GPFFL Commish Stepping Down

Dear GPFFL Members,

I am officially withdrawing from the commissioner election for GPFFL. This was a very difficult decision for me after spending three wonderful years in this role, but I feel it’s time for someone else to take the lead. I will be finding out later today if I won my election for the National Gay Flag Football League board but win or lose, I am still not seeking reelection for GPFFL. Last year, Scott Dinkins encouraged me to throw my hat in the ring for the NGFFL so that Philadelphia has strong representation on the national level. This year, I participated in the NGFFL Gay Bowl Task Force which created a true A and B division – which our Revolution got 2nd place in the B division and had a much more competitive experience than we have in the past.

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Soccer Toughens Up Over Homophobia

Gay slurs may be going the way of the Dodo in the soccer world. After a Seattle player was fined for dropping the “f” bomb about a player on the opposing team, the talk has switched to how much is too much homophobia in the professional sports world?

Major League Soccer has not only been proactive in fining and suspending players for using anti-gay language on the field, but players could face even more serious suspensions if the behavior continues. It’s a far cry from the lightweight reactions in the NFL, NHL and NBA, where a half-dozen players have been caught using anti-gay slurs during games and at press events.

Case in point: When Philadelphia Eagle DeSean Jackson referred to a radio caller as a “gay-ass-faggot,” he faced no penalty from the commission. None.

Click here to listen in on what got Seattle’s Marc Bunch fined and suspended recently (may not be safe for work).

Homophobia Drives Kids From Sports

Photo by Think Stock

It turns out bullying in sports not only creates problems for students on the high school level – but also in colleges and universities. A new report sheds light on what it means to be LGBT in athletics – and why being discriminated against on the court, field, track or rink makes many young people give up sports entirely.

The National Union of Students says that only a third of LGBT students at the university level participate in a team sport. And almost 40 percent of these athletes say they are not out to their teammates for fear of homophobia, transphobia and outright bullying.

And for those LGBT students who don’t join teams, almost half admit that they find the sports world to be “unwelcoming,” with just as many saying they’ve suffered negative experiences that have made them want to give up sports entirely.

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Weekend Roundup

Friday, Oct. 19

Giovanni's Room hosts an evening of transgender authors on Friday (5:30 p.m.).

The Philadelphia Film Festival runs through the weekend with a selection of LGBT-friendly screenings. Click here for details.

Crossroads” is a celebration of Latina artists (5:30 p.m.) at the Leeway Foundation.

Join Topside Press for the release of The Collection, an anthology of transgender writing, with special readings from Madison Lynn McEvilly, Terence Diamond, Imogen Binnie, Rey Drew, Stephen Ira, Donna Ostrowsky, Red Durkin and Ryka Aoki at Giovanni’s Room (5:30 p.m.).

It’s Guy’s Night Out at the Philadelphia Film Festival (6:45 p.m.) with a screening of Yossi at the Ritz East.

Gayby (9:45 p.m.) is being screened at the Ritz East as part of the Philadelphia Film Festival with a special appearance by the director Jonathan Lisecki.

Sisters pays tribute to the 90s with a dance party (10 p.m.) featuring Fame Lust and DJ Deejay.

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Boxer Comes Out

Courtesy of Orlando Cruz

A Puerto Rican Olympian and featherweight boxer, Orlando Cruz recently came out, calling himself a “proud gay man.” ESPN reports that the 31 year old has become the first openly gay fighter. “I developed physically and mentally to take such a big step in my life and in my profession, which is boxing” he revealed in a statement, “knowing that it would have pros and cons, highs and lows in this sport that is so macho. I kept this hidden for many, many years.”

Cruz has been boxing professionally for the past 12 years and is scheduled to face Jorge Pazos in the ring on Oct. 19.

“I don’t want to hide any of my identities,” he said. “I want people to look at me for the human being that I am. I am a professional sportsman that always brings his best to the ring. I want for people to continue to see me for my boxing skills, my character, my sportsmanship. But I also want kids who suffer from bullying to know that you can be whoever you want to be in life, including a professional boxer, that anything is possible and that who you are or whom you love should not be impediment to achieving anything in life.”

Fight Song Gets a Rewrite

Photo by Think Stock

“Good Ol’ Song” no more. At least that’s what students at University of Virginia decided recently when they asked that sports fans stop mocking the word “gay” in its fight song during big games. Outsports says the practice of inserting “not” in front of “gay” in the athletic anthem has been happening since the swinging ’70s. And while people have objected over the years, it’s not until very recently that the higher powers have actually heeded the complaints – the student council unanimously passed a resolution calling for an end to the practice.

