The day when the Gay Games and Outgames unite into one event may finally be at hand.
The two events' organizing groups - the Federation of Gay Games and the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association, have come to a general agreement to move forward together toward a united event in 2022. There are lots of details to work out, but we have not been closer to seeing a united event than when they split a decade ago.
The two groups split in 2004 when organizers of the Gay Games in Montreal could not come to an agreement with the Federation of Gay Games. Organizers in Montreal decided to host their own games called the Outgames, and the Federation of Gay Games moved their event to Chicago. Both events were held in the summer of 2006. Since then, there have been two international quadrennial gay sports events, with the Gay Games generally drawing more sports participation than the Outgames, while the latter has built robust human-rights and cultural elements. There have been failed attempts in the past to merge these two events.
Here's the press release from the two organizations, which seems to reflect an interest in pursuing the strengths of both groups:
GLISA and FGG announce framework for One World Event
Site Selection Commission to begin 4th quarter 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA (3 March 2015) The joint Working Group (WG) of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) and the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) announces the creation of a framework for a quadrennial One World Event (1WE). The Working Group will work to perpetuate the history of FGG and GLISA, while also working to bring the LGBTQI community together.
The WG recently convened in Cologne, Germany and reports conclusions from a widely distributed online survey:
1. According to the survey findings, there is overwhelming support for having one world quadrennial event. 88.7% of the 1,705 respondents support having one world quadrennial event: very important (46.5%), somewhat important (26.1%), or important (16.1%).
2. The event should have three components: Sport, Culture, and Human Rights Conference.
3. The event must be inclusive of all elements of the community, i.e. youth, trans, women, elders, disabled, etc.
4. The event should remove any barriers to participation, such as cost of registration while offering increased scholarship opportunities.
Building on the recommendations of the membership, the survey and the Cologne discussions, the 1WE WG has created a framework report for a quadrennial 1WE to be produced in 2022 and what will be required to achieve this goal.
This report, known as the 1WE Cologne Report, will address the needs for both organizations to sign off on a Memo of Understanding (MOU) that includes the creation of a Transition Commission, and the production of a World Congress to take place in third quarter of 2015 with representation from all parties with a vested interest in promoting a One World Event consisting of Sport, Culture, and Human Rights.
Simultaneously, a Site Selection Commission will be created following the ratification of the MOU with a Site Selection process commencing in fourth quarter of 2015.
"GLISA is excited on the progress of this vital collaboration that benefits the worldwide LGBT sporting community", states Tamara Adrian, GLISA Co-President."All of us at the FGG are extremely thrilled to see things moving forward in a positive manner", states FGG Co-President Kurt Dahl.
The WG presented the 1WE Cologne Report to the FGG and GLISA Boards in January 2015 with ratification of the Memo of Understanding expected by 15 April 2015.