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Thursday, April 18

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Fuel

Kirsten / July 17, 2006 9:05 AM

Well, we went to the Opening Ceremonies and had a mostly fantastic time. Where else can you see Andy Bell from Erasure, Margaret Cho, Mayor Daley, Greg Louganis, Heather Small and the AIDS quilt, wrapped up with an eye-level fireworks display? About 3 of the 4 hours were great (a little slow in the middle ) and Mayor Daley got some of the biggest cheers of the night.

JP / July 17, 2006 9:27 AM

Opening ceremonies were great. My favorite part was seeing Dailey get a friendly pinch where the sun don't shine. He kept his politicians smile going the entire time but you could tell he was a little uncomfortable. I wish I had a picture of that.

Alison / July 17, 2006 9:28 AM

I hadn't really been following, but my (straight) dad was in town this weekend and he was OBSESSED. I swear he picked up every free newspaper that featured the event to take home and read later. He also wanted to talk to anyone who would listen about the "Gaymes."

madachode / July 17, 2006 9:34 AM

disgrace to our city and state.

Sabrosa / July 17, 2006 9:36 AM

Hey madachode,
you wanna say why it's a disgrace to our city and state?

luxembourg / July 17, 2006 9:50 AM

My curiousity is, do the athletes perform their events gay-ly? I'm assuming the athletes are just athletes and they don't mince about.

If that's the case, isn't this just as boring--actually more boring--than the actual Olympics, which nobody in America has really given a shit about since the fall of the Soviet Union?

anon / July 17, 2006 9:53 AM

Madachode,

YOU are a disgrace to our city and state.

More importantly ... you must be somewhat interested in the Gay Games to have clicked on this. A little ... curious ... are we?

Bill V / July 17, 2006 10:00 AM

I haven't seen any coverage yet, but I hear a popular event is the Pole Vault. They do it a little differently than the Olypians as it's not totally judged by height :)

Strawberry / July 17, 2006 10:19 AM

I'm genuinely curious about this: If gay folks deperately want to be included/not discriminated against...why go out of their way to have a pseudo-Olympics based on sexual orientation/preference? It makes me, even as a gay sympathizer, want to not support it, just as I would not support an African-American Games, or something of the like. Disclaimer: I also think BET is racist.

robin.. / July 17, 2006 10:27 AM

oh please, do not feed the trolls, y'all. i mean really, "choad" is pretty much right in his or her name already, so our work's done for us.

Marilyn / July 17, 2006 10:47 AM

If the Irish can have a St. Patrick Day's parade in the middle of the city, then any other special-interest group can hold an event. I just wish the papers had provided a fact sheet on some of the elite athletes in competition like they do for the Marathon, etc.

Strawberry / July 17, 2006 11:09 AM

I'm not saying they CAN'T have a Gay Games-- obviously the Irish celebrate their heritage, as do African-Americans. And I certainly don't object to that. I'm asking what objective is accomplished by voluntarily segregating gay athletes for their own competition?

madachode / July 17, 2006 11:21 AM

go and have the games in alaska or rather have them everywhere but don't ram the idea down mine and everyone's throat also giving the children ideas that it's ok to two dads as parents wow makes me wanna lobby for reinstating the anti sodomy law in cook county.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 11:25 AM

Of course any special interest group CAN hold an event - this right is covered under the Bill of Rights, which the Constitution did not originally include, but none of the states would ratify until it was included. The question or issue is not CAN any special interest group hold an event or SHOULD it be allowed to - the point of contention is not a legal one. This situation to discuss here is more IS IT WISE/DOES IT PROMOTE THEIR CAUSE/WHAT IS THE PURPOSE of such an event? The acceptance and equality of the Irish people is not connected to the St. Patrick's Day parade - it is something that everyone partakes in and has become part of the fabric of the city. I.E. you can be gay, black, straight, catholic, buddhist, indonesian, young, old, etc etc to partake in the St. Patrick's Day festivites. The Gay Games is not a civil rights demonstration - or is it? -, and sexual orientation is not a qualifier or disqualifier for competition in the international Olympic Games... so why the need for an event like this? (But then again, I am pretty sure that I don't understand the need to be surrounded and supported by people with the same plight as myself - every day is like that for me... ) The idea I ask everyone to consider is: do people want equality, or do they want preferrential treatment?

Andrew / July 17, 2006 11:25 AM

Well, segregation is one way of looking at it. Or you could look at it as celebrating the achievements of gays, which is a much more positive outlook.

fluffy / July 17, 2006 11:25 AM

I don't really follow these type of events- olympics, triathlons, etc. regardless of whether the athletes are gay or straight. I'm not sure why there are games strictly for gay people - an athletes is an athlete- who cares what their sexual preference is?
But if it does help to positively influence a young gay person's life, or encourages them to pursue athletics/olympics then that's good.
I still don't get it though...but hey, it seems like a fun and positive event. I just wish the Special Olympics got this much funding and attention.

Marilyn / July 17, 2006 11:27 AM

I'm asking what objective is accomplished by voluntarily segregating gay athletes for their own competition?

Celebrating their "heritage," of course. Why don't you ask the same question of the other groups whose celebrations exclude other cultures in favor of their own? It's a nonissue.

OH SNAP / July 17, 2006 11:30 AM

Madachode, I think your secretly yearning for something else to rammed down your throat.

amyc / July 17, 2006 11:33 AM

an athletes is an athlete- who cares what their sexual preference is?

