Olympics have ‘failed’ on gay visibility, say critics

Concerns that LGBT contribution will be ‘invisible’ at 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London

Olympics have ‘failed’ on gay visibility, say critics
16 May 2012

London’s Olympics are a ‘missed opportunity’ and a ‘failure’ for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender visibility, say campaigners.

And an investigation by Gay Star News indicates a lack of clarity by London’s Olympic bosses about diversity, with no stated plans to give LGBT people a visible presence at the games.

Critics say they are disappointed by the outcome, particularly as diversity was one of the key selling points for London’s bid to host the 2012 games.

They place much of the blame on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games [LOCOG] and the International Olympic Committee.

In a feature article published by GSN today (16 May), Andy Wasley from Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay and bisexual campaign organization, says: ‘The Olympics promised a legacy of greater inclusion for all communities. It is a shame then that gay people have seemed to be overlooked.’

While veteran human rights and gay campaigner Peter Tatchell said his early positive discussions with LOCOG weren’t followed up.

He told GSN: ‘The Olympic authorities have made a lot of noise about equality and diversity but haven’t got much to show for it. To the average person the LGBT content of the Olympics will be hard to spot and easy to miss.

‘They have absolutely failed to live up to their promises to the LGBT community and London’s other diverse communities.’

In the full feature GSN questions LOCOG and the Olympic Delivery Authority about their diversity strategy and what they have done to involve LGBT people in the games, including leaving a legacy for gay and trans sport.

LOCOG spokeswoman Julie Burley said: ‘The diversity of London was one of the key reasons why London was awarded the right to host the Games and from the start we have been committed to ensuring that people from all backgrounds and communities could play their part in the London 2012 Games.’

And an Olympic Delivery Authority spokesman said: ‘London 2012 has always played an active role in promoting and enabling equality and diversity.’

Read the full feature here.

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