Team spirit

By |2006-07-13T09:00:00-04:00July 13th, 2006|Uncategorized|

Some people care about sports; others – well, some of us know they exist. Here at BTL, the staff seems roughly divided between those who can list the scores and plays of the last three weeks’ games in whatever sport is currently in season, and those who may not even know which Detroit-area teams play which sport.
One thing that’s certain, though, is that our area’s LGBT community as a whole is definitely into sports, as evidenced by the roughly 130 Michigan athletes who are expected to competed in this month’s Gay Games in Chicago.
That’s right – 130 from Michigan alone.
Of course, the Gay Games and other LGBT-specific athletic events aren’t just about the scores and plays and medals. They’re about bringing our community together and showing the world that LGBTs are jocks, too. Just like we’re also parents and workers and clergy and neighbors and sons and daughters and citizens.
Too bad that the high courts in New York and Georgia don’t get it. In recent rulings both courts said that, in essence, we aren’t equal and therefore the government doesn’t have to grant us the same marriage rights granted to straight U.S. taxpayers. As for all of those rights and benefits granted to married couples and their kids – well, we can help pay for them, but we can’t have them ourselves.
Meanwhile, the American Family Association has sued in an attempt to force Michigan State University to stop providing domestic partner benefits to lesbian and gay people employees, a move that will hurt the families and children in the state.
Hardly sporting, is it?
Fortunately, our “team” has more team spirit than the extremists. We’re out front building a Rainbow House in Ypsilanti to house a mom with four children, while Focus on the Family is too busy trying to legislate Christianity to focus on real families. We’re creating social and recreational programs to bring our community together at Affirmations, and programs like Gilda’s Club’s support group for grieving same-sex partners.
Our team has heroes, too. Like Leslie Thompson, Affirmations’ executive director, who is already getting ready to go back to work on a limited basis after three – yes, three – surgeries to her spine. Why? Because she’s so dedicated to her work for our community that she’s not about to let a little thing like three major surgeries stop her.
“So many people are sending flowers. That’s a lovely thought, it’s wonderful that people are thinking of me, but we’d rather have them send a check to Affirmations,” she told BTL.
(Just remember that quote next time you read about the fortunes amassed by anti-gay icons like Pat Robertson. Not only do Robertson and his ilk lack team spirit, they’re violating the rules of their own game – wasn’t it Jesus Christ that said that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Pat Robertson – er, a rich man – to enter the gates of Heaven?)
And, of course, our Michigan team is sending 130 athletes to the Gay Games, where they will show the world that LGBTs can run as fast, lift as much, and play as hard as any straight athlete. Though, probably, with at least a little more style.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.