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Athletes of the Gay Games.

The following pages feature 100 gay and lesbian athletes participating in this summer's Gay Games V. All of them answered questions about their backgrounds, futures, hopes, and dreams. Here's how things stacked up:

Sixty-seven percent are men, 33% are women; 51% are between the ages of 35 and 44, 28% are between the ages of 21 and 34, 21% are 45 or older; 46% reside in the Western United States, 35% in the Northeast, 15% in the Midwest; 49% went to college, 47% went to graduate school; 67% are professionals, 8% are artists, 7% are in business; 52% came out between the ages of 19 and 25, 25% came out between the ages of 26 and 35, 18% came out between the ages of 12 and 18; 58% are in relationships, and 94% of those not in relationships say they would like to be; in naming the most important issues of concern for gays and lesbians, 72% named gay marriage, 70% said equal fights; when it came to what they want to accomplish most at the Gay Games, 30% want medals, 22% just want to have fun, and 12% want to accomplish their personal best.

TRIATHLON

Peter DeVries

Age 34 Residence: Toronto Education: BA, mathematics, University of Waterloo Occupation: Chief technology officer at a software company Why triathlon? "You have to train at three widely differing sports," DeVries says of running, cycling, and swimming. "It's also the true test of an athlete's combining stamina, strength, and endurance." On coming out: "I came out to my family by accident. I was home for the holidays, and my mother found an incriminating Christmas card from my lover in my suitcase. It took a year for my parents to confront me with their suspicions. After many talks and some tears, I think that we have become much closer." On the Gay Games: "I would like just to do my best in the triathlon. I had high hopes of winning a medal, but work has kept me busy traveling about 10 out of every 30 days a month, so training is tough. I'll feel great just to finish in a reasonable time. That's what I like about the Gay Games: The emphasis is on participation and not just on winning or losing."

Claudia Cummings

Age: 29 Residence: Brooklyn, N.Y. Education: BA, film, MA, history, New York University Occupation: Associate producer on the documentary series I Remember on the cable television network CBS Eye on People Origin of an athletes: "I started running in 1994. The confidence that I gained gave me the strength to make many difficult changes in my life, including the decision to leave my marriage of five years and come out of the closet in March of 1996." Why triathlon? "It has pushed me to strive for greater performance in all aspects of my life--every goal completed is an affirmation that I have what it takes to reach further for the next effort." The family that plays together: "My partner, Maria, and I met on a 20-mile training nm for the New York City Marathon in 1996, and I believe that the respect that we have for each other both as individuals and as athletes is what sustains us while we put in long hours of training for our events."

Jere Becker

Age: 33 Residence: Dallas Education: BS, pharmacy, University of Kansas Occupation: Personal trainer Why triathlon? "My Dad, who grew up in Amarillo, Tex., played football. My mom, who is from Atchison, Kan., was an excellent diver and swimmer. I'm the fourth of six children. I grew up trying to be the perfect child, so I excellent in almost everything I did." Future plans: "I'm developing Web pages and a business plan for a corporation to be called Planet Wellness, a company whose mission is to deliver quality services to the fitness industry."

Leslie A. Jones

Age: 33 Residence: New York City Education: BFA, fine arts, Carnegie Mellon University Occupation: Professional dancer/freelance computer graphic artist Why triathlon? "Swimming? Can't wait. Biking? Let's boggie. Running?" Jones asks, rhetorically. "I haven't done that since I joined cross-country in seventh grade just so I could run behind Mark Mitchell. "On facing the unknown: "I'm a person who still doubts himself sometimes but believes doubts about the future into motivation, you will never regret the past. I've never once thought about not doing this triathlon."

Karla Shelton

Age: 37 Residence: Chicago Education: BS, education, physical education, and business, Central Michigan University Occupation: Owner of a fitness and wellness center Why triathlon? "Because of the diversity in both the people and the training." On the Gay Games: "I want to have the race of my life. This means that I want to feel strong the entire race, and it also means not having any major issues to contend with throughout the race and feeling confident that I am doing my best and enjoying myself in the process. I want to have this type of experience in Amsterdam and hope to have a good race time." On dating: "I was in a five-year relationship. We got married two years into it but divorced about 18 months ago. I didn't date for about a year, but now I have started dating again.

Marck Welsh

Age: 25 Residence: San Francisco Education: BS, civil engineering, Purdue University Occupation: Civil/environmental engineer Why Triathlon? "I have a love/hate relationship with triathlon that verges on masochism. I love the feeling of fitness that arises from training and competing in the sport. I love the camaraderie of triathletes. The masochistic part arises from overcoming the pain. Nothing can compare to the cramping that sets in during a 26-mile mn immediately after bicycling 112 miles, as well as the mental focus it takes to maintain your performance." On finding Mr. Rights: "The majority of my time is focused on athletics, so my expectations are not that high--not that. I'm closed to the idea. But until it happens I'll probably continue having hopeless crashes out on straight male swimmers." On homophobia: "It's disappointing that discrimination is still legal in many states. Battling the fears of the populous will take an overwhelmingly long battle of exposure for us to conquer those fears. I hope to be a part of that battle by being an openly gay professional athlete."

TRACK & FIELD

C. Eileen Lynch

Age: 37 Residence: Ypsilanti, Mich. Education: BA, Social Work, Eastern Michigan University Occupation: Massage therapist Why running? "It tests my endurance and keeps me sane," says Lynch, adding, "I have a tom ligament from a softball injury, so I need to keep my muscles in shape." On the Gay "I've been running seriously for about one year, and I croft wait to be among runners from all over the world, sharing the day and the sweat!" On love: "I'm in a relationship [with Ann-Margaret Giovino, see page 82], but I've been exploring nonmonogamy for nine years. My choice to be in a relationship with more than one girlfriend allows me to set free some of my fantasies and enjoy life to its fullest. I appreciate the freedom we all share as individuals and respect file needs of myself and the women I'm involved with."

Donna Skelcy

Age: 41 Residence: Huntington Woods, Mich. Education: JD, Detroit College of Law; BA, University of Michigan Occupation: Practiced law for 12 years, currently a team manager for an insurance company Why running? remained "Initially, I ran to lose weight," says Skelcy. "But as I began to increase my mileage, I noticed that I felt terrific." On the Gay Games: "I like to race the clock, and I look forward to beating last year's personal best time in the 5-kilometer race, which was 24:36."

Martin Jones

Age: 55 Residence: Sonoma, Calif. Occupation: Goldsmith Why runnings? "I was genetically engineered to be a runner," says Jones. "Long legs, narrow hips, light skeleton. Running energizes me and keeps me looking youthful. It also helps me socialize with men of all ages--kids to grandfathers, It gets me outdoors every day and keeps me in touch with the seasons." On coming out: "I started coming out at age 46. I got divorced in 1994 (the most difficult thing I ever did in my life), but I am great friends with my ex, who lives two blocks away front me." On the Gay Games: "I hope to accomplish a decent finish the 10,000-meter race (under 38 minutes) and a top finish in my age group (55--59) in the marathon. By participating in the games, I hope to make my coming out even more public."

