July 14, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 28
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2006 Gay Games will open with song in tribute to Greek 'Army of Lovers' - 'Beotia' celebrates ancient Gay history as lived by the Sacred Band of Thebes
2006 Gay Games will open with song in tribute to Greek 'Army of Lovers' - 'Beotia' celebrates ancient Gay history as lived by the Sacred Band of Thebes
CHICAGO , IL- Singer Matt Alber will open the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago performing "Beotia," an original song that celebrates the love of ancient Greece's Sacred Band of Thebes. The song is from "Nonchalant," the forthcoming debut album by Alber, an out Gay singer and former member of the multi-Grammy winning choral ensemble, Chanticleer.

More than 60 legends from music, television, film, sports and the arts will perform in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. Gay Games VII Opening Ceremony will take place on 15 July 2006 at historic Soldier Field, the home of American football's Chicago Bears. Tickets start at $50 and are on sale at

"Athletes were always the jerky guys I was afraid of in school," said Matt Alber. "I always felt awkward and strangely warm around them. But I think I was missing the point. I'm preparing myself to be awed by the army of athletes in Chicago. I hope to reflect in my voice their undefeatable courage as I sing to them in the opening ceremony."

"Beotia" is named for the region in ancient Greece where the Sacred Band of Thebes fought around 317 B.C. According to Greek historian Plutarch, the Sacred Band of Thebes was an army of 150 pairs of Gay lovers, or a total of 300 men. It was believed that the strong bond between lovers would cause them to fight even more fiercely than an army of one's family or tribe and that a warrior would rather die in battle than disgrace-or be disgraced in front of-his lover. After thirty-nine years, the Sacred Band of Thebes was defeated by Philip II of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great (a Gay man himself), at the battle of Chaeronea. When Philip saw the lovers dead side by side, he wept and said, "Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly." He then buried them with honor, erecting a huge statue on the site.

"We are thrilled that Matt is able to join us for the Opening Ceremonies," said Kile Ozier, Gay Games Director of Ceremonies. "This premiere of his new song, written in tribute to the famous Greek Army of Lovers, will bring special resonance to those first moments of the Ceremony, after this newest Army of Lovers has taken the Oath, together, on the floor of the stadium."

Matt Alber's "Nonchalant," will be available exclusively for digital download purchase as of 11 July 2006 and in stores September of 2006 on Tommy Boy's LGBT imprint Silver Label. "Beotia" MP3s are available for radio on request. Hear "Beotia" and three other songs from "Nonchalant" at


Gay Games VII Sports and Cultural Festival will take place 15-22 July 2006. Over 12,000 athletes from more than 70 countries will compete in 30 sports ranging from softball to dancesport, swimming to tennis. The weeklong event will include band, cheerleading and color guard performances, chorus, an ancillary arts festival, and a series of community-organized social events and parties. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 15 July at Soldier Field, the lakefront home stadium of American-style football's Chicago Bears. Closing ceremony will be 22 July at Wrigley Field, the home of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs, located in the heart of Chicago's largest LGBT neighborhood.

Global sponsors of Gay Games VII include Lexiva; Logo; PlanetOut/; Walgreen's; Q Television Network; Centaur Entertainment; Fleishman Hillard International Communications; Orbitz; WMAQ/NBC5; McKnight Kurland Baccelli; The New York Times; Olivia Cruises & Resorts; Windy City Media Group; Absolut Vodka; American Airlines; Athletico; Chicago Free Press; Chicago Sun-Times; Ernst & Young; Genre; GLAAD; Human Rights Campaign; Lambda Legal Defense; Sydney New Mardi Gras; Mate Magazine; Pink Magazine; Roosevelt University and more than 220 business sponsors.

The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Subsequent Gay Games have been held in San Francisco (1986; 3,500 participants), Vancouver (1990; 7,300 participants), New York (1994; 12,500 participants), Amsterdam (1998; 13,000 participants), and Sydney (2002; 11,000 participants).

The Federation of Gay Games is the international governing body that perpetuates the quadrennial Gay Games and promotes the event's founding principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best(tm). For more information, visit

Chicago Games, Inc. is the host of Gay Games VII and is led by experienced civic leaders from Chicago's business, sports and non-profit sectors. For information about how to sponsor or participate in Gay Games VII in Chicago, visit, e-mail, or phone (773) 907-2006.

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