Well, exactly. But until gay athletes are fully accepted in the mainstream sporting world, the Gay Games will exist.

And, Marilyn, the Gay Games does not exclude non-gay athletes.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 11:34 AM

"...giving the children ideas that it's ok to two dads as parents wow makes me wanna lobby for reinstating the anti sodomy law in cook county."

Seriously, will someone please explain why two dads is a problem? Everyone says it is, but no one ever says why... and if you didn't have two dads, then how would you know it's a problem to have 2?

The sodomy law is so last century, as is anti-gay.

I'd like to see some anti-pride, and pro-wisdom & conscientiousness. For all interest groups.

p / July 17, 2006 11:39 AM

The focus of the games is on celebration as well as competition and good on 'em for that. Internet saltiness from "gay sympathizers" (fucks a gay sympathizer?) and buffoons ain't nuthin' but snore town yawnfests. (And I'm a boring-person sympathizer). But did anyone see the piece on the games on chicago tonight. That shit was Ridiculous- some obese, strange cat lady/ice skater who couldn't lift her foot up off the ice and some obvious "down-low" supposedly straight dude who played on the hockey team? I was dying. I don't know who chose those two to focus on but they must've been takin' the piss because sweet lord it was funny.

Ms. Insecurity / July 17, 2006 11:39 AM

And while we're at it, Marilyn, why the hell is there a "Special Olympics?" Huh? I mean what objective is accomplished by voluntarily segregating people with mental and physical handicaps for their own competition?seriously.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 11:39 AM

"... the Gay Games does not exclude non-gay athletes."

Then why refer to them as the Gay Games?

Ms. Insecurity / July 17, 2006 11:47 AM

Sorry Marilyn, I meant to ask that of Strawberry.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 11:51 AM

"Internet saltiness from 'gay sympathizers' and buffoons ain't nuthin' but snore town yawnfests."

Maybe.

If you don't care about the future of civilization.

I guess you'd rather watch ridiculous things on TV then think about what you're watching or why it's even being broadcast.

You're right, though, I guess philosophy and politics and psychology can't hold a candle to some obese, strange cat lady/ice skater who couldn't lift her foot up off the ice and some obvious "down-low" supposedly straight dude who played on the hockey team.

Hal / July 17, 2006 11:54 AM

Our experience with the Opening Ceremonies wasn't so great. Overall, it's biggest problem was it was boring. We made it through 3 hours and were the last of our group to survive that long.
It didn't help that there was a palpable tone of anger throughout - epitomized by one speaker, Stacyann Chin. I'm all for the liberal righteous anger, but we expected a more positive experience in this case. It seemed that everyone who was leaving around the same time had similar comments. In looking at the program again online, the themes of the first two acts were "Exclusion" and "Oppression," so it looks like this wasn't an accident.
I also see a conflict between the principle of inclusion and "personal best" in the games and the principle of competition (i.e. being the best). The ceremonies tried to play it both ways, which was confusing.
Also, Soldier Field was just too damned big. I know they marketed the hell out of this and tried their hardest to fill it up (they were even giving away free tickets on the streets of Boystown Saturday afternoon), but it was kind of creepy being only 1/4 to 1/3 full.

Hal / July 17, 2006 12:00 PM

"but hey, it seems like a fun and positive event. I just wish the Special Olympics got this much funding and attention."

The Special Olympics actually gets a TON more funding and attention. It only seems like the Games get more to you right now because they're right here. Thought experiment for you: before the Games advertisements went up around the city or the articles about Crystal Lake, etc, did you even know they existed? The Special Olympics, on the other hand, have never been here, but you know about them, right?

Pete / July 17, 2006 12:04 PM

As far as the actual games go, who cares. Are we supposed to be impressed that gay people can compete in athletics? Of course not.

The story is not about the athletics, it is about the fact that the athletes are gay, which some people will liken to an elaborate peice of propaganda.

I do admit that I am so last century for not buying into bullshit.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 12:08 PM

"I do admit that I am so last century for not buying into bullshit."

lol - not sarcastic laughter.

the sodomy laws are so last century, not wondering why etc during events like the Gay Games.

p / July 17, 2006 12:11 PM

hey broseph i think you misunderstood my post. i was commenting on the boringness of the elementary "why do they set themselves apart then" argument and voicing my feelings on the games and their coverage so far. I feel, as a society (in general and specifically Chicago), we should not have to quibble over the validity of a fun, celebratory event such as these games and I choose not to debate the relevance of such an event with internet blowhards. And the humour of the Chicago Tonight episode was funny and on-topic in that it was interesting for them not to feature athletic, competitive homosexuals, (of which the majority of participants I assume were) and instead go for some oddball factor. And btw the "future of civilization" has never been positively effected by anyone with the handle "no comment".

Strawberry / July 17, 2006 12:18 PM

Ms. Insecurity, the Special Olympics is a completely different case to everything stated here, for what I hope are obvious reasons (i.e. they cannot compete in most cases against regular athletes). If the Gay Games are only meant as a "heritage" celebration exercise, then I argue that the gay community could have found a much more inclusive and positive way to celebrate than the seemingly arbitrary decision to have an Olympic-type competition which includes anyone...much like the NORMAL Olympics??

Joe / July 17, 2006 12:18 PM

Wow, this whole thread makes me sad. The Gay Games are supposed to be fun. People need to seriously chill out.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 12:20 PM

irony must also escape you, p!

