Federation officer for site selection Dennis Sneyers (Chicago) explained that in early September the five organizations bidding for the 2018 event had received the Gay Games X Request for Proposals document, which sets out the bidding process and the requirements for the all-important Bid Books: “The Appendices sent in early October complement the main document, providing templates for the presentation of budgets and sport and culture events and venues. They also include supporting documents such as an updated version of the FGG white paper on the ‘Image and Scope of the Gay Games’ which describes the evolution of the Gay Games and the Federation’s vision for its future, along with the Gay Games Red Books for Sport and for Culture and Ceremonies. And as of last Friday, and after payment of a further fee, all five bidders have now also received the draft License Agreement for Gay Games X.”

FGG officer for sport Sébastien Datiche (Tours, France), described the role and content of the Gay Games Red Book for Sport: “The Red Book contains many sections. Some concern the ways in which the FGG Sports Committee interacts with our host committee. Others define guidelines for policies to be developed and applied by the host in areas such as gender identity, health and well-being, officiating, and the use of categories of age and ability. The bulk of the Red Book is a series of rules, regulations, and requirements for each sport, developed by our Gay Games sports experts in conjunction with LGBT and mainstream sport governing bodies. Our intent is that our hosts offer a quality competitive experience for athletes, while ensuring that our principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best are respect to open the Gay Games to the widest range of participants.”

His female counterpart Martha Ehrenfeld (San Francisco) added that Gay Games X will be the second site selection cycle to incorporate the Federation’s revised policy regarding the Gay Games sports program: “In the past, we provided a list of ‘core sports’ which were required for all Gay Games bids, and which bidders could complement from a list of ‘approved additional sports’. The requirement to include all core sports made it difficult for some cities to bid, either because appropriate venues were unavailable in their community, or because they lacked experienced sports managers to organize the event, or simply because a particular sport might attract little local participation. Beginning with bidding for Gay Games 9, we now allow Bidding Organizations to opt out of a certain number of core sports, and if they choose, to replace them with more events from the additional sport list, or from new sports that they can request to be added before site selection. This offers more flexibility for our hosts, and allows smaller cities in a greater range of countries to bid for the Gay Games.”

Federation officer for culture Michael Tolliver (Jersey City, New Jersey) spoke of changes in the Gay Games Red Book for Culture and Ceremonies: “We’ve made some changes, like incorporating recommended contract templates to help Hosts work more effectively with organizations such as the Lesbian and Gay Band Association to offer culture participants the best possible experience at the Gay Games. For the first time we are including medal events in the cultural festival, with competitive Cheer being offered alongside the traditional show Cheer events. Another tweak to the Red Book is a more detailed version of our conference recommendations. Conferences have been part of every Gay Games since 1994, and we are eager to see them used in a responsible way as a complement to the core sport and culture components of the Games.”

Sneyers concluded by recalling the next steps in the calendar: “Bidding Organizations have just received the draft License Agreement that would bind the FGG and our future host. By reviewing and revising the agreement before site selection, whatever the city chosen, we will have a running start for preparation for the Gay Games in 2018. Bidding Organizations will provide their Bid Books next February, with site selection taking place at our next Annual General Assembly, to be held in October 2013 in Cleveland, the host of Gay Games 9 in August 2014.”

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