John Soto

Age: 34 Residence: New York City Education: High school Occupation: Driver for a medical supply company Why running? "I started running casually three years ago, after the death of my mother," says Soto. "Then it became serious. I started running competitively. My first marathon was in 1995 in New York State, and subsequently I have run marathons both in the United States and in foreign countries. I love the sport. It's a high." On coming out: "I came out in 1986, after the death (from AIDS complications) of my gay brother. I recently discovered that my father is also gay." On the Gay Games: "I aim to run my fastest marathon yet. I hope to break three hours." What's on his mind? "When considering the most important issues to the gay and lesbian community, the ongoing fight to cure AIDS is most important. A more tolerant society is also needed, along with more gay candidates in government to represent us."

Andrew Gonzalez

Age: 32 Residence: Pasadena, Calif. Education: BA, Physical Education, (California State. University, Los Angeles Occupation: Public relations/marketing Why running? "I began when I was 12 years old and continued through to the college/NCAA level," says Gonzalez, who adds that he stumbled into the sport by default. "Originally, I was a gymnast. But my family moved, and the new friends I made were on the track team. So I joined, and I haven't stopped running since--14 years." On coming out: "I came out when I was 24 years old. I was afraid to do so in college because I knew of no openly gay athletes. I wanted to run at the Vancouver Gay Games but was afraid that someone might recognize my name from school. I've pondered this for eight years, and now it is time I do it!" On the Gay Games: "My mare objective is to simply compete. Of course, I'd like to medal, but I accept the fact that I'm not in elite shape anymore."

Reggie Snowden

Age: 33 Residence: San Francisco Education: Yuba Community College Occupation: Retail Management Why running? "Growing up in New Hampshire, I played football, baseball, and I loved bowling. As I got older I got into running. Team ethics are great, but when it boils down to it, I hated losing! If our baseball team lost because of an error made by a team member, there wasn't a lot I could do about it. In running, if I lost a race, I knew it was because of me, and I was willing to do whatever it took to win next time." On the 1994 New York Gay Games: "It was the most exciting time of my life. Outside of the competition, there were athletes from every level sharing the bond of athleticism. My personal reason for going was to run some respectable times and to show the world that there are gay athletes in strong numbers pushing each other to the level of excellence." On coming out "Having come out in college, I found that some straight males hated getting beaten by someone gay. More books should be written on being gay and being an athlete."

Catherine Herne

Age: 25 Residence: Ann Arbor, Mich. Education: Graduate student in applied physics, University of Michigan; Bryn Mawr College Why running? "It's a great physical challenge and gives me a goal to work toward," says Herne. "I love to go for long runs, feel the smoothness of my legs and body working together, and be outdoors." Other interests: "Along with running the marathon at the Gay Games, I'll be participating in the advanced women's kata (karate) competition. Karate has been a source of strength, peace, challenge, and community since I started at the age of 11. I love the physical expression of power, the beauty of the art, and the way it combines my spirit and the spirit of the world around me." On coming out: "I have been aware and comfortable with my sexuality since I was 11 or 12." On relationships: I am involved with a woman, and I am happy with the friendship, warmth, and support that I have with her. But: I don't see being in a relationship as essential to my well-being."

Pat Precin

Age: 39 Residence: Guttenberg, N.J. Education: MS, Biophysics, Downstate Medical Center, BS, Psychology, Western Illinois University; BS, Occupational Therapy, Slam University of New York, Health Science Center at Brooklyn Occupation: Occupational therapist Why running? "I feel so good about myself when I run," says Precin, who adds that she began to mn after her long-term gay relationship dissolved. "I needed to do something for myself." On the thrill of it all: "I love the smell of my sneakers; the jokes told while racing with a long distance partner (by mile 30 they are all about bodily functions); running on a scorching hot day, up and down the hills of Amish farmland, straight into ice-cold waterfalls; and going into survival mode, pushing my body and spirit past anything that resembles humanness." On the Gay Games: "I look forward to meeting athletes from all over the world, to learn about their cultures and how it is for them living in more repressed countries, and to share in the excitement of celebrating personal freedom and happiness."

MARTIAL ARTS & JUDO

Lauren Wheeler

Age: 36 Residence: Washington, D.C. Education: BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison Occupation: Landscape designer Why martial arts? "In 1984 a friend of mine suggested that I join her at her first karate class. I had recently come out, and file `budding baby butch' factor--coupled with a healthy dose of newfound feminist anger--made it appealing to think I might actually learn how to punch and kick." Emphasis on the art: "Although I went into the martial arts with great anger, I have emerged with great love and compassion. It's more than just a sport. It's an integration of mind, body, and spirit. We practice moves that are ancient and have their roots in spiritual practices and meditation. Therefore, the art can be used as a path of spirituality."

David Lebovitz

Age: 38 Residence: San Francisco Education: BS, Ithaca College Occupation: Pastry chef Why martial arts? "I'm not really a team player. And the martial arts are not a vanity exercise; they force you to look within and examine yourself and your ego, mad they keep your competitive and aggressive spirit in check." On the Gay Games: "Because I have two black belts, I will primarily be acting as a judge and referee in Amsterdam. I love the camaraderie of being in a room full of dedicated martial artists, many of whom have never practiced with others who are gay. It's very powerful."

Carol Rosenfeld

Age: 44 Residence: New York City Education: JD, Brooklyn Law School Occupation: Contracts attorney for a nonprofit foundation and cochairwoman at Our Own Write, a literary program at New York's Lesbian and Gay Community Center. Why martial arts? "I think the martial arts chose me. Although I'm not very good at it and am constantly frustrated because I'm not very good at it, I keep doing it anyway. The frustration that comes out of the physical challenges becomes an opportunity to have a dialogue with myself. Sometimes studying martial arts feels like an act of defiance because it goes against so much of what I was brought up to be. No one else in my family studies martial arts, so my identity as a martial artist is one that I claimed for myself." On the Gay Games: "I just hope that I won't totally embarrass myself."

Cliff Bailey

Age: 48 Residence: Tulsa, Okla. Education: BS, University of Tulsa Occupation: Computer consultant Why martial arts? "I started judo when I was 42 years old. At the time I didn't know why. All I knew was I had to." On coming out: "I was 36 and married. My parents' reaction was very negative. To this day I have very little contact with them. But I have a great relationship with my ex-wife and three kids." On love: "I've been in a relationship for three years. We had our commitment: ceremony in May."

CYCLING

P.J. Henry

Age: 26 Residence: Los Angeles Education: Bachelor's degree in psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; master's degree in social psychology, University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at UCLA Why cycling? "Mountain biking used to terrify me. But now that I've gained a certain control over my bike, I have, in a way, learned to become `one' with it. So when I'm cruising through the Santa Monica Mountains at sometimes insane speeds, it's like I've sprouted aluminum and robber wings. Sometimes I'm literally flying." On dating: "I tell people I date that I am `old-fashioned,' which means I like the idea of building a monogamous relationship. I want the American dream, to fall in love, get married, have a dog and a white picket fence, perhaps even a family. Being gay does not mean I need to adjust, my standards."

Carter Bravmann

Age: 35 Residence: West Hollywood, Calif. Education: BA, sociology, MA, architecture, University of California, Berkeley Occupation: Architect Why cycling? "The ability to propel oneself to a friend's down the street or across the Rocky Mountains is unique to biking. Mountain biking frees me to explore the incredible natural beauty of the region." On the Gay Games: "The thrill of being at the Games is amazing. But the thrill of winning is tremendous, as any past medalist will tell you."

Laurel Erickson

Age: 36 Residence: Ann Arbor, Mich. Education: Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Occupation: Teacher, University of Michigan school of engineering Why cycling? "Not unlike sex, in a bike race the body bypasses file brain and simply reacts--when you feel a break at your left shoulder, you're picking up and going with it long before you make a conscious decision to do so; when there is a crash in front of you, you've maneuvered your way around it before you've truly comprehended what happened. On a bike life is simple--your body becomes a machine. Screaming down a hill with your friends all around you brings back the days on your Schwinn with cards in your spokes to make motor noises." On her teammates: "It has been a lot of fun to coach the others and watch them get stronger, smoother, and faster. For this Gay Games, I'm more interested in my team, the Rolling Crones, doing well than in any individual medals."

Jorge del Busto

Age: 28 Residence: Chicago Birthplace: Puerto Rico Mislones, Argentina Occupation: Personal trainer and coach On cycling: "After winning the silver medal at the 1997 USA National Aerobics Competition, it became clear that aerobics are my first love. Since it is such an aerobic sport, it was natural for me to choose cycling as my area of expertise for the Gay Games. In Chicago I am recognized as a top instructor of spinning, which also helps my training. I very much love long-distance cycling throughout the Chicago area, which is still new to me and is in constant change." On discrimination: "As a bisexual man, I would like to see a world without the discrimination I sometimes see in both the gay and straight communities. While I am proud to participate in the Games, a part of me feels empty because of this division. I hope that the energy of love will bring us all together." On relationships: "Divorced from a conventional marriage, I am not currently in a relationship. But I would love to have a partner. To me, to give and receive love is one of the best parts of life."

Fast and Fabulous Cycling Team

Bob Nelson

Age: 44 Residence: New York City Education: BA, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; MS, M.Phil., Columbia University, New York City Occupation: Science writer, Columbia University Why cycling? "Cycling is one of the only sports with a built-in political agenda. Once you get out on a bike in traffic, you realize what an inefficient and dirty contrivance a car is. There's a T-shirt that says it well: ONE LESS CAR." On relationships: "My mom, who is 71, just started a relationship and is on top of the world. She asked me if there was anything wrong in starting over at 71. I said, `Absolutely not. Love knows no boundaries.'"

Jay Hill

Age: 36 Residence: New York City Education: BA, communications, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Occupation: Marketing executive, Meredith Publications; was executive director of Gay Games IV Why cycling? "If you don't get too obsessive, cycling is great because it builds your body and can be done both recreationally and competitively. Also it's a great way to meet other gay men--there is definitely the `eye candy' factor." On the Gay Games: "It will be tremendously exciting to see the growth of the Games since we hosted them in New York City four years ago."

Marten denBoer

Age: 47 Residence: New York City Education: BA, Calvin "College, Grand Rapids, Mich.; MS, Ph.D., University of Maryland Occupation: Professor: Professor, physics and astronomy, City University of New York Why cycling? It's an outdoor activity; it can be done with other people, both socially and competitively; and it's still mostly a struggle between you and your body."

Paulette Meggoe

Age: 42 Residence: New York City Education: Plans to complete bachelor's degree in psychology at College of New Rochelle (N.Y.) next year Occupation: Medical records analyst, North Central Bronx Hospital Why cycling? "It's stress-relieving, and it's a way to socialize. I also like its competitive edge." On coming out: "I guess I came out 12 years ago. I fell in love at first sight. I'm not in a relationship now, but I would like to be."

Alex Acevedo

Age: 38 Residence: New York City Education: AA, Onondaga Community Colleges, Syracuse, N.Y. Occupation: Theater merchandising manager; former gender illusionist On cycling: "Who would have thought this drag diva turned biker boy could make his dreams come true, marching in the opening ceremonies and competing in the off-road race at the Gay Games?" On the Gay Games: "I will have a strong sense of pride that I can achieve my goals by putting my heart and soul into something that I thought I was already too old to event try."

Mary Arce

Age: 37 Residence: Port Washington, N.Y. Education: Attends Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. Occupation: District engineer, Bell Atlantic Why cycling? "I've been involved in it from a very young age, because it's a great, relaxing, enjoyable sport." On being a lesbian: "My body works with men, and I've dabbled with them, but I love women."

Dwight Sholes

Age: 36 Residence: Portland, Me. Education: BA, international relations, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; master's degree, Columbia University Occupation: Vice president for marketing, AutoEurope Why cycling: "I love the thrill of going of fast speeds, powered only by one's own muscles."

Gerry Valentine

Age: 36 Residence: New York City Education: MBA, New York University Occupation: Marketing consultant, Lautman and Co. Why cycling? "I love the outdoor aspect of cycling. I love aerobic and endurance sports, and I like the fact that an athlete can participate in cycling either as an individual or on a team."

Maynard Yost

Age: 47 Residence: New York City Education: BA, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; MBA, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., Occupation: Manages financing and communication systems for international nonprofit group Why cycling? "It has always been my favorite means of transportation. That it is also a sport came as revelation." On the Gay Games: "What do I want to accomplish? Have fun!"

BOWLING

Michael Frantz

Age: 27 Residence: Chicago Occupation: Freelance event coordinator and decorator Education: Columbia College Why bowling: "I've been rolling the ball since my parents bought me a life-size plastic bowling set at age 2," says Frantz. "It involves concentration, focus, consistency, form, and just a touch of luck. I love it. But for me the biggest plus is that it's often filled with companionship and friendship." On coming out: "I first told my parents that `I like boys' at the age of 8." Health matters: "I have been HIV-positive since 1986, and I was diagnosed with AIDS in July 1994." On the Gay Games: "I'm grateful for my time in this Earth, and my achievement at the Games is accomplishment enough. But I would love to be graced with a medal, more so for my team of supporters at home than for myself."

