"The only amateurs left in the Olympics
are the people judging them."
--Chicago Tribune writer Philip Hersh, on the Today show,
September 26, 2004
The Gay Games survived the sweltering heat in Chicago in July, to be followed by the Outgames in Montreal about a week later. The Gay Games were awarded to Chicago after the Federation of Gay Games committee had disagreements with the plans of organizers in Montreal, the previously announced site for the 2006 games.
The Chicago Tribune has been covering the Gay Games, although I've missed any coverage in its sports section. On the other hand, the coverage has made the front page, in spite of eruption of hostilities in Israel and Lebanon, a rush hour train derailment, and the President saying "shit" on an open microphone. The Trib stories have dealt with such topics as corporate sponsorship of Chicago's games and the hurdles some third world contestants have overcome to attend at all. (Then, of course, there is also this guy's letter to the editor.)
The Chicago Sun Times did a nice job of providing coverage, at least on line, including a photo gallery (the same pictures are also in Yahoo!'s photo gallery). The games got their own full page (The Sun Times is a tabloid), with pictures, toward the back of the news section.
The four cartoons on this page span the past three years of Gay Games people play. The most recent cartoon is at the top of the page; the cartoon immediately above this paragraph is from October, 2001, when the Federation of Gay Games awarded the 2006 games to Montreal, Quebec, over three American cities vying for the honor. The next cartoon down is from March, 2004, when the Federation yanked the Games from Montreal and awarded them to Chicago. The cartoon below that is from last summer, when the Cook County Board overwhelmingly passed a measure welcoming this year's Gay Games, after which Republicans on the board suddenly discovered that they didn't want to welcome a bunch of faggot athletes to town after all and vehemently disassociated themselves from the resolution.
The October, 2002 issue of Out magazine boasted a column by the former boyfriend of editor Brendan Lemon, a closeted major-league baseball player. A year earlier, Lemon had made Player X the most famous unknown in sports by revealing the relationship while only hinting at his lover's identity.
Player X's column includes this passage: "I'm not sure, even if I removed [clueless players'] blinders by pointing out the household name in pro football, for example, whom I, through a personal relationship, know is gay." Lest readers miss the story behind this delicate language, Lemon spells it out in his Letter from the Editor: "...his former affair with a current household-name pro football player should by itself be a feast for talk radio."
"I'm offended that homosexuals will say that homosexuals deserve rights. Any man in America deserves rights, but homosexuals are trying to compare their plight with the plight of black men or black people. In the process of history, homosexuals have never been castrated, millions of them never died. Homosexuality is a decision. It's not a race."
-- Remarks by Reggie White to the Wisconsin Assembly, March 25, 1998. Clearly, he didn't know the origin of the pink triangle, either.