Scroll To Top

Gay Games rowing
competition a smooth ride despite protest

Gay Games rowing
competition a smooth ride despite protest

Gay athletes rowed through smooth waters in Crystal Lake, Ill., on Sunday, despite a rough approval process in March and April, reports CBS2 Chicago. The rowing event, sponsored by Gay Games Chicago and the Crystal Lake Rowing Club, prompted heated debate about homosexuality during its review by elected officials in Lakewood, Crystal Lake, and the Crystal Lake Park District.

The competition was one of about 30 Chicago-area Gay Games events that continue through this Saturday. A large contingent of police officers was hard to miss as its members stood along the Main Beach fence, near the beach's entrance, and throughout the event. Four agencies had up to 50 officers available for the event.

Some people encountered demonstrators holding Bibles or distributing fliers as they came to the event. Brady DeSimone, 32, of Crystal Lake spoke to the demonstrators. "I had to say something," she told CBS2. "I said, 'God loves us all.'"

Spectators set up in shaded areas, enjoying picnics, drinking from water bottles, and cheering when the first athletes crossed the finish line about 35 minutes after the scheduled 2 p.m. start. Matt Kerns, 33, of Chicago was one of 12 people on the Qrew team, a Lincoln Park Boat Club rowing team started in January so it could participate in the Gay Games. "It's fun to think you're competing against teams from all over the world," he told CBS2.

Chad Gifford, 30, and Bryan Heers, 26, competed on a team from San Diego. The California residents had heard of the controversy surrounding the rowing event's approval, but they did not see opposition at the competition. "The people in here [at Main Beach] have been awesome," Heers said. "The educated people have been really fantastic," Gifford added. (The Advocate)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff