1. BostonFan says

    This is pretty shocking…What is going on with the FGG leadership? The Chicago/Atlanta/Montreal debacle…Cologne is turning out to be a huge disaster (They have only about 1,800 people registered for it 10 months out.), and now Cleveland. Did Focus on the Family secretly take over and decide to destroy from within. Even if the fine cities of Cleveland and Akron (that’s right it’s a joint bid) can pull it off, to make it a success, they need to convince 12,000 participants and many, many more spectators from all of the world to spend a week there. You want to spend a week there? Exactly how much time can one spend “rocking” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

  2. Rex says

    Congrats to Cleveland and all those who worked so hard to bring the games here. I’m really looking forward to seeing this major event in our area. The Northeast Ohio GLBT community can only benefit from hosting the games.

  3. B says

    I think one complaint about the ad would suffice. The fact that all you could do is complain about something unrelated to the story at hand when messaging. Anywho,

    I wish it was closer to California, but hopefully I can make it out that way when the games begin.

  4. BostonFan says

    So Hank…I take it you’re signed up for Cologne and will sign up for Cleveland? There is a link to the bid document for the Cleveland bid above. Their proposed budget only works if thousands and thousands of people agree to participate/register. I just don’t see thousands and thousands of men and women from Europe, Australia, Canada and much of the US, using precious vacation time in Akron…Not being a sore loser, just stating a fact.

  5. says

    Cleveland has a public transportation system, Steve. Not on the level of Boston’s or DC’s, but then we don’t have the same kind of drivers those cities do either.

    Bostonfan: I’m a little long in the tooth to be participating as an athlete – even more so by 2014. But I’ll be there. And if you think people from Cleveland haven’t participated before, check out this guy:

    The uninformed condescension and sense of entitlement emanating from some people on this board serve only to remind me of the nine largely miserable years I lived in Boston.

  6. BostonFan says

    Hank, while tempted, I will just ignore your “nine largely miserable years” in Boston.

    My point is that this decision should have been about dollars and cents. The Gay Games have not been on sound financial for years. I worry that this decision won’t help. Cleveland and Akron governments have offered support for 2014, but the overall budget requires advertising and registration revenue to make it work. A failure in 2014 doesn’t just mean a week of poorly attended games…It impacts the overall movement.

    This decision seems to have been political (i.e., isn’t it cool if the Gay Games can help foster GLBT liberation in Ohio). That’s a noble, but naive goal. I think that it would have been similarly political and wrong for the FGG to award the games to Boston because we are one of the most GLBT affirming cities in the world.

    Instead, if we accept that all three bidding cities were capable of the basic logistics that the game will entail, the games should have been awarded to the city that would be the most desirable location for people to visit.

    Former host cities such as New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Sydney, Vancouver and Chicago are all world-class cities and very desirable travel destinations…Do you really think that Cleveland is in this class? Does asking this question make me condescending?

  7. Mike says

    Congrats to Cleveland – I am a little shocked by it but very happy that I’ll be able to attend the games again as I live in nearby Columbus. As to disgusted american’s ignorant remarks – where would you like the games to be – Calif.? or wait they voted against gay marriage.

    Lakewood , Ohio (Cleve. suburb) has on law the only voter approved domestic partner ordinance in the country and the Ohio house recently passed a law against employment discrim. This visibility can only help gays who don’t happen to live on the coasts.

  8. Mike says

    Bostonfan – sorry that your city didn’t get the bid and you make some good points but why not step out of the box and travel to somewhere you have never been? I realize that Cleve and Ohio are not on top of many peeps travel lists but neither were Calgary, Lillehammer, Turin, Albertville and other cities who hosted the winter olympics.
    In terms of participants, Ohio has the 7th largest state population in the country and is a short flight or drive from many major pop. areas like Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, the Northeast U.S. and Atlanta and the South.
    Any type of sporting event on this scale is risky – just look at the naysayers for Chicago’s bid for the summer olympics.

  9. Seth says

    RE: Mike, Calgary, Lillehammer, Turin, and Albertville (really Courchevel) were actually pretty well known on the international skiing circuit when they were elected. They’re not mainstream tourist destinations, but they had definitely been around the competition block before.

