Gay Games this summer in CLE — Hope you'll consider it!

  • BrownsTown

    Posts: 158

    May 04, 2014 10:40 PM GMT
    Hi everyone --

    First off, thanks SO MUCH for MOD today, what an unexpected surprise!!

    I realize that a lot of you may have heard that the Gay Games are coming to Cleveland this August. This will be the last chance to attend them in the U.S. until at least 2022, so I hope that you'll come support our LGBT community.

    Cleveland was chosen, among other reasons, because it ISN'T a "gay hub" and it was seen as a way to really change some hearts and minds in an important battleground state. And, honestly, all the jokes about my hometown aside, it really is a great place to visit in summer. We have some amazing museums, culture, parks, a huge foodie scene, great restaurants, etc., etc.

    Please check out this article I recently wrote for

    I'm planning on running the 5K, attending the opening & closing ceremonies, and also rooting on my LGBT brothers and sisters. I've met with some of the executive committed running the Games and I think it will be an amazing cultural experience for us all.

    Please consider coming out to see at least part of the Games. I'll be glad to host an RJ meet that week. icon_biggrin.gif

    Love you guys!


  • ataru13

    Posts: 89

    May 05, 2014 11:55 AM GMT
    I'm coming, but actually I'm having a tough time.

    I play badminton, and apparently almost nobody from Europe is competing in the Gaygames.
    Not an appealing city for us.

    I'm also having big difficulties with lodging.
    The Gaygames website is recomending several hotels, like the Hilton, Ritz, etc. which is not affordable for most pockets.
    I'm trying to reserve in the Cleveland Estate dorms, but it's also proving quite a challenge, now that the website is not working, and the e-mails I've sent are not being replied....

    Do you have any suggestions about lodging???

    I hope I can come, because it would be the first big event I've missed since 2003.....
  • Sportsfan1

    Posts: 479

    May 05, 2014 4:04 PM GMT
    I am considering going. I am a ballroom dancer. I have to consider air travel and the extra baggage I have to pay due to the costumes(suits) I have to wear and also the lodging.I would like to stay in the venue that the ballroom competition will take place however I hope I can afford it. I have two prior competitions before the games. That is why I need to take into consideration the price of the airfare, lodging, meals and incidentals.
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 515

    May 05, 2014 5:38 PM GMT
    Totally going - rock climbing
  • BrownsTown

    Posts: 158

    May 06, 2014 2:38 AM GMT
    ataru13, try the Cleveland Hostel:

    Or if you give me a price range, I can suggest other places. Will you have a car or will you be using public transportation?

    Sorry to hear that the city isn't a draw ... we do a poor job of marketing ourselves. But I've had visitors here from places like Brazil and South Africa, and they've been blown away by our city and our hospitality.


    All right, MarvelClimber! I'll look for you! And let me know if you need any help, Sportsfan1.

  • Sportsfan1

    Posts: 479

    May 06, 2014 2:48 AM GMT
    BrownsTown saidataru13, try the Cleveland Hostel:

    Or if you give me a price range, I can suggest other places. Will you have a car or will you be using public transportation?

    Sorry to hear that the city isn't a draw ... we do a poor job of marketing ourselves. But I've had visitors here from places like Brazil and South Africa, and they've been blown away by our city and our hospitality.


    All right, MarvelClimber! I'll look for you! And let me know if you need any help, Sportsfan1.

    Thank you! My dance partner still does not know about this. She would be very supportive. We compete in the Gold division and are considered the favorites to win a world title this coming January. She is recovering from breast cancer so we have to be very carful how many competitions we do. We only have to do three recognized competitions to qualify for the World Championships. Unfortunately the Gay Games would not qualify us. Thanks again!
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 2114

    May 06, 2014 3:50 AM GMT
    I'll be there - running the 1500m. The track events are being held in Akron, where I grew up!

    I got an affordable room through the Gay Games travel site at the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Cleveland - a short walk to the Festival Village. I'll be driving down to Akron for the Track & Field events - and considering a Cedar Point trip on Sunday after the Games are done.