"why do they set themselves apart then" argument...

why is this argument boring? again, people makes some general statement but they don't explain why... interesting... And you obviously found it interesting enough to comment about how boring you think the argument is...

ok, this is turning into personal attacks, and I never meant for that, and please, I would like to apologize.

Why won't someone tell me why 2 dads is a bad thing???

nocomment / July 17, 2006 12:24 PM

I'm sorry we are making you sad, Joe. but I don't think the Gay Games are about fun (see Hal's first comment above). I'm actually thrilled you made this critique of the argument, because it re-inforces my point: if the Gay Games were about fun (think, "games"), then why would they be surrounded with so much controversey, argument, pride, etc.? And if they ARE about controversey, argument, pride, etc., then they shouldn't be called games.

2 dads, anyone?

Marilyn / July 17, 2006 12:25 PM

Oh, Lordy. This is just another of the zillions of events that Chicago plays host to, many of them boring and overhyped. Why should the gay community be any different in that respect? It's like having a Shriner's convention in town. Nothing more to say about this unless a world record is broken in any of the events.

steven / July 17, 2006 12:29 PM

Nope. Don't care.

nonnymoose / July 17, 2006 12:30 PM

I posted this on a similar Chicagoist thread last week--I think it's appropriate:

If you've ever been around guys in a professional locker room, you'd understand that gay atheletes are not really allowed to be themselves--not only are the words gay, queer, and faggot thrown around like candy at a parade, but homophobia runs deep.

I think the purpose of the Gay Games is to let the atheletes compete without added and undue pressure to constantly "act straight."

Here's the mission statement from the Federation of the Gay Games website:

The purpose of the Federation of Gay Games is to foster and augment the self-respect of lesbians and gay men throughout the world and to engender respect and understanding from the nongay world, primarily through an organized international participatory athletic and cultural event held every four years, and commonly known as the Gay Games.
While particular emphasis is placed on these specific goals, it is a fundamental principle of the Federation of Gay Games that all activities conducted under its auspices shall be inclusive in nature and that no individual shall be excluded from participating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political belief(s), athletic/artistic ability, physical challenge, age, or health status.

Ms. Insecurity / July 17, 2006 12:32 PM

Ms. Insecurity, the Special Olympics is a completely different case to everything stated here, for what I hope are obvious reasons (i.e. they cannot compete in most cases against regular athletes). If the Gay Games are only meant as a "heritage" celebration exercise, then I argue that the gay community could have found a much more inclusive and positive way to celebrate than the seemingly arbitrary decision to have an Olympic-type competition which includes anyone...much like the NORMAL Olympics??

Haha, I'd like to know what your definition of NORMAL is. I guess Steriod injected athletics and corporate whore-ism passes for it in your book.

Special Olympics is a celebration, a chance to compete and meet people that have a common bond. Like the Gay Games. You're over analyzing it and sound insecure in the process probably because don't feel included which is entirely in your head, of course. Like Joe said, it's suppose to be fun. Get over yourself.

fun girl / July 17, 2006 12:34 PM

To the guy who wants to outlaw sodomy:

You must be REALLY BORING in the sack.

spook / July 17, 2006 12:58 PM

How is BET racist when its owned by white men? of course it is a stupid minstrel show and violently anti women
And I think gays make the best parents as they actually have to think about having a kid instead of having all these accidents, which is what most of us straight people do. I also bet no gay parents kids got left at the taste or no gay parents recently sentenced to life in prison for beating his daughter to death with an extension cord inbetween commercials during the Saprano's

Course I am a little fed up with these conservative Mayor Daley supporting Gay white men and I heard the lesbo's are by far the more serious athletes, but what's up with all the gay game selections, like dancing? Where is the basketball?

I'm way more for the gay games than the Olympics if we have to have another sports event

marge / July 17, 2006 1:02 PM

nonnymoose - your last comment was great. it is about celebration and allowing people to be themselves in an arena where homophobia often runs rampant. The silly arguments 'against' the gay games seen here are just latent or not-so-latent homophobia on the part of the submitters. What the hell is wrong with a bunch of people gathering, acknowledging their similarities, and having a good time? It makes me sad, too, to see that there is still such fear, discomfort, and downright hatred.
And, there's not a damn thing wrong with two dads or two moms!

fluffy / July 17, 2006 1:06 PM

an athletes is an athlete- who cares what their sexual preference is?

Well, exactly. But until gay athletes are fully accepted in the mainstream sporting world, the Gay Games will exist.

---I guess I didn't know gay athletes were not accepted. I've always heard of some exceptional athletes here and there that happened to be gay. I had no idea that , as nonnymoose wrote, homophobia still ran deep in the locker rooms.

Like I said in my prior posting, I hope these games positively influence young gay people and encourages them to pursue their dreams, with the hope that their sexual preference is a non-issue, adn they can be respected for their talents and hard work.

madachodes / July 17, 2006 1:15 PM

nonnymoose - your last comment was great. it is about celebration and allowing people to be themselves in an arena where homophobia often runs rampant. The silly arguments 'against' the gay games seen here are just latent or not-so-latent homophobia on the part of the submitters. What the hell is wrong with a bunch of people gathering, acknowledging their similarities, and having a good time? It makes me sad, too, to see that there is still such fear, discomfort, and downright hatred.
And, there's not a damn thing wrong with two dads or two moms!

just proves the point of mother natures selective breeding and only the stronger will live on. I so wish that those asspackers would have tried this in the 80's in this city. Halsted would be strafed and bombed by A10's.