    As someone getting their masters in sports management, and I can’t say that I’m surprised by Cleveland’s victory. They didn’t have the “best” bid, but they did have the best campaign, and, that is where it really counts.

  10. Jack says

    What could the organizers have been thinking? Is Cleveland a city that you are eager to visit? If you were going to have an event that you wanted to be successful, why wouldn’t you plan it for a destination where people would want to go? I certainly wish them well, but I can’t imagine what could entice me to go to Cleveland. Had they been held in Boston or D.C., they would have been on my don’t miss list.

  11. William says

    Congrats Cleveland. They deserved it.
    I spent the best years of my life there, but currently reside in DC and I can tell you, Cleveland is certainly more world class than DC.

  12. John says

    I spokewith a voting member of the FGG and s/he as much as stated that her/his vote was going to be used to make a political statement. When I probed a little more and asked “if it was between having the games in London and less gay-friendly city like Oklahoma City” s/he said s/he’d be vote for Oklahoma City. In her/his case, at least, the intent wasn’t about choosing the best city for the athletes or the tourists, but about choosing a city that would thrust gay athletes into the local politics.

    I’m not saying Cleveland is hostile to gay people like Oklahoma City can be, in fact I’d say it’s probably the best Ohio has to offer, but Ohio itself isn’t exactly a hotbed of gay tolerance. I fear the FGG thinks it can influence local attitudes by putting the games in a state that’s not friendly territory.

  13. says

    To those of you who feel that Cleveland has nothing to offer and no one would ever want to visit Cleveland, I invite you to come out here for a long weekend sometime before the games arrive and see it for yourselves. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

    Cleveland is a hidden gem in many ways, and now we get to share it with the rest of the gay community, just like we did with the FGG selection committee.

  14. robert says

    Cleveland! I mean really Cleveland! This place is the ass end of nowhere! I’ve never seen so many stupid people in one place in my whole life. Ohio, the worst place for Gay Games in the world! Remember, the Klu Klux Klan they once had their national headquarters in Ohio. Ohio, the state that gave us George W. Bush in 2000!

  15. Nathan says

    I am happy for Cleveland! I don’t live in a city nor a state that is “gay friendly,” and I wish the games were here too!

    I know that Cleveland isn’t high on the go to list of many… but maybe it should be.

    I love big cities and all they offer… but this is a chance for gay people to enjoy a smaller, less known place.

    Perhaps I will go. I think it’s gonna be great!

  16. Allen says

    In 2000 my partner and I were looking to move from New York City to a place that really met our lifestyle, needs, justice commitments, and personalities. While interviewing for some jobs in May of that year in Cleveland, we fell in love with the city. We ended up moving here before either of us had secured employment! Luckily, both of us found perfect jobs.

    The city is dynamic, diverse, and manageable. We were impressed that during our very first visit the new Gay and Lesbian Community Center was being dedicated, and the Executive Director was very smart, highly skilled, and extremely personable (as is the current ED!)

    Other pluses: I’ve rarely been caught in anything close to a traffic jam, and the neighborhood in which I live and work has incredible restaurants I can walk to AND know the wait staff by name (and they know me!) We have an incredible public library, Open & Affirming Churches, access to public transportation that gets me downtown in minutes. It is racially and culturally diverse, has strong and interesting neighborhoods, great health care facilities, some of the finest arts and culture institutions in the world (Cleveland Museum Of Art and the Cleveland Orchestra being two stunning examples!), and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame!

    As I’ve often said, the biggest thing wrong with Cleveland is its own self-image… but that’s changing! With our selection for the 2014 Gay Games, we’ve got one more wonderful thing to feel good about!

    We can’t wait to have you all visit!

  17. DirectProf says

    As a current resident (but non-native) of greater Cleveland, and also as someone who has lived in “first class” cities such as Washington, DC (sorry Bostonfan) I can say that Cleveland, despite it’s very difficult economic troubles, is one of the greatest cities in which I’ve ever lived (and I’ve lived in London, New York, and Atlanta, too).

