Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Louganis at Open Door benefit
by Carrie Maxwell

This article shared 4348 times since Sun Apr 13, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

About 200 people attended Open Door Clinic's "New Beginnings" fundraiser featuring openly gay, HIV-positive, gold medal-winning Olympic diver and activist Greg Louganis at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club in West Chicago on April 12.

Founded in 1977, Open Door Clinic is, according to its website, "A non-profit healthcare organization established by grassroots organizations that identified the need to provide education, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Its mission is to improve health and wellness by providing education prevention, screening, and treatment for sexual health and wellness in the Fox Valley Area." The organization is expanding its services with a new clinic.

A video featuring Open Door's mission and the services it provides, testimonials from Open Door clients and Ryan White's mom Jeannie White-Ginger, and pictures of the famous faces of the HIV/AIDS epidemic kicked off the evening's festivities.

Executive Director David Roesler spoke about Open Door's history and work. He also introduced the Open Door Clinic leadership team, staff members and board of directors, and thanked the sponsors ahead of Louganis' remarks.

White-Ginder introduced Louganis via video message. In her message she shared how Louganis impacted her family's life and how proud she is of Louganis and the work he does.

Louganis shared that his journey with HIV began in 1986 when he first read about White in People magazine. Later that year, Louganis invited White and his mom to the national diving competition in Indianapolis, Ind. Upon winning a medal, he gave it to White. This was two years prior to Louganis finding out he himself was HIV-positive.

Six months prior to the 1988 summer Olympic games Louganis noted that he got tested for HIV and his results were just shy of a full-blown AIDS diagnosis. Louganis shared his experiences of taking AZT medications while training for the Olympics. He also noted how far people have come in understanding HIV/AIDS as well as LGBT equality—including marriage equality, mentioning husband Johnny Chaillot, who was also in the audience.

"It's important to be seen (as LGBT people) ... and start talking openly about sexuality. I think that it alleviates a lot of the stigma and preconceived notions and ideas," said Louganis.

He shared his experiences traveling to Nepal with his husband for the First Southeast Asian LGBT Games where, during his first press conference, someone asked him which one (Louganis or Chaillot) was the husband and which one was the wife. "My response to him was what time is it," said Louganis. Despite the initial misunderstanding of Louganis and Chaillot's relationship, Louganis remarked that they did so much good in Nepal just by being themselves.

Louganis also spoke about the situation in Russia with the Sochi Olympics as well as the anti-gay propaganda bill that was signed into law. He shared that he was against a boycott of the Sochi Olympics because it hurts the wrong people, the athletes. To explain his reasoning, Louganis reminded the audience that due to the United States boycott of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics he was unable to compete that year.

During the Sochi Olympic delegation selection process, Louganis noted that he was on the short list of people to attend on the United States' behalf but wasn't chosen. Instead, Louganis said, Russian LGBT Sport Federation co-chair Konstantin Yoblatskiy reached out to him to attend the LGBTI Russian Open Games that took place in Moscow between the Sochi Olympics and Paralympic Games and he accepted the invitation. The situation in Moscow, Louganis explained, was very different from people's experiences attending the Sochi games such as participants being turned away from their hotels, a bomb threat marring their first press conference, and events being thwarted in one way or another, resulting in relocations to other venues. "Sochi was Putin's propaganda and what I experienced is what is really happening in Russia," said Louganis.

"I wonder each day what the universe has in store for me, and tonight I am here to celebrate and also to raise money and awareness," said Louganis. "One of my Facebook posts is about supporting local [organizations, initiatives and people] because that is where you can really make a difference. That's what my mom taught me. Try to make everywhere you go better because you were there so that's my message to you."

During the Q&A session, Louganis related his experiences being followed across the country by Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church while on a tour promoting his autobiography Breaking the Surface.

"We live with HIV. HIV doesn't define me. It's not who I am," said Louganis in response to a question from someone who is HIV-positive about living her truth. Louganis added that his mom said everyone's goal is to make the world a better place.

He also talked about the making of the Showtime movie Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story, and his experiences on the set as Mario Lopez's body double during the diving scenes.

As for getting the message out to younger generations about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Louganis said it is really hard to get through to them because for the most part they haven't had to deal with the loss of their family members and friends to AIDS. All he can do, Louganis noted, is share his story and in some cases explain who he is when speaking to young people. "I am walking propaganda. I don't even need to say anything," said Louganis.

Louganis also shared his upcoming media projects as well as his greatest challenge as an athlete: being bullied. Louganis shared that experience in a blog item for the Huffington Post.

See and for more information.

Videos by Tracy Baim

Windy City Times: Open Door benefit, Greg Louganis speech: .

Windy City Times: Open Door benefit 1 of 6: ED Roesler: .

