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.

  • 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


    Bay Area Reporter



  • 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


    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


    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.


    584 Castro Street, Suite 343, San Francisco, CA 94114 USA

    Phone: +1-866-459-1261

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  • 26 Feb 2020 09:46 | Anonymous

    Gay Games icon Susan McGreivy passed away on November 30, 2019. This loving tribute to her memory was written by Federation of Gay Games Honorary Life Member Shamey Cramer.

    Lighting the cauldron at Gay Games I Opening Ceremony: George Frenn (left) and Susan McGreivy (right).
    Photo: Lisa Kanemoto

    When I walked into the Mother Lode bar in West Hollywood on Saturday, 15 May 1982, I had no idea how quickly my life was going to change. After ordering a Long Island Iced Tea, I went to the back to use a payphone to call my friends about plans for the evening.

    As I headed down the short hallway, a poster on the wall caught my eye - it was marketing an event to be held in San Francisco later that summer called the Gay Olympic Games. My heart began to race. Three generations of my family had been involved with professional and community sports as athletes and administrators. I had written, produced and directed local pageants with my Mother as a teenager, and had moved to Los Angeles in 1980, partly to pursue my passion of working on the Olympic Games, with the dream of someday producing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Getting involved with an event that used sport to promote acceptance and inclusion on a global scale was tailor-made for my background, and my desire to be an out and proud gay athlete. I had trained and competed in cycling and middle distance running events, but knew that if I were to be involved, the best contribution I could make would be at the administrative and organizing level.

    I quickly jotted down the phone number, and tucked it into my pocket. That week at work, I called the number and spoke with Dr. Thomas F. Waddell, the man behind this audacious project. I expressed my desire to be active in organizing a contingent from Los Angeles. He immediately put me in touch with famed attorney Susan Gray McGreivy.

    In 1955, Susan competed as a 15-year-old high school student at the Amateur Athletic Union’s indoor swim meet, winning the 250 and 500 yard freestyles; and a bronze medal in the 400 free at the 1955 Pan American Games. The following year, she competed at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne Australia.

    Susan later attended Northwestern University, became a teacher in California, briefly coached the Thailand swim team, volunteered with the Peace Corps, and then married, raising two children before coming out. She graduated from law school in 1977, and became attorney for the Gay Community Services Center of Hollywood (later known as the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center), which led to her becoming a civil rights attorney for the Southern California ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), with a focus on gay and lesbian rights. She later represented the ACLU on cases against the Boy Scouts of America, and in defense of the Norton Sound Eight.

    In 1983, she also filed a suit against the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, demanding that the 5,000 and 10,000 distance races (track & field) be added to the program for women. She was also working on the case against the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), after they sued Dr. Waddell and San Francisco Arts & Athletics, the organization producing the Gay Olympic Games, over the use of the word “Olympic.”

    I met Susan the night of June 1 at the Melting Pot Cafe on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. It was a typical 1970s-style cafe, with lots of wood interior, potted plants and hanging ferns. Given her reputation, I was more than a bit nervous to meet her. After all, I was a 22-year-old who was just dipping his toe into gay rights activism, meeting one of the most notable and respected gay rights activist lawyers in town (the term LGBT had yet to be invented).

    Tom had asked her to organize Team Los Angeles. When I mentioned that I was more than willing to assist her in any way possible, she laughed. Given the heavy work load she had assisting San Francisco-based attorney Mary Dunlap on the Olympic case, she really didn’t have time to do any organizing for the Games. The best way I could help her, she stated, was to take over the entire operation of the team from her. She handed me the list of the names and addresses of those who had already registered, but had not been contacted by anyone locally. And that is how I became the founder of Team Los Angeles that fateful evening.

    Despite the short time frame, we were able to register 147 athletes for those first Games - the largest out-of-town contingent - as well as have the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and the Great American Yankee Freedom Marching Band to participate in the cultural events, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Since the USOC had been successful in obtaining an injunction against the Games, they had now been forced to be called simply The Gay Games.

    One of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony was the lighting of the cauldron. Imagine how proud we were as Angelenos to see Susan, along with Olympic hammer thrower George Frenn, who had grown up in the San Fernando Valley, conduct the honours of lighting the cauldron, signaling the official opening of the Gay Games.

    I remained involved with the Gay Games movement through 1985, working with Tom and ten other co-chairs from Canada and the United States to form the first international governing body; and producing the Festival Games, the first-ever annual multi-sport festival hosted by the LGBTQ+ community. I re-engaged with the Gay Games in 2000 as a member of West Hollywood Aquatics water polo team, and founder/CEO of the Los Angeles bid team seeking to host Gay Games VII in 2006.

    In 2009, a documentary was released entitled “Claiming the Title: The Gay Olympics on Trial.“ When I saw Susan McGreivy, I knew I had to reconnect with her. Thanks to the advent of social media, I was able to track her down. Although we had had little contact back in the early 1980’s, we quickly struck up a friendship, often sharing each other’s posts on social media. From the very beginning of our online friendship, we began interacting on a daily basis, often sharing humorous posts as well as serious ones.

