The 2014 Gay Games, presented by the Cleveland Foundation, is being held this Saturday. In addition to 35 athletic events, the Gay Games website features a full event schedule featuring an exciting week of music, parties, film, education and much more. (And sports. Don't forget about sports.)
The biggest event is going to be the Gay Games Opening Ceremony. It will offer a star-studded line up of entertainment, featuring singer, dancer, and radio host Lance Bass, Broadway actress Andrea McArdle, and the legendary Pointer Sisters. Alex Newell, best known for his role on Fox's Glee, will join McArdle for a tribute to Gay Games participants in a Broadway-style musical number. Olympic champion and LGBT advocate Greg Louganis will make a special appearance at Opening Ceremony. The event will generate buzz, excitement and spirit that will carry throughout the remainder of the Games.
Some of the other events include:
"Treating the LGBT Athlete and Patient" Conference - This conference is for any provider who wants to improve their knowledge of LGBT healthcare disparities, barriers to quality care, and expand their skills and comfort in providing care for LGBT athletes and patients.
"To Be Takei" - He may still be known best as Sulu from the original "Star Trek" television series and films, but GLAAD Media Award Honoree George Takei has also become a political activist and social media powerhouse. In this documentary Takei discusses living in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II, his early acting career playing Asian stereotypes, making his long-term gay relationship public and, of course, his time on the Enterprise. Funding for the exhibition of this film during the 2014 Gay Games has been provided by the Gay Community Endowment Fund.
"International Rainbow Memorial Run" - Each edition of the Gay Games is associated with an International Rainbow Memorial Run. Associated events pay tribute to the memory of artist Keith Haring, lesbian activist Rikki Streicher and Dr. Tom Waddell, the Founder of the Gay Games, and to all members of the Gay Games family lost, and in particular to AIDS and breast cancer. The 1 mile course will begin and end at the Rock Hall and loop around First Energy Stadium.
"Gay Games Champions" Opening Ceremony After-Party" - Celebrate like a CHAMPION to the amazing sounds of International DJ/ Producer EREZ BEN ISHAY after the opening ceremonies of the worlds most exciting LGBTQI Games.
"Game Change" Conference - One-day educational conference, separate ticketed program. Conference to embrace the theme of 'Game Change' and presentations will explore LGBT issues in sports and culture in the 21st Century. Featured speaker is Stu Maddux, documentary filmmaker who produced "Gen Silent."
"Free concert: Music in the Meadow: Tylan & Ingrid and The Laura Love Duo" - Grab a blanket and a picnic and bring your family to hear FREE live music in your national park! The celebration begins with games, crafts, and other family activities. Americana duo Ingrid Elizabeth (lead singer of Coyote Grace) and Tylan Greenstein (from folkpop quartet, Girlyman) kick off this special two-act concert.
"Fortune Feimster Comedy Stand Up at Hilarities 4th Street Theatre" - Fortune Feimster recently hosted the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, and she is bringing her humor to the Gay Games.
For the complete list of events and tickets please click here
GLAAD is also a partner with the Gay Games.Through the partnership, GLAAD is expanding its involvement in the equality movement in sports hoping to inspire leagues to support LGBT athletes. The Gay Games is an international sporting and cultural event held every four years since 1982. This year the games presented by the Cleveland Foundation will take place August 9-16, 2014, in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. As many as10, 000 people from more than 60 countries are expected in participate in 35 sporting events. The games offer a sense of inclusiveness as they are open to anyone 18 years or older. Around 10% of participants each year are non-LGBT.
The Gay Games is an excellent way of embracing the LGBT community while competing in a variety of sporting events. It is also a great way to embrace LGBT athletes following anti-LGBT news coming from the Sochi Winter Olympic Games under Russia's harsh "anti-propoganda" law and the World Cup's tradition of chanting anti-LGBT slurs. If you want to view a sporting event that not only includes, but celebrates people of all sexual orientations and gender identiteis, both on and off the field, then check out the video below, and share it with your friends.