Gay-hio!
September 29, 2009 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Cleveland Rocks! While the IOC is still preparing to elect the host city for for 2016 Olympics, the (unaffiliated) Federation of Gay Games has just announced that the 2014 Gay Games will be held on Lake Erie, with Cleveland's bid beating those of Washington, DC and Boston.

The quadrennial Gay Games will be returning to the United States for the fifth time since being inaugurated in 1982. Controversy over the terms of negotiations for the 2006 Games, originally set to be held in Montreal but moved to Chicago, sparked a "schism" which led to the creation of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association, which administers the triennial Outgames, premiering in Montreal in 2006 in direct competition with the Gay Games.

[previously-ish]
posted by kittyprecious (38 comments total)

 
Do the current actual Olympics discriminate against homosexuals? If not, then what's the fucking point here?
posted by kbanas at 11:12 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Really? As a Cambridge resident, I'm somewhat offended that they'd choose to hold the games in a state that doesn't allow same-sex marriage.

Massachusetts: First in Equality!
posted by explosion at 11:14 AM on September 29, 2009


Do the current actual Olympics discriminate against homosexuals? If not, then what's the fucking point here?

To determine which country has the best gays.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:14 AM on September 29, 2009 [7 favorites]


Gay Games gives me an access denied error.
posted by klangklangston at 11:15 AM on September 29, 2009


So, we've got the Gay Games, the Special Olympics, the Paralympics, the Senior Olympics, and the Jewish Olympics (Maccabiah Games)....

Anything strike you as excessive here?
posted by The Giant Squid at 11:17 AM on September 29, 2009


"If not, then what's the fucking point here?"

We were in dire jeopardy of depleting our national store of rhythmic gymnastics jokes.

(I can't imagine that they require you to actually be gay to compete, and it's always cool to have more amateur athletics competitions, so, hey, why not? I do wonder if they wrestle the Greco-Roman way or the Turkish naked way…)
posted by klangklangston at 11:18 AM on September 29, 2009


Anything strike you as excessive here?

If anything, we're still short on a few games:

-Robot Olympics (Robolympics)
-Chemically Enhanced Olympics (Juice Olympics)
-Erotic Arts Olympics (Pornolympics)

That last one will make you appreciate the pole vault in a new light.
posted by explosion at 11:19 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


This will make headlines like this much more confusing..
posted by mannequito at 11:20 AM on September 29, 2009


"the Paralympics,"

As a kid, I thought that the Paralympics was all sports done while parachuting or paragliding.
posted by klangklangston at 11:20 AM on September 29, 2009


Yeah, I like Tyson Gay as much as the rest of the world, but does he really need his own Olympics?
posted by klangklangston at 11:22 AM on September 29, 2009


Yet nobody mourns the absence of the Laff-A-Lympics.
posted by Skot at 11:23 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Gay Games site now working.

From the FAQ, since it seems salient:
The Gay Games are not separatist, they are not exclusive,
they are not oriented to victory, and they are not for
commercial gain," Waddell wrote after the first Gay
Games. "They intended to bring a global community together
in friendship, to experience participation, to elevate
consciousness and self-esteem, and to achieve a form of
cultural and intellectual synergy. We have the opportunity to
take the initiative on critical issues that affect the quality of
life." Anyone can participate in the Gay Games.

The world took notice of the Gay Games. As the conservative
Vancouver newspaper The Province editorialized before the
opening of Gay Games III, "Almost a year ago, we called
these Gay Games 'silly.' What's next? we asked. What, we
queried, does sexual orientation have to do with the high
jump? Since then, we've been educated. We've learned that
these games are intended to build bridges, strengthen
community and bolster self-esteem. Members of groups that
bear the brunt of society's ignorance and fear need to make
special efforts to support each other. And sometimes they
need to stand up and be counted."

Twenty-five years later, from San Francisco to Vancouver to
New York to Amsterdam to Sydney and next to Chicago, the
Gay Games still change the world one athlete and one
attitude at a time.

