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. 

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  • 03 Aug 2020 13:57 | Anonymous

    Press Release issued 3 August 2020

    The Gay Games is a global quadrennial sport and cultural event open to all. 

    Over the course of the nine day event the host city receives a boost to their economy with an injection of more than USD 100 million, and their LGBTQ+ population receives support with the presence of approximately 12,000 participants from around the world. 

    The cities moving forward in the 2026 Gay Games bid process are: 

    • Auckland, New Zealand
    • Brisbane, Australia
    • Guadalajara, Mexico
    • Munich, Germany
    • San Diego, USA
    • Taipei, Taiwan
    • Toronto, Canada
    • Valencia, Spain

    “This is a competitive and lengthy process, and we are grateful for all of the organizations’ hard work. The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and most importantly furthering all matters of LGBTQ+ equality,” says David Killian, FGG Officer of Site Selection.

    Joanie Evans, FGG Co-President, adds, “I am very impressed with the number of cities who have bidded for the 2026 Gay Games. We are thrilled at both the scale and calibre of entries all vying to host our 2026 event.  In this time of worldwide ‘unpredictability’, I have more faith that our message of equality in sport and culture will continue to resonate around the world.” 

    “I’m excited to see the diversity of the locations of the bidding cities. To have representation from eight countries on four continents highlights the global impact of the Gay Games,” Sean Fitzgerald, FGG Co-President states.  

    Primary Bid Books are due on November 1, 2020.

    Gay Games 11 will take place November 11-19, 2022 in Hong Kong. The gay games is open to all who wish to participate and has no qualifying standards. Registration will open in Q2 of 2021. Visit https://gghk2022.com/en/ for more details.

  • 29 Jul 2020 10:49 | Anonymous

    JULY 25, 2020 — Equality Coaching Alliance, an online support network for LGBT+ sports coaches, administrators and staff, was founded nine years ago as an outreach initiative of the Federation of Gay Games. At the time, the founder, FGG volunteer Roger Brigham, a longtime wrestling coach and sports columnist for the Bay Area Reporter, knew less than a handful of LGBT coaches who were out at work.


    Today, the number of ECA members hit 1,000.

    Brigham formed the idea for the group while he was volunteering on the FGG’s external affairs committee. There were numerous LGBT+ sports-focused groups that had either just begun or were forming in 2011, but Brigham noticed none of the were specifically designed for the sports professional who were mainstays in the industry and best positioned to help change sports policies and internal culture.

    He reached out to former basketball coach Helen Carroll, who was director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights at the time, to discuss ideas for trying to connect coaches and set organizational goals. Brigham created the name, designed a logo, and launched a private group Facebook page, which remains the groups primary means of internal communications. ECA also has a public social media presence for more visibility and is in the process of launching a website.

    ECA launched on May 26, 2011 with three members. Within five days, the membership was at 13.

    “When Roger outlined this program, I was immediately excited,” Carroll said. “My hopes were to have a place where LGBTQ coaches who felt so isolated could meet each other and discuss their experiences, needs and of course, job difficulties and discrimination. Working for the NCLR, I felt it important for this group of talented coaches to understand there is a legal organization where they can go, pro bono, to seek legal help or a referral to an attorney that could help, advise or represent them in tricky job situations.”

    From the beginning, the membership gender balance has hovered at right around 50 percent.

    “Having equal gender representation was spoken of on Day One, and has been achieved in the very early days until now,” Carroll said. “I was a bit concerned that in the beginning there was not the representation of people of color as members and role models, but that changed quickly with several coaches stepping into the idea of ECA being the really first LGBT coaches organization working for equal representation of everyone. It appears this has happened. Voices must all be heard equally and leadership shared by all. Again, I see this happening  and always being improved.  Let’s keep working toward that and this group will continue to lead the way on the sports scene.”

    Several ECA members are not out professionally. ECA gives them a safe place to be themselves and get advice from peers whether they plan to come out or not.