Kirsten / July 17, 2006 1:19 PM

My goodness! This is getting a little heated. For such a positive, affirming event, it isn't that complicated. Why have a Gay Games? It started almost thirty years ago, for one thing, in a very different time in the gay movement. Second, gay atheletes aren't requesting any "special treatment", and gay athletes aren't refusing to participate in the Olympics or demanding anything different. It's a happy, affirming, encouraging, global community-building event. Simply seeing the size of the parade of athletes was enough to bring tears to many eyes. *Should* there be no need for such an event? Of course! Maybe someday there won't be! We can all hope and pray for that day! But that day sure as hell is not here yet - - as even this board proves.

Lastly - a schedule of events for someone who asked for it - you'll see that along with the fun inclusive ones (pool, bowling, etc.) there are plenty "serious" events - weight lifting, basketball, triathalon, swimming, track & field, rugdy, cycling, and more.
http://www.gaygameschicago.org/calendar/e-schedule.php

spence / July 17, 2006 1:54 PM

just proves the point of mother natures selective breeding and only the stronger will live on. I so wish that those asspackers would have tried this in the 80's in this city. Halsted would be strafed and bombed by A10's.

Hahaha, now that's diversity: a homophobe, Darwinist, and war monger. I'd like to hear more of your brilliant interpretations of evolution and warring on innocent civilians.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 1:55 PM

"*Should* there be no need for such an event? Of course! Maybe someday there won't be! We can all hope and pray for that day! But that day sure as hell is not here yet - - as even this board proves."

How will we get from this point in history to that, though? By not questioning events like this? How far in the future will that someday be if we are watching with tears in our eyes (approaching the issue emotionally) instead of approaching this whole issue with intelligence and with justice?

By setting "themselves" apart with something like the Gay Games, the gay community creates a "themselves" instead of just being people, which is what they claim to want to be - treated equally, meaning not treated differently because of their sexual orientation. Thus, they reinforce their own label - Discuss.

Bottom Line: Sexual Orientation should absolutely and without question be a non-issue. 1.) singling yourself out or 2.) being singled out because of your sexual orientation is making it an issue.

ACH / July 17, 2006 2:01 PM

"The Homo/Hetero Games For Athletes Who Feel That They Are Discriminated Against in Other Games Based On Their Sexual Orientation."

I'd still rather go to the Gay Pride Parade and watch the trannies in action.

nif / July 17, 2006 2:22 PM

I went to the opening ceremony and had a great time - I felt like a part of history in Chicago, and that seemed to be the thinking of most of the folks sitting near me. But I'm one of those nerds that loves the Olympics and watches all the events for two weeks every four years.

For the anti-gay / anti-gaygames people commenting - setting aside your moral objections which I won't waste my time with - aren't you just glad to see millions of dollars in revenue come to our city this week through hotels, restaurants, cabs, flights, etc? That's just this week - they are prediciting that the long term impact of residual tourism will top one billion dollars. Personally I welcome any chance to show off what I think is the best city in America, my hometown of Chicago, and make a little cash for us at the same time. Even if you aren't for gay pride, surely you can have some "chicago pride".

paulette / July 17, 2006 2:22 PM

I enjoyed the color guard and cheer team exhibition on sunday afternoon in the blazing heat of millennium park. it was fun.

also, that's too bad that the opening ceremony was so sparsely attended - I bet the $50 price had something to do with that.

Irene Reilly / July 17, 2006 2:27 PM

Gay people got them a hard road. Let em have a lil game every four years, I say.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 2:47 PM

"... aren't you just glad to see millions of dollars in revenue come to our city this week through hotels, restaurants, cabs, flights, etc? That's just this week - they are prediciting that the long term impact of residual tourism will top one billion dollars. Personally I welcome any chance to show off what I think is the best city in America, my hometown of Chicago, and make a little cash for us at the same time. Even if you aren't for gay pride, surely you can have some "chicago pride". "

Good point, nif.

For the record, I don't have moral objections to things like the Gay Games, or homosexuality, for that matter. (I don't even know what the term "Morality" really means.) I have intellectual objections.

spook / July 17, 2006 2:48 PM

"I had no idea that , as nonnymoose wrote, homophobia still ran deep in the locker rooms."

WOW.........we are in trouble

nocomment / July 17, 2006 2:48 PM

"Gay people got them a hard road. Let em have a lil game every four years, I say."

if the road is already so hard, why make it harder?

matty / July 17, 2006 3:23 PM

I didn't follow it and I don't really care about it.

Josh / July 17, 2006 3:39 PM

Didn't follow it, but my gay neighbor went to the opening night ceremonies and gave me his report:

A beer sponsor at the Gay games was a bad idea, should of have daquiris on hand. Everybody went nuts for the chick from "Will & Grace". The crowd was really good at getting itself worked up, only to be disappointed by another speaker with another long speech. People were so bored with the speeches that the audience started a stadium wave. It lasted for about 10 rounds, and yes, everyone shouted "Wooooo!" when it was their turn to stand up. Margaret Cho's routine went by very fast. The calvary show (those guys who spin rifles like batons) was very disorganized. The lighting effects were complex and impressive. At one point the athletes covered the entire field with a giant pride flag made out of glow sticks, this made many spectators very emotional. Jody Watley looks exactly the same as she did 20 years ago. Big surprise: The volleyball and diving competitions are completely sold-out.

