CLEVELAND - The executive director of Gay Games 9 coming to Cleveland in 2014 issued an open letter to supporters Friday regarding recent incidents of violence in Cleveland's gay community..
"Hatred by a few individuals is not unique to a particular city, state or country," the letter stated. "Cleveland is no exception to that."
A man was beaten up outside a popular gay bar on the west side a couple of weeks ago. Police also said a group of juveniles threw rocks at customers on the bar's patio and yelled gay slurs.
Gay Games executive director Tom Nobbe said he wrote the letter to let supporters know three things.
"We are a safe and welcoming community, that these kinds of incidents occur in every major city. Cleveland is not unique in this. And that it's an opportunity for all of us as a community to come together, and I think that's happening now, to ensure that our guests will be safe and have a great time next year."
The Gay Games are expected to attract 30,000 visitors and $50 million to Cleveland next August..
One of the participants will be Frank Singley, a figure skater from Cleveland Heights who has already won two gold medals in previous Gay Games.
"I'm not going to live in fear," he said. "I will always look over my shoulder because I'm human. But I will not walk through this life with fear. I belong here."
You can read Nobbe's letter in it's entirety at http://www.gg9cle.com/