As the Winter Olympics are about to begin under a cloud of anti-LGBT violence and protest, GLAAD is proud to announce its partnership with a much more inclusive sporting event, the 2014 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.
"We have seen over the last several months, especially around the Olympics, how vitally important it is to have LGBT inclusion in sports," said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. "Our partnership with the Gay Games will give LGBT athletes the platform to tell their stories to the mainstream media and talk about their love of sports. It is only by highlighting these athletes that we shift the culture, both within sports, but across the globe, to a place of wider acceptance."
“From high-profile LGBT athletes like Jason Collins or Brittney Griner to recreational and student athletes, GLAAD is committed to ensuring equality is a part of sports," said Steve Sokany, co-chair, 2014 Gay Games. "Its work marries well with the mission of the 2014 Gay Games – Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™. It’s not about how many medals someone wins, equality in sports is about allowing people to play in inclusive and welcoming environments.”
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 the Winter Olympic Games help in Sochi where LGBT individuals face criminal charges.
The Gay Games has even purchased an ad to run in Ohio during the Olympic Games. 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.
For more information on the 2014 Gay Games