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.

  • 08 Jun 2019 12:22 | Anonymous

    During the month of June, 2019 (pride month in many places), Outsports.com is profiling 30 LGBTQ athletes who show "Stonewall Spirit" in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion in New York City.

    Tom Waddell in the discus event at Gay Games I in 1982

    On 2 June, Gay Games founder Dr. Tom Waddell was profiled as one of these athletes. You can find the article HERE.

    In the description of this month-long series, Outsports.com said... "In commemoration of Pride Month and the 50th year since the Stonewall Inn riots in New York, Outsports is profiling one out athlete daily who embodies the 'Stonewall Spirit,' reflecting the courage of those who launched the modern LGBTQ rights movement."

    Enjoy this excellent profile of Gay Games founder Tom Waddell.

  • 05 Jun 2019 15:13 | Anonymous

    As a follow-up to the Federation of Gay Games' statement regarding Caster Semenya, news stories are reporting that Caster Semenya has been cleared to compete without taking medication to lower her testosterone levels while her appeal is pending after a court in Switzerland ordered an immediate suspension of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations.

    Here are links to two articles regarding this development:

    Inside The Games  


    The FGG's previous statement in support of Caster Semenya may be found HERE.

  • 27 May 2019 19:55 | Anonymous

    If you participated in Gay Games 10 in Paris, you already know how amazing the Closing Ceremony was. Even if you weren't there, you have the opportunity to experience this amazing event that wrapped up the week of activity in August, 2018.

    Check out this wonderfully edited video from the Closing Ceremony in Paris. The link to the video is HERE.

    Here are three still images from the video... enjoy!

  • 24 May 2019 23:41 | Anonymous

    After showing in more than 10 festivals around the world to a powerful response (including San Luis Obisbo, CA, BFI London, and the Cleveland Film Festival) the amazing film LIGHT IN THE WATER will be screened in New York City on 24 June.

    The film will be screened at 7:30pm on Monday, 24 June at the Regal Battery Park Stadium 11 Theater, 102 North End Ave., New York, NY 10282 (between Tribeca and the World Trade Center).

    Several founding members of West Hollywood Aquatics (the subject of hte film) and Producer Nathan Santell will be in attendance, conducting a Q&A session following the film.

    To purchase tickets, click HERE.

    Tickets are priced at $16.45.

    This screening will take place coinciding with the 2019 IGLA Championships in New York City. Learn more about that event HERE.

    More about this film: 

    LIGHT IN THE WATER shares the empowering story of West Hollywood Aquatics, from their founding in 1982 for the first ever Gay Games in San Francisco, through the AIDS crisis, and up to the present day. A television version of the film premiered on Logo TV in June, 2018 and has now screened in over 10 film festivals around the world, including Paris, Glasgow, Sydney, Kansas and Palm Springs, where in January it was voted "Best of Fest" by audiences.

    The film’s trailer can be viewed HERE.

    If you are interested in organizing a screening of this film in your city, learn more at THIS LINK.

  • 13 May 2019 12:41 | Anonymous


    The Federation of Gay Games is in full support of Caster Semenya, including if she decides to appeal the recent discriminatory and shortsighted ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

    With this ruling we are harkening back to outdated definitions of what it means to be male and female. The world and its people are changing and organizations, attitudes, and bodies that are designed to protect and support their constituents must adapt accordingly or we run the risk of encouraging segregation and hatred.

    The specific and selective targeting of people because they are in some way “different,” whether female or genetically gifted or LGBTI+ has no place in our world nor in sport and the FGG will not be supporting the implementation of such a discriminatory policy in the Gay Games. #supportcastersemenya

    To learn more, please read THIS ARTICLE.

  • 13 Apr 2019 15:24 | Anonymous

    Read the intensely personal story of a long-planned visit to Australia by Roger Brigham, journalist and Honorary Life Member of the Federation of Gay Games.

    Wrestlers in Sydney, including Roger Brigham, fifth from left, gather at a clinic. Photo: Courtesy Andrew Farrell

    Reprinted from the Bay Area Reporter

    Every sports person should get a chance at least once in life to coach Australians.

    Twenty years ago, I was a fragile remnant of a former athlete. My physicians' six-month deathwatch had stretched to two and a half years. In the worst of it, I summarized my experience by writing, "I have lain in bed staring at the face of Death, and worse, held the hands of his rotting minions."

    This year, as spring took hold in the Bay Area after the wettest of winters, I found myself resurrected thousands of miles away in a place I thought I'd never see, enjoying the first days of autumn making new friends, cooking a feast for 20 fellow athletes, and coaching them in the sport that saved my life.

