Charting the future
by Roger Brigham
Midway through its scheduled one-year negotiations with the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association for an end to the World Outgames and a co-produced Gay Games in 2018, the Federation of Gay Games held two teleconference calls with stakeholders last weekend to discuss their concerns and progress of the talks.
The one quadrennial event topic is scheduled to be covered in the final day of the FGG's annual meeting next month in Toronto, but some of the call participants expressed a need for more discussion time, which may result in a modification of the agenda schedule.
Kurt Dahl, co-president of the FGG, supplied a 17-slide presentation to the calls. The document was labeled "confidential" but was in fact publicly available for the stakeholders.
Although the presenters said nothing has been finalized and everything is still under discussion, the proposal presented calls for the sports and culture programs to be based on the Gay Games model and a human rights conference to be based on the World Outgames model. Perhaps the most controversial portion of the presentation concerns governance of the event, which would include votes, committee membership for site selection, site inspection and host steering group, as well as financials. Dahl said a 60/40 split in the FGG's favor had been proposed, but that 65-35 and 50-50 splits had been discussed as well.
Those ratios go to the core of the differences between the two international groups. The FGG underwent an organizational restructuring in 2006 with the goal of keeping site selection control in the hands of established and contributing sports and cultural organizations in the general assembly. A motion by former FGG president Sion O'Connor calls for the FGG to retain at least an 87.23 percent control of the event based on the relative values of the Gay Games and Outgames brands.
Delegate Rick Van Tassell of International Association of Gay and Lesbian Martial Artists, noted that the FGG assembly, not its board, has site selection rights and changing that to include GLISA having a role would require bylaw amendments.
"We would be adding another organization to our premier and, indeed, our only event," Van Tassell said. "What are we getting from them in return?"
"What's coming to the table is we don't have the competition," Dahl responded. "Participants won't have to choose which event to go to; it's a hard choice for some participants. What we're gaining is we won't have the competition any more."
FGG presenters also confirmed that they had never requested to see the expense and income reports of any of the Outgames human rights conferences.
Compete seeking LGBT Athlete of the Year nominees
Compete Sports Media has put out a call for nominations for its Athlete of the Year.
Alfonzo Chavez, communications manager for Compete, told the Bay Area Reporter the winner will be announced at the Compete Sports Diversity Awards in Phoenix, Arizona on November 5 and be featured in the December magazine. Nominations are due by midnight, Friday, October 7. Nomination forms are available at http://www.competenetwork.com.
Nyad stung in latest Cuba-to-Florida swim try
Out swimmer Diana Nyad, 62, ended her latest attempt to swim shark infested waters from Cuba to Florida early Sunday, September 25, after repeated, painful stings from Portuguese Man O' Wars. It was her second try in as many months and third career attempt.
Nyad covered about 92 miles of the 103-mile distance before having to pull out after more than 40 hours of swimming because of the paralytic effect of the jellyfish stings.
Nyad told reporters she is "so capable of that swim, but that's the end. It's a bitter pill."
Asia-Pacific Outgames announces grants
Organizers of the second Asia-Pacific Outgames, held in New Zealand earlier this year, have announced the granting of $35,000 New Zealand ($26,977 U.S.) to 10 regional LGBTI groups: Wellington Gay Welfare Group, Pride NZ, Tapatoru, Waikato Queer Youth, Lilac Collective, Different Strokes Swimming Club, Lesbian Elders Village, and Homophones, all in New Zealand; Youth Services Trust in Wanganui; and Charlotte Museum Trust in Auckland.
A total of 48 groups were reported to have applied for a total of $180,000 New Zealand, far outstripping the continental event's budgetary surplus, believed to be about $75,000 New Zealand. A second, smaller distribution is expected in October.