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B.C. Place echoes with the sound of fans, atheletes, and a 200-member Festival Chorus, as the stadium hosts the opening ceremonies of the third annual Gay Games, the first time the event has been held outside the United States.
“The Gay Games to me is a family event of another kind because of its sense of participation, of inclusion rather than exclusion,” says Producer and Choreographer Max Reimer, “There are many more than gays participating. This is not exclusively a gay event. It is a gay-awareness event.”
The Games (originally known as the Gay Olympics, before an injunction was filed three weeks before the inaugural event), brings together 7100 atheletes from 27 countries, more than 2700 volunteers, and has sold close to 8000 tickets. Despite the appearance of some homophobic graffiti (linked to two unnamed males arrested the morning before ceremonies), the city as a whole embraces the event, which also includes a major LGBT film, literary, and cultural festival known as Celebration ‘90.
“It is so hyper, it’s wonderful,” beams volunteer-services director Heather Williams. “Everyone suddenly seemed to decide: ‘This is neat, I want to be a part of it.’ That’s just fine with us.”
IMAGE: The GGIII Orchestra, circa 1990. Image Courtesy of the Gay Games Federation.