Tom Daley, after winning gold at the Games (Pic: Twitter)
The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was a truly gay inclusive event. It opened with a man-on-man smooch last month and came to an end this weekend with a camp flourish.
The kiss between gay actor and singer John Barrowman and a dancer was purposely included in the opening ceremony as “this accentuated the values of Scotland and the diversity of Scotland,” explained the Games’ Chief Executive David Grevemberg.
In fact, the Games and its organisers were praised for making a concerted effort to be gay affirming in support of LGBT people living in commonwealth countries, 80 percent of which still criminalise homosexuality.
Scott Cuthbertson of the Equality Network told The Herald: “In no previous Games has the visibility and inclusion of LGBTI people been so high.”
Grevemberg added: “We have sought to use the power of the Games to change attitudes by celebrating diversity in everything we do.”
LGBT athletes had access to a “Pride House” where they could meet and get support during the Games. The venue, which had over 6000 people walk through its doors, was visited by Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, Nick Clegg.
He called for a “fair and open society both in the UK and abroad,” while addressing LGBT athletes.
The leader of the Scottish government, First Minister Alex Salmond, also made pro-LGBT statements during his visit to Pride House.
In a first for a host country of the Commonwealth Games, the Scottish government flew the rainbow flag from its headquarters for the duration of the Games.
“This is a simple but important gesture and act of solidarity with the millions of LGBTI people who still suffer criminalisation, discrimination and mob violence in four out of five Commonwealth countries,” commented LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell.
He praised the Scottish government’s actions, saying: “For LGBTI communities in the 42 Commonwealth countries where homosexuality is still criminalised, this is a significant gesture of solidarity. It will comfort them and, I hope, discomfort their homophobic governments.
High profile gay sportsmen also made a splash during the Games. British diver Tom Daley showed off his talent by taking home a gold medal in the solo 10-meter platform diving event on Friday.
“Thanks for the support everyone!!! So happy! #GOLD now time to spend time with my friends and family,” the 20-year-old tweeted afterwards.
Kylie Minogue at the closing ceremony (Pic: Twitter)
His boyfriend, Hollywood screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who attended the Games in support of his beau, also tweeted: “Congratulations @TomDaley1994, 10M #CommonwealthGames Champion!! #GOLD! ❤️❤️❤️!”
Daley and his diving partner James Denn also faced off against gay Australian diver Matthew Mitcham and his partner Dom Badggood in the synchronised 10-metre platform event.
In that event, Mitcham and Badggood won the gold medal, narrowly beating out Daley and Denn, who scored the silver medal.
The 26-year-old Mitcham, who’s struggled with injuries, said afterwards that he was reconsidering his plans to retire and that he would look at the possibility of training for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
On Sunday, the Games’ closing ceremony featured the one and only Kylie Minogue singing some of her biggest hits in a spectacular over the top show.
As usual, the 46-year-old gay favourite sported a series of glam outfits, including a massive feather headdress, thigh-high boots, and a pink corset.
The 11 day sporting extravaganza was described by many as “the best ever” Commonwealth Games.