Catherine Owen

Age: 41 Residence: Grand Rapids, Mich. Occupation: Residential support staff in a home for the terminally ill, including people with AIDS Why bowling? "I love it! says Owen. "I've found a sport in which I have steadily improved. That improvement, and the need to seek higher scores, has kept me in the game." On Gay Games past: "I participated in the New York Gay Games in the lowest division and placed fifth. At closing ceremonies I vowed to go to Amsterdam and be two divisions higher. That part of my dream will be accomplished in August; I will participate in the second highest division there." On this year's Gay Games: I'm going for the gold and a wonderful, funfilled time. I can hardly wait for opening and closing ceremonies." Dream weaver: "The Gay Games have helped me to develop and pursue a dream. In the course of following that dream, I feel proud, and I also feel that anything is possible. The scores that I have achieved, I never thought were possible. The scores that I have achieved, I never thought were possible before I started this wonderful journey." Personal best: "A 670 series and a 256 game." On coming out: "I came out in 1986. I'm not in a relationship, but I have some wonderfully supportive friends."

BALLROOM DANCING & FIGURE SKATING

Richard E. Lamberty

Age: 39 Residence: Oakland, Calif. Education: BA, Rollins College Occupation: Computer software designer Why dancing? "It's such a fundamental part of my life, I can't conceive of not dancing," says Lamberty. "It's as much a part of who I am as being a gay man."

Thomas A. Slater

Age: 38 Residence: San Francisco Occupation: Dancer/choreographer Why dancing? "I began to study dance in college," says Slater. "I've been dancing ever since, and I just don't think I would be able to stay sane if I couldn't express myself through dance."

Karen Peper

Age: 42 Residence: Berkley, Mich. Occupation: Clinical psychologist Why dancing? "I've always loved the grace of ballroom, but I assumed that, this sport was off-limits for me," says Peper. "I realized that even after 20 years of being `out,' I was still susceptible to limiting my choices because I was a lesbian."

Sue Gerrity

Age: 46 Residence: Berkley, Mich. Occupation: Management consultant Why dancing? "Occasionally, when Karen and I dance, everything is just right," says Gerrity. "It makes me want, to dance forever."

Team San Francisco

Steve Lukens

Age: 29 Birthplace: Bryan, Tex. Education: BS, Northwestern University Occupation: Business representative, Actors Equity Association

Jay T. Kobayashi

Age: 37 Birthplace: San Francisco Occupation: hairstylist and educator

Rick Sherwin

Age: 36 Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio Education: BA, Dickinson College; MSW, University of Maryland, Baltimore Occupation: Social worker

Louis Vachon

Age: 30 Birthplace: Quebec City Occupation: Figure skating choreographer

Lisa Labrecque

Age: 35 Birthplace: Lawrence, Mass. Education: BA, Tufts University Occupation: Self-employed publisher

Tommy Mullins

Age: 38 Residence: San Francisco Bay area

Steve Blumenthal

Age: 45 Birthplace: New Jersey Occupation: fund-raiser, The Hunger Project

Angelo d'Agostino

Age: 35 Birthplace: Chicago Occupation: Ice skating instructor

Don Corbiell

Age: 33 Birthplace: Calgary, Canada Occupation: Ice skating instructor

Sean Crowley

Age: 31 Birthplace: San Francisco Education: BA, University of California, Berkeley Occupation: Proprietor, Hayes and Vine Wine Bar

Kevin Yell

Age: 44 Birthplace: Leicester, England Education: MA, Theology, University of California, Berkeley Occupation: Minister

Michael Mansfield

Age: 40 Birthplace: Fayetteville, Ark. Education: Degrees in English, theater, divinity, and ministry Occupation: Minister

Laura Moore

Age: 42 Residence: New York City Education: Syracuse University Occupation: Vice president, garment manufacturer Why skating? "Actually, the circumstances of becoming a figure skater and my coming out are quite intertwined," says Moore. "I knew I was gay by age 13, but the frightening things I `learned' about lesbians scared me into the closet for almost 20 years. At 32 I was no longer able to live the double life of a closeted dyke with a husband and a house in the `burbs. My life needed changing, big time. I left my husband, bought a pair of skates, and came out."

WEIGHT LIFTING & BODYBUILDING

Luke Cottrill

Age: 42 Residence: San Francisco Education: BA, history and political science, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, Calif.; received teaching credentials from San Diego State University Occupation: English and history teacher, Hayward (Calif.) Unified School District Why power lifting? "Every time I lift a weight, I am beating my HIV," says Cottrill, who contracted the virus more than 15 years ago. "I'm asymptomatic," he adds. "I don't take any protease inhibitors, and I'm built like a Mack truck." On coming out: "It has not been easy coming to grips with my sexuality. It's a continuing process. I came out when I was 22. I went to a Christian college. I was attracted to men, but I lied about it until I came to grips with the idea of living in truth or living the lie. The truth wins out all the time." On the Gay Games: "I have a tough time with gay culture. I find it wanting in real meaning and purpose. But it's so wonderful at the Gay Games. The attitude is gone. It's a spiritual, positive, uplifting event. When I was at the New York closing ceremonies in 1994, I was crying from happiness and joy. Look at my picture. I am not someone who looks like he cries easily."

Ann-Margaret Giovino

Age: 35 Residence: Ypsilanti, Mich. Education: BS, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. Occupation: Administrative secretary, Washtenaw County sheriffs department, Ann Arbor, Mich. Why power lifting? "I like physical power, I like being strong and showing up where women usually don't. I like being stronger than my girlfriend, and I like the fact that my physic, al strength gains are parallel to my inner strength gains. They go hand in hand for me. Dedication, perseverance, and self-confidence are things I work on every day." On coming out: "I came out to myself in 1993, and had a few closeted relationships until I met Eileen [Lynch; see page 74] in 1996. That is when I really came out. I so want to be out and comfortable with it. I love being a lesbian. I try to come out a little more every day. It never ends." On love: "I have slowly grown comfortable with Eileen's non-monogamy. It's a real challenge. I took it on because she and I enjoyed each other's spirit the moment we met. I can safely say, after much searching, that I am monogamous and choose to be that way. Relationships are very important, to me. But I mean the right, affirming ones, not just any one. I've done that."