Almo / July 17, 2006 3:55 PM

The issue of separation vs. inclusion is a valid one and it has long been a hot topic within the GLTB community itself. However, saying that an event like the Gay Games is making the road harder or further separating the GLTB community is an oversimplified statement at best.

The Gay Games is about more than just athletic competition and it is designed with a wider group in mind, including transsexual athletes and athletes with HIV/AIDS, which are not allowed to compete in many traditional athletic events.

For anyone who really wants to know more about the Gay Games and why some people feel they are necessary I would recommend visiting gaygames.com and looking into the history of the event. Better yet, why not attend one of the many athletic and cultural events taking place this week. Many are free and everyone is welcome.

heartthrob / July 17, 2006 4:09 PM

Bottom Line: Sexual Orientation should absolutely and without question be a non-issue. 1.) singling yourself out or 2.) being singled out because of your sexual orientation is making it an issue.

emdub / July 17, 2006 4:09 PM

WOW-- I am amazed at how many haters there are out there. I was under the impression that most readers of gapersblock were culturally/intellectually openminded people. Like was said above, the argumentative tone of this thread is evidence enough that homophobia is a HUGE problem, especially in sports (Ozzy Guillen anyone?)

hugoboss / July 17, 2006 4:09 PM

Bottom Line: Sexual Orientation should absolutely and without question be a non-issue. 1.) singling yourself out or 2.) being singled out because of your sexual orientation is making it an issue.

postmaster / July 17, 2006 4:10 PM

Bottom Line: Sexual Orientation should absolutely and without question be a non-issue. 1.) singling yourself out or 2.) being singled out because of your sexual orientation is making it an issue.

Jeff / July 17, 2006 4:33 PM

nonnymoose (July 17, 2006 12:30 PM) said:

"I posted this on a similar Chicagoist thread last week--I think it's appropriate:

If you've ever been around guys in a professional locker room, you'd understand that gay atheletes are not really allowed to be themselves--not only are the words gay, queer, and faggot thrown around like candy at a parade, but homophobia runs deep.

I think the purpose of the Gay Games is to let the atheletes compete without added and undue pressure to constantly "act straight."

Here's the mission statement from the Federation of the Gay Games website:

The purpose of the Federation of Gay Games is to foster and augment the self-respect of lesbians and gay men throughout the world and to engender respect and understanding from the nongay world, primarily through an organized international participatory athletic and cultural event held every four years, and commonly known as the Gay Games.
While particular emphasis is placed on these specific goals, it is a fundamental principle of the Federation of Gay Games that all activities conducted under its auspices shall be inclusive in nature and that no individual shall be excluded from participating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political belief(s), athletic/artistic ability, physical challenge, age, or health status."

I just wanted to restate what this person said word for word as it is the most sane and sensible and logical post I have read. Hatred and bigotry towards homosexuals, especially in male athletics is very much in the open. Things may have changed in the 10 years since I was in high school sports, but I would imagine it hasn't made a 180.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 4:36 PM

"WOW-- I am amazed at how many haters there are out there. I was under the impression that most readers of gapersblock were culturally/intellectually openminded people."

who are the haters? I find most everyone posting except madachodes to be a non-hater, if our definitions are the same.

"...the argumentative tone of this thread is evidence enough that homophobia is a HUGE problem..."

homophobia, like abortion, is but a symptom of a much much greater social problem.

what that exactly is, we have yet to discover.

other women posed the absolute biggest threat to the success of feminist movement - research it.

if equailty is what is desired, then deliberately setting yourself apart from what it is you desire to be equal to negates your initial purpose - how can this be disagreed with? this is a difficult concept to wrap our minds around, since our idea of equality is so wrapped up in individuality.

Marilyn / July 17, 2006 4:41 PM

I know I said I wouldn't comment again, but it seems to me that white ethnic groups have become "equals" without giving up their ethnic identities. You may not want to face the fact that gay culture is a real culture, but it is and doesn't need to be suppressed to become equal in the legal and moral hearts and minds of people. In fact, "normalizing" homosexuality demands that other groups know just what homosexuals are, not allow them to let their imaginations run riot.

mr ed / July 17, 2006 4:46 PM

Like the regular olympics aren't gay enough?

spook / July 17, 2006 4:47 PM

Sure. Them fags, singling themselves out again, by wanting to hold hands, maybe make out in public, get married, have kids, the rights reserved for normal upstanding Americans. Guess they should just go back in the closet and live ala "don't ask don't tell" or just straight up lie to themselves and every one else- at best continue to get married and deceive their families, at worse spread AIDS on the down low.

The reason why they have to make thier sexual orientation an issue is because we deny them their rights as people. if we treated them with fairness, then they wouldn't need gay games, etc, etc.

Just like if we treated blacks fairly there would be no need for the N.A.A.C.P- as politically lame and timid as it is now) or N.O.W.- as politically lame and timid as it is now. Guess old Matthew Shepard is responsible for his death
for making his sexuality and issue

spook / July 17, 2006 4:52 PM

p.s I meant N.O.W. because women who are also marginalized

Dan / July 17, 2006 4:54 PM

It's kind of upsetting to read a lot of these comments. It's pretty clear reading these comments that people like madachodes and nocomment have no idea what it's like to be a gay kid in your junior high gym class. But please, contintue telling gay people the best way to express themselves. I'm sure there are many of us listening and anxious to hear from some straight white (assuming) people on the topic of discrimination. Please, tell me how I can make YOU the most comfortable with ME.

