Gay Games opening ceremonies

Anyone else make it to the opening ceremonies for the Gay Games last night? As much as it makes my heart swell to be in a crowd of thousands of happy, clapping queer folk (and Soldier Field, which I’d never before been to, was so lovely and breezy), I must say I thought the ceremony was a bit disappointing. Too many long speeches and too many singing/dancing acts that didn’t quite hit the entertainment mark (what did you think of the suicide note performance?).

I’m used to judging gay and lesbian events fairly lightly (for as many people as there are in the audience, there are that many opinions on the balance of politics and entertainment) and I was really trying to hold out for Margaret Cho but I wound up ducking out early. There were plenty of people grousing as they left the stadium that other Gay Games opening ceremonies have been much better. Anyone else go? Plans for any events this week?

6 Comments so far

  1. Mike Doyle (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 9:34 am

    I blogged about this today on my site, too. I’m in total agreement. Except for a few bright spots, these ceremonies sucked big time.

    They were like “Carrie: The Musical” reborn as an opening ceremony. I was unlucky enough to see them both, so trust me when I say this: “Carrie” was better.

  2. Kate (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 10:35 am

    Did you stay long enough to see Margaret Cho? She’s the name that lured me there in the first place, though I just couldn’t hold out long enough.

  3. Mike Doyle (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 11:03 am

    Yes, she rocked. She loved the streaker: “I was waiting backstage leaning against the wall when all of a sudden balls came flying by my face and I knew I was at the Gay Games.” She only had about 5 minutes of time though. She and the fireworks — both spectacular — were the only reasonw I and my boyfriend Devyn stayed until the end. But it really wasn’t a big enough payoff for having had to sit through the sheer awfulness of what came before.

    Mind you, I wanted to like the evening so much. I tried hard. Very hard. So did Devyn. But there wasn’t much to like.

    Not for nothing, but we’re gay. Aren’t we supposed to know how to choreograph a dance number and stay on cue?

  4. Joe H (unregistered) on July 21st, 2006 @ 7:32 pm

    I went with three friends. After suffering through angry lesbian poetry, sucide note recitals, and lengthy themes of exclusion, loneliness and oppression in a stadium where organizers didn’t even bother to build a stage, my friends and I were late for the door. Yet we, too, stayed for Margaret Cho. But even she disappointed, with a short performance of average material. This is what happens when you leave party planning in the hands of aging gay activists. This was supposed to be celebratory; instead, it was a poorly-paced downer. It should be no wonder there were so few people in the audience under 35. These Games are a Pride parade in disguise for an older generation that still embraces victim identity and seeks every opportunity to administer self-therapy with showy displays of “pride.” After the streaker, who brought painfully needed levity to the show, I’d say the highlight of the evening was the mayor and his excellent speech (even though his presence there was transparently self-serving). Anyway, we wound up going out afterwards to Sidetracks, where the mood was, well, happier.

  5. to (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 5:56 am

    Perhaps if you all had stayed around to watch the entire Opening Ceremonies….perhaps if you had a context of history of both the Games themselves as well as your social growth….perhaps then you might be able to see and have been able to experience what the Opening Ceremonies were all about. All I hear on this blog is “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (which would have been the Closing Ceremonies) – all you wanted was to be force-fed entertainment….brain popcorn. Very narrow, very sad.

  6. val (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

    Joe H – I stayed for the entire ceremony – and have been around the traps for a good half century, so I meet your criteria.The opening ceremony was far too long and far too negative. The games are supposed to celebrate our community – we don’t need to reinforce the heartbreaks. The last acts were terrific – what a shame so many athletes had to miss these to prepare for their events on Sunday. I do not agree that humour and entertainment are “brain popcorn” but see them as an expression of the joy and visibility that come from participating in the Games.

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