Adam Polaski

Here Come the (Regional) Outgames!

Filed By Adam Polaski | July 27, 2011 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: gay sports, GLISA, LGBT sports, New Civil Rights Movement, North America Outgames, Outgames, Vancouver, World Outgames

Trophies.jpgThis week marks the arrival of the second annual GLISA North America Outgames, hosted by the Gay & Lesbian International Sport Association. This year's weeklong event, which is a cross between sporting competitions and a human rights conference, is being held in Vancouver, British Columbia. It began on Monday and will run until Sunday, July 31.

This year's event comes after a year full of movement and developments in LGBT inclusion in professional athletics. The New Civil Rights Movement has more:

The early part of 2011 was a watershed period for LGBT visibility in sports. In what seemed like a daily occurrence, more than 25 sports figures publicly came out before June. The San Francisco Giants team promoted an anti-?homophobia message when they agreed to make an "It Gets Better" anti-?bullying video, and since, the Boston Red Sox have followed suit. More recently, the San Diego Padres became the first pro team to sign the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's Team Respect Challenge. Straight "allies" like wrestler Hudson Taylor and rugger Ben Cohen have both mounted aggressive and effective anti-?homophobia campaigns.

And then, of course, there were some setbacks - a handful of athletes used slurred others with "faggot," and FIFA's head continues to be incredibly anti-gay. But it's a rapidly changing climate for LGBT people in sport, and the progress is not insignificant.

It should be interesting to keep an eye on the Outgames, especially the three-day human rights conference that will focus on homophobia in sport and how to advance the rights of LGBT athletes in the traditionally "don't ask, don't tell" professional environments.

Keph Senett from The New Civil Rights Movement is live-tweeting the events and the conference, which will get into full swing this weekend.

The third annual World Outgames will be held in 2013, in Antwerp, Belgium.

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