Look out! I'm moving it!
Pride House, the first Olympic house devoted to gay and lesbian athletes, their family, and friends, is making its debut in 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. The house is designed to be an "inclusive hangout and social space for gay and nongay athletes."
The brainchild of Dean Nelson, chief executive of the promotional company GayWhistler, will be located in the Pan Pacific Hotel in Whistler Village which is about a 2 hour drive from Vancouver.
Turnout is iffy, since many athletes may be hesitant to publicly come out at the games, but the visibility could also serve to change the comfort level of many with the idea of openly gay athletes.
The Olympics always have a variety of houses designed for mixers and socialization: a US House, a Canadian Pavilion, etc. This chance for people to come together and celebrate the LGBT community could be a welcome trend at the games.
Greg Larocque, president of the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association, which is enthusiastically supporting Pride House, is hoping that it will open a dialogue:
The value, internationally, is that young athlete leaders and coaches see a different paradigm. And that it can work, and it does work.
It may be a slow start for the Pride House, but it is a great first step.
And who can complain about a bunch of gay and lesbian athletes hanging out together in one room? Seems like a little slice of heaven to me...