The location is secured, the date is set and the guests are guaranteed to show. Now all that the Whistler 2010 Pride House needs are sponsors.
For the first time in Olympic history a host city will have a Pride House, an explicitly gay-friendly place for athletes and visitors — be they gay, lesbian, straight or other — to hang out.
Dean Nelson with Alpenglow Productions, which is producing the house, said it will be a great venue to debunk myths about homosexuality in sport.
“(Homophobia) is still really quite prevalent in the sporting world,” Nelson said.
“There’s only a handful of out athletes because it’s still scary for them. They don’t want fans … and their teammates to be making a big deal about their sexuality when it has no (impact on their performance).”
Nelson said the house — which will be at Whistler’s Pan Pacific Hotel — will be a “hip lounge space” and place of “celebration and moral support,” where visitors can watch the Games and access information about gay issues.
Dan Quon, president of the Team Vancouver athletic society, a non-profit that promotes gay sport and culture events, said Pride House is a “wonderful idea.”
“I think Vancouver has a chance to show the world it (has) quite a vibrant gay and lesbian community,” Quon said.