.

    As a final thought, he shared a quote from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

  • 16 Mar 2020 10:47 | Anonymous


    Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 is happening in 2.5 years. Get involved now to support GGHK as donor, fundraiser, sponsor, volunteer, champion or sign up for our newsletter!

    Check out the new website: https://gghk2022.com/

    Follow Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022!

    Follow GGHK on social media to stay up to date about life in Hong Kong & Asia , LGBTQ+ sport, arts & culture events:

    Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/GayGamesHK2022/

    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/gaygameshk2022/

    Twitter https://twitter.com/GayGamesHK2022

    Weibo https://www.weibo.com/u/5991486491?is_hot=1

    YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/GayGames11HongKong2022


    NEW LOGO UNVEILED

    On 14 March 2020, the new logo for Gay Games 11 made its debut. It’s a natural evolution from the original Hong Kong logo. The logo has a name (“The Sails Of Unity”) and has its own meaning and symbology.

    Until the 1970s, spotting sampans – the traditional Chinese wooden flat boats – sailing up and down Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour day and night, was indeed a common sight.

    Among those, there were some bigger and stronger ones, venerable vessels displaying striking flashy red sails.

    Nowadays only few of them are still visible in the Harbour, but their memory and their legacy have become one of the most cherished symbols of the city.

    Designed in the form of the sampan and representing the diversity in the LGBT!+ community – highlighted by the six rainbow colours – our boat sails on placid waters: a grey hand represents humanity which we are all part of; the two-coloured waves represent the immense streams of water that unite all continents and gently push the ship towards reaching the #UnityInDiversity.

    Finally, the blue and orange colours, representing the Sun and the Sea chasing sunrises and sunsets, paint the wording, while the dark blue of the ocean stands quietly at the bottom, reminding us of the motto chosen for the Games, and of our Patron Committee, the Federation of Gay Games.

  • 13 Mar 2020 15:34 | Anonymous

    Reprinted from US News & World Report

    THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2020 (American Heart Association News) - Sofia Flynn is exceptional in many ways. The 17-year-old from Chevy Chase, Maryland, already works as an emergency medical technician and does data analysis in a research lab. She has her sights set on medical school and a career in psychiatry. And she works out regularly, in a gym and in dance class.

    That last item puts Flynn, a high school junior who identifies as bisexual, in a distinct minority among American teenagers overall, and among non-heterosexual youths in particular.

    About 29% of high school students in 2017 said they got the recommended hour a day of aerobic activity, according to statistics published recently by the American Heart Association. But only half that many students who are gay, lesbian or bisexual said the same. The gap was much greater for males than for females.

    Many factors are at play, but barriers that drive sexual minority teens away from physical education classes and team sports are particularly significant, said Ethan Mereish, a clinical psychologist who is an assistant professor at American University in Washington, D.C.

    "We know that homophobia exists, and students oftentimes experience discrimination, harassment, bullying, victimization and microaggressions related to their sexual orientation in schools," said Mereish, who has led research on LGBTQ teens and exercise. Schools also are the primary place where adolescents learn about and take part in physical activity.

    Teens of any sexuality might feel out of place in gym class, he acknowledged. But sexual minority kids are often specifically targeted. That can make gym and sports teams "an environment that is unfriendly and unsafe."

    Mereish directs American University's Lavender Lab, which studies LGBTQ health issues. Flynn, who attends D.C.'s prestigious Sidwell Friends School, works as an assistant there. Although she played soccer and lacrosse through middle school, Flynn said she didn't experience blatant homophobia regarding sports.

    But some friends have ended up on teams where people hurl homophobic slurs. Some, she said, have had to try to bury their orientation when they play. "They kind of hide that part of themselves to some extent during the practice in order to just kind of get through it."

    She understands that feeling. In middle school, as she was becoming aware of her sexuality but was still closeted, the gym class locker room became an awkward place.

    "The situation was just kind of uncomfortable," she said. She learned to get dressed and get out fast. "I just really kind of avoided the locker room for the most part as much as I could."

    A combination of factors kept her engaged with fitness. First, a heart condition motivates her to stay active. Also, she discovered dance. And the dance classes at her school have been places where LGBTQ teens feel welcome, she said. "It definitely has always been kind of like a safe bubble, which is super nice."

