From my Sirius OutQ @ Gay Games Blog:
It’s late Sunday night — early Monday morning, actually — and I’m contemplating the beauty and spectacle of the Gay Games Opening Ceremony. When it was actually happening Saturday night, I couldn’t really let the experience wash over me because I was focused on describing what I was seeing for the audience. But at a distance of just over 24 hours, as I caption the photo’s I’ve uploaded to our Flickr site, I can see just how amazing it was to pull so many performers, athletes and spectators in the same, inspired direction. The producers of the ceremony deserve a gold medal of their own.
On a related note, the Games are beginning to get to me… or maybe I should say, get through to me. Like any seasoned journalist, I pride myself on being able to remain detached. But interviewing a 20-year-old Black woman playing on the South African Women’s Soccer team was the most moving experience I’ve had while holding a microphone in many years. In her clipped accent, she described how oppressed and limited she feels in her home country, where an out, athletic lesbian living in a township is under constant threat of harassment, beating, even rape. But here in Chicago, she told me, she feels, at last, free. Imagine having to leave your home and travel halfway around the world for a taste, just a week, of freedom. I’m tearing up again as I write this.