Fwd: Participate! Newsletter -- Vol. 6, No. 1 -- February 7, 2009
Volume VI | Issue 1
Book Your Travel Now and Benefit the Gay Games!
For any of your travel needs, to any major city in the world, stop booking your hotel rooms the old fashioned way. Direct your browser to www.games-cologne.de/en/cologne/accommodations and book your accommodations there. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to Cologne or elsewhere else. It also doesn’t matter when you travel, or what class of hotel you’re seeking. Every time someone books a hotel through the Hotel Reservation Service (HRS), the Cologne Gay Games will benefit. In conjunction with its partners the Cologne Tourism Board, you can count on getting a great deal on hotel rooms. You can search for reservations any distance from your destination and get prices quoted in any of 24 currencies. Many partner hotels are guaranteeing the best available pricing on your dates. Just remember to start your search at www.games-cologne.de/en/cologne/accommodations.
Remember to register for Gay Games VIII in Cologne. You can Be Part of It in just over 500 days. Click here for details on all the sports and cultural events.
New FGG Partners
The FGG recently welcomed OutInIreland and Team Oregon as the newest Gay Games Partner organisations.
FGG VP of Diversity Kate Rowe identified OutInIreland as one of the groups that the FGG should target for membership during her 2007 travels in 2007. In May of 2008 members of the FGG board first met Frank Kelly, the founder of OutInIreland, at le Tournoi International de Paris, a multi-sport tournament put on by FGG member FSGL. Frank had established Out4Tennis in 2004 as “a network of GLBT tennis players from around Ireland that come together on a regular basis for tournaments and meets. From OUT4TENNIS, it became apparent that there were many tennis players with other sports and interests.” Squash and Rowing were also active sports and have been added to the OutInIreland network. The organisation’s mission is to “promote participation in sport by the Irish GLBT community.” See www.outinireland.net for details.
Team Oregon was created to promote participation in Gay Games VIII in 2010. Based on the publicity its new website obtained, the FGG’s Membership Committee contacted Team Oregon about becoming a partner. The organisation’s marketing expert, Rob Patton, quickly responded with an application to become a Gay Games Partner. This group is really taking off. It had a Team Oregon 2010 Launch Party on January 16 that was well attended. It is encouraging Oregon athletes to organize in order to travel to Cologne next summer. A group of bowlers is actively participating in Team Oregon. See www.teamoregon2010.org for details.
The FGG and ILGA
For a number of years, several FGG board members, particularly former VP for Governance Teresa Galetti, had followed the activities of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). In 1999, Teresa and her partner, Kathleen Webster, facilitated a workshop titled “Partnerships for Equality: Sports, Outreach and Gay Games VI” at an ILGA conference. More recently the FGG’s then Officer for International Development, Shane Blakebrough, attended ILGA’s first regional conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in May of 2007.
In 2007 the Strategic Planning Committee examined how the FGG could differentiate itself as an organisation. Emy Ritt, then Vice President, Host Relations, suggested that the FGG participate more actively in advocacy organisations like ILGA, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and Amnesty International. Paul Oostenbrug, VP for Membership, investigated what the FGG would need to do to join these organisations. Paul developed a proposal for the FGG to join ILGA. A majority of delegates in the FGG’s General Assembly voted in favor of the FGG becoming an ILGA member. The FGG applied to become a member of ILGA in early 2008 and was quickly accepted as a member.
As the 2008 Annual Meeting was being planned for Cape Town, the FGG reached out to members of ILGA Africa to invite its members to join us for this meeting. Two of those members—Danilo da Silva from Mozambique and Caine Youngman from Botswana—attended the Annual Meeting and offered some insights to the FGG about what it could do to encourage LGBT sport and culture in Africa.
LGBA Band Makes History in President Obama’s Inaugural Parade!Photo courtesy of Darwin Choy
Photo courtesy of Sally Canjura.Read more about this at the Gay Games blog: gaygamesblog.blogspot.com
As reported in Volume 5, Issue 6 of this newsletter, Federation of Gay Games member organisation LGBA (the Lesbian and Gay Band Association) made history by being chosen to perform in the parade for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, in Washington, DC. This was the first time in history that a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group will march in a presidential inaugural parade.
Well, history has now been made, as the 177-piece LGBA band marched proudly down Pennsylvania Avenue past newly sworn-in President Obama, First Lady Michelle, and a whole host of dignitaries inside the elevated reviewing stand. Every block during the parade, announcers read copy proclaiming that this LGBA band was making history just by being there. Despite the freezing cold weather, darkness, spotty media coverage, and numerous delays, participating in this parade was an amazing experience that none of the participants will ever forget.
To see online media clips of the LGBA massed band at the 2009 inaugural parade, visit the following web sites:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=DN8dDds8nCE&fmt=18
(NOTE: On the CSPAN Web site, drag the indicator to the 1 hour, 33 minute mark and you should see the LGBA massed band)
(This is the audition video that LGBA submitted to the Presidential Inaugural Committee before being invited to march in the 2009 parade)
The Lesbian and Gay Band Association, an active participant in the Gay Games movement since Gay Games I, was founded in Chicago in 1982 by seven member bands. It has now grown to 34 member organisations in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
In South Africa, a Sporting Chance for Women
Photo courtesy of Israel Wright
At the Federation of Gay Games annual meeting in Cape Town, Australia's Kate Rowe met a group of women struggling against terrible odds. Here is her story...
I attended the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) annual meeting in Cape Town, South Africa on October 20-24. The focus of this meeting was outreach; we offered scholarships to people from South Africa and surrounds to attend the meeting and contribute to workshops on gay and lesbian sport in South Africa, how to start a sports organisation, and gender equality.
Twelve people attended from South Africa, the Congo, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, and Chile to interact, exchange information, be energized, and return to their communities to spread the word of the Gay Games and establish sporting groups in their communities.
One woman, Ndumie Funda from the Cape Town townships called Gugulethu, is the founder and organiser of the Lulekisizwe women's project. Without funding or support from the government of South Africa or the local government, she rescues, supports, nurses, feeds, clothes, counsels and campaigns for lesbians living in the townships. Ndumie named the project after two of her friends who were raped, contracted and died from HIV.
Ndumie took me and three other FGG members on a tour of the community centre in Gugulethu, to the places where her friends were raped, the houses where they are given shelter by supportive people in the township, and to the field where they practice. Ndumie’s team put on a soccer match with another lesbian team called Chosen Few.
To read the complete article, click here.
NOTE: The above complete article appeared in the December, 2008 issue of Lesbians on the Loose magazine. For more information, visit www.lotl.com.
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