Marilyn / July 17, 2006 5:04 PM

Dan - Bravo.

spook / July 17, 2006 5:19 PM

Hey Dan sounds like you're tired of being gay and have finally come to you're senses. Consider "The Gay Away Patch" with a money back guarantee! Check it out
http://www.parody-pages.com/gayaway/

Don't delay - get Gay Away Today.

Hope you don't mind the
tragicomic blues humor ala Chekhov. Course I bet the next thing will be that being gay it is a choice

emdub / July 17, 2006 5:32 PM

"who are the haters? I find most everyone posting except madachodes to be a non-hater, if our definitions are the same."

"homophobia, like abortion, is but a symptom of a much much greater social problem. what that exactly is, we have yet to discover."

Um, maybe instead of "hater" I should have said "fearful, ignorant and uneducated?" But "hater" says all those things a lot better.

"other women posed the absolute biggest threat to the success of feminist movement - research it."

Yeah, I already know the history of the feminist movement. The reason people shoot themselves in the foot is FEAR. Actually, xenophobia. Fear of the unknown. All the more reason to celebrate our differences, not try and conform to "make it easier". Cause it's not EASY.

Dan / July 17, 2006 5:33 PM

Haha... I'm not sick of being gay. I'm sick of having to respond to the "special rights" remarks.

I tried the patch and it didn't work. It just made me irritable and anxious at work so I eventually stopped using it.

aeb / July 17, 2006 5:42 PM

i disagree that gays are singling themselves out. i see the gay games as a way for gays to connect with other gays by competing in athletic and cultural events.

what is so harmful about wanting to connect with other people with whom you share something in common? in fact i think that it's healthy for people to want to be a part of a larger community. the gay games are merely a way for the gay community to stay connected and strengthen its bonds.

nocomment / July 17, 2006 10:59 PM

i admitted above that i have never felt truly discriminated against, so maybe my remarks are invalid - but then that makes much of philosophy etc invalid because the whole point of philosophy is to think about things, i.e. use reflection, logic, and historical trends to attempt to come to some conclusion. does this mean i have to have experienced something in order to ask difficult questions about it?

why are you are all so quick to jump on my case for raising the kinds of questions the greats have been raising for eons about human life?

it is not out of fear that i raise these questions, and still i have yet to have someone answer them. all the last few posts demonstrate is that if you're not totally cool with everything right off the bat then forget it, we don't have time for your questions, you hater, you bigot, you fearful homophobe.

i have stated nothing homophobic or discrimianting in the above posts. i have not called for an end to the Games, nor have I asked the gay community to go into hiding, nor have I said that I hate gays, nor have I said that I think homosexuality is wrong, nor have i said that gay couples should not be allowed to marry etc etc etc. --- mindsets with which I highly disagree and try to stay as far away from as possible. last i checked, i would have to say and think one or all of those things in order to be labeled homophobic.

Thank you all for turning what could have been a very fruitful discussion into a personal attack. You have all missed the point.

Good night and good luck.

Marilyn / July 18, 2006 7:49 AM

Nocomment - Sorry we don't want to play your game. I suggest you wait for the next Philosophers' Games to bring up the subject again.

nocomment / July 18, 2006 8:46 AM

marilyn, you apologize with absolutely no sincerity, and yet you ask me to stop my "game". there was nothing insincere about my above posts, nor is there anythign insincere about the above posts.

again, you have completely missed the point.

the world might have been initially changed through emotion (think the american revolution), but it never stayed changed through emotion (think the Constitution).

the Philosopher's Games happen every day - there is no need for a special event. we are all, at some point, philosophers, and must be so to progress.

nocomment / July 18, 2006 8:48 AM

correction to last post:

*nor is there anything insincere about THIS post.

excuse me.

Marilyn / July 18, 2006 8:50 AM

Nocomment: You post a provocative question in order to stimulate discussion. In other words, you want to have a philosophical debate. The rest of us aren't interested. You chide us for not being interested. Eric Berne would call that a classic game of "I'm Only Trying to Help You."

nocomment / July 18, 2006 9:47 AM

ok, then my next provocative question is "why aren't any of you interested in such a discussion? isn't that what blogs are for?" we tell each other what we think, and then debate about why we think what we think, right? to strengthen our own opinions, or maybe lead us to new conclusions? perhaps it's just enough to simply think something and say it, and never explore why.

and my last question, you seem to be very interested in disagreeing with what you think I meant when i posted what i posted, or finding some fault with my posts... why are you so interested in disagreeing?"

chide ( P ) Pronunciation Key (chd)
v. chid·ed, or chid (chd) chid·ed, or chid or chid·den (chdn) chid·ing, chides
v. tr.
To scold mildly so as to correct or improve; reprimand: chided the boy for his sloppiness.

v. intr.
To express disapproval.

I am much less disapproving than curious about the lack of interest.

I too was under the impression that most readers of gapersblock were culturally/intellectually openminded people.

Marilyn / July 18, 2006 10:07 AM

I can't speak for anyone but myself. I resent the idea that we need to take a simple event that would not have been cause for any comment had it been for the Irish or the Polish or the Italians and decide whether it's "good" for the gay community or not. How imperious! How condescending! The world has gotten so overspun that it's spun out of control. I'm so sick of hearing about "managing messages" and timing, etc. If it were up to the ruling majority, the time would never be right to assert oneself. So I choose to make this a nonissue, not worthy of debate. For me to do otherwise would be to contribute to a discussion that never should have to happen in the first place.

nif / July 18, 2006 10:20 AM

nocomment, here's why people are getting upset at you -

"i admitted above that i have never felt truly discriminated against, so maybe my remarks are invalid "

You are taking the very real and very painful experiences of some of the people on this board, which you admit that you know nothing about, and making them into a philosophical game. People tend to resent when their real life experiences are made into an abstract philosophical game by someone who knows nothing about it firsthand.