    As a good friend from out of town has said, “Cleveland has all of the advantages of a big city, and none of the drawbacks.” So, sorry you grousers and naysayers, but we’ll be able to do it … and do it well.

  18. BC says

    Maybe this is why states that are not on the coasts have a problem with recognition of our relationships. You guys that are complaining are so focused on the “trendiness” of the coastal cities. F-OFF! There are gays in the middle states and we need some recognition too. It’s kinda like you guys want full inclusion throughout the country but yet if gays don’t live in the “big gay cities” then they are “less-than” you are.

    Some also bring up the economic issue – well with this economy, Cleveland is BY FAR the best choice. Cleveland has by far cheaper hotels which are just as nice. Cleveland is a hub for Continental so airline prices are reasonable from most destinitaions.

  19. Jamman says

    I am really appauled by some of these posts. Yes I live in Cleveland. I have also lived in Tampa, LA and Chicago. I couldn’t get anywhere in LA. I loved Tampa and Chicago, but they both had drawbacks: Tampa is too hot in the summer and Chicago is too exspensive and you are lost in the shuffle. I really think that one of the many reasons Cleveland got this is because the people here are genuinely friendly. They really care about other people because we only have one chance to do this thing on Earth. I go to Ptown on the Cape with my partner every summer for 10 days. We don’t spend any time in Boston except for when our plane lands to when we board our ferry out . The people in the city are mean and nasty. On the Cape they are relaxed and amazingly hospitable. Next weekend we are going to DC for the National Equality March. We truly hope the those from DC will not treat us like Bostonians do. I think some of you need a reminder of people like Matthew Shephard who died because he was gay. Aren’t we all supposed to be in this together? Maybe Boston and Mass should reflect that it wasn’t that long ago they were in the same place as many of us and (even in Cali) we ALL have a long struggle ahead of us!!! Thank you FGG for thinking brilliantly about the greater good, and not the negative many!!!

  20. Jamman says

    And just an afterthought…it is not all Bostonians and persons from Mass who think progressively, it is your politicians. As I recall Gays still aren’t allowed in your St. Patrick’s Day parade. Yet they are in Cleveland!

  21. says

    Jamman, thanks for your two eloquent posts. Have a great time in DC, where I can assure you the people in DC are friendly.

    I’ve always been amused at how Bostonians got the reputation for being progressive. I never met so many overt racists as when I lived there. One person steeped in New England history told me the reason Boston was such an abolitionist town was because they feared slaves escaping from the South and winding up there.

  22. Jamman says

    Hank-that is an interesting bit of info. Oddly enough when you look at the history of Northern Ohio, you find that many homes here in Cleveland have hidden rooms from the Underground Railroad, where we helped slaves escape over Lake Erie to Canada. We look forward to traveling to DC and standing up for the rights of Gays here and abroad!!!

  23. L says

    Wow, I have to say I am pretty shocked by what sore winners the posters here from Cleveland seem to be. (Note, I’m not tarring all Clevelanders with as broad a brush as you’ve done to people on the coasts.) Where’s the great midwest nice I was expecting? You’ve all jumped on being critical of Boston when most of the posters critical of Cleveland could be from Pittsburgh (which is most likely the case! LOL) or Missouri or Phoenix or wherever.

    One poster (Bostonfan?) expressed valid concerns about the viability of Cleveland as a major draw for international tourists and because of that y’all have jumped all over one of our best cities. Sorry if it hurts, but Bostonfan’s right to say what he did. A successful games has to hit a critical mass in terms of participants and the tourists that follow the athletes. Cleveland is a perfectly nice place, but Washington and Boston run circles around Cleveland in terms of being major draws for international (and domestic) tourists. I spoke with a friend in Atlanta last night and he was not at all glad about the selection. I agree with a fear someone expressed here (maybe somewhere else): that Cleveland will probably end up being a much less international an much smaller games than a DC games or Boston games would be. I may be wrong, but this is what I see at this point.

    I’ll admit that I live in Boston and love it. I’m not from here, but moved here for work. I was in no way involved with the bid process nor am I any stakeholder in the games. I’m just someone watching from the bleachers. I can tell you Bostonians have every reason to be proud of what they’ve got. I’ve lived in some amazing places in the US and Europe and some hell holes, and I can say most cities would sell their souls to have just a small number of the things Boston’s got going for it. Same with DC — frankly, I’m more shocked DC didn’t win. I’d put both on par with any number of the world’s top cities.

    Regardless, it’s very uncool to label all Bostonians rude, bigots, racists, or saying that gays on the coasts are incapable of having relationships because they live in trendy locations. What kind of fool are you? There’s just a more rigid formality about relationships here (kind of reminds me of Austria in a way) — a degree of formality and distance. You embrace the people you know and love and look suspiciously on people who walk around the town smiling like the village idiot. That’s city life. But thinking everyone here is a racist or bigot or mean is just as f-ing ignorant and unfair as someone who says Cleveland’s a dump.

    Cleveland earned the games — good for them. I wish it all the luck in the world. But if Cleveland is to be judged by the character of its boosters on this site, I’d say the FGG made a huge mistake. You won. Don’t sh*t on people who may just be upset because they lost. Show some class fer crissake.

  24. Mike says

    That’s ashame. I’m sure there are many nice people in Cleveland, but the city’s a dump. I won’t be going anymore. I’m sure attendance will be sparse (My friend in London said his football/soccer team was REALLY disappointed).

  25. Boston Bobby says

    Boston’s bid was a JOKE.

    There were very few athlete’s at the rally.

    The event was not properly wired for sound.

    The MC was crude, unfunny and should have been shot.

    The speakers were mostly gay activists from the gay marriage debates (such as Wendell, and the chick with the huge ass)… Most of their speeches were factually incorrect and had nothing to do with the bid and bringing the games to Boston.

    There were 2 half-naked Asians sporting feather boas as you walked in… WHO decided to put those there?

    While the delegation was in Boston, they did meet with local officials – which was good, however the planning of the entire time they were here was lukewarm, not thoroughly thought through and left a bitter taste in many people’s mouths.

    The other 2 cities had a plan – Boston’s bid was half-baked at most and thus the reason why it was not fully considered.

    Probably for the best, Boston’s gay community is financially strapped and there was little support for this effort by local businesses. The committee could barely afford to send a delegation to Germany.

    Snaps for DC on putting out a good effort and congrats Cleveland.

  26. DirectProf says

    I have to say, L., that while I respect what you were trying to convey in your comments, to criticize Cleveland supporters are sore winners is sort of silly. Did you happen to notice the two posts right after yours? I mean, the vitriol spewed at Cleveland by, most probably, people who’ve never been here is quite stunning.

    Is Cleveland a dump, to answer one poster? Ummm … no. Are there parts of Cleveland that’s a dump? Oh, yes, for sure … and there are parts of DC and Boston that are too. I lived in DC for 8 years and my partner was shot in the head at 14th and U Street on a busy Saturday night, and mugged outside our apartment in Adams Morgan a few years later … we’ve lived in Cleveland (Shaker Heights to be specific) now for 10 years and never been the victim of a crime, or even mean looks. So as far as feeling “out and proud” and safe; yah, you’ll be okay big kids from out of state … It’s not so scary here in the MidWest after all.

    And if you worry about politics and Ohio’s legendary reputation as a right-leaning purple state, just check the election returns from Cuyahoga County (e.g., Cleveland) for the past … oh, I dunno … forever elections. It’s always blue here, not red.

    So relax a bit, and give Cleveland a chance before everyone freaks out that Boston and/or DC didn’t get it. 2014 is a long way off … things change, and even if they don’t, Cleveland’s Orchestra is as good as Boston’s (some say better) and a helluva lot better than DC’s … so we’ve got that going for us. 😉

  27. L says

    Directprof: thanks for your post. What I objected to was the Boston-bashing from Cleveland supporters when there was absolutely no evidence the bashing was coming from Bostonians at all. Bostonfan raised some valid points, as I said, and I agree with a lot of his post. As Clevelanders know well, there are certain in-grained perceptions of what Cleveland is. Believe me, I know: I grew up in New Jersey. But for some reason, all the negativity aimed at Cleveland was redirected at us. I’m sure most of the posters who said bad things about your city aren’t from here. So my post was an attempt to explain the pride we have in our city but also give props to Cleveland for a job well done.

