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Respect Gaymes is an annual sporting event held in Berlin, Germany, with its chief aim and vision being to unite heterosexuals, gays and lesbians, in order to tackle anti-homosexual discrimination and prejudice. The event is organized by the 'Lesben- und Schwulenverband LSVD' ('Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Association'), Berlin-Brandenburg. Under the slogan of 'Zeig Respekt für Schwule & Lesben' ('Show Respect for Gays and Lesbians'), teenagers from schools, youth centres, migrant communities and the LGBT community compete against each other in the disciplines of football, streetball and martial arts. The main focus of the Respekt Gaymes is to create an opportunity for personal encounters within the framework of respect and equality.
The Respect Gaymes takes place during the second weekend of June, and marks the kick-off to Berlin's 'Pride Weeks', of which the Christopher Street Day celebration is the most publicized. Alongside the sporting tournaments is an entertainments program involving theater, graffiti, boxing, hip hop and street dance workshops. There is additionally a VIP football tournament, where notable individuals in politics, sport and culture participate to combat discrimination, and where numerous celebrities, such as the comedian Thomas Hermanns and entertainer Désirée Nick, offer their support to the project as 'Respect' ambassadors.
The patrons of the Respect Gaymes consist of the German women's national footballer Navina Omilade and the boxing champion Oktay Urkal. The Respect Campaign 2007 was publicly unveiled on the 25th May by the current mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, in Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Sports Park.
The Project's InitiatorsEdit
The 'Lesben- und Schwulenverband LSVD' in Berlin-Brandenburg is a regional branch of the non-profit, civil rights, self-help organisation for lesbians and gays in Germany. The main aim of the LSVD is to enable lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transsexuals to define their lives as they desire – free from discrimination, whether it be judicial or social, and free from hostility and intolerance. Thus the LSVD aspires for complete equality on all levels as well as comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation to guarantee the rights of all citizens, regardless of individual sexual orientation.
The LSVD also strives to strengthen the presence of homosexuality in the media, science and education, and to illustrate the diversity of the widely-misunderstood homosexual lifestyle.´LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg places particular emphasis on ‘family’ and ‘migration/integration’. The projects of Regenbogenfamilie (“Rainbow families”) and MILES (“Centre for Migrants, Lesbians and Gays”) are financed by the Berlin senate for education, youth and sport.
Recognition for LSVD's workEdit
The work of LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg has been distinguished on several occasions. In May 2004 the organization was awarded the Magnus-Hirschfeld Prize for its MILES project. In June 2005 the educational, emancipation and integration work of MILES was awarded the Rainbow Award. The Respect Gaymes was awarded the top prize of “exemplary” in the Governmental competition “Active for Democracy and Tolerance”.
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