Outgames or Gay Games?
Given that I am from Chicago, now live in Montreal, and used to live close to the Boystown neighborhood in Chicago, my ears perked up when I heard that both cities were vying for the Gay Games a while back. Although I know that Chicago has a very vibrant LGBT community, Montreal could really use the money generated. Plus I now have a vested interest in the economy here.
So over the months I had kinda heard sideways that one city had won over the other, then there was some risk of losing it. (Why does there always seem to be a risk of losing international events here in Montreal?) More recently I had heard Montreal was having the Outgames and figured they had won out. But when I was in Chicago last week, there was a big buzz about the Gay Games coming to town. Wait a minute, what the heck is going on?
Well it turns out both cities are holding games. Montreal had won over Chicago for the right to host Gay Games VII, but the Federation of Gay Games took it away due to differences in the size of the games. The FGG then turned around and handed the games to Chicago. Unmiffed by this, Montreal decided to go ahead and hold the 1st World Outgames.
What is interesting is that both games claim to be about the same size (1200 participants in Chicago to 1600 in Montreal). Montreal has 35 different competitive events to Chicago’s 30. Another interesting aspect is that the games themselves decided not to compete against one another. Double your pleasure. The Chicago Gay Games run from July 15th to the 22nd and the Montreal Outgames run from July 30th to August 5th. That gives you either a week off in between with a $500 plane ticket, or a week to travel the 16-hour drive between the cities. Toronto is a nice stop along the way, while Detroit is … um… not.