    For a few years, Tony Galluzzo, then-president of Harbour City Wrestling Club in Sydney, had tried to get me to Australia to conduct a wrestling clinic. I'd met Galluzzo at the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany, when he was one of three Aussies there to wrestle. Over the years our friendship and respect grew. He let me coach his club at the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio, and the effort to bring me to Sydney began.

    To read the rest of this story, click HERE.

  • 24 Mar 2019 21:39 | Anonymous
    • "My teammates are there for me no matter what," says Alessandro Calanca
    • Italian has no Cantonese language skills but forms bond with City RFC players thanks to their "unconditional" support

    Allesandro Calanca gets (back row, second from left) unconditional support from his teammates, despite the perception that Hong Kong has outdated views about LGBTQ community members.

    Reprinted from South China Morning Post

    By Mark Agnew

    When Alessandro Calanca moved to Hong Kong he had never player rugby before. So, it might seem like a bizarre decision to begin a brutal sport at the age of 27.

    But Calanca, originally from Italy, has found a level of “unconditional camaraderie” at City Rugby Club he never expected.

    The club attracts local Hongkongers, making Calanca the only non-Cantonese speaking player. He is forced to rely on his teammates for translations during huddles and coaching sessions.

    His decisions to start rugby and join a local team, rather than one filled with fellow expats, is not the only unique aspect to his story. Calanca is gay, and before coming to Hong Kong had heard that the city’s attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community was not open.

    “I was expecting to have a few issues here and there with the teammates and people in sports, but it turned out to be a very smooth process,” Calanca said. “I was lucky to be in a very supportive club, I was very lucky to have understanding and open minded people around me.”

    Calanca has never come out to his teammates. They simply accepted him for who he is. In fact, even the idea of coming out is strange to Calanca, as straight people are not expected to declare their sexuality. “I think that is the direction we are going, that we don’t have to classify or label people,” he said.

    Ironically, the only prejudice Calanca has faced was when they were playing a team predominately filled with expats. One of the opposition was shouting at Calanca’s teammates and Calanca told him to stop it. “He is a person. You don’t have to shout at him or scream at him,” he said.

    Then the opposition rounded on Calanca and used a derogatory word for gay people.

    “That got me mad,” he said. “Because this has nothing to do with a person being gay or straight. This is just a matter of being respectful.

    “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration if I say it was a bit of traumatising moment.”

    But Calanca’s team came to his aid, and the other City players stood up for him even though many of them did not know what the word meant.

    “I had the ultimate realisation that my teammates will be there for me no matter what,” he said. “Regardless of whether they knew what had been said to me, they were by my side.”

    Calanca’s friends had to convince him to share his story. He thought there was nothing unique about being a non-Cantonese speaking, beginner rugby player and openly gay, in Hong Kong.

    “‘Inspire’ feels like a hard word and it comes with a lot of responsibility,” Calanca said. “But even if it just inspires one person to be open to their teammates in any team sport, or one person to join rugby even though they didn’t think they were tough enough to play, then I think it is a story worth being told.”

    Calanca has faith that the younger generation in Hong Kong is open to diversity, even if legislation lags behind changing attitudes.

    The Italian avoided joining rugby under the impression he was not tough enough but the nature of the brutal sport has filtered into the culture of standing up for each other, no matter your teammates backgrounds or values.

    “The way it is structured, you have to be physically there for your teammate and be available for your teammate,” he said. “But if you are not their to support, the game can’t go on. And I think that is pretty powerful.”

    He might still be developing his skills but he has found an environment where he feels safe, where he can play and be himself. “And that’s priceless,” he said. “If someone else can have that feeling, I will recommend with my whole heart. It makes you realise that no matter how difficult or hard it has been, there are always people who support you. Your teammates.”

  • 28 Feb 2019 11:53 | Anonymous

    Reprinted from Outsports.com

    Three men, in Ireland and England, have found love and support with gay soccer and rugby teams.

    By Cyd Zeigler   @CydZeigler

    There are no gay soccer teams in Morocco. The African nation on the Atlantic coast maintains a ban on homosexuality that stifles the organization of many groups that could bring together a local LGBTQ community.

    Yet in Ireland, asylum-seeker Hicham Lamchaali has found a home on a local gay soccer team, according to RTE, Ireland’s version of National Public Radio.

    In a new feature piece on the RTE’s website, Lamchaali talks about living in Morocco as a closeted gay man, and then arriving in Ireland and finding the Dublin Devils.

