The Gay Games movement recognizes that gender identity is an important consideration for participants in the Gay Games. In order to best promote inclusion, the Gay Games has endeavored to develop and implement a gender policy that will allow for inclusion of every person, including those who have unique circumstances regarding gender, as well as a safe and fair competition for all.

The policy of Gay Games will provide competitive opportunities for women, as well as mixed-gender or gender-neutral divisions whenever possible.

All participants will identify in which gender they will compete, either male or female. Participants will need to indicate their gender at least twice as part of their Gay Games 9 Cleveland + Akron experience, as follows:

  1. While registering online: Each participant will choose a gender during the registration process. The participant will choose a gender twice during registration:
    1. A Participant will list his or her legal gender based on a government-issued identification with photo. Examples of this identification are a driver’s license, national ID, or passport.
    2. A Participant will list his or her gender in which he or she will participate in the Gay Games. 

At accreditation in Cleveland: Gay Games 9 will require all participants to present a form of government-issued identification with photo at accreditation for security and other purposes. For most participants, this identification will provide proof of gender identity.

Accreditation documents will indicate the gender of competition for each participant.

Transgender participants who wish to provide alternatives to legal proof of their gender may provide documentation, in English or in the original language with certified translation into English. For most sports the following applies:

  • A participant may demonstrate his or her gender by providing proof in the form of a letter or certificate from the participant’s medical practitioner that he or she has been undergoing uninterrupted hormone treatment for at least one year prior to the beginning of the Gay Games unless there is a medical reason that may have resulted in short breaks from that treatment. Any breaks in treatment should be outlined in the medical practitioner’s letter; or,  
  •  A participant may demonstrate his or her gender by providing documentation that he or she has been living as the chosen gender for at least two years. Proof may be provided by legal documents such as a driver’s license; evidence of employment as the chosen or self-identified gender; substantive personal letters, testimonials or statutory declarations; bank or brokerage accounts; or property-related documents such as leases, property titles, etc. Where possible, the participant should provide original documents or notarized copies, and should obtain translations of the documents into English when possible. Considering the challenges that may be involved in obtaining such documents in some countries, Gay Games 9 Cleveland + Akron will exercise discretion when evaluating the adequacy of the type of documentation provided for proof of an individual's gender. All cases will be handled with the greatest of discretion. The final decision about the participant’s gender status will be within the sole discretion of Gay Games 9.

Note that these alternate methods do not apply to all sporting due to requirements of a given sport’s sanctioning body. Participants should consult the specific sport webpage for more information.

For any question about Gender Policy at Gay Games 9, please send an email to