    When I was elected to the Federation of Gay Games Board of Directors in 2011 as Officer of Ceremonies, one of my tasks was to oversee the Legacy Awards presentations and Memorial Moment at the Annual General Assembly.

    Susan McGreivy with Shamey Cramer, Cleveland AGA, 2013

    When we held the AGA in Cleveland in 2013, the Awards Committee chose to honour two of our outstanding Gay Games pioneers: Jean-Nickolaus Tretter, co-founder of Team Minnesota and the person Tom Waddell chose to head up the International Gay Olympic Association (the predecessor to the FGG), and Susan.

    Both Jean and Susan flew to Cleveland to accept their awards. The night prior to the opening day reception, Susan and I both stayed at the home of Catherine Toth and Maureen Povinelli, two of the many local community members who helped make Gay Games 9 the success it was. It was also the first time Susan and I had been face-to-face since our first meeting back in June 1982.

    FGG Legacy Award recipients, 2013: Susan McGreivy (far left), Jordan Windle (center, surrounded by his two dads), and Jean-Nickolaus Tretter (far right)

    Since we were both living in California, three hours behind local Cleveland time, we were up until 2:00 am, having one of those late-night, intense conversations that was full of humour, frustration and wistfulness. Neither of us wanted to go to bed, but we both had a full day ahead of us.

    When she received her award, she directed her comments toward the sad state of affairs with the Olympic Movement, given the news coming out of Russia and their anti-gay stance in the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics to be held four months later. Despite some major health issues she was facing, it was nice to see that time had not dimmed her fighting spirit.

    The next day, I was able to conduct on-camera interviews with both Susan and Jean, documenting their memories of participating in the Gay Games, as well as some of Susan’s other achievements. One of the funnier recollections was from her time competing at the Melbourne Olympics. She had been picked up and driven to a reception hosted by the USOC in the days following her competitions. It wasn’t until she got into the reception that she became aware of the fact that the man who she thought was merely a chauffeur, and walked into the party with her, was none other than Olympic legend Jesse Owens. Ah, the innocence of a 16-year-old high school student.

    In 2018, Susan announced that she had been dealing with an aggressive form of cancer, but still remained active online. She had moved to Hawaii by this time, but we continued to interact regularly on social media. We last texted on November 15, 2019.

    On November 30, she posted four articles - one dealing with women’s reproductive rights, two on climate change and its impact on the food supply, and one noting that smugglers had cut a hole in the US-Mexico border wall and were driving through it, which made us both laugh.

    Since I was preparing for a month-long holiday to Australia and New Zealand beginning two weeks later, I wasn’t as active on social media as I usually was. It wasn’t until I returned from my travels that I went to check in on her, only to discover that she had passed away later that same day - 30 November - after posting those items.

    In February 2019, we lost author-activist-athlete Patricia Nell Warren after her three-year battle with lung cancer. Her book “The Frontrunner” was one of the great touchstones of the LGBTIQ sports movement that helped inspire Tom Waddell to create the Gay Games. Patricia and I had been friends for more than two decades. She had served as an Honorary Co-Chair for the Los Angeles 2006 bid committee, and was my housemate in 2013-2015.

    Now, losing Susan was another major blow. Other than Jean Tretter, she was the only person left whom I had worked with on the Gay Games during my early years. As difficult as it was losing Patricia, Susan’s loss was even more difficult, since she was the one who had engaged and supported me as a novice in the LGBTQ+ sports movement: she was the one who had taken the flame and passed it on to me.

    During my time on the FGG Board, I made it a point to make sure those who were new to the family were given an education of those who came before them. Although participating at the Gay Games had become less a political statement for those from countries where LGBTIQ rights were making great strides, I was drawn to those whose work was breaking ground in their homelands. I felt it my obligation to provide for them what Susan, Patricia, Tom, Jean and other community leaders had done for so many of us in those early years.

    Working with organizers in Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Russia, Bulgaria, South Africa, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, among other developing countries, has become my passion. Having launched a team at a time when there was no track record or example to follow allows me to understand the frustration and difficulties many of our new leaders still face today in places where their lives are threatened on a daily basis. Just as the flame had been passed to me, I now have the opportunity to pass it on for others, in hopes that we may someday live in a world where an event such as the Gay Games is merely a celebration instead of a statement for rights and equality.

    We have a long way to go to get to that point, but we owe it to the likes of Susan McGreivy and others to continue that fight to shine a light on the injustices we face.

  • 31 Jan 2020 10:30 | Anonymous

    PRESS RELEASE issued 31 January 2020

    Do You Want To Bring Gay Games XII To Your City In 2026?

    The first step in the Site Selection process to identify the host for the next Gay Games in 2026 is submitting a Request for Information (RFI) document. This is now available and can be received by contacting FGGBids@GayGames.net.

    For more information about the bidding process timelines please visit our website.

    Good luck!

    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 the Gay 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.

    Contact Information: 

    Shiv Paul, Officer of Communications. shiv.paul@gaygames.net

    584 Castro Street, Suite 343, San Francisco, CA 94114 USA
    Phone: +1-866-459-1261

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© 2020 The Federation of Gay Games

The Newsletter of the FGG



584 Castro Street, Suite 343
San Francisco, CA 94114 USA

Phone: +1-866-459-1261

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