    I stand by what I said, Boston is a great city for domestic and international tourists. Same for DC. Cleveland, to be frank, isn’t known that way. Maybe in time people will see it in a different light but my concern remains that holding the GG in Cleveland will not attract the volume of people the games usually need for success.

    Anyhow, Cleveland obviously put together a better and more solid bid. They won fair and square. I don’t see the need to pile on winners or losers here.

  28. says

    I apologize if I offended any Bostonians, but Bostofan (who probably IS from Pittsburgh, like a previous poster said) really set me off.

    And thank you, directprof, for your cogent post. Cleveland is a very gay friendly city, as is Cuyahoga County in general. Once you get outside that area, there are some rather unfriendly parts of Ohio.

    As to the Gay Games, those who truly want to participate for athletic reasons will come no matter where it’s held. The rest will hopefully be informed enough to make their decision based on facts and not opinions. (I’ve already lined up a participant and a spectator.) Those who think Cleveland has nothing to offer but the Rock Hall (which I personally think is kinda lame) need to go back to school. There is a LOT to do here.

  29. Matt says

    Seriously…Cleveland? Unless I wanted to see Lebron play there is no reason for me to ever venture to Ohio.

    I would have most certainly loved to go to a Gay Games in DC, but honestly…how was Boston not the best option here?

    A city rich with history and landmarks for tourists to visit? Check. A city small enough that walking places is not only comfortable, but (if you live here you know) probably the easiest way to get from Point A to Point B? Check. A transit system that actually works? Ok, this isn’t a total check but still beats Cleveland and includes trains, buses and soon-to-be bikes. Check.

    Ok so that’s just the city. How about the first state gays could be married? Check. A place that is progressive, liberal, and a cultural melting pot of many races, religions, creeds? Check.

    Still not enough? This is the Gay GAMES, right? Ok, does Cleveland (or DC for that matter) even hold a flame to the sports-related success of Boston? The Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox are all institutions in this region and the recent success of the Patriots has put the spotlight on Boston a premier professional sports town. And that’s not even factoring in the various colleges and universities.

    I am in no way denigrating Cleveland, I’m sure it’s a great place to visit. But seriously? What were the organizers looking at when they did a side-by-side comparison here? I am so disappointed. Count me out of 2014. Sorry.

  30. L says

    Matt, we’ve pretty much been through thus in a way, cities have to earn the games. No one “gets” them. Boston’s bid team didn’t put together a bid that pursuaded the FGG that it was the best. Cleveland’s did.

  31. Citiboi says

    To those who think that Cleveland cannot host a large scale event, note that Cleveland hosted the 38th International Childrens Games in 2004. It was the first time the games were held in the US, and athletes, their families, and spectators from 50 nations attended. Don’t believe it? Check the ICG’s website

  32. says

    it was shocking to learn that Boston lost the bid to .. where ?? Cleveland ?? !!!! WTF.. Boston Ma is the bluest city in the bluest state in America. The only real place in America were Gays are completely equal with our heterosexual population. ! Fist in Equal marriage in the nation.We have a Pro Gay Governor,Pro Gay Mayor, We have the best athletic venues at all the Major universities here. BU, MIT, Harvard, Tufts & U Mass just to name only a few. We have plenty of hotel rooms … HOW on Earth did Boston loose to Cleveland ??

  33. says

    Mmmmm…. Anyone but me finding it a bit odd ( if not telling ) that the official city logo is “My Games” ?? eh, people it’s the “GAY Games”. Is Cleveland too closeted to even use the correct name for the event on their official promotion ??

  34. kurt says

    Congrats Cleveland! The rest of the country is starting to figure it out…It just takes time. Cleveland: an environmental success story. Lakewood, just west on the lake and with a higher gay per capita than San Francisco. Cleveland: Where folks aren’t stressed to death about their mortgage payment (hello DC and Boston?) Having lived in the west for decades, I’m moving home and I CAN’T WAIT! Good move Gay Games…you’re ahead of the curve.

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