J.D. Basile

Age: 47 Residence: New York City Education: BA, psychology biology, Boston College, five years of medical school at Universite de Liege Faculte de Medecine, Belgium Occupation: Programmer/analyst consultant to Wall Street brokerage and law firms Why bodybuilding? "It's the yang to the yin to the yang of my cerebral work pursuits," says Basile. "It's a stress-buster and an esteem booster, and God gave me a beautiful body. I keep it in shape and enjoy it." Why the Gay Games? Reason #1: "To demonstrate to the world that neither sexual preference, nor age, nor HIV infection, nor medical and surgical events need interfere with a happy, vibrant and productive life. Carpe diem." Reason #2: "Acceptance. We need to capitalize on this moment in time to come out to family, friends, and coworkers. It can help them realize that they have always known many gays and lesbians whom they like, respect, and admire." On coming out: "I came out in 1973. It was rough on the family, especially my dad and his wife, who were Jehovah's Witnesses. They withdrew all financial support as I was about to enter medical school. I borrowed from a neighbor and went anyway."

David Lloyd Fagan

Age: 52 Residence: Pasadena, Tex. Education: BS, Southwestern University, Georgetown, Tex.; MA, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Tex.; Ph.D., Florida State University, Tallahassee Occupation: Teacher, Accelerated Center for Education, Houston, and Houston Community College Why bodybuilding? "It began as a means to an end. It's ended up as the means to a beginning. I first walked into a gym three years ago. I was seeking a focal point, mentally and physically. In fire preceding seven years I had worked through the death of my lover from AIDS. I needed to rebuild myself." On the Gay Games: "I hope to make the finals. I want to win. But by being a part of the Games I will have already succeeded. I believe, as Gay Games founder Tom Waddell said, `To do one's personal best is the ultimate goal of all human achievement.' When I arrive on that stage in Amsterdam, I know I will be able to say that of myself."

George Birimisa

Age: 74 Residence: San Francisco Occupation: Playwright; although he never finished high school (instead he joined the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor), Birimisa was one of the original artists of the gay theater movement in America. His earliest works, including Georgie Porgie, Mr. Jello, and Daddy Violet, were among the first gay-themed plays to be presented off and off-off Broadway in the early 1960s. In 1968 Birimisa became the first openly gay playwright to receive a Rockefeller grant, which went toward the London production of Mr. Jello. Birimisa's work has also been produced throughout the United States and Canada, and he was a member of the Playwrights Unit of the Actors Studio. He was included in the 38th edition of Who's Who in America and in Contemporary Authors. He is also the founder of San Francisco's Arcadia Bodybuilding Society. Why bodybuilding? "To help break the stereotype of the old gay man," says the playwright, a two-time medal winner in bodybuilding at previous Gay Games (gold, 1990; silver, 1994), who adds, "and to make inroads on ageism, which is so prevalent in gay culture. Even though I'm an old man, I love my young-looking, muscular body."

Clifford Ueltschey

Age: 38 Residence: Austin, Tex. Education: Attended Trinity University, San Antonio, Tex. Occupation: former HIV educator/information line coordinator for AIDS Services of Austin Why bodybuilding? "It's what's keeping me alive," says Ueltschey, who is HIV-positive. "The medicines currently available to people with HIV have been ineffective for me. My most recent blood work indicates I have a T-cell count of 10 (very dangerously low) and a viral load over 1 million (very dangerously high). But I'm still here!" On coming out: "I first came out as a gay man when I was 16 and as a person with HIV when I was 25." On the Gay Games: "I hope to accomplish my personal best in spite of all the limits this disease puts on me," Ueltschey says. "I also want to demonstrate that it is possible to create a muscular physique in spite of this disease and in spite of the very medications that are supposed to help."

Faith Sloan

Age: 37 Residence: San Francisco Education: BS, quantitative methods, University of Illinois; MS, systems management, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Occupation: Proprietor, FRS Associates LLC, a corporate intranet implementation company Why bodybuilding? "I started bodybuilding in 1990 after watching an event. I was amazed at the ability for one to sculpt every detail of one's body. In addition, I felt it would be a personal challenge to discipline myself in terms of diet and maintaining a structured, consistent lifestyle." On the Gay Games: "My goal is to bring home the gold, but I am also looking forward to the camaraderie and new friendships such an event affords me. To congregate with such a diverse gay and lesbian community on an international level is overwhelming. These are moments we live for and which can never be forgotten." On coming out: "Without much fanfare, I came out as a lesbian in 1984. Fortunately, my family and friends love and accept me without judgment."

WRESTLING

Rochelle Robinson

Age: 40 Residence: Northern California Occupation: Retired chef Why wrestling? "It's like a rushing river that twists through the mountainside," says Robinson. "I never know which turn it will take next. It's always fresh, exciting, and unpredictable. I love the force of that river and the struggle it sometimes brings. It always makes me challenge myself to the fullest each time I submerge myself in the water."

Tekla Balukas

Residence: Northern California Education: BA, Mount Holyoke College Occupation: Freelance editor Why wrestling? "I've loved it since I first started beating up my little brother (who now, of course, is six feet tall!)," says Balukas. "I love the physicality of wrestling. And I love the mental component. The strategies are complex, yet it: occurs at the speed of reflex, rather than that of thought."

Ross Schmidt

Age: 37 Occupation: Hairdresser/interior stylist Why wrestling? "Because it suits my egoistic nature so well," says Schmidt. "If I do well, it's me that gets the credit. If I fail, it's only me that gets the blame. So I try that much harder not to fail. Plus, I guess I'm a benevolent sadist at heart!" On the Gay Games: "I hop to achieve nothing less than a gold medal. I've trained hard as hell and think anything less will be a consolation prize."

Zeke Cessna

Age: 40 Residence: San Francisco Education: Palomar College; University of California, Berkeley Occupation: Finance management Why wrestling: "I look to the sport as an individual expression of guts and determination," says Cessna, who is HIV-positive and began wrestling only recently. "It instills the acceptance of both defeat and glory, while honoring that in your opponent."

John Almony

Age: 34 Residence: San Francisco Occupation: Customer service agent, Macro-media Why wrestling? "Because of the camaraderie and support of the members of the Golden Gate wrestling club. I couldn't have met a nicer bunch of guys. No cliques or pecking order. In a word: mature." On coming out: "I first came out in June 1993. I actually ran into my nephew at Hula's, the biggest gay bar in Honolulu. We both suspected each other of being gay, and we spotted each other and uttered the words you shouldn't say out loud in a gay bar: `What are you doing here?' We actually became closer after that night." On the Gay Games: "I'd be lying if I didn't say that I wanted to kick some butt and bring home a medal. It would be my gift; to those who have supported me."

Pete DuBois

Age: 41 Residence: San Francisco Education: MBA, The Citadel Occupation: Management consultant Why wrestling? "It's both an individual and team sport," says DuBois. "It's tough, and it combines one-on-one physical contact with tactical thinking and physical agility." On coming out: "I first came out as a freshman in college--with my roommate who had just gotten out of the Navy; and I still have a thing for those younger military-type guys." On the Gay Games: "As for expected accomplishments, of course I want to win; we've trained hard," DuBois explains. "But more importantly, it's the opportunity to experience personal achievement in athletics and team camaraderie that many of us felt excluded from in our younger years."