Participants have described the Gay Games as a positive life-
altering experience. As the quote above from the Vancouver
newspaper indicates, the Gay Games change perceptions for
the better.
posted by klangklangston at 11:25 AM on September 29, 2009



Do the current actual Olympics discriminate against homosexuals? If not, then what's the fucking point here?


Because queer males are a bunch of limp wristed nellies. Unlike straight men who are all butch athletes. Stereotypes suck, and the gay games have been helping to dismantle them. Second, the queer community, like any community, likes to celebrate their own. Third, a cast member from Big Brother coming out is not even worth a yawn. A sports figure coming out is big news. The closet is especially deep in athletics. This works towards changing that.

So, that and other points. Fucking or otherwise.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:26 AM on September 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


-Chemically Enhanced Olympics (Juice Olympics)

Au Contraire.

But really, is this event a problem?
posted by cashman at 11:26 AM on September 29, 2009


Do the current actual Olympics discriminate against homosexuals? If not, then what's the fucking point here?

Do they force you to watch it? If not, then what's the fucking problem here?
posted by kmz at 11:35 AM on September 29, 2009


Based on that long quote that klang posted, it sounds like the Gay Games are more in keeping with the spirit of the original Olympics than the modern-day Olympics are.
posted by box at 11:36 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do the current actual Olympics discriminate against homosexuals? If not, then what's the fucking point here?

If there is some easily identified sub-section of overall society, there is a general tendency for members of that group to have internal competitions. A lot of times those sub-sections are based on geography, but it's perfectly reasonable to have international competitions amongst a globally disperse group of people who all belong to the same community. It's not any sillier than seeing college athletes compete for championships within an arbitrary collection of similar schools.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:37 AM on September 29, 2009


So, we've got the Gay Games, the Special Olympics, the Paralympics, the Senior Olympics, and the Jewish Olympics (Maccabiah Games)....

Anything strike you as excessive here?


OFFS. I didn't realize friendly athletic competitions were something to be avoided.
posted by muddgirl at 11:46 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyone can participate in the Gay Games.

So I take it that they don't test for orientation the way the Olympic Games test for gender.

Because if they did, that would pose some interesting challenges.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:47 AM on September 29, 2009


So I take it that they don't test for orientation the way the Olympic Games test for gender.

Event four of the Really Modern Pentathlon.
posted by aswego at 11:55 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can only presume that the IOC objected to the name "Gaylympics."
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:03 PM on September 29, 2009


I accidentally planned a trip to Chicago during the Gay Games, and it was hard to find a hotel room, but there were gay people everywhere and it was awesome.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 12:07 PM on September 29, 2009


I can only presume that the IOC objected to the name "Gaylympics."

I was all set to post this under the title "Ohio!" and then a little voice in my head said, "No, it has to be gayer!" Stupid little voice.

posted by kittyprecious at 12:21 PM on September 29, 2009


I can only presume that the IOC objected to the name "Gaylympics."

Pretty much.
posted by kmz at 12:22 PM on September 29, 2009


Really? As a Cambridge resident, I'm somewhat offended that they'd choose to hold the games in a state that doesn't allow same-sex marriage.

I can sort of see where you're coming from, but don't you think that's preaching to the choir a bit? If one of the major goals of these games are to change perceptions and strengthen community and all that, it seems like going to places where GLBT individuals are still struggling for certain rights is the best idea.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:23 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


So I take it that they don't test for orientation the way the Olympic Games test for gender.


A good point actually, given the recent controversy. I found this page on transgender issues in the gay games , and this more recent bit which seems to indicate that "the Sydney Policy stated that officials were to use a persons gender identity, even if it conflicted with their passport or birth documents". The website for the actual Federation is kind of lacking and I couldn't find the "official" policy on it, but the latter strikes me as the most "sensible" policy for the group given that most LGBT organizations and friendly businesses / clubs / etc seem to have settled on that policy.

