The 2009 Outgames have begun, and they are “way out there” in all the ways that anyone can think of. First of all, it’s way out in Copenhagen, Denmark. If I didn’t have my head up my ass I’d have booked a flight earlier, but as of today, even the price of a one-way ticket is out of my price range.
I’m not worried about being stuck in Denmark. I’ve heard it’s beautiful this time of year, plus my girlfriend would bar me from ever re-entering the country with the trouble I’d get into over there.
Here’s the way-out fun I’m missing right now:
5,500 participants, 100 nations, and 30 events (traditional and improvised) have combined for nine days of sports and culture for the LGBT community. I have no idea what the improvised sports are, but from the official website it says that everyday people like you and me (i.e. intramural softball players and possibly last picked for the elementary Red Rover team) are welcome to compete in such heart pounding events as a triathlon and handball and the less heart-attack-inducing bridge and line dancing.
Each country is hosting artists and performers, and at the center of a political program is a human rights conference, where John Amaechi (the first NBA player to come out) will speak. The people of Copenhagen have welcomed the games, and at the main library you can “take out a gay” for a half-hour chat after scanning their barcode. (Thank you, Outgames for providing me with a new date-fantasy.)
As with any LGBT event, there are plenty of dances, lounges, clubs and get-togethers where you and I would probably get to participate in one of those so-called “improvised” sports.
The games will continue through August 2nd, but checking both Logo and Here! Networks I can’t seem to find any airtime. Another bit of rain on this gay parade is that this is the 2nd annual Outgames, but has 2,500 fewer participants than organizers had hoped for.
I think I speak for all of us when I say I would love to head over there right this minute and bump up their stats a little. If you and I were to make it, I’d be easy to spot. I’m the one with a Cosmo in one hand, the other waving frantically so that I’m not the last one picked for the team.