And, as far as I can tell, your original question from your very first post is -

"This situation to discuss here is more IS IT WISE/DOES IT PROMOTE THEIR CAUSE/WHAT IS THE PURPOSE of such an event? "

And I think that's been answered several times and in several ways already - see the mission statement on the gay games website.

nocomment / July 18, 2006 10:36 AM

marilyn, i'm sorry to have offended you. you're right, actually. this discussion never should have to happen in the first place. I didn't mean to sound like a bigot or a homophobe, and i guess i didn't realize how my thoughts, which seem to make sense in my head, might seem to others once written down.

i am highly interested in equality and equity and embracing differences - some manifestations of all that seem less likely to "work" or "further the cause" than others, no matter the cause. i thought this might be the place to do the exploring of which work and which don't. turns out i was wrong.

each of us must give up something in order to "fit in" to society, to be part of civilization, some more than others, which is grossly unfortunate; we should move towards a place where we all have to give up the same amount of that something, and thinking about that and creating dialogue seems to me to be the first step.

in your mind, this discussion should never have happened; in my mind, the Gay Games should never need to have taken place -- the gay community should be but a microcosm inside a much larger and welcoming macrocosm. but that point in history has yet to be reached.

How do we get from here to there?

"If it were up to the ruling majority, the time would never be right to assert oneself."

this is simply untrue.

jonesybot / July 18, 2006 10:40 AM

I also just assumed that by clicking on this link that I would not find a debate about whether or not The Gay Games are welcome in Chicago. I took for granted that, since I usually find this forum to be full of intellegent people, that it would not come to that. Can it not be assumed that this website's reader's and contributers value diversity and that we do not need to debate such things? Perhaps people like madachode just hit a nerve so deep that we can not resist to pounce, even if it is degrading and pointless to debate with people of that mindset.
Time to move on, folks. Save the judgement for somewhere else.

printdude / July 18, 2006 10:44 AM

As a volunteer for the gay games, I have found two thinigs to be prevalent:

1) Outstanding comraderie and support by the athletes for each other and their effort.

2) An uncannily good feeling overall, the emotions are running high, yet no one is quite freaking out. It's excitement in a damn good way.

I wish that I had chosen to participate instead of volunteer. It's that kind of fun.

If any of you have free time the rest of the week, please go volunteer, as they are short-handed and could really use a few more people helping out. The athletes are more than appreciative.

REpresent your city and help out, won't you?

nocomment / July 18, 2006 10:50 AM

please scratch everything i said above. i did not mean to create such a feeling of animosity. this was definitely the wrong place to raise these questions for sure.

nif, you're right = I should not take the personal experiences and pain of someone or some group and turn them into a philosophical project - but i never thought i was turning it into a game. this is something i take very seriously.

at any rate, it sounds like the athletes are having an amazing time, and that's what's important, not the theory behind why or should etc etc.

sorry to be boring, and sorry to be such a killjoy.

Cheers!

Y A J / July 18, 2006 11:07 AM

First off, ditto support for Nonnymoose?s explanation.

Regarding my experience, I volunteered at three different events so far. The athletes are the most gracious I've ever worked with. I was a long-time athlete, so I?ve got a very strong base for comparison.

Saturday's swimming was fun and friendly even as the organizers worked out the first day wrinkles. There's a very broad range of age and ability in the pool, but everyone seemed to enjoy it a lot.

Sunday's triathlon was also organizationally challenged, but again the competitors were the highlight of the event. So many of them thanked me for giving them water. During my own years of racing I doubt I ever thanked anyone at the post-race water station (in my own defense, I was a total Clydesdale so I couldn?t really speak after racing). I heard from one racer than another racer stopped to loan him a spare tube when he double-flatted. It's a perfect example of the additional layer of camaraderie at these events.

Yesterday's criterion cycle was the best day. Sherman Park made a great track. I'm glad they didn't stick the bike race on the crowded lakefront or north side. Again, the athletes were enthusiastic and gracious in the searing heat.

Finally, ditto Print's suggestion. Go volunteer and see for yourself!

jonesybot / July 18, 2006 11:28 AM

Printdude and YAJ, that is awesome. I am glad that the extreme heat and humidity has not been a spoiler.

Good work on volunteering!

Ramsin / July 18, 2006 11:56 AM

How can you "follow" the gay games? Are they being broadcast anywhere? Did anybody know any of the athletes before the event? Aren't these events boring enough in the Olympics?

Why is everybody getting all worked up? It's a bunch of gay people hanging out int he same place. Relax.

The Assyrian Convention is coming to Chicago in September; from what I can tell, this is kind of the same concept but with a lot healthier participants, and fewer mentholated cigarettes.

amyc / July 18, 2006 12:11 PM

I'm going to watch my friend play volleyball at Navy Pier today -- I can't wait! If her team makes it through this round, it's on to the medals competition.

