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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.

  • 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

  • 13 Feb 2023 11:35 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    This article appeared on on 13 February. To read the entire article there with photos, click HERE.

    By Emma Smith

    Participation is first, personal best is second.

    Welcome to the Gay Games, where anyone can become an athlete and represent their country, no matter their age, gender, athletic skill - or indeed sexuality.

    The quadrennial celebration of LGBTQ+ sport and culture returns for its 11th edition from 3-11 November after a 16-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    And for the first time in its 41-year history, the event will take place in Asia and Latin America as Hong Kong and the Mexican city of Guadalajara will act as co-hosts.

    "Really, it is the LGBTQ+ Games - allies can participate, anyone can take part," Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, vice-president of external relations for the Federation of Gay Games, tells BBC Sport.

    Launched in San Francisco in 1982, the mission of the Gay Games is to promote equality through sport and culture. Anyone can join in.

    "It is a participatory games - participation is first, personal best is second," adds Hyyrylainen-Trett.

    "We do have records set, former Olympians who participate, but that is an exception to the rule."

    Instead, the Gay Games - initially termed the Gay Olympics before an injunction from the US Olympic Committee over the use of the word 'Olympic' forced a change of name - aims to provide a place for people to play sport in what is an increasingly hostile environment.

    The Gay Games features sports not seen in the Olympics, such as ballroom dancing

    We have to be realistic, there are a lot of world crises

    From the 2022 World Cup, where issues from the illegality of homosexuality in Qatar and the scrapping of the OneLove armband created a macabre sideshow to the football, to the scramble of sports governing bodies to bring in new rules or categories for transgender athletes, sport in 2023 is a difficult place to be for many LGBTQ+ people.

    In the Gay Games there are no qualifying categories and the sports have rankings in which a person can select the level at which they want to compete.

    In squash, for example, there are four skill levels: advanced and elite, good, recreational or beginner.

    For gendered competitions, those taking part can self-identify into whichever category they feel most comfortable.

    There are some competitive sports - swimming, for example, has world records available as it is a World Aquatics-recognised event - but it's mostly about taking part.

    And it's because of this that the Gay Games has grown to have more participants than even the Olympics, with more than 10,000 people taking part in the event in Paris 2018.

    Hyyrylainen-Trett anticipates lower numbers this time around, though, with sports split over the two host countries. Just six of the 32 events will take place in both Hong Kong and Guadalajara: badminton, swimming, marathon, road running, tennis and track and field.

    "There will be a mixture of some sports - hockey will be in Hong Kong for example, powerlifting in Guadalajara.

    "We are conscious numbers will be different, and probably lower. We have to be realistic, there are a lot of crises in the world. This is not a cheap adventure either, we are wary of cost as well."

    It's a feeling of nervousness and excitement

    But Hyyrylainen-Trett believes this could be the most diverse Gay Games yet, thanks to it being hosted in two new continents, along with initiatives such as a scholarship the Games run in Congo to enable more African athletes to compete.

    Hosting in Asia and Latin America for the first time will broaden what has for four decades been a largely US-centric event.

    Five of the 10 Games so far have been held in the United States, while the 1990 event was hosted by Vancouver, Canada. The only Gay Games to take place outside Europe or North America to date was in Sydney in 2002.

    "The point of the Games is to branch out. It is important that we strive to take the Games elsewhere," he says.

    Hyyrylainen-Trett knows the Games as well as anyone, having taken part in the event at Cologne 2010 and Paris 2018.

    These are the first Games he has helped organise.

    "It's a feeling of nervousness and excitement," he says, with the event now nine months away.

    "We are sad we couldn't have them for the 40th anniversary in 2022, due to extraordinary global circumstances. That's why we have a unique and significant co-hosting arrangement for 2023."

    The 2022 event was due to take place solely in Hong Kong, but because of the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and the political unrest with neighbouring China, a co-host was sought. Guadalajara - which came second to both Hong Kong in the 2022 bid and to Valencia for the 2026 event - was called in to help host the Games.

    "The Hong Kong Covid restrictions were still in place travel-wise up to December, and we have to plan 365 days ahead," explains Hyyrylainen-Trett.

    "Guadalajara have been up there, they have been ready. They have the facilities, they have the ability to pull this off in a much shorter time period.

    "Most cities have four years, Guadalajara has 15 months. It's a big ask, but we recognise their ability to pull this out the hat. From both sides, both cities, there is a big desire to make this work."

    A total of 1,350 people took part in the first Gay Games in 1982. Yet as the event's reach continues to grow, Hyyrylainen-Trett is focused on ensuring the ethos remains the same.

    "There is music, cheerleading, dancing - but sport is the fundamental part," he says.

    "I am hoping both cities are able to pull this unique arrangement off - it will be a challenge."

  • 11 Feb 2023 10:40 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)
    Doug Mattis, who made history by coming out at the 1994 Gay Games in NYC has died.


    On Thursday, February 9, the figure skating world lost a beloved pioneer. Doug Mattis, a 56-year-old master PSA rated choreographer and athlete passed away. He was a beloved member of the figure skating community, known for his artistry on the ice and his groundbreaking work to bring visibility to LGBTQ+ athletes. 