    Biggest down side for me is that my event isn't until Friday, and as a "real" athlete that means no fun for me until it's over!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2014 5:10 AM GMT
    hey congrats on MOTD! i voted for you!

    i'm coming for water polo with my team. looks like we'll have 3 teams playing from our club. icon_smile.gif

    i think our team coordinator has already booked a block of hotel rooms, though i can't remember which one. its downtown - the hampton hilton?

    i may have to skip the closing ceremonies icon_sad.gif to fly to london for a friend's 50th b-day. icon_smile.gif
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    May 06, 2014 9:03 AM GMT
    I'd come, but they don't include my sport - Olympic Lifting (powerlifting isn't the same thing). But I'm still glad they have them, and I wish them all the best!
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    May 06, 2014 10:09 PM GMT
    I think my running team will be making the trip. At least as spectators.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 07, 2014 9:10 AM GMT
    Working at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the words most often used by tourists about Cleveland is "impressed" and "surprised." They say that they don't expect the friendliness and large variety of things to do.

    There is a lot of excitement and pride in town regarding the Gay Games. And, the Cleveland powers-that-be really want the red carpet rolled out.

    I'm doing the 10K, 5K and half marathon.

    MarvelClimber saidTotally going - rock climbing

    Kendall Cliffs just finished putting in a nice, new floor. Nice looking facility and great staff!

    To all that are coming...Welcome! I hope that we impress you! =)
  • swimmer29

    Posts: 35

    May 07, 2014 4:18 PM GMT
    Signed up for my third GG today (Chicago, Cologne, and now Cleveland...hmmm...must be a city starting with a C thing).

    I can not tell you have great an experience the Games are. There is something really powerful seeing all the gay and lesbian athletes taking over the city and the city welcoming us.

    Can't wait to see Cleveland!
  • Markguy

    Posts: 36

    May 07, 2014 9:47 PM GMT
    I'm going for the entire week. I'll be running the 5k, 10k, and half marathon. I'm really looking forward to being around that many other gay men who care about exercise.
  • Panthers

    Posts: 18

    May 08, 2014 2:21 AM GMT
    We're planning on it and so is our Soccer team (the Detroit Drive).

    We have a bunch of relatively cheap ROOMS reserved at the Red Roof (like you were going to spend time in your room anyhow?) in Independence and by the airport. These are <$100/night with free parking and free wireless (you can pay almost that much just for parking & wireless at some of the other hotels). We have extra rooms (I reserved these half a year ago, the rates now are almost double) and could transfer some if anyone needs one (and transfer to your credit card).

    Registration FEES go up after May 31st, so you want to register in the coming weeks.
    If you need a DISCOUNT CODE, use TEAMMI to save $30!

    If you want to play flag FOOTBALL, there might be an additional $30 discount (for a limited time only). If you want to play but don't have a team, we may have a few open spots.

    For more information about football, email info @MichiganPanthers.ORG

    If interested in a room, email info @TeamMichigan.US
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    May 08, 2014 3:02 AM GMT
    I'm also signed up for the 5K, 10K and Half (like ScottCLE and Markguy). Trying to figure out lodging as well. Might drop the 10K and do the latter half of a week to save $ and vacation days - not sure yet.

    Has anyone taken AkronMetro x61 bus between between Arkon and Cleveland? ( Although it only runs week days so it can't get anyone back to Cleveland after the half marathon. Sigh.

    There are a number of people from Boston coming. We have just finished our team uniforms. Unfortunately no other Boston runners are coming that I know of.
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    May 08, 2014 3:22 AM GMT
    I'm planning to run the 1500 and the 5000 on the track and I may have talked a friend into coming and representing in the half marathon. I definitely need to make accomodations for lodging soon though.
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    May 08, 2014 7:01 AM GMT
    There isn't much going on for Rowing, so I'm skipping it. Not worth it for me to come all the way over there for one race... And Miami - next World Out Games, 2017 - isn't much of a draw personally either, but I feel like it'd be an amazing crowd because the rest of the world thinks Miami is awesome.
  • FitGwynedd

    Posts: 1468

    May 08, 2014 8:41 PM GMT
    Oh good, another reason to avoid Cleveland.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 2114

    May 10, 2014 12:37 AM GMT
    It's disappointing that so many people - Americans and Europeans - seem to be avoiding the Gay Games this time around because they're in Cleveland/Akron (OK, to tell the truth I probably wouldn't be going myself if I wasn't born and raised in Akron). The overall feeling seems to be that Cleveland is a boring and awful place.

    I don't think the Gay Games organizers or the city itself have done very much to promote the area to this particular crowd. At best, they seem to be saying, "We're just like Chicago - OK, not really, but we're close."

    Well, admittedly I'm not a fan of Cleveland as a city (or my hometown Akron either, at least since Devo moved away). But outside of the city, the Northern Ohio area has one thing in abundance that European travelers always say they miss out on when they visit the States, and would like to have seen: Americana. Funky, retro, Mom's apple pie, Twin-Peaks-and-Fargoish Middle America. There's a reason why, in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the art director had Brad and Janet shield themselves from the rain with a Cleveland Plain Dealer.