    “The Dublin Devils mean a lot to me,” Lamchaali told RTE. “I can’t even find the words to explain what they mean to me. They are more than family. They are my friends. You can be free to [say] who you are dating, to say who you are without fear.”

    The power of community in sports

    It’s the sentiment so many participants in LGBTQ sports leagues have expressed over the years. In a sports world that has a reputation of rejecting people in our community, finding “safe spaces” to kick a ball or shoot hoops can be powerfully affirming.

    For asylum seekers, we’re finding more and more the power of sports to unite people across cultures.

    Last year Kenneth Macharia faced deportation back to Kenya. He too had found a home in LGBTQ sports — this time rugby — and he saw his teammates rally around him, creating a Change.org petition and speaking out against his deportation. Macharia did get a reprieve from the deportation threat.

    Gay athletes support their teammate

    A third gay athlete — Raymond Mashamba — is also seeking asylum in the UK after being outed in Zimbabwe. Mashamba has equally found support among his teammates, with Titans FC.

    From Sky Sports:
    In a short space of time, Raymond has become a much-loved figure with his Titans club-mates; they have contributed letters of recommendation to support his claim to remain in the UK. There may also be an opportunity to convert his Zimbabwean refereeing qualification into an FA equivalent.

    While LGBTQ sports teams and leagues cannot provide legal asylum, it’s not surprising that they are offering emotional refuge for athletes who have never been in an environment that welcomes all of who they are.

  • 13 Feb 2019 19:36 | Anonymous

    Patricia Nell Warren was inducted as a lifetime member of the International Front Runners October, 2018.  

    By FGG Honorary Life Member Roger Brigham
    Bay Area Reporter

    Bestselling novelist, social activist, and longtime LGBT sports advocate Patricia Nell Warren died Saturday, February 9, at the age of 82. A cause of death was not immediately reported, but Ms. Warren had been battling various health issues for several years.

    Ms. Warren burst into international fame with her second novel, the best-seller "The Front Runner," in 1974, the same year she came out as lesbian.

    For the complete article, click HERE.


    For an even more personal article by Roger Brigham about the passing of Patricia Nell Warren, click HERE.


    Cyd Zeigler at Outsports has also written a wonderful obituary about Patricia Nell Warren. Read it HERE.


    In October, 2012, the 30th Anniversary of the Gay Games was celebrated during a weekend of activities in West Hollywood, CA. Among those who were honored and spoke at a panel session were Patricia Nell Warren and Gay Games Ambassador Dave Kopay. Here are some photos from that weekend.

    Patricia Nell Warren (left) with Gay Games founder Sara Waddell Lewinstein

    Gay Games Ambassador Dave Kopay (left) with Patricia Nell Warren

    (left to right) Dave Kopay, Roger Brigham, Patricia Nell Warren holding her anthology book "The Lavender Locker Room."


    Finally, Patricia Nell Warren prepared a very nice video greeting for all the participants at the 2014 Gay Games 9 in Cleveland + Akron. Check out the video HERE.

  • 13 Feb 2019 12:13 | Anonymous

    Reprinted from several sources on 12 and 13 February 2019

    England cricket captain Joe Root showed integrity and leadership in his response to a comment from West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, says former batter Ebony Rainford-Brent.

    Sky Sports published a clip of Root, 28, telling Gabriel: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay."

    Gabriel, 30, was warned by the umpire for the language he used, though his original comment was not picked up.

    "Well done Root," said Rainford-Brent.

    "We don't know exactly what was said but what we can take from it is that whatever Joe thought he heard, his response was one of a leader.

    "It's one thing being an England captain, but having that awareness and presence in that moment to be prepared to stand up for something, that's what's interesting."

    Gabriel was subsequently charged by the International Cricket Council with breaching its code of conduct.

    Root refused to explain exactly what was said after play on day three of the final Test in St Lucia, during which the England captain hit a fine century to put his side in a commanding position.

    Read the entire article HERE.

    Here is a video about this story, including a clip of Joe Root saying his now-famous words:


    Another article states...

    We’ve all experienced it. That moment someone cuts you down, in jest or in spite, and it’s only some time afterwards that you consider how better you might have handled your response. From the workplace to the sports field, it’s a challenge in any situation of heightened tension to have the right clarity of thought to respond appropriately.

    Joe Root’s actions in St Lucia demonstrated how to affect a brilliant, calm and direct response to Shannon Gabriel after it’s alleged, he used homophobic language to put the England cricket captain off his stride as he built towards his sixteenth Test century.

    Root responded to Gabriel, “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

    Read the second article HERE.

    This story has reached global audiences. HERE is another article from South Africa praising the actions of Joe Root.

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