Vancouver’s gay community is disappointed that it may not get city funds for its international sporting event at a time when the city is spending millions on the Olympic games. At a debate held on November 5, neither mayoral candidate would commit funding to the North America Outgames which that will bring lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) athletes to Vancouver in 2011.
What are the dates for the 2011 Vancouver Outgames?
The games will start on July 25 and will run until August 1. The Vancouver Gay Pride Parade will take place on July 31 coinciding with the games. More than 5,000 athletes are expected to participate.
How many sport events will there be?
The host committee has proposed 13 sporting events. They will include: orienteering, golf, adventure racing, swimming, rowing, sprints, dragon boating, canoeing, kayaking, hockey, badminton, softball, soccer, ballroom dancing, and volleyball.
What organization is behind the Outgames?
The Outgames are sanctioned by the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA). It is their mandate to develop Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) sport around the world.
Can only gay people participate?
The Outgames are open to all people regardless of their sexual orientation.
What is the difference between the World Outgames and the North America Outgames?
GLISA sanctions the World Outgames every four years bringing together over 10,000 athletes to take part in 30-35 sport disciplines. The North America Outgames are part of the Continental Outgames series, which are smaller games held in the years between the world games.
Are the Outgames the same as the Gay Games?
No, the Gay Games are a separate event sanctioned by the Federation of Gay Games. The first Gay Games were held in San Francisco in 1982. They have been held every four years since.
Where else have the Outgames been held?
The first World Outgames were held in Montreal in 2006. Since then, there have been two Continental Outgames — Calgary 2007 and Melbourne 2008. The next Outgames will be the Copenhagen World Outgames in 2009.
(Pride photo courtesy of Björn Söderqvist)