In the United States there have been a lot of victories (and a few defeats) toward equality. Marriage equality is one of the biggest victories when the Supreme Court ruled same sex marriage legal across all 50 states. Now more than ever same sex couples and gay individuals can live openly and freely without fear of persecution or violence. It is no secret as well that as a result the LGBT+ community, once small, tight knit and close has become larger, spread out and fragmented. LGB+ people celebrate a lot more freedom than ever and it has loosened the bond that has once united the community.
Fast forward 35 years and the LGBT+ community is a lot different than what it was in 1982, especially in the United States. Leading up to the 2014 Gay Games held in Cleveland, a lot of people we’re asking, “Why do we need a Gay Games?” The Gay Games, just like the Olympic Games brings people together from all over the world to participate in a friendly sporting competition as equals on an level playing field.
This opportunity isn’t just limited to the Gay Games either. The many of the sports contested at the Gay Games often organize and hold their own individual championships in between each quadrennial event. The 2016 International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships (IGLA) held in Edmonton for example; will be bringing several athletes from Uganda to take part and talk about issues that LGBT+ Ugandans face in their own countries as well as the role of sport in helping LGBT+ individuals be who they are.