    Many LGBTQ teens don't get that kind of opportunity, said Ryan Pettengill, executive director of You Can Play, a nonprofit that works to affect sports culture so LGBTQ athletes feel welcome.

    He cites the international "Out on the Fields" study that shows the challenges: 73% of participants said they thought youth sports weren't safe and welcoming for gay, lesbian or bisexual people.

    The biggest barrier, Pettengill said, is coaches' language, which can be laced with homophobic slurs aimed at players. "They hear words like that all the time," from professional leagues down to high school.

    Solutions, he said, need to focus on entire communities. You Can Play inspired a viral series of student-led videos that send a message of inclusion, but the real work has to start at the top, Pettengill said.

    "I think the most important thing that a coach or administrator or principal can do is challenge their own culture as a staff." Whether it's teachers' language or a district's bathroom policies, "if you're going to encourage the kids to do the right thing, you have to challenge yourself to do the right thing."

    Mereish agreed it's not fair to put the burden of change on teens. It's not always safe for them to speak up, he said. But allies can help. He said research has shown the mere presence of a gay-straight alliance club at a school improves students' health.

    Flynn said she feels lucky to have had a loving family that helped her stay physically and mentally healthy. She also is happy to attend a school that has inclusive attitudes and facilities.

    "I have friends who are transgender and have transitioned and are able to use either a gender-neutral locker room or the locker room that aligns with how they identify, which is definitely not true of every school," she said.

    Like Mereish, Flynn thinks the ultimate answer to removing barriers to fitness goes beyond the gym. Schools, she said, should have "an open discussion about LGBTQ issues, not treating it as something weird or taboo."

    Because ultimately, "the health and well-being of teenagers, whether they're gay or straight or bisexual, is important," Flynn said.

    "I think it's important to have those kids be able to be out at school, be accepted at school, and then have the confidence to try out for that team or to join a dance class or even just to go into the gym and lift weights and feel like they're welcome to be in that environment."

  • 12 Mar 2020 16:44 | Anonymous

    Reprinted from Outsports.com

    The Federation of Gay Games congratulates this brave athlete. Read his story below.

    Curdin Orlik, a champion in the sport of Swiss “swing” wrestling, has come out as gay, becoming Switzerland’s first openly gay active male pro athlete.

    “I am like that,” Orlik told Christof Gertsch of Switzerland’s The Magazine in a deeply reported article. “I can’t help it. That’s how I was born.”


    Curdin Orlik, champion Swiss wrestler, came out as gay. Instagram

    Orlik, 27, said he decided to come out publicly because ”I’d rather be free than fearful.”

    “For far too long I have pushed out who I really am,” he said. “I am not someone who kisses in front of people, but I want to lie down with a man and be able to touch him. ... I always knew that I was gay, for sure since I was 12. But I thought: this is wrong, it cannot be. I heard things on the school building square [like] ‘you gay pig,’ ‘you faggot.’ Or in soccer, ‘such a gay pass!’ Even when swinging [wrestling]. Sure, nobody really meant that, but if you’re like that yourself, you think, ‘Shit, that’s not a good thing.’ I thought: I don’t want to be gay. But it’s me. Now it’s out.”

    Swing wrestling is a sport peculiar to Switzerland and very popular, with its champions becoming household names. It’s a derivative of folk wrestling where the wrestlers wear special clothes that allow for holds and throws and the action takes place in a circle covered in sawdust.

    Despite the uniqueness of the sport, Orlik’s coming out will resonate with any LGBTQ athlete, especially gay men — the realization at a young age that you are different, the fear and uncertainty of coming out and the emotional toll the closet takes.

    Orlik’s first experiences of meeting other men on apps were terrible. “I felt abused,” he said. “I thought if being gay meant you were so miserable, it wasn’t for me. Getting to know good gays is doubly difficult if you keep your gayness hidden. You are defenseless because fear always resonates that you are exposed. And who should I have talked about bad experiences with? I was alone. It may sound stupid, but I figured I needed a girlfriend again.”

    Orlik then fell in love with a woman whom he married and they had a son, now 2. Once he realized he needed to come out, Orlik told his wife and they separated but he still has a great relationship with her and his son.

