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Sports: Bearse Becomes Gay Games Ambassador

Longtime film and TV star and Director, Amanda Bearse, has become the most recent Gay Games Ambassador, joining other athletes, artists and celebrities who are lending their support to the movement. The 7th quadrennial Gay Games will be held in Chicago July 15-22, 2006. Online registration for Gay Games VII began July 1 at GayGamesChicago.org.

Bearse, known around the world for her role as neighbor Marcy Rhoades D'Arcy on the 10-year hit comedy series Married ... With Children, was among the first Hollywood stars to come out of the closet. She held a press conference on National Coming Out Day in 1993—while Married ... With Children was still on the air.

'I believe in the life-changing experience that the Gay Games movement has fostered for thousands of gays and lesbians around the world,' Bearse said. 'Gays and lesbians have created their own families, their own communities, across many boundaries, and the Gay Games movement is an institution that has long been a major