SWIMMING

Duke Dahlin

Age: 50 Residence: San Francisco Education: BA, physical education, San Francisco State University, MA, dance, Mills College, Oakland, Calif. Occupation: Student accounts coordinator, University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, San Francisco Why swimming? "I grew up on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii Swimming was a natural part of my life. As a family, we learned to swim for entertainment and survival. The ability to swim allowed us to surf the big waves on the north shore, to spear fish, to set nets to trap fish and lobster, then to haul the catch to shore. I specially enjoy open-water swimming." On the Gay Games: "I have been competing in the Gay Games since 1986 and have won about 25 medals." On love: "I've been in a relationship for 25 years. I met my partner while he was on vacation on Oahu. Our relationship has gotten stronger as we get older and wiser."

Lowell Tong

Age: 41 Residence: San Francisco Education: Bachelor's, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; MD, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Occupation: Psychiatrist Why swimming? "It's one of the few true sports where it's basically just the body as power source and instrument, with little extraneous equipment (just a tiny suit and goggles)." On the Gay Games: "As an athlete my position is that the Games must always be a top-rate competitive sports event first and foremost, with fun on the side."

Karen Sauvigne

Age: 50 Residence: New York City Education: MA, comparative history, Rutgers University Executive director, An Uncommon Legacy Foundation Why swimming? "I love the challenge. I love the sensuousness and mystery of the water. But I didn't love chlorine; I look forward to swimming outdoors in the summers."

Jessica Seaton

Age: 45 Residence: Los Angeles Education: BA, California State University, Northridge; degrees from Cleveland Chiropractic and Los Angeles Chiropractic colleges Occupation: Chiropractic orthopedist. Why swimming? "I started out as the slowest swimmer in the slow lane and now I'm a lot faster. I've made the top ten list for breaststroke in the short course meter season. With all that, competition is not nearly as important to me as the camaraderie at swim practice."

Mary Coffey

Age: 59 Residence: Point Richmond, Calif. Education: Degrees from Vermont College, Boston University, and San Francisco State University Occupation: Retired teacher Why swimming? "I love swimming and spent the summers in the water, and my eyes would fog up when I had to get out!" On relationships: "To me it can be very empowering to love and be loved--especially to get to the soul matter, which will take some deep diving for me and the person with me."

Paul Sullivan

Age: 31 Residence: Chicago Education: Degrees from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minn., and University of Miami Occupation: Teacher Why swimming? "Swimming comes naturally to me. I've been swimming competitively since I was 8. The sport continues to challenge me. It's a great cardiovascular workout without impact like jogging. It also helps to clear my mind." On the Gay Games: "At the Games I vow to swim my best. The experience of being with athletes from all over the world will be incredible. Just that I get to be a pan of it is a huge accomplishment."

David Ahlman

Age: 46 Residence: Walnut Creek, Calif. Education: BA, Willamette University, Salem, Ore.; MA, Monterey (Calif.) Institute of International Studies Occupation: International banker: Why swimming? "Whenever I am out of the water for several days for whatever reason, I feel so anxious to get back in. And when I do I feel so exhilarated. Whoever said swimming is a solitary sport was not a swimmer." On coming out and family: "I was what you might call a `late bloomer,' having come out in my early 30s. When I did, I felt completely at ease and comfortable, as thought I had been gay all my life. I was married to a woman with whom I had two beautiful children, a boy (now 17) and a girl (now 14). My former wife and I are still friends, and my children are `cool' with my being gay. They will be joining me in Amsterdam for the last few days of the Gay Games."

Richard Atondo

Age: 48 Residence: San Francisco Education: Bachelor's degree, University of California, Berkeley; nursing degree, University of California, San Francisco Occupation: Registered nurse Why swimming? "I enjoy swimming because it keeps me physically in shape. I have met many interesting people and friends." On the Gay Games: "What I enjoy most: is the camaraderie with thousands of lesbians and gay men who share common bonds."

Julia Applegate

Age: 27 Residence: Columbus, Ohio Education: BA, Ohio University; MA, Ohio State University Occupation: Instructor, Ohio State Why swimming? "It allows me to be part of a team yet to also compete as an individual. I competed in my first gay and lesbian meet this past October and was so excited to meet so many other dyke swimmers.

Richard Garrett

Age: 45 Residence: San Francisco Education: BA, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Occupation: Systems consultant Why swimming? "I returned to swimming 12 years ago as a way to quit smoking and have been training intensively for the past, four years. I love being in the water. My sport really chose me." On the Gay Games: "In the 1994 Gay Games in New York I won eight; medals, and I hope for success in Amsterdam, competing as a 45-year-old."

Michael Dively

Age: 59 Residence: Key West, Fla.; Provincetown, Mass. Education: Bachelor's degree, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.; JD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Occupation: Former Michigan state legislator and college professor, board member, Community Foundation of the Florida Keys Why swimming? "I started competitive swimming in junior high school but did not go near a pool for almost 30 years, until 1993. I love the freedom one feels in the water and the sense of trying to one's best."

Pat McGarvey

Age: Residence: San Francisco Bay area Swimming accomplishments: "As a member of the S.F. Dolphin Club since 1987, I have participated in numerous swims in the San Francisco Bay, including swims from Alcatraz, and Sausalito to San Francisco. In 1992 I fulfilled a lifelong dream and, as a member of an all-women's team, set the American women's team record for a relay crossing of the English Channel." On the Gay Games: "I hope to win a medal, but the camaraderie is why I participate. The Games show we truly are everywhere and everyone."

Randall Schiller

Age: 49 Residence: San Francisco Education: BA, San Francisco State University Occupation: Lighting, video, and sound designer for nightclubs On the Gay Games: "My support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sports programs began with Gay Games, working closely with Dr. Tom Waddell, and has continued ever since as a member of Team San Francisco, San Francisco FrontRunners, and a gold medal winner in swimming for San Francisco at Gay Games III. The Gay Games have been a highlight of my life."

Jon Bauer

Age: 46 Residence: West Hollywood, Calif. Education: DDS, Ohio State University Occupation: Dentist Why swimming? "I like the achievements I can accomplish on both a team and individual level. I also like the feel of water. It definitely enhances my spiritual well-being." On dating: "Relationships offer so much insight about us. They are a great gift. They also provide me with a great movie companion and a snuggle buddy. I can't find a better way to have intimacy."

Neill Williams

Age: 30 Residence: Washington, D.C. Education: BS, American University; MD, Medical College of Virginia Occupation: Outpatient chief resident in psychiatry, George Washington University Medical Center Why swimming? "I have met some of my closest friends through our love of swimming. But what keeps me in the water is the feeling one experiences after putting in hours and hours of practice and reaping the rewards by swimming a great race."