    “I've noticed that coaches and sport professionals really appreciate a safe space to voice dialogue surrounding LGBTQ athletes while creating a diverse network around the world,” said Galen Dodd, a volleyball coach at Lewis University who has stepped up to lead the organization’s membership committee. “Many people we add have already shown themselves to be successful coaches or leaders in their industry. Joining ECA now gives them another tool in their toolbox to use.”

    As this story was being written, Charley Sullivan, an ECA member who coaches rowing at the University of Kansas, was conversing with another Division I head coach who is preparing to come out.

    “He could barely write the words five minutes ago, and now we’re talking about how dating works in public in the city where he lives and what he would do if one of his guys saw that. This is happening right now as I write this. We still have so few openly gay men coaching at the highest level. The barriers are so hard. ECA shows us that we’re not alone. Even if it’s just a series of posts we read daily in our Facebook feed.”

    Many members have been active in informing peers about ECA, but none has been more active and successful at introducing new members than UCLA softball coach Kirk Walker, one of the first coaches to join.

    “Recruitment of coaches and sports professionals begins with my reaching out to friends of ECA members on Facebook and introducing myself and the groups to them,” Walker said. “On a daily basis when I meet peers or sports professionals through my work with several sports organizations, I introduce them to ECA and encourage them to join if they are on Facebook.  We have seen substantial introductions in recent years from current ECA members bringing peers or friends forward and connecting me with them.”

    In recent months, ECA has developed a working relationships with GOSPACE, whose mission is focused on current and former LGBTQ student-athletes. Walker said the vast majority of ECA members were student-athletes before becoming sports professionals, so the cooperative relationship between ECA and GOSPACE provided mutual benefits, including the opportunity for athletes to get mentoring from coaches.

    Outsports has also begun running features on many ECA members and their stories.

    “With the partnership with Outsports, we now have more people that find out about ECA from the coming-out stories posted that now include mention of ECA in the footnotes,” Walker said.

    So far, ECA has existed as an informal network with no official structure or bylaws. Having reached a critical mass of members, it is now poised to organize more formally as a non-profit organization, seek funding, and increase its workshop, policy and educational activities. Committees have formed and have been holding regularly scheduled online video meetings.

    “There is great potential in the work coming out of the committees that could benefit from resources and funding in areas of education, internships, and forming a professional organization to influence hiring practices on campuses across the country,” Walker said. “The next major movement will be to solidify non-profit status.  We have enough work to need to hire some staff to manage committees and administrative development. This will also allow revenue streams to create a platform independent of Facebook. We have hundreds of other contacts that are not able to join or follow because they are not on Facebook.”

    People interested in ECA can visit the Equality Coaching Alliance Public Page on Facebook.

  • 30 Jun 2020 11:14 | Anonymous

    The fight for racial justice is hardly a new concept, as the struggle for basic equality for Black Americans has persisted for 400+ years. In fact, the Gay Games can trace its roots directly to this issue. 

    October 1968 was near the end of one of the most turbulent years in US history. Just a few months earlier, the country was rocked by the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy, riots outside the Democratic convention in Chicago, numerous demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, and growing unrest over centuries of discrimination against African-Americans. Just nine months later, the watershed Stonewall riots in New York City gave birth to the modern gay rights movement.

    October 18, 1968 was day six of the Summer Olympics, being held in Mexico City. That morning, two African-American sprinters – Tommie Smith and John Carlos – won gold and bronze medals in the 200 meter race. Australian Peter Norman won the silver medal.

    On their way to the medals podium, Smith and Carlos made a statement: first, they wore green and white buttons which said “Olympic Project for Civil Rights” (they also convinced silver medal-winner Peter Norman (a white Australian) to wear one of those buttons); second, they removed their shoes, wearing black socks to symbolize poverty; third, they wore beads and a scarf to protest lynchings which have historically plagued African-American males; and finally - and most significantly - they each wore a black glove on one hand. Once on the medals podium, they lowered their heads in defiance while the Star Spangled-Banner played and raised their black-gloved fists in a Black Power salute that rocked the world.


