Gay Games Hub




Same-Sex Ballroom Dancing At The Gay Games: VIDEO

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This year's Gay Games have made a big impact both in Ohio and nationwide. Here's a glimpse of why the sporting event is so unique, and why it attracts so much buzz.

"Dancesport," or ballroom dancing, is one of the most popular spectator sports at the Games. Perhaps this is because it's difficult to find ballroom dance competitions that include same-sex couples — often, gay couples are banned from mainstream competitions.

Outsports got to see dancesport first hand at the Games, and they got video of two women dancing with "fluidity and beauty."

Check it out for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Janet Porter: Gay Games 'Celebrate Immoral and Dangerous Behavior,' Gays Seek to 'Criminalize Christianity' - AUDIO

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Right-wing loon Janet Porter, who in the past has warned hetero families to steer clear of Disney World during its 'Gay Days' out of fear that children may be exposed to "public displays of perversion", is not happy with Cleveland Republicans "throwing the moral principles of the party platform under the bus" with a GOP booth at the Gay Games.

Said Porter:

"Chairman Rob Frost released a statement about how thrilled he was to welcome the homosexual, lesbian and cross-dressing community into the Republican tent, they even paid for a booth at the Gay Games to celebrate immoral and dangerous behavior from a community that seeks to silence dissent and criminalize Christianity."

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

[via Right Wing Watch]

Continue reading "Janet Porter: Gay Games 'Celebrate Immoral and Dangerous Behavior,' Gays Seek to 'Criminalize Christianity' - AUDIO" »


Gay Games Make Powerful Impact on Hearts and Minds in Cleveland

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(photo by brent mullins; photos below by cyd zeigler)

BY CYD ZEIGLER

The Gay Games bill themselves as the “games that change the world.” This week in one of America’s most purple states, they certainly changed Northeast Ohio.

Outside of religion, sports are America’s most powerful cultural force. For a sports town like Cleveland, where conversation about the Browns’ quarterback battle dominates the news, the Gay Games were the perfect tool to make inroads into the hearts and minds of Ohioans. 

ClevelandCertainly this Gay Games was smaller than any since 1986. While organizers claimed in the neighborhood of 7,000 registrants, participants at virtually every sport reported drastically smaller competitions than years past. If I had to make a wager, my best ballpark guess would put the number of actual competitors around 5,000. That’s quite small for the Gay Games.

Yet the event’s ability to affect change in this bellwether state was not diminished. You only had to walk through downtown, or even Little Italy several miles from the festival village, to see rainbow flags where you might not expect them. The power of the pink dollar was seen with rainbows plastered across seemingly every business from hot dog carts to Starbucks, from taxi cabs to the Cleveland Indians. Tower City Center, an iconic Cleveland landmark, was lit like a rainbow every night for the whole city to see. 

Yet the loudest rainbow flag was likely the smallest: a rainbow sticker on the bumper of a police cruiser parked outside the Renaissance Hotel, the de facto center of these Games. 

I made it a point all week to talk with the police officers across the city. They were in full force patrolling the swimming venue, on horses at rowing, with the bomb unit at track & field. They couldn’t have been friendlier, almost like a welcome committee in blue.

“We just want everyone to be safe,” said one cop whose K-9 Benny stole the show at the festival village. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

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The modern gay rights movement started when police raided the Stonewall Inn intent on rounding up a bunch of queers and drag queens in New York City. Forty-five years later their only concern in Cleveland was making sure no one bothers us again.

These Games also brought outreach to two of America’s biggest hurdles in the race for equality: The Christian Church and the GOP. The United Church of Christ was the first denomination to sponsor the Gay Games, and they did it at a high (silver) level. The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County manned a booth at the festival village all week.

The fact that Cleveland was selected over Boston and Washington DC to host the event meant a lot to the people of Cleveland. For an overlooked city that hasn’t won much in sports over the last half-century, hosting these Games was a source of pride. That the games were “gay” gave it that much more meaning. 

“I’m just so proud of this city,” a straight resident told me on the street. “We get a bad rap here in Cleveland and it’s been great to see the city really embrace the gay community.”

Yes, it was a smaller Gay Games. Yes, a big part of the reason was a lack of interest in Cleveland itself. And yes, few participants were there with the intent to shift the culture of Northeast Ohio.

Yet the lasting legacy of the 2014 Gay Games will be its role in changing how the blue-collar Lake Erie region views and treats LGBT people. Sure, Boston and Washington DC would have drawn bigger crowds. But their cultural impact would have been diminished in a state or a district with same-sex marriage and strong protections for LGBT people.

For Cleveland – for Ohio – these Gay Games were a watershed moment.

Cyd Zeigler is co-founder of Outsports.com. He has also written for CNN, MSNBC, Time and Playboy. He regularly appears on national sports media as an expert on LGBT issues in sports. Outsports is a media partner with the Gay Games.


Give a Medal to These 104 Winning Instagram Pics from 'Gay Games 9' in Cleveland: PHOTOS

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Gay Games 9 kicked off on Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio. The Games, conceived in 1980 by Dr. Tom Waddell and held every four years beginning in 1982, are open to all athletes regardless of sexual orientation and are expected to unite more than 9,000 mostly-LGBT participants and 30,000 spectators from around the world in competition and celebration, including a team from Russia:

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There are more than 35 sports and cultural events taking place and out Olympians Greg Louganis and (a newly engaged) Blake Skjellerup are in attendance. Lance Bass, who performed at the Opening Ceremony (which included a message from President Obama and another performance by The Pointer Sisters), has been busy about town.

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While competition has just begun to get fully underway and continues through the 16th we've collected 104 of our favorite Instagram photos and videos taken by athletes and spectators at the Opening Ceremony, parties, preparations and medal events that have already taken place.

And if you're at the Gay Games and have a great photo that you would like us to share, tag us @TLRD on Instagram or Twitter. Good luck to all the athletes who are competing!

Check out our big gay Gay Games gallery, and see if you can pick out some familiar faces, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Give a Medal to These 104 Winning Instagram Pics from 'Gay Games 9' in Cleveland: PHOTOS" »


Speed-Skater Blake Skjellerup Reveals Engagement to Boyfriend Saul Carrasco

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Speed skater Blake Skjellerup took some time out of his busy schedule at the Gay Games in Cleveland to show off his new fiancé - stylist Saul Carrasco.

Wrote Skjellerup:   

The Plain Dealer adds that the duo have have tentative plans to marry next year in Hawaii.

Skjellerup, who was a torch bearer at the Gay Games Opening Ceremony on Sunday, will be competing in the 23 mile cycling circuit road course tomorrow. 

Congrats boys and best of luck to Skjellerup in tomorrow's race!

[photo via Instagram]


Obama Makes Surprise Video Appearance at Gay Games Opening Ceremony: WATCH

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The Gay Games 9 kicked off in Cleveland last night with thousands of people from all over the country and world gathering to take part in the LGBT-inclusive sporting event. 

The opening ceremony featured appearances by former Olympian Greg Louganis and singer Lance Bass - as well as a surprise message from President Obama via video.

Said Obama, in part:

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 7.19.39 AM"Even since 2006, when the Games were last held in the United States, in my hometown of Chicago, we've come a long way in our commitment to the equal rights of LGBT people here and around the world...I know some of you have come from places where it requires courage, even defiance, to come out - sometimes at great personal risk. You should know that the United States stands with you and for your human rights, just as our athletes stand with you in these Games."  

Check out Obama's full speech and video footage of the opening ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Gay Games will run until August 16. 

Continue reading "Obama Makes Surprise Video Appearance at Gay Games Opening Ceremony: WATCH" »


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