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.

9 Comments so far

  1. James (unregistered) on July 6th, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

    Maybe I’m getting biased information, but I understand that the Montréal Outgames are hosting many more international atheletes than the Chicago Gay Games, which will effectively become a North American and anglo-only event… would hate it if this were true, what with American football the USA really does play on it’s own too much… :)


  2. Frank (unregistered) on July 6th, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

    Yes, according to their websites, Chicago claims to have participants from 70 countries, while Montreal claims 120. I’m not sure why I left that out.

    While I feel that Chicago is more diverse than Montréal, I think Montréal has much more world-wide appeal due to strong European ties.

  3. Cody (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 3:38 pm

    Just so you know, I would be careful believing what the Gay Games VII website reports. As a participant in this coming weeks Gay Games VII here in Chicago, I have found there is quite a bit of corruption with the games. Reporting exaggerated numbers, booking acts like Elton John only to quietly remove any evidence that Elton John had anything to do with the Games, just to name a few. The thing that saddens me the most is Chicago has had at least two years to plan for the Games and have just within the past couple weeks started advertising it in the form of banners and signs. I am embarrassed to be part of the Gay Games in Chicago. My only hope is that Montreal and the World Outgames can debunk the FGG. Good Luck Montreal.

  4. Scott (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

    Watch as Leslie Jordan and Baton Bob duke it out for Gay Games Glory http://www.revver.com/video/34544/

  5. Mario (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    I figure the antiAmerican socialists will go to Montreal, and everyone else will go to Chicago.

  6. Franklin Merconi (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    Wasn’t it an American who came up with the Gay Games to begin with? Why didn’t anyone in Canada come up with the idea first if Canada is so special, as the gays keep saying. Isn’t Gay Pride an American tradition also? And the rainbow flag an American idea as well??? For such a horrible country, America sure does come up with ideas the rest of the world–including homos–can’t wait to copy. Go Chicago!!

  7. Frank (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

    Relax Franklin. I’m a Chicagoan with a US passport. I was only a bit confused when I heard both cities were hosting.

    As for whether people choose one city over the other due for political reasons, that’s their business. I see the difference as a large North American city with strong European character versus a very large US city with abundant opportunities for extravagance and excess. Both are great cities with great things to offer.

  8. Yvon Thivierge (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    I am biased and vying for Montréal.

    Above and beyond my subjectivity, however, are several factors that should make the most neutral observer opt for the second largest French-speaking city in the world.

    1. Montréal had been rightly chosen then rejected as the host city of the VIIth Gay Games.

    2. Montréal has more potential than Chicago to stage a truly international event as opposed to a mainly American happening.

    3. Montréal has received support from all government levels, the mainstream media and the entire community which Chicago has not.

    4. Montréal’s Outgames are advertized thus visible all over the city and will be broadcast live on the nation-wide state broadcasting TV network which was not the case with the Chicago games.

    5. Montréal’s registration numbers show that it will attract more athletes and fans and generate more money for the economy than the Chicago games.

  9. FYI (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 6:06 pm


    A couple corrections:
    The expected number of participants for each of the two events are 12,000 (Chicago) and 16,000 (Montreal)–a big impact on a local economy regardless of the size of the city.

    The split between Montreal and the FGG was about money first and foremost.

    The games are certainly competing against each other. The FGG awarded the games to Chicago for July of 2006. If they had not wanted to compete with Montreal why not pick a different month or year?

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