Sunday, July 16, 2006

Gay Games Kick Off in Chicago

gay flagWhy a Gay Games? | Chicago Tribune With opening ceremonies at Soldier Field, and closing ceremonies scheduled for Wrigley Field the Gaymes come to Chicago.

And of course, somebody asks - many somebodies no doubt -
Why do gay people need their own Olympic-style competition?
Because being out is important to people.
For Sandra Urquiaga, they mean she can play a competitive game of women's flag football without worrying about sideways glances from teammates while her partner cheers her on.
Hiding who you are constantly is more hurtful than most people can appreciate.

I think the most powerful statement comes from Esera Tuaolo who spent 9 years in the NFL.
"Every time the topic of homosexuality came up, I saw hate and rage," he said. "Calling someone a `fag' is the worst thing you can do in football."
Straights often say something about gays wanting to "flaunt" their sexuality. But is it flaunting to have a picture of your beloved on your desk at work, or to have pictures of your kids, or your last vacation in you office? It isn't "flaunting," it is life. Of course straights do all of that and more, but that isn't flaunting either, at least not in their minds.

Controversy follows the games of course.
As the suburb of Crystal Lake wrestled over whether to allow the rowing competition to take place there, an emotional debate erupted in which critics of homosexuality spoke freely.
The Gaymes are so much better PR than the Pride celebrations. Pride can be a bit "flamboyant." The Gay Games are a bit more down-to-earth.

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