    So, I thought I'd hijack this thread to start a little series on the lesser-known highlights of the Cleveland/Akron area. These are the things I'd consider doing with my free time, when I'm in town for the Gay Games.

    First up - well, this one is pretty mainstream. Let's go to a ball game!


    During and immediately following the Gay Games, the Indians will be playing host to the Arizona Diamondbacks (August 12-13) and the Baltimore Orioles (August 15-17), the last one being a Sunday afternoon game. And Progressive Field is a great ballpark. What, you think baseball is boring? Sit back, grab a dog and a beer... and let's hear some chatter out there! Hey-batter-hey-batterbatterbatter - SWING!
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 2114

    May 10, 2014 3:47 AM GMT
    Next up: who likes a good roller coaster ride?

    Sixty miles west of downtown Cleveland on a spit of sand jutting into Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point is generally considered to be the best roller coaster park in America. There are 15 or so roller coasters, including my old fave the Blue Streak, an old school wood scaffolding coaster that has been running since 1964.

    In addition to the coasters there are a whole bunch of other "thrill rides", including the best and fastest carousel you've ever seen, with horses that race each other - it's been running since 1920!

    And - the park has a very nice sandy beach on Lake Erie (it should be warm enough to swim by August), with waverunner rentals and parasailing!


    Yes, it is possible to have fun in Ohio.
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    May 10, 2014 1:22 PM GMT
    My partner and I dock out boat at Cedar Point. I've been to a LOT of amusement parks all over the country and consider Cedar Point one of the best.

    Cleveland Museum of Art is absolutely incredible and free. The botanical gardens next door to the art museum are beautiful. And there is great food everywhere.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 2114

    May 10, 2014 7:16 PM GMT
    Next up - it's party time, boys!

    About 20 miles from Sandusky - 80 miles from downtown Cleveland - you'll find Marblehead, where you can catch the ferry for Kelley's Island, Northern Ohio's favorite summer day trip. It's a 20-minute ride and you can bring a car but you won't need one once you get there; it's a pretty small place.

    On the island you can rent a kayak or a bike and circle the island (about 17 miles) or hang out at one of the less-than impressive beaches. But on a Sunday afternoon, most people will be in the bars pounding brews, as a cheesy band plays goofy cover songs and banters with the audience. In Cleveland, in summer, Kelley's is the leading cause of calling in sick on Monday.

    As bizarre a concept as it may seem, Kelley's Island is Ohio's Key West... the str8 Key West, not the gay one... but if we can rally enough boys from the Games, maybe we can flip that house, at least for one Sunday.


    Oh, and for you long time Kelley's enthusiasts... Alex Bevan will be playing the West Bay Inn on Sunday, August 10, and he's sure to trot out the old classic...

    I'm a skinny little boy from Cleveland, Ohio
    Come to chase your women and drink your beer!

    Just make sure somebody in your crew stays sober enough for that long drive back to Cleveland!
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 2114

    May 11, 2014 6:19 PM GMT
    Now we’re getting to the good stuff…

    How about a night at the drive-in?

    There are a large number of drive-in movie theaters still operating in Ohio. This icon of small town America is the perfect place to perpetrate a little sex and drunkenness in the privacy of your own car, while a cheesy movie plays on a giant screen in front of you.

    Near Cleveland there’s the Aut-O Rama Twin Drive-In in North Ridgeville and the Mayfield Road Drive-In in Chardon. Closer to Akron there’s the Blue Sky in Wadsworth and the Magic City in Barberton. Or, for a more authentic small town experience, try the Star View in Norwalk (on your way back from Cedar Point) or the Midway Twin in Ravenna.

    Of course there’s no telling what movies might be playing in the middle of August. But if you think it’s about the movie, you’re missing the point completely.

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    May 11, 2014 10:30 PM GMT
    There has to be a method to the madness of selecting Cleveland to host these games. Ohio is not the most gay-friendly of US states. The state's Catholic dioceses are in the process of changing teacher contracts that will make a condition of employment silence on any disagreement with diocesan teaching. Here is an example of one teacher's rejection, and of her job, down in the Cincinnati diocese. She refuses to speak out against the homosexual lifestyle of her son.
  • umphreak

    Posts: 43

    May 12, 2014 12:56 AM GMT
    FitGwynedd saidOh good, another reason to avoid Cleveland.

    So says the guy from Buffalo. LOL.