| LYNN GREER
For more than half my life, I have organized, advocated, raised funds and fought for social justice and equal rights for LGBTQ people. What most people don’t know is that I was professional golfer first. I played golf for Ohio State and went on to play competitively, joining the ranks of the PGA and LPGA club division.
and Akron were selected to host the 2014 Gay Games, I became committed to making them the best Games ever. Ohio is my home state, and I want us to shine under the international spotlight.
I’ve have had the privileged of playing in several Gay Games, and the competitions have been highlights of my life. I will always remember the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Gay Games in Sydney. An Iranian athlete came into the stadium with his head and face covered because in his home country this athlete would be executed simply for being gay. That image is a vivid reminder of the impact of the Games. There’s nothing more powerful than the way the Gay Games change people’s minds, actions and beliefs about the LGBTQ community.
The 2014 Gay Games are presented by the Cleveland Foundation and will take place August 9 - 16 at venues throughout Cleveland and Akron. As the world’s largest inclusive sporting event, the Gay Games will bring an estimated 20,000 participants and spectators from 40 countries to Northeast Ohio to compete, play, celebrate and unify. Despite being the smallest locations to ever host the Games, Cleveland and Akron are ready to deliver a world-class experience with modern venues, natural beauty and a cultural arts scene that is second to none. Gay Games 9 has enjoyed tremendous corporate support, from businesses large and small, and they are the first in Gay Games history to have a presenting sponsor.
Ohio is a state that carries significant political weight, yet we lag far behind in LGBTQ-friendly legislation and protections. While the region is not typically viewed as a gay destination, the selection of Cleveland and Akron for the 2014 Games will stimulate important conversations and create a valuable platform for educating about the value of diversity in the heartland.
Organizers are working hard to deliver an exceptional experience, and there is a palpable understanding of the lasting significance reaching well beyond the week of the Games. The 2014 Gay Games will establish a Legacy Fund at the Cleveland Foundation to be used for future LGBTQ projects and interests in Northeast Ohio. Civic, religious and cultural institutions have formed lasting relationships with the intent to further evolve progressive ideology and enact change. Gay Games 9 has been the impetus for many positive and long-lasting outcomes that will only improve life for LGBTQ Ohioans.
Cleveland and Akron are ready for their close-up and excited to welcome the world with the warmth and hospitality of the Midwest. The Gay Games will make an impact on the LGBTQ community, here and abroad, and will positively influence the future of Ohio’s political and social landscape.
As Buckeyes, we all need to be there to demonstrate our support and commitment to LGBTQ equality in Ohio and throughout the world! No athlete, from any country, should have to cover their face in fear of their life ever again.
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! See you at the Games
Lynn Greer serves as the co-chair of Leadership Council for the 2014 Gay Games. She has worked for LGBTQ equality and social justice efforts in Ohio and nationally since 1986. Lynn was the founding co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a national organization based in Washington, DC. She was a co-founder of The Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation. Lynn was co-owner and publisher of Outlook Media for six years. As a longtime Columbus resident, Lynn’s impact is still making a difference locally. She now resides in Incline Village, NV. Lynn and her partner Stevie Walton have been together for 20 years. They were married in Hawaii in January.