Wow. That about sums up our sentiment here at Outsports. The Federation of Gay Games announced they are presenting us with one of their Legacy Awards at their 30th anniversary brunch in Los Angeles, Oct. 20. Outsports will receive the organization's Media Award for being, according to their press release, "one of the few online media sources that successfully balance community, world-class and professional athletics, both gay-related and mainstream." It's the first time in five years they have handed out this award. Wow.
This is incredibly special, as the Gay Games has meant a great deal to us at Outsports. Jim has attended every Gay Games since Vancouver in 1990, winning two gold medals for flag football along the way. I have competed in the last three, winning a gold in flag football and two gold in track & field.
Our good friend and author Patricia Nell Warren will also receive a Federation Medal of Honor. Warren's novel The Front Runner is the best-selling gay novel of all time and has helped inspire gay athletes around the world. The LGBT running group Frontrunners took their name from her novel. Other award winners include the Trevor Project, West Hollywood Aquatics, and volunteer of the year Mikey Witt.
I'm sure Jim will share some thoughts here as well. For me, the Sydney Gay Games in 2002 was an eye-opener. I'd been out of the closet for five years, and Outsports had been around for two. Yet it was the Gay Games where I first saw a gay community that I felt completely a part of. Each Gay Games has provided incredible memories, and I've gotten to meet some amazing people with whom I'm still in touch with today. The Gay Games are a truly special event, and every gay athlete and sports fan should check them out once (which, I guarantee, will turn into twice...). For the Federation to recognize our work...I'm truly humbled and honored.
The Federation's press release is below:
FEDERATION OF GAY GAMES ANNOUNCES LEGACY AWARD RECIPIENTS
Trevor Project, Outsports.com to be honoured in West Hollywood event for 30th Anniversary of Gay Games
San Francisco, CA - (24 September 2012) - The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) has announced the names of those to be honoured at their Legacy Awards brunch on Sunday October 20 at the House of Blues - Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. The FGG is hosting a series of events in West Hollywood October 20-21 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Gay Games.
Trailblazing author-athlete-activist Patricia Nell Warren will receive a Federation Medal of Honour while the Trevor Project will receive a Youth Award and Honduran human rights activist Erick Vidal Martinez will receive a Social Justice Award. West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman will receive the Local Hero Award; West Hollywood Aquatics will receive the Local Organization Award. The FGG will be presenting internal honours to Mikey Witt as Volunteer of the Year and former FGG Board member Joseph Pasquarella Smith as an Honorary Life Member. Philippe Kahn will be receiving a Legacy Award for Youth Outreach and Coaching. The Federation is particularly pleased to be presenting a Medal of Honor to filmmaker David Secter.
Outsports.com, the Los Angeles-based online sports website created by Jim Buzinski and Cyd Zeigler will receive the Media Award.
Founded in 2000, Outsports.com has become one of the few online media sources that successfully balance community, world-class and professional athletics, both gay-related and mainstream. This is the first time in five years the FGG will present this award.
The Legacy Awards brunch is one of many events the FGG is producing in West Hollywood October 20-21 to celebrate thirty years since the first Gay Games.
"Both the City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Marketing & Visitor's Bureau have been very supportive of our efforts" stated FGG Board member and Event Co-Chair Shamey Cramer. "We are especially grateful to Olivia Walker, Manager of Recreation Services Division for helping us provide healthy and uplifting activities that bring together LGBT families and the entire community."
Book readings and community forums will take place Saturday at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers, while local LGBTQ sports groups will host free sports activities and exhibitions for all family members in West Hollywood Park Library Plaza and Auditorium and other area venues. Families are encouraged to come out and try dodgeball and quidditch - a land-based version of a sport played in the "Harry Potter" book and film series. There will also be a "King of the Mat" wrestling exhibition along with a cheer exhibition and music provided by the Revolution L.A. marching band.
In addition to the Legacy Awards brunch, Sunday will also feature additional sports events and the traditional Memorial Moment, a public ceremony acknowledging those who have been part of the ongoing struggle for global LGBTQ rights. Legacy Award recipients will be the featured speakers at this event which will be presented in English and Spanish, with elected officials and other public dignitaries expected to attend.
Organizers from Gay Games 9: Cleveland + Akron 2014 will also be on hand all weekend offering special registration promotions to attend their Gay Games in two years. http://www.gg9cle.com
For further information about the Gay Games 30th Anniversary Celebration weekend, please visit: http://gaymes.info/gaygames30