Gay Games VII

Gay Games VII, colloquially called the Chicago Gaymes, is part of a family of international sports and cultural festivals called Gay Games, sanctioned by the Federation of Gay Games and organized by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community of the host city of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. The competition took place July 15ndash July 22, 2006. The official Gay Games VII slogan was "Where the World Meets."

Actual athletic events were played in venues scattered throughout Chicago and its suburbs, all participating in the Gay Games through special permissive votes in their respective town or village councils. Cultural events included concerts and performances by the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Margaret Cho, Megan Mullally, among others added to the festival's feel and charm. Contemporary artists also provided exhibitions as part of the Gay Games.

Corporate sponsorship was key in planning Gay Games VII, garnering support for global advertising from large companies like Absolut Vodka, American Airlines, Ernst & Young, Fleishman-Hillard and Walgreens. Media relationships were created with the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Times, and the National Broadcasting Company. Advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign offered substantial funding for the event, as well.

Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago organizers hoped that success of Gay Games VII would help prove to the United States Olympic Committee of Chicago's viability in hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Originally awarded to Montréal, Canada

The seventh edition of the Gay Games was originally planned for Montréal, Canada in 2006, but the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) removed its sanction after differences arose between it and the Montréal 2006 organizing committee. For more information on the change of host cities, see the Schism in LGBT sports communities over Gay Games VII section of the Gay Games article.

Opening Ceremony

The concept for Opening Ceremony, conceived and directed by Kile Ozier [] , was to tell the parallel stories of the evolution of the GLBT Community as community and as individuals; giving it a global context and relevance. The four acts represent the four stages of this evolutionary process as envisioned by the Director: Exclusion - that moment when we discover that we may not fit into the world as we might have thought, growing up...the moment of discovery of difference; Oppression - the manifestation and formalization of the dynamic initiated in Exclusion...homophobia, gay bashing, contemplation and execution of suicide out of despair...ending with the embracing of self and the beginnings of hope; Expression - the power of community and standing up for oneself, of coming out of the closet, finding Like Others, celebration of individuality and difference within even our own communities; Ignition - the taking of all this powerful energy and philosophy and lighting the world with the ideals of enlightenment and acceptance.

At the midway point of the Ceremony was the "Exhortation to a Weary Army," a reinvigoration to the community in the worldwide fight against AIDS, given from the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and tribute to Tom Waddell, the founder of the global Gay Sports movement and the Gay Games.

The ceremony took place on July 15, 2006 in Chicago's Soldier Field and consisted of five parts:cite web |author=Chicago Games |url= |title=Opening Ceremony Program |accessdate=2006-12-27]


* DJ Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of House” played music for the prologue
*The Procession of over 11,000 Athletes and Participants of Gay Games VII in a record 46 minutes
*Oath to the Athletes and Participants led by David Kopay
*The National Anthem of the United States of America - Christy Fairbairn, Windy City Gay Idol 2006
*Oath to the Officials - Billy Bean, Saskia Webber
*Welcome by Chicago Games Inc. - Co & Vice Chairs: Sam Coady, Suzanne Arnold, Tracy Baim, Kevin Boyer
* Responsibility for Change - Megan Mullally
*Welcome by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

Act I “Exclusion”

* Choreography by Iega Jeff
*Special appearance by Erasure’s Andy Bell
* Presentation by Kate Clinton
*Welcome - Co-Presidents of the international Federation of Gay Games: Kathleen Webster and Roberto Mantaci
*Legends of Women’s Music: Holly Near, Barbara Higbie, Nedra Johnson, Teresa Trull

Act II “Oppression”

* Choreography by Joel Hall
* Special Appearance by Erasure’s Andy Bell
* Presentations by Staceyann Chin, George Takei, Jorge Valencia
* Rainbow Run for the End of HIV and Cancer: Brent Nicholson Earle, Rob Hadley, Renae Ogletree, Modesto "Tico" Valle
* Tribute to Tom Waddell, founder of the Gay Games Movement
* Tom Waddell Award- presented by Greg Louganis and Jessica Waddell Lewinstein
* Performance by Jody Watley
* Keynote address by United States Ambassador James C. Hormel
* The Quilt - Keith Boykin delivering the “Exhortation to a Weary Army”

Act III “Expression”

* Choreographed by Michele Lynch
* Performance by the cast of “Avenue Q
* Presentations by David da Silva Cornell who read from "Knocking On Your Closet Door; Come Out and March With Us" and by Margaret Cho
* Erasure’s Andy Bell sings "A Little Respect"
* “Proud” - Heather Small
* Presentation of the Federation of the Gay Games Flag
* “Take the Flame” the Official Anthem of the Gay Games, performed by Esera Tuaolo

Act IV “Ignition” and the Lighting of the Flame

* Choreographed by Christopher Harrison
* Introduced by Suzanne Westenhoefer
* Ignition of the flame
* Exit


Sporting events

Results []

Host country performance

Closing ceremony

ee also

* Gay Games
* Federation of Gay Games
* 1st World Outgames


External links

* [ Gay Games VII official site]
* [ Federation of Gay Games]
* [ Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010]
* [ Gay Games vs. Outgames - Registrations now open in both cities] ( Sep 16, 2004

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