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  WINDY CITY TIMES

LETTERS Let the Games begin
2015-07-29

This article shared 4298 times since Wed Jul 29, 2015
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Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Federation of Gay Games ( FGG ) board of directors, we would like to offer additional information and perspectives on the July 9, 2015 Windy City Times article by Ross Forman entitled, "Daughter of Gay Games founder opposes merge with World Outgames."

We at the FGG continue the important work of engaging the world in our mission of "promoting equality through the organization of the premiere international LGBT and gay-friendly sports and cultural event known as the Gay Games." We are excited about the 2018 Gay Games 10 in Paris and invite the world to attend!

The recently issued Memo of Understanding ( MoU ) between the FGG and the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association ( GLISA ) addresses a collaboration for one quadrennial LGBT sport event for 2022. Each organization will continue regular operations, mission-based work and production of planned programming. Both organizations responded to a global survey of more than 2,000 constituents, and the primary result is resoundingly clear: The world of LGBT artists and athletes want one unified event.

The FGG created an "FAQ" document to address the many questions raised regarding this MoU; this document is available below, as well as transcripts from meetings and the original MoU. The primary issue raised by the Ross Forman article mentions a MERGER, which is one of our FAQs. While a merger is an option, it is NOT supported by either organization's board of directors nor the working group assembled by both organizations during this process.

The MoU further states that a Transition Commission will be created to engage in a global consultation and engagement process that will further outline and recommend how to produce the one unified event; both organizations are continuing operations and planned events as stated above. It is during the "Transition Commission" phase that issues of concern by many will continue being addressed. In the mean time, GLISA will continue in its role overseeing World OutGames IV in Miami 2017; similarly, the FGG will continue in its role overseeing Gay Games 10 in Paris in 2018.

Both organizations are committed to transparency of information, openness of communication, and inclusivity of member organizations. Multiple information sharing events have taken place, and the FGG has worked to include voting members and partners of the organization, "Honorary Life Members," past board members and numerous other passionate supporters of the Gay Games. Included in these communication sharing events were two conference calls held in June but, unfortunately, sources for this Windy city article were not present on the conference calls.

The Gay Games was conceived in San Francisco in 1980 by Dr. Tom Waddell as a vehicle of change and is built upon the principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best™. Since 1982, the Gay Games have empowered thousands of LGBT athletes and artists through sport, culture and fellowship. The Federation continues its best work in many ways, and this includes working to be the vehicle of change to be inclusive of the world's sport and cultural communities into one quadrennial event and having more participation than ever. Gay Games 9, held in August 2014, was arguably the most successful event to date, based on the financial legacy left in Northeast Ohio and the overwhelmingly positive results from a massive participant survey.

We invite and encourage all audiences to continue sharing constructive support and staying informed with accurate information. Both organizations are diligently working towards the a single clearly communicated goal: the world of LGBT athletes want a unified quadrennial event.

—FAQ link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ILf7zdwgoOBvydkSYA04uk3D2gQS20PLVl64rSlQOBs/edit

—Conference call transcripts, recordings and notes: https://drive.google.com/a/gaygames.net/folderview?id=0ByE3pcdroYLxbllVX0Zoa2NNODg&usp=sharing

—Original MoU: www.facebook.com/notes/gay-games/one-world-event-memorandum-of-understanding/1031286973566883 .

Cheers,

R. Tony Smith

Officer of Communications,

Federation of Gay Games

Based in Denver, Colorado

Related coverage at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Daughter-of-Gay-Games-founder-opposes-merge-with-World-Outgames/52104.html .


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