Windy City Times: Open Door benefit 2 of 6: Greg Louganis: .

Windy City Times: Open Door benefit 3 of 6: Greg Louganis on challenges .

Windy City Times: Open Door benefit 4 of 6: Greg Louganis, on injuries .

Windy City Times: Open Door benefit 5 of 6: ED Roesler .

This article shared 4348 times since Sun Apr 13, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Utah judge halts law banning trans girls from playing on girls' sports teams 2022-08-19
- In Utah, transgender kids will not be subjected to sports-participation limits at the start of the upcoming school year after Judge Keith Kelly delayed the implementation of a statewide ban passed earlier this year, WGEM reported. ...

Gay News

Sky stumble in playoffs; Cubs win but White Sox lose 2022-08-18
- On Aug. 17, the Chicago Sky relinquished a late lead—and are now facing elimination from the playoffs. The defending WNBA champions fell to the New York Liberty 98-91 at Wintrust Arena as the seventh seed scored ...

Gay News

In a first, gold-medal Olympian comes out as transgender 2022-08-17
- During the Aug. 16 opening address of the international LGBTQ+ rugby competition The Bingham Cup, taking place in the Canadian capital of Ottawa through Aug. 21, Ellia Green came out as trans—and is the first Olympian ...

Gay News

Skaters from Chicago BIPOC queer collective froSkate release Nike SB shoe 2022-08-17
- Members of froSkate—an organization dedicated to creating safe spaces for BIPOC queer skateboarders—recently became the first Black women to design a colorful sneaker with Nike SB, and the shoe was recently released. Two of froSkate's le ...

Gay News

Gay NFL player to rejoin Tampa Bay 2022-08-17
- Super Bowl contender the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed defensive end Carl Nassib—pro football's first openly gay, active player—bringing him back to where he delivered two of his most productive seasons, NBC News reported. Last year, Nassib ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner appealing conviction 2022-08-16
- Russian news agencies have reported that attorneys for U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner have filed an appeal of her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession, according to PBS Newshour. Griner, an eight-time all-star center with ...

Gay News

10th biennial Bingham Cup taking place through Aug. 21 2022-08-15
- The LGBTQ+ rugby tournament known as the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament—or the Bingham Cup—is taking place in Ottawa, Canada, through Sunday, Aug. 21. According to a press release, "The Bingham Cup is the largest amateur ...

Gay News

Sky snag #2 seed in playoffs; Red Stars, Cubs fall; White Sox win 2022-08-15
- In Phoenix's Footprint Center, the Chicago Sky (26-10) defeated the Mercury (15-21) 82-67 on Aug. 14 in WNBA action to end the regular season on a high note. By winning, the Sky—the defending champions—secured the number-two ...

Gay News

Chicago Fire FC fall; Cubs, White Sox both win 2022-08-14
- In Chester, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 13, the Chicago Fire FC fell to the Philadelphia Union 4-1. The away defeat snapped the Fire's five-game unbeaten run, including consecutive away wins, as the team moved three points below ...

Gay News

Cubs win 'Field of Dreams' game; White Sox, Sky lose 2022-08-12
- In the "Field of Dreams" game on Aug. 11, the Chicago Cubs (46-65) defeated the Cincinnati Reds (44-67) 4-2 in Dyersville, Iowa. True to the nature of the classic 1989 movie, the game was played by ...

Gay News

Sky lose historic game; Cubs fall; White Sox split 2022-08-10
- In what was openly lesbian WNBA legend Sue Bird's final regular-season game against the Chicago Sky (25-9), things certainly were memorable for her and the Seattle Storm (21-13). The Storm defeated the Sky 111-100 at Wintrust ...

Gay News

Sky, Red Stars, Fire and White Sox all win; Cubs do not 2022-08-08
- The Chicago Sky (25-8) extended their franchise record with their 25th victory, defeating the Connecticut Sun (22-11) 94-91 on Aug. 7 at Wintrust Arena in a game that was nationally televised on ABC. Courtney Vandersloot led ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Okla. schools, Tenn. lawsuit, political items, Mich. library 2022-08-07
Video below - Oklahoma public schools have started requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete "biological sex affidavits" if they want to compete in school sports, in accordance with a state law that took effect earlier this year, ...

Gay News

WORLD Zelensky, French position, UK drag-queen shows, triathlons 2022-08-07
- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed he will ask Ukraine's government to look into legalizing same-sex marriage after the war with Russia ends, PinkNews reported. Ukraine's constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last ...

Gay News

Sky, Cubs and White Sox all win 2022-08-06
- The Chicago Sky (24-8) defeated the Washington Mystics (20-13) 93-83 at Wintrust Arena on Aug. 5. The Sky tied a franchise record with 24 wins in a single season—a record set during the 2013 WNBA regular ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.