The recently repaired relationship between two LGBTI world sporting rivals, the World OutGames and the Gay Games, has broken down.
Two years after it was announced the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA) and the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) would work towards a combined 2018 event, a joint statement released last week reveals attempts at unity have failed.
“After over two years of discussions and negotiations, both organisations regret to announce that even though every attempt was made to do so, an agreement was not reached,” the GLISA and FGG boards said.
“Both boards, with the support of their memberships, had every intention to re-unite the international LGBTIQ community around a new event based on three components: sports, culture and human rights.
“The boards have decided that at this moment, both organisations are unable to reconcile their differences in time for the 2018 event cycle.”
The two groups said, however, there is still a chance of a single event in the future.
“The boards are disappointed, but hope remains that an agreement will be reached over the next few years to create a future joint event.”
GLISA is a relatively new player hosting international LGBTI sports events. The group formed following a bitter split with the FGG in 2004 when the location of the 2006 Gay Games was in dispute.
The two groups staged rival events in 2006 — the Gay Games in Chicago and the first World Outgames in Montreal.
Since then, the organisations have held their quadrennial events in alternate years.
Victoria University researcher Dr Caroline Symons, who has written a book on the history of the Gay Games, said although she is not aware of what caused the breakdown, the differences in the organisations’ structures may have contributed.
“I understand this was a critical juncture for some of the hard decisions, but obviously they couldn’t work them through,” Symons told the Star Observer.
The next World Outgames will be held in Antwerp, Belgium in 2013 and Cleveland, Ohio will host the next Gay Games in 2014.