safe spaces

Hospitality + Horrors: Just How Safe Are the 2010 Olympics for the Gays?

Reading about how popular the gay hangout Whistler Pride House is, you might think the 2010 Winter Olympics is a beacon for gay-friendly sporting. But then obviously you didn’t hear about the gay Vancouver man claiming he was harassed and assaulted during the Opening Ceremonies, and how Olympics officials refused to help.

First, Pride House: Hey girl, cheap drinks for all you and your beautiful friends! Organized by Whistler resident Dean Nelson, Pride House came about after he realized the Olympics would conflict with the city’s Gay Ski Week, which he heads up. (And after almost being killed at Budapest’s gay pride parade, Nelson says he wanted a safe space for gay athletes, coaches, and fans.) And the venue has been well received by locals and the media, if attendance counts and worldwide reportage are any indication.

But none of that gay-friendliness kept Tyler Sheppard safe, he says. At the Feb. 8 Opening Ceremonies rehearsal (the same day Pride House hosted an opening reception), Sheppard says a woman claiming he and friends were sitting in her seats decided to go on a verbal rampage, calling his group “fucking faggots” and kicking him in the back. Attending with a friend from Chile, Sheppard says the woman grabbed the friend’s bag, threw it, and screamed, “I’m not crazy, you fucking immigrant. Go back to your country.” Justifiably so, Sheppard called the woman a bitch.

After reporting the incident to the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympics (and Vancouver Police), Sheppard says he has yet to hear back. And that if police were really interested in identifying the suspect, they could find out the name of the ticket holder sitting behind him, where the woman was actually seated.

For now, we’re just pleased (bad word choice?) reports of anti-gay violence are limited to one terrible woman. Unless, ugh, there are others?

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  • Bill

    Why can’t heterosexuals learn to fucking BEHAVE themselves.

    Jesus Christ, do we have to teach them EVERYTHING??????????

    And where is this heterosexual morality they keep screaming their heads off about?

  • Jaime

    i would’ve gladly been arrested after punching that fucking cunt in the mouth.

  • kevinvancouver

    well as a resident of vancouver and local drag artist I have no problems to date “knock on wood” struttin my stuff thru the west end admist the rabid Olympic fans ! Yikes and ya that woman in the above article sounds like a dumb drunk bitch that could use a hysterectomy compliments of one of my stilletos… peace bitches!!

  • Taylor Siluwé

    No. 2 – Jaime

    Violence is never the answer. However, in this case, she certainly would have had it coming. Though I wouldn’t have clocked her myself, I would have flashed you a thumbs-up for doing it as the cops hauled you away. ;-)

  • romeo

    Sounds like she was way drunk and disorderly. SOMEBODY probably clocked her before the day was done. LOL

  • Joseph

    Sounds like a failed attempt at creating some gay controversy. After an isolated incident like this we are to believe that the Winter Olympics are unsafe for us queers?

  • Speedsausage

    This is total manufactured controversy. Between VANOC, BC and the federal government $900 million dollars is being spent on security. The Vancouver Police, VANOC and the RCMP all have their hands full making sure nothing really bad happens (remember what happened in Atlanta in ’96). They can’t be wasting time with a simple drunk and disorderly when there are so many other far more pressing concerns.

  • Ken S

    I don’t think that reflects an environment that’s specifically unsafe for *gay* people; nowadays straight guys get called “faggot” by drunken shrew bitches too. I think it just says some people are assholes who automatically resort to using what they figure is the most offensive thing you can call a guy in our culture.

    Personally I’m curious to find out where the bitch was from. Sounds like an out-of-control tourist to me.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    These are horrible Olympics! An opening ceremony that looked like a Glee Club performance and a torch lighting ceremony with three out of four prongs. The Luge settings and ski mountain are dangerous – the whole thing is a fiasco (except K.D Lang who brought some class to this tacky Las Vegas show) Poor London in 2012 now that Beijing raised the bar so high, everything else looks like shit in comparison! Can’t wait until it finishes! Even American Idol beat it and that is on it’s last legs…

    The woman sounds like straight-up White Trash! She should be charged still. Canada can do better!

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