“Even after all these years, what the phrase remains is pretty hurtful,” states an editorial in the school paper supporting the council’s decision. “It ostracizes students, embarrasses the school and is downright oppressive whether blared by hundreds or just a few. The expression is factually, morally and in all senses wrong; it’s been a burden for both the chanters and listeners.”

And while the editorial admits what’s on many peoples’ minds – yes, people should be allowed to express their ignorance – but the rewriting of the song to mock gays is not only in bad taste, but it’s factually incorrect given that a nearby Pride Festival happens every year.

No word on whether fans will support the council’s decision.

Former Pirates Owner Comes Out

Courtesy of Think Stock

In an interview that appeared in The New York Times this weekend, a former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates came out as gay. Kevin McClatchy said that for the first time he feels comfortable being open and honest about his sexuality. The 49-year-old was an owner of the Pennsylvania baseball team from 1996 until 2007 – and he still owns several shares in the franchise. He was the youngest owner ever of a major league team in the country.

“You’re not going to solve any problem until you start a dialogue,” McClatchy told the Times. “And there’s no dialogue right now.”

He also said: “Tens of thousands of people have played either professional minor league baseball or major league baseball. Not one has come out and said that they’re gay while they’re playing.”

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Weekend Roundup

Friday, Sept. 21

Courtesy of Lynn Wilson

The AIDS Walk kicks off with a special presentation in Rittenhouse Square (11 a.m.) documenting the last 30 years of the disease. Read all about it here.

Lynn Wilson exhibits her collages at Gleaner’s Cafe Gallery (5:30 p.m.).

Yikes celebrates its LEED Platinum status during an unveiling ceremony (5:30 p.m.) at their headquarters on East Girard Ave. The owners of the web design firm are featured in the current fall issue of G Philly.

Pancakes 4 Supper benefits the Philly Trans March (6 p.m.) at Sam’s Morning Glory Diner.

Gender EDGE presents “an evening of bleeding ears” (7 p.m.) at the Turnerdome with bands Sex Gender, Hivebent, Heather Holepuncher and Ex by V.

The Voice contestants Tony Vincent and Juliet Simms perform at Parx Casino (8 p.m.).

The Shortbus Sisters go back to school (10 p.m.) at Tabu with drag performances by Satine Harlow, Navaya Shay, Cherry Pop, Misty Maven and Omyra Lynn.

September Stimulus celebrates with the Second Annual Back 2 School party (10 p.m.) at Shampoo. There’s even an under 21 lounge.

DJ Deejay spins BBG vs. KKR at Sisters (10 p.m.).

Saturday, Sept. 22

It’s Family Play Day at the William Way (10 a.m.) with wildlife experts from the Philadelphia Zoo. Join Philadelphia Family Pride for the fun, free and educational event for kids of all ages.

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NFL Player Pens Pro-Gay Letter

Chris Kluwe had gone where pretty much no other pro football player has gone in this country when he penned a scathing letter in support of LGBT rights recently. The Minnesota Viking, whose brother-in-law is gay, admits he wrote the letter in response to the Maryland House’s Emmet Burns, Jr., asking the owner of the Baltimore Ravens to censor Brendon Ayanbadejo after he defending marriage equality. Both the Ravens and Kluwe say that they support the linebacker’s right to free speech.

Here’s the letter in its entirety:

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Weekend Roundup

Friday, Sept. 7

Gender Reel kicks off today with events through the weekend. Click here for a full listing of events.

The 35th Annual SisterSpace Festival (10 a.m.) spends the weekend at Camp Ramblewood in Darlington, Md. The nation’s longest-running lesbian festival features live music, workshops, dance parties, crafts, sports and a community with hundreds of women from the Mid-Atlantic. Also look for comedy from Mimi Gonzales and music by Virago.

Papeles: Are We What We Sign? (12 p.m.) opens with a reception at Painted Bride. The exhibition examined how papers and other legal contracts relate to identity and sexual orientation.

Carousel Vintage & Contemporary Fashion is celebrating a grand opening (5 p.m.) in Old City (right across from the Betsy Ross House).

The Essence of Life and Line (5 p.m.) opens with a reception at Indy Hall with Sean Martorana.

Guys Night Out visits the opening of GenderReel (6 p.m.) at the William Way before setting off for a gallery crawl through Old City’s First Friday.

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