Jason / July 18, 2006 12:52 PM

When I saw the thread title, I couldn't imagine anyone coming up with a decent reason as to why there's anything negative about the games. I was right. It's just the same old hatred, grumpy white guy stupidity that comes up anytime some underrepresented/scorned group comes along and has an event. I have no idea why anyone who doesn't appreciate the games cares. Your children are much more likely to experience "gay" watching primetime television than noting the front page of the newspapers, and hopefully, just hopefully, those ads and newspapers and news reports will allow them to grow up normal...unlike utter morons who have some issue with the gay lifestyle.

Now to answer the question, no, I haven't followed because I think it's probably as boring as the Olympics, which I wouldn't watch unless you paid me.

mellowdrama / July 18, 2006 1:59 PM

you shouldn't have backed down, nocomment.

resorting to calling people names, whether it's homo! or homophobe! is the oldest trick in the book.

what do i think so far? do any of you think "The Black Games" is a good idea? if so, why? if not, why not? my African-American husband doesn't think "The Black Games" is a good idea.

minority groups that seek acceptance and incorporation risk further alienation when they self-identify and self-segregate

also, comparing the Gay Games to the Special Olympics is great, if you want to think of homosexuality as a handicap - then the right wing Chrisitan WASPs will really have their day in the sun!

"The purpose of the Federation of Gay Games is to foster and augment the self-respect of lesbians and gay men throughout the world and to engender respect and understanding from the nongay world, primarily through an organized international participatory athletic and cultural event held every four years, and commonly known as the Gay Games.
While particular emphasis is placed on these specific goals, it is a fundamental principle of the Federation of Gay Games that all activities conducted under its auspices shall be inclusive in nature and that no individual shall be excluded from participating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political belief(s), athletic/artistic ability, physical challenge, age, or health status."

?????

misguided, at best.
self-defeating at worst.

Dan / July 18, 2006 2:15 PM

Woah, I missed a comment posting showdown overnight.
nocomment, your questions are important and they are the kinds of discussions that any minority community has-- is it better to blend in or maintain a separate identity. And when an "outsider" (in this case a, presumably, heterosexual) starts questioning the ways in which another community makes themselves visible, I think the knee jerk reaction is to get very defensive. And i'm sorry to have been off-putting.
But I think Marilyn was right on when she encouraged us not to delve too deeply into the existential meaning of the gay games. It's just a bunch of gay people playing sports and we're over analyzing it.

Ms. Insecurity / July 18, 2006 2:36 PM

also, comparing the Gay Games to the Special Olympics is great, if you want to think of homosexuality as a handicap - then the right wing Chrisitan WASPs will really have their day in the sun!

I see. So I can't compare the Gay Games to the Special Olympics on the basis that the reason it's celebrated is a common bond, but you can compare it to the "Black Olympics." Try again, hypocrite.

mellowdrama / July 18, 2006 2:56 PM

again with the name-calling.

as i stated above we cannot compare the Special Olympics to the Gay Games because then we would be equating homosexuality with a handicap - dangerous, dangerous territory. is that what you intelligent, open-minded, culturally aware people want?

i did NOT compare the Gay Games to the Black Games. a.) such a thing does not exist - so camparison doesnt even make sense.
b.) if we are going to say that it's ok for one minority group to go ahead and have an event like this, then it's ok for others, too - right? then, how does the Black Games sit with you?

Dan / July 18, 2006 3:08 PM

Honestly, if Black people in this country and around the world feel that their community could benefit from a sporting event or that there was a stereotype or stigma for them to overcome regarding black people and sports, why should I have a problem with it? Is it my place to tell Black people how to best represent themselves?

How does the Black Games sit with you, mellowdrama?

I'm confused about what the controversy is over. Is society at large nervous about a group of minorities organizing and doing something positive and constructive?

Ms. Insecurity / July 18, 2006 3:17 PM

again with the name-calling.

as i stated above we cannot compare the Special Olympics to the Gay Games because then we would be equating homosexuality with a handicap - dangerous, dangerous territory. is that what you intelligent, open-minded, culturally aware people want?

i did NOT compare the Gay Games to the Black Games. a.) such a thing does not exist - so camparison doesnt even make sense.
b.) if we are going to say that it's ok for one minority group to go ahead and have an event like this, then it's ok for others, too - right? then, how does the Black Games sit with you?

Oh, but you did compare it to the Gay Games by posing the question of whether a "Black Olympics" would be a good idea. And you just made the comparison again. And it's not my fault if someone, like yourself, is unable to read my post and see that the comparison has everything to do with a group of people getting together to celebrate a COMMON BOND and nothing to do with calling sexual preference a handicap. That's your problem.

Ms. Insecurity / July 18, 2006 3:20 PM

gain with the name-calling.

as i stated above we cannot compare the Special Olympics to the Gay Games because then we would be equating homosexuality with a handicap - dangerous, dangerous territory. is that what you intelligent, open-minded, culturally aware people want?

i did NOT compare the Gay Games to the Black Games. a.) such a thing does not exist - so camparison doesnt even make sense.
b.) if we are going to say that it's ok for one minority group to go ahead and have an event like this, then it's ok for others, too - right? then, how does the Black Games sit with you?

Oh, but you did compare it to the Gay Games by posing the question of whether a "Black Olympics" would be a good idea. And you just made the comparison again. And it's not my fault if someone, like yourself, is unable to read my post and see that the comparison has everything to do with a group of people getting together to celebrate a COMMON BOND and nothing to do with calling sexual preference a handicap. That's your problem.

Ms. Insecurity / July 18, 2006 3:22 PM

sorry for the double post. The italics code isn't working properly and I wanted to make sure my comments were not intermingled with Mellodramas.

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