    “The Magazine” worked on the story for more than a year, talking to Orlik and his family and friends until he was finally ready to come out.

    Since the story appeared this weekend, Orlik says he has been moved by the support he has received on social media. On Facebook, he wrote: “Wow, I am overwhelmed by the large number of positive reactions that you have sent me through a variety of channels. With your wonderful feedback, I’m now starting a new, open and free period of life.”

    Orlik hopes he will become a better wrestler now that his secret is out, another universal feeling for out athletes. “Perhaps it will take me some time until the new situation no longer stresses me, but it frees me.”

  • 08 Mar 2020 17:51 | Anonymous

    Reprinted with permission from the Bay Area Reporter.

    By Roger Brigham

    Last March, Australian Olympic gold medal diver Matthew Mitcham announced he was engaged to his partner, Luke Rutherford. In early February, the couple made it official with a legal ceremony in Great Britain, followed last week with a public ceremony in Belgium and a honeymoon in Amsterdam.

    Matthew Mitcham, left, kissed his husband, Luke Rutherford, during the couple's public ceremony in Belgium. Photo: Courtesy Instagram 

    "Basking in the afterglow of the best week of my life," Mitcham posted on Instagram. "I'm so lucky to have such a beautiful bunch of family and friends."

    Ahhh — if only NBC Sports had been there to capture a photograph of their kiss. (Famously, the network cut away from Mitcham kissing his former partner after his gold medal dive at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.)

    Mitcham, who won that medal just months after coming out, will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in April.


    Congratulations to Matthew Mitcham. To read more about this wedding, other news about Gay Games XII, and updates on anti-transgender legislation in various United States jurisdictions, click HERE.

  • 29 Feb 2020 11:25 | Anonymous

    PRESS RELEASE ISSUED 29 FEBRUARY 2020


    SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA, 29 February 2020

    20 Cities Across 6 Continents Return RFIs to be the Host City for the Games that Change the World.

    The Federation of Gay Games has received a record number of expressions of interest from cities around the globe desiring to be the host of Gay Games XII to be held in 2026!

    Dave Killian, Officer of Site Selection says,

    "We are extremely delighted to have received this record amount of interest for the Gay Games! The excitement of 20 cities from 6 continents shows that countries want to not only welcome diverse communities to their cities but also want to be a place of community and connectedness for all people. These are the Games that change the world and the growing interest in participation, hosting and volunteering proves that."

    The cities are:

    Brisbane, Australia

    São Paulo, Brazil

    Toronto, Canada

    Munich, Germany

    Dublin, Ireland

    Guadalajara, Mexico

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Auckland, New Zealand

    Lisbon, Portugal

    Cape Town, South Africa

    Durban, South Africa

    Valencia, Spain

    Taipei, Taiwan

    Liverpool, UK

    Austin, USA

    Fort Lauderdale, USA

    Minneapolis, USA

    New Orleans, USA

    San Diego, USA

    Seattle, USA

    "We listen closely to our members and take the feedback on the submission process from previous bidders and host cities very seriously. Our goal is to make it easier for the Games to come to cities and we are on the right track for doing that,” Killian adds.

    The RFP will be available on March 1. On April 30 the official contenders for host status for Gay Games XII will be be identified, as that is the date that Letters of Intent are due. For more information on the process including timelines visit our website.

    Hosting the Gay Games

    The positive financial impact to the host city of the Gay Games is clear, as evidenced by the official economic impact highlights from the 2018 Gay Games X in Paris:

    Total economic impact: US $117.9 million.

    Locals and non-locals contributed a total of US $72.7 million to the economy, in the areas of lodging, dining and entertainment, travel and other necessities, and tourism.

    An additional US $45.8 million was generated in local incomes - roughly the equivalent of 1,429 full-time jobs.

    23% of participants were from France (12% from Paris).

    40% of local participants said they would have traveled outside Paris, France to participate in theGay Games, taking their spend of US $9.2 million to another region.

    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.

    “Gay Games,” “Federation of Gay Games,” the interlocking circles device, and the phrase“Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best” are trademarks of the Federation of Gay Games, Inc. Trademarks are registered in the USA, Canada, Benelux, the UK, Germany, and Australia.


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