    Smith and Carlos were widely vilified for their actions, and shortly after the gesture, the U.S. Olympic Committee expelled them from the Olympic Village and sent them home. Even Peter Norman received widespread criticism by conservatives in the Australian media and he was left off the team for the 1972 Olympics

    Watching all of this drama unfold was 30-year old white US Olympic teammate, Tom Waddell, a decathlete. Later that week, Waddell placed sixth among the 33 competitors, achieving five personal bests among the ten events.


    Unlike many fellow members of the US Olympic team, Tom Waddell spoke openly in support of Tommie Smith and John Carlos. He said, “Black Americans have been discredited by the American flag more often than they have sullied it.”

    To those who knew Waddell, this was no surprise. He had always been a vocal supporter of social justice and in 1965 drove from Brooklyn to Selma, Alabama to participate in the Civil Rights Movement there. The next year, Waddell was drafted into the Army; he protested when he found out that he would be shipped to Vietnam. Expecting a court-martial, he was instead, unexpectedly, sent to train as a decathlete for the 1968 Olympics.

    Having a front-row seat for one of the most iconic and divisive sports events of the 20th Century had a profound impact on Tom Waddell. This experience led directly to his development of the Gay Olympics in 1982 (now called the Gay Games) whosse founding tenets are Partcipattion, Inclusion, Personal Best. Had it not been for being an eyewitness to those watershed events in Mexico City, it’s quite possible that the Gay Games would have never been created.

    At the Gay Games - where we continue to “Change The World” - we strongly believe that #BlackLivesMatter.

  • 24 Jun 2020 16:11 | Anonymous

    FGG Honorary Life Member Roger Brigham (he, him, his) of Oakland, California is well known within the Gay Games community. His contributions to the movement – as a professional sportswriter, Gay Games wrestler, coach, and Board member –are many over an extended period of time.

    In 2010 while serving on the FGG Board, Roger created the Equality Coaching Alliance (ECA). In honor of his many years of service, ECA has just published a lengthy interview with Roger. It makes for some really great reading.


    You may read the full interview with Roger Brigham HERE.

    Another of Roger’s many talents is as a chef. Anyone who has been to his home which he shares with his husband Eduardo has probably sampled some of Roger’s culinary delights. Despite being so busy with all of the activities listed above, Roger has found the time to write a most interesting cookbook. It is entitled “Recipes for Life and Other Disasters.” Many of the recipes are his interpretations of dishes one might find at a restaurant. And he’s proud to share with people some of the cuisine from Cuba and Puerto Rico, introduced to him by his husband Eduardo’s family. The book also contains many original recipes created by Roger in his home kitchen.


    An article about this new cookbook was just published on Outsports.com. Read all about it there. If you’re hungry for some great reading and great eating, you can purchase your own copy of the book HERE on Amazon.com.

  • 14 Jun 2020 15:53 | Anonymous

    A message of solidarity from the Federation of Gay Games during the Covid-19 pandemic and global Black Lives Matter movement.

    We want to take this moment to emphasize to our Members and followers that we join in solidarity with protestors over the historical and escalating epidemic of the death of Black people caused by police violence sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of 4 police officers in Minneapolis.

    Throughout the world, it is communities of color who are suffering the most due to systemic white privilege, which has been further exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic.


    During Pride Month it’s necessary to recognize the daily struggles that Black LGBTQ+ communities in the United States and around the world are facing.

    Following the forcible removal of drag Queens and a call to action by a butch lesbian as she was being dragged away, it was a Black trans women who threw the first bricks and punches at the Stonewall riots, around this time in 1969, and it is important that the LGBTQ+ world remembers that.

    We stand with peaceful protests against oppression, racism and white supremacy.

    We vow to be not just non-racist but anti-racist in our approach and in our actions.

    We wish you safety and solidarity during these troubling times.  #solidarity #justiceforgeorgefloyd #equality #diversity #inclusion #pride #love #togetherwearestronger

  • 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.”

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