I posted the following thoughts on the SF Sailing Team's Facebook page and want to be sure this is also shared here on our website. In my opinion, it is a sad future for a wonderful event and movement that has inspired so many thousands of LGBT athletes, and helped open the minds and hearts of so many straight community members in the host cities who have become allies. Please read the article and feel free to share with the Federation of Gay Games your own thoughts and experiences.
I would like you all to know that I attended the "listening" tour the FGG & GLISA rep had in SF in April. I fully supported the Team SF proposal and was against this merged event. I do not have the long history that Roger, Gene, and many others have with the Gay Games and cannot speak with the same historical passion and perspective. However, what I do know is that I've been to every Games since Sydney because we were included and we had great advocates and volunteers in our sport in the FGG and host organizing committees. This will not be the same in any future 1WE events, we have never been a part of, invited to or welcomed at the GLISA table. We are too small, too unknown, and too expensive. I was even laughed at by the FGG rep when I mentioned how homophobic our sport is with not one out professional sailor, when he interrupted me to say he didn't know the name of ANY sailor, much less an out one. I get that, but I did not appreciate the demeanor and condescending manor in which he threw that back at me during my brief time I had to speak. It didn't help that I was only one of the 2 women in a room filled with 30 men. I remember vividly our Gold medal winning Aussie skipper Dale's comments in Cleveland when he talked about how he had quit sailing because of homophobia, until the Games brought him back. His Buckeye female teammate had never met another gay sailor before Cleveland...and our story goes on. It deeply saddens me that Paris 2018 is likely to be the last Gay Games ever. I hope they can make sailing happen and plan on being there. I will celebrate us all and then mourn the passing of this incredible experience of what participating in the Games has meant to me personally: the places I've traveled to, the friends I have made from around the world, the camaraderie of fellow sailors helping to develop my passion for the sport, and most of all, to do all of that as a proud, out lesbian.
I would encourage you all to consider writing to the FGG as noted in the article. Make sure I'm not the only sailor they hear from...for everything it could be worth.