    During his 26-year career in figure skating, Doug achieved numerous accolades. He was part of the United States International Figure Skating Team and won the U.S Open and American Open seven times. In 1994 he revealed his sexual orientation to the figure skating community by skating two exhibition pieces at the Gay Games in New York City. He made history as one of the first openly gay athletes in figure skating and used his platform to normalize LGBTQ+ visibility in this highly competitive sport. 

    Doug’s work didn’t stop there – he also hosted several seminars on choreography for coaches all over North America, wrote articles for national magazines, created programs for charity events, and produced shows. His passion for writing never stopped – during his last years he wrote short stories under a pseudonym that were soon to be published posthumously. 

    He was also an esteemed coach who helped many athletes reach their dreams on the ice. He taught them not only how to perform but also how to be strong advocates of their own artistry through movement on ice like him. He always pushed athletes to challenge themselves while staying true to themselves at the same time — something that will be remembered by those whose lives he touched throughout his journey in figure skating. 

    With sadness, Laura Moore

    To read a very nice profile of Doug Mattis from the 11 June 1996 issue of Advocate Magazine, click HERE.

    To see an amazing video of Doug's skating presentation at Gay Games IV in New York City in 1994, click HERE.

    Laura Moore was acquainted with Doug Mattis and submitted this post. An award-winning figure skater in her own right, Laura is an Honorary Life Member of the Federation of Gay Games.

  • 14 Sep 2022 14:04 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    In the wake of the "Passing The Torch" series of articles about the 40 year history of the Gay Games, please consider reading (or re-reading) a great article first published in April 2011. It was published in the Bay Area Reporter newspaper in San Francisco and was authored by Honorary Life Member Roger Brigham, who is also a member of the LGBT Sports Hall of Fame.

    The article is titled "From the Closet to the Stadium" and may be read HERE. Or click the newspaper's masthead below.

    The article follows the path of several local early participants in the Gay Games, how they heard about the event, their experiences, and how the event changed their lives. It should be VERY interesting reading.

    Reprinted with permission by the author.

  • 08 Sep 2022 17:50 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Headliners, Politicians, and the GG9 Obama Welcome Video - Part B

    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 22b of 40 - 18 August - Headliners, Politicians, and the GG9 Obama Welcome Video

    “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.

    * * *

    Continued from Post 22a


    Gay Games I (L to R): Tina Turner, Rita Mae Brown, Mary Dunlap

    Gay Games I George Frenn & Susan McGrievy

    Gay Games II: Mayor Dianne Feinstein with Tom Waddell

    Gay Games III: Robin Tyler

    Gay Games IV (L to R): Patti LaBelle, Cyndi Lauper, Barbara Cook, Armistead Maupin

    Gay Games IV (L to R): Kathy Najimy, Sir Ian McKellan, Lillias White, Desmond Child

    Gay Gay Games IV (L to R): Dianne Reeves, Crystal Waters, Phyllis Hyman, Martina Navratilova & Billie Jean King

    Gay Games IV (L to R): Suzanne Westenhoefer, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Greg Louganis

    Gay Games V (L to R): Weather Girls, Dana International

    Games VI (L to R): k. d. lang, Justice Michael Kirby

    Gay Games VII: (L to R) Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Margaret Cho, Jessica Waddell Lewinstein, Erasure's Andy Bell 

    Gay Games VII: (L to R) Kate Clinton, Jorge Valencia, Jody Watley, Megan Mullally


    Gay Games VII: (L to R) Esera Tuaolo, Geiorge Takei, David Kopay, Broadway cast of Avenue Q


    Gay Games VII: (L to R) Matt Alber, Ari Gold, Leigh Ann Naidoo, Billy Bean

    Gay Games VII: (L to R) Poppy Champlin, Mayor Daley with Cologne Deputy Mayor Elfi Scho-Antwerpes, Cyndi Lauper, Sharon McKnight


    Gay Games VII: (L to R) Jason & deMarco, Leigh-Ann Naidoo with Billy Bean, Staceyann Chin, Shavonne Conroy


    Gay Games VII: (L to R) Levi Kreis & Eric Himan, Ant, Doria Roberts, Kristine W.
    Gay Games VII photos by: Beckermedia, Amy Moseley, Bob Olayas, Jay W, Ryan Kolodziej, Ron Favors, Rose Mary Mitchell

    GGVIII: (L to R) Cologne Deputy Mayor Elfi Scho-Antwerpes, Michelle Ferris & John Amaechi, Matthew Mitcham, German Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwell

    GGVIII: (L to R) Hillary Clinton, Matthew Micham & Michelle Ferris (Dave Kopay in background), Ambassador Phil Murphy, Taylor Dayne & FGG Officer of Communications Kelly Stevens

    GGIX: (L to R) Pointer Sisters, Alex Newell, Andrea McArdle, Greg Louganis


    GGIX: (L to R) President Barack H. Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown with wife Connie Schultz, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson & Akron Mayor Donald Plusquellic, Blake Skjellerup

    GGIX: (L to R) Lance Bass, Boy George

    GGX: (L to R) Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Laura Flessel, Offer Nissim, Jean-Paul Gaultier


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

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