(I'm not even clear where a hermaphrodite would compete in the "regular" Olympics, and it seems like the current answer is probably "nowhere")
posted by wildcrdj at 1:08 PM on September 29, 2009


Like the IOC, I object to the name "Gaylympics." But as a gay, it's purely on a taste level. I find it ridiculous. Hell, I even think the Gay Olympics sounds stupid. The Gay Games is a much better name.


Yet nobody mourns the absence of the Laff-A-Lympics.


You are so wrong on that point. So very very wrong.

Also, what's the point of having the Laff-A-Lympics these days anyway? Snagglepuss is doing color commentary...at the Gay Games.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:23 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


So I take it that they don't test for orientation...

Actually testing my fellow athletes for gayness was my job as a volunteer when the Games were held in Chicago. It was AWESOME... but exhausting.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:26 PM on September 29, 2009 [8 favorites]


And now, I shall commence my training.
posted by ltracey at 2:08 PM on September 29, 2009


Do the current actual Olympics discriminate against homosexuals? If not, then what's the fucking point here?

There is no fun, community-building activity so innocuous that some Metafilter user couldn't figure out a way to take a shit on it.
posted by turaho at 3:41 PM on September 29, 2009


This is awesome. I'm so happy for my town.
posted by sciurus at 3:46 PM on September 29, 2009


I'm not even clear where a hermaphrodite would compete in the "regular" Olympics, and it seems like the current answer is probably "nowhere"

Well, considering the fact that, even now, the prevailing medical opinion is for parents to pick a gender at birth in cases where a baby is intersexed, I doubt anyone has gone to the Olympic committee and tried to compete with no registered gender.
posted by muddgirl at 3:47 PM on September 29, 2009


Cleveland's an open-minded town. It's gotta be. They'll have fun here.
posted by Faze at 4:53 PM on September 29, 2009


I just spent some time in Cleveland. Loved it, this sounds like an awesome thing.

Well done, the Gay Games (why do I want to put "gay gaymes" there?) is a really worthwhile event. I hope someday they break even. :)
posted by disclaimer at 5:58 PM on September 29, 2009


I'm really excited about this, even though I'm not gay and don't like games. When the news broke I whooped and clapped in the car (I was at a stop light, don't worry.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:59 PM on September 29, 2009


To the Cambridge resident, holding the games in a state where same-sex unions are not yet state sanctioned is the entire point. DINKs and other homosexuals and their supporters will, very optimistically, descend upon a very broke town and temporarily assuage its problems with some cash. Lucre is the primary issue in Cleveland's consideration and if it helps to achieve any sort of sexual equality, great.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 9:01 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anything strike you as excessive here?

Well, for a start, there were multiple Olympic events in classical Greece, so I'm not sure what you're whining about.

Do the current actual Olympics discriminate against homosexuals?

Oh, the world of sports is noted for its enthusiastic embrace of gay athletes.
posted by rodgerd at 9:12 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not from Cleveland but I'm from Ohio and I think this is FANTASTIC.

I'm a young openly gay man and while Ohio certainly isn't the worst towards the gay community it isn't exactly the all inclusive hot spot ala San Fransisco-style. There is actually a lot of bickering from people who think D.C. or Boston should have won, being much more "popular" cities and more well-known. I believe those are good reasons while they shouldn't have been picked this time around because hey, not all homosexuals live in east or west coast cities.

Inevitably this will brightens peoples attitudes towards the gay community, especially around here and throughout the mid-west. I've been out for three years and have experienced already my fair share of discrimination, even though I quite honestly have none of the really commonly stereotyped mannerisms of gay men.

"We" are going to show Ohio and states around us that gays (or anybody competing) aren't as much monsters of some people paint them to be. And hell some of them can run real fast and jump real high! Yay!

Alright blase blase blase. My excitement outdoes me a bit. That is all.
posted by deacon_blues at 9:56 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


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