Daniel Veatch

Age: 33 Residence: San Francisco Bachelor's degree, Princeton University; MBA, University of California, Berkeley Occupation: Investment bank financial officer Swimming accomplishments: Finalist in the 200-meter backstroke at the 1988 Olympics and alternate on the Olympic team in 1984 Why swimming? "I began swimming competitively when I was 4, so it's been part of my life for as long as I can remember." On dating: "I am currently in a relationship that is very important to me with a wonderful guy from Switzerland."

Shawn Jones

Age: 31 Residence: San Francisco Education: BS, University of Texas Occupation: Clinical research monitor for a large biotech company Why swimming? "It taught me discipline while growing up which has ultimately helped me through school and into my career. Besides the fact that it's great exercise, I enjoy the whole experience of being in the water. When I'm swimming there is nothing else to distract me, and it is as if I'm in another world. Although I don't consider myself a competitive person at my job or in any other part of my life, swimming is the one area that brings out a truly competitive side of me." On being gay: "Being gay has never been difficult for me. The transition from my heterosexual life to my gay existence occurred when I was 19. I began dating someone who I was going to college with and it turned into a three-year relationship. Coming out felt like a very natural and wonderful process for me." On the Gay Games: "I am looking forward to meeting people from all over the United States and the world. I also would obviously like to do well in all of the events I'm swimming and bring home some medals. My partner of two years will be accompanying me to the games. He seems to be as excited about going as a spectator as I am about going as a competitor." On being unique: "One of the biggest struggles the gay community faces is its striving to be viewed like its straight counterpart. This is not going to happen simply because gays are not like straights. Gays have their own uniqueness which should be celebrated and accepted. Until the gay community realizes this, many of its efforts are going to be in vain."

ROWING

Priscilla Hoffnung

Age: 43 Residence: Boston, Mass. Education: Ph.D., clinical psychology Occupation: Forensic psychologist On love and teamwork: "My partner of almost 24 years is an excellent athlete. She had this fantasy that we would be teammates. We are a team. Without her, I'd be in a single and nm into an abutment on a bridge." On coming out: "Being an older girl, I lived before the women's liberation movement. The late '60s and early '70s were incredible. Being a lesbian then felt very special." On the Gay Games: "I really would like to achieve a gold medal, and I want all the girls to ooh and ahh over my muscles."

Linda Gavin

Age: 49 Residence: Boston, Mass. Education: Law student, Cambridge University Occupation: Former high school physical education teacher On teamwork and love: "I always thought I would be lovers with a teammate. In fact, I found a wonderful lover and soul mate. Rowing has made me a more disciplined athlete, and my lover is now my teammate. She has broadened my horizons immeasurably, not to mention my waistline. She's a great cook. Before her, I lived on Spam and beans." On the Gay Games: "Our crew will be in great shape in Amsterdam. I'm looking for medals this summer."

Carolyn Westmark

Age: 34 Residence: Boston, Mass. Education: BS, chemical engineering, MS, materials engineering, now working on MBA Occupation: Engineer Why rowing? "I was a varsity athlete in high school and a rugby player in college. Knee and shoulder injuries took their toll, however, and I resigned myself to minimal workouts until at age 33 I started the lifelong process of learning to row. I knew this sport `spoke to me.'" On the Gay Games: "I am training hard to race in August at Gay Games V in Amsterdam. I will be competing in the 4x, 4+, and 8+."

Joe Anthony Perez

Age: 24 Residence: Chicago, Ill. Education: BA, American School in Japan; MA in social work, University of Chicago Occupation: Director of alumni relations at the School of Social Work at the University of Chicago Why rowing? "Having done it for almost a year now, I love crew because it starts me off in the morning doing the right thing--taking care of myself. I love crew because it became the focus of my social life instead of the bars and the clubs." On coming out: "I realized that I was gay when I was a teenager living in Tokyo. My parents were the first people I told when I was 16 years old. I think that because my parents have lived around the world, they understand that people are not all the same, and they were able to readily accept me for the person I am."

Darci Mix

Age: 23 Residence: San Diego, Calif. Education: Working on BA at San Diego State University Why rowing? "As the daughter of former professional football hall of famer Ron Mix, I decided two years ago to use my fantastic genes on rowing for San Diego State. This summer I'm with team Boston and may return to Boston for school next year." On the Gay Games: I race in a 4+ and 8+ but will be with all Boston boats in spirit."

Jennifer Renaud

Age: 22 Residence: Boston, Mass. Education: BS, video production, Ithaca College Occupation: Plans to study law and mass communications Boston University in the fall Why rowing? "I love the beauty and the intensity of the sport. It demands complete and total teamwork." On winning: "I finished my college career at Ithaca with 10 gold medals, two silver, and a bronze. At the Gay Games I'll compete in the Open Women's 1x, 4+, and 8+."

Gus Elliott

Age: 25 Residence: Washington, D.C. Education: Degree in English and literature, Yale University Occupation: Network engineer Why rowing? "It was my first opportunity to get involved in a team sport. My parents were back-to-the-land hippies. I was home-schooled early on, and I never got in synch with school sports." On coming out: "As an athlete my coming out was just last year when I began rowing and coaching for DC Strokes, a gay rowing club in Washington, D.C." On the Gay Games: "In some regards the Gay Games will be my first major competition as a gay rower."

VOLLEYBALL

Morris Moore

Age: 37 Residence: Baltimore, Md. Occupation: Accountant Why volleyball? "For the exercise. And I enjoy being competitive." On coming out: "I came out of the closet after graduation from college in 1983." On the Gay Games: "This is my first time in Amsterdam, and I'm looking forward to meeting people from all walks of life. I'm also hoping to bring home the gold."

Jimmy Silber

Age: 51 Residence: New York City Education: BA, Syracuse University Occupation: Real estate owner and manager Why volleyball? "Although I started late in life--two years ago--I love the sport," says Silber, who lists his reasons: "the camaraderie, the teamwork, the quick pace, and the beautiful gay men I see on the other side of the net." On the Gay Games: "I expect to win the gold, receive international recognition, and make new friends."

Tim Devine

Age: 41 Residence: Washington, D.C. Education: L'Academie de Cuisine Occupation: Chef at Food and Friends, a service organization that provides meals for HIV shut-ins A little history: "I started playing volleyball in 1982. I competed in my first gay tournament in Atlanta with a team from Fort Lauderdale called the Sunshine Boys." On the Gay Games: "Amsterdam will be my first Gay Games. I hope to play well, strike gold, and have a good time."

Wally Kunukau

Age: 57 Residence: New York City Education: MA, Slavic linguistics, New York University Occupation: Managing editor, Family Circle magazine Being involved volleyball: "I began playing competitively in 1981 with the just-organized Gotham Volleyball League. In 1982 I founded--along with a group of other volleyball players from around the country--the North American Gay Volleyball Association, and I have served as treasurer, secretary, and vice president. I served as president in 1987." On the Gay Games: "I am a veteran of three previous Gay Games. In Amsterdam I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones--and finishing the tournament without any aches and pains."

SOCCER

Kimberly Ann Phillips

Age: 23 Residence: Ann Arbor, Mich. Education: BA, University of Michigan Why soccer? "I've been playing soccer for 15 years now. I can't imagine my life without it. It's a game of creativity and style. There are an infinite number of ways to use the 11 players on the field, which makes it unique from most other sports. It pushes me in directions I never thought my body or my mind could go, and it forces me to think on my feet." On coming out: "I came out to myself when I was 14 and to my family when I was 17 or 18. My parents were suspicious from the get-go, and they had trouble dealing with it at first, but they're totally cool with everything now. My girlfriend is always included and invited to everything my family does. Sometimes I wonder if my mom likes my girlfriend better than she likes me--just kidding!" What's on her mind? "The most important issues facing gays and lesbians are ENDA because of its impact on every facet of the gay community; gay marriage because too many people are denied basic rights because of their marital status; and gay and lesbian youth issues because young people are our future."

BASKETBALL

Steve Harrington

Age: 42 Residence: Lynn, Mass. BA, Bowdoin College Occupation: Computer software quality assurance coordinator Why basketball? "It's always been a large part of my life. My father and brother both played, and I was the captain of my high school team." On the Gay Games: "I grew up in conservative Rochester, N.H.--where football and testosterone were at the top of the priority list," says Harrington, who is HIV-positive. "It's become important to me to educate others about gay athletes and to break down stereotypes."

SOFTBALL

Melinda Daniels

Age: 35 Residence: Brooklyn, N.Y. Education: Bradley University Occupation: Project director at a medical communications company Why softball? "It's not just softball, it's fast-pitch softball," says Daniels, adding, "I like to dress up--not in slinky dresses or high-heeled shoes, not even combat books or tight T-shirts. What thrills me is athletic equipment: a helmet tight on my skull; leather batting gloves snug on both hands; buttonfly softball pants that bag at the crotch and squeeze at the knees, leaving deep creases by the seventh inning; steel cleats that crackle with each step."

CLIMBING

Erik J. Carlson

Age: 27 Residence: West Hollywood, Calif. Education: University of Minnesota Occupation: Engineer Why rock climbing? "I love climbing because of how demanding it is, physically and mentally. In climbing, you avoid the risk only by being sharp; it's a thinking person's sport," says Carlson, who adds these other reasons for his love of rocks: "It brings a person to some of the most beautiful and inaccessible places on earth; it inspires camaraderie between participants; it requires strong communication between climbers to perform safely." On coming out: "I came out to family and friends in February of 1997, when I was 26. I primarily came out via my Web page. All of the experiences were good. My one regret: Waiting as long as I did." the Gay Games: "I hope to win a medal--that's why I've been training five to six nights each week. At the very least, I want to do my absolute best. And I'd like to make lifelong friendships with individuals belonging to an extremely rare subspecies: the gay rock climber." What's on his mind? "The three most important issues that gays and lesbians will need to address in the next five years include: the search for the gay gene (this is number one for me, as a biologist); sexual fluidity (again, it's the biologist in me); human rights and marriage; HIV and breast cancer."

TENNIS

Lyn Zorbas

Age: 43 Residence: Los Angeles, Calif. Education: MA, Washington State University Occupation: High school and college physical education and fitness teacher Why tennis? "I love its fast and sudden movements. It's great to interact with your opponents. I'm also competing in the half-marathon." On coming out: "I came out to myself at 18; I'm coming out to the rest of the world more each day. Coming out as a teacher is challenging but rewarding. I help young people in their coming-out processes. Showing them pride helps me with my own coming out."

Lauren Gevurtz

Age: 39 Residence: Portland, Ore. Education: MA, public administration, Lewis and Clark College Occupation: Taught elementary school for years; now pursuing management position in youth services and recreation Why tennis? "It's in my blood. Many members of my family are avid players. It's high-energy, challenging, and gives me a sense of power and strength." On the Gay Games: "I hope to give all the level C players a run for their money, to have great fun, and to be pleased with my performance. No matter what, this summer I'll complete my eight-year goal of competing internationally in the sport I love."

Aldon Griffis

Age: 39 Residence: San Diego, Calif. Education: BA, biological sciences, University of California, Davis Occupation: Working as temporary legal assistant On his "I'm playing tennis and volleyball. I love both because there is no time limit, so if you persevere and play bard, you can turn around." On the Gay a Vancouver and a silver medal in New York. In Amsterdam my doubles partner, Daniel Laswell, and I hope to medal in tennis." On love: "I'm not in a relationship. My philosophy is, better single than dysfunctional."

Doug Robson

Age: 33 Residence: Oakland, Calif. Education: BA, history, Yale University; MA, journalism, Columbia University Occupation Journalist tennis? "It simultaneously requires calmness of mind and aggressiveness of body." On coming out: "I came out when I was 25." On the Gay Games: "I won a gold medal at the 1994 Gay Games. In Amsterdam I hope to play up to my ability, make new friends, spread gay pride, and have a blast." On love and relationships: "I'm in a three-plus year relationship; it's among the most important things in my life. I met my lover at the 1994 Gay Games. He competed in swimming, and he'll also be competing in Amsterdam." Our biggest gay and lesbian issues: "Marriage; civil fights legislation; workplace benefits for partners."

Rob Kelly

Residence: Beverly Hills, Calif. Occupation: Clinical psychologist and associate clinical professor in the University of California, Los Angeles psychology department Why tennis? "I love tennis because I get to be outdoors, I get a great aerobic workout, and I can compete as both an individual and as part of a team. This will be the fifth sport I have played at, the Gay Games. In Vancouver I competed in basketball, racquetball, and badminton, and in New York I played racquetball and table tennis." On Coming out: "Tennis actually played a role in my coming out because I met some of my best gay friends through the Los Angeles Tennis Association. Meeting other gay guys who were interested in sports made my transition into the gay community much more fun." On the Gay Games: "At the games I would like to reexperience the sense of international gay brotherhood and sisterhood that I felt in Vancouver and New York, and I'd also like to play some good tennis. In Vancouver I won a bronze medal in badminton and wound up dating the silver medalist from Germany. In New York I had a great time playing tennis with my last lover and sharing the experience With his parents, who sang at the closing ceremonies in Yankee Stadium. This time I'll be single again, so those silver medalists better watch out."
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes schedule of events for 1998 Games
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Aug 18, 1998
Words:10734
Previous Article:Rudy Galindo.
Next Article:Amsterdam: Europe's gay mecca.
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