You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
Daniel Pillai’s He/She Project Growing up in a traditional south Asian community in Canada, Daniel Pillai didn’t quite fit in. “There was an inherent non-acceptance to who I was and how I acted,” he says. “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” Pillai spent his childhood in what he calls a “conservative atmosphere,” surrounded by […]
Addiction Treatment and the Recovery Process By Matt Gonzales, writer and researcher for DrugRehab.com Drug addiction is a chronic disease that affects your physical and mental health, job status and relationships. Once you’re hooked on a drug, your whole life revolves around it. Substance use disorders are common in the United States. Heroin use in […]
Who pays after the devastating Orlando shooting? After a tragedy, who pays the bill? There has been a lot of talk lately about medical costs and medical debt, even as the Affordable Care Act helps more Americans get the treatment they need without taking on crippling debt. Even with more people covered, medical treatment is […]
Making a Legal Case for Bisexuality Bisexuality is widely misunderstood. Bisexuals are often dismissed or used as a punchline by the straight community and sidelined in conversations about LGBT rights and equality, often while experiencing many of the same struggles and setbacks as the rest of the queer community. And for some–like Ray Fuller, a […]
Olympic Coverage Criticized as Homophobic? One of the most memorable moments of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio didn’t occur during an event. Instead, just after the women’s rugby event on Monday night, Brazil’s Isadora Cerullo’s partner, Marjorie Enya, surprised her with a proposal. As reported by CNN, Enya said in her emotional speech “I […]
Will Rio 2016 Be the Gayest Olympics Yet?
This summer, over 10,000 athletes will travel to Rio de Janeiro to compete in the summer Olympic Games, and both viewers and sports journalists are predicting that Rio will host the “gayest Olympics yet.” That may not be too difficult a distinction to achieve, however: at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, there were only 22 openly-LGBT athletes competing, while Sochi’s 2014 games only had seven.
Reasons Rio Might be the Gayest Olympics Yet
Still, there are plenty of reasons to believe that LGBT representation will be much higher at this year’s events: in the four years since the last summer Olympics, a number of competitors from those games have publicly come out, and the slate of Olympic hopefuls includes more LGBT athletes than ever before. Additionally, Olympic rules and regulations have begun to shift in major ways that will have a huge impact on LGBT athletes’ ability to compete in the games.
More inclusive rules may make Rio the gayest Olympics ever. #LGBTathletes Click To Tweet
The IOC’s Moves Toward LGBT Inclusion in 2016
One driving force behind greater LGBT inclusion and representation at the 2016 Olympics is the organization tasked with organizing the games. The International Olympic Committee, which has drawn controversy in the past both for corruption in its selection process and decision to host the 2014 Sochi Olympics in a nation known for its anti-LGBT policies, has recently made several moves to support LGBT athletes. IOC moves helping make the 2016 games gayest Olympics yet:
- Non-Discrimination Statements: In 2014, as the controversy over Russia’s anti-LGBT laws erupted, the IOC publicly stated that all host cities would be required to agree to an anti-discrimination clause in their contracts as a condition to host the games, although many athletes and observers felt that the IOC should have gone further.
- Discrimination Protection: In December 2014, the IOC announced that it was revising its charter to explicitly outlaw discrimination against athletes based on sexual identity, a move welcomed by many out athletes who felt that the organization was not doing enough to support LGBT athletes.
- Transgender Guidelines: In addition to changing the charter to include gay, lesbian, and bisexual athletes, new guidelines for 2016 will address trans athletes. Under these guidelines, trans men and women will be able to compete in men’s and women’s sports, respectively, with no requirement for gender-reassignment surgery.
While many critics felt that the IOC’s earlier moves toward LGBT inclusion were little more than empty gestures, the latest developments seem to indicate that the organization is listening to LGBT concerns and making greater efforts to ensure that LGBT athletes are safe, welcome, and able to compete in the games. This may help ensure greater openness and inclusion, making Rio the gayest Olympics yet.
Greater representation of #LGBTathletes will help Rio be the gayest Olympics. Click To Tweet
2016 Olympics’ Openly Gay Athletes and Hopefuls
While LGBT athletes represented only a small fraction of the athletes at 2012’s Summer Olympics, it already looks like we’ll see wider LGBT turnout in Rio. So, it may well turn out to be the gayest Olympics yet. While most athletes are still in the process of qualifying for a spot in the games, several out athletes have already claimed their tickets to Rio, and the international community is watching several more:
- Gay Athletes – Neither of the first two LGBT Olympians to qualify for the 2016 games, British diver Tom Daley and New Zealand rower Robbie Manson, were out when they competed in 2012. Since then, both have become public and well-known members of the LGBT community, and fans are justifiably excited to see them compete.
- Bi Athletes – British boxer Nicola Adams, who is openly bisexual, is also heading to Rio after an incredible performance in the European qualifier tournament. Expectations are high going into the games: in 2012, Adams became the first openly LGBT athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, and she’s surely looking to repeat her success.
- LGBT Hopefuls – We’re still in the midst of qualifying season, and there are several exciting LGBT athletes hoping to make the cut, including Britain’s Tom Bosworth, Canada’s Sam Sendel and Jamie Bissett, and US soccer’s Megan Rapinoe, who is currently recovering from an injury but hopes to be ready to play by August.
The 2016 Rio Olympics will make great strides for #LGBT acceptance & visibility. Click To Tweet
We’re excited to see so many LGBT athletes competing for spots in the Olympic games, and we’re sure to see many others join Daley, Manson, and Adams as the qualification season continues. In the meantime, these athletes are making incredible strides for LGBT representation and visibility at the highest level of competition.
Will you be tuning in to watch these LGBT athletes compete this summer? Are there any particular LGBT athletes you’re hoping will make the cut? Let us know in the comments!