The Gay Games are underway and they’re winning Instagram and Twitter


A man looks over GayGames t-shirts for sale in the downtown convention center in Cleveland Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. (Mark Duncan/AP)

There’s only one place in the world right now where you will find cheerleaders, track and field athletes, chorus singers and singer Boy George in the same place.

That’s the Gay Games in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.

The ninth edition of the Gay Games kicked off this weekend in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, and are presented by the Cleveland Foundation.

As its name suggests, the Gay Games are a quadrennial celebration of sport and culture for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But there is no exclusion in this celebration of diversity. The motto of the Games is “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best.” So any person of any sexual orientation can compete or watch the Games.

There are also no qualifying standards, which means anyone, regardless of athletic ability, can compete.

For the the host cities, it’s an opportunity to bring gay communities closer to straight communities, since Akron and Cleveland are not traditionally hailed as gay-friendly cities.

“The Games are about diversity, about changing hearts and minds,” said Tom Nobbe, one of the Games lead organizers, in an interview with The Associated Press.

Over the next four days more than 8,500 people will compete in 33 sports, including the traditional ones like track and field, volleyball and wrestling. The competitors will also compete in cultural events like chorus and cheer. 

The Gay Games debuted in 1982 in San Francisco. The 1992 Gay Games were held in New York City and coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.  

Check out the best of the Gay Games 9 on social media. 
 

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