The Board of GLISA North America (Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association – North America) has announced that it has regretfully terminated discussions with the Denver Outgames Host Committee to hold the next North America Outgames. in 2015.
“We really did not want to take this action,” said Bruce Townsend, President of GLISA North America. “But we have not been kept informed of any significant development in the planning of the three components that make up an Outgames- Sports, Culture and Human Rights.”
In 2010 GLISA NA accepted the bid to hold the next North America Outgames in Denver. During the 2010 Cinco de Mayo weekend, representatives from GLISA North America conducted a site visit and held weekend – long meetings with Denver individuals. “We had a great visit with many wonderful Denver folks during Cinco de mayo; they made a good start and we expected to see on- going progress on areas identified for improvement,” said Greg Larocque, former President of GLISA North America and Bid Committee Chair.
In the intervening time, GLISA North America has not been informed of substantive progress on issues noted during the site visit. Recently, an additional issue of a conflict of interest has arisen which has not been constructively addressed.
GLISA North America is committed to the delivery of quality Outgames for the North American LGBTQI community. The importance of safe, welcoming and inclusive opportunities to play one’s sport, discuss one’s Human Rights and celebrate one’s accomplishments cannot be understated. “GLISA North America will not go forward with an event that does not continue the history of success of previous North America Outgames,” according to Duy Ngo, GLISA NA Licensing Committee Chair.
GLISA North America is pursuing other opportunities for the North America LGBTQI community and will provide information as it becomes available.
GLISA North America has hosted two successful Outgames to date, in 2007 in Calgary, Alberta, the 25th anniversary of the Western Cup, and in 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Both events brought several thousand participants and locals out for the three components and captivated each city during the Outgames activities. The different sport activities occurred over a week of events; the Human Rights Conference lasted three and five days (Calgary and Vancouver respectively); and the cultural activities included celebrations from every dimension in the community including featured performances by Lily Tomlin (Calgary) and Carol Pope (Vancouver).