Gay Games Brought Global Spotlight to Northeast Ohio in 2014

Rob Smitherman says the Games are a source of empowerment for the LGBT community
Rob Smitherman says the Games are a source of empowerment for the LGBT community
Featured Audio

Clevelander Rob Smitherman grew-up with a passion for basketball. But, he says, as a gay man, he couldn't find a role model in the macho world of sports. In the 1990s, things started to change --- especially when the internet came along.

ROB SMITHERMAN: One day, I typed in "Gay Basketball", and all these things came up. And I found a team, and they were going to the 1998 Gay Games.

Fast forward to 2014, Smitherman played in and was associate director of this year's Gay Games. He said it's still a powerful experience.

ROB SMITHERMAN: People are accepting you as you are. The first time that you feel that, it's so affirming and so amazing.

The event was held in the Cleveland/Akron area, this past August, attracting 20,000 visitors from around the world who spent over 52-million-dollars at local hotels, restaurants and stores.

Support Provided By

More Wcpn Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
Schedule
Donate
90.3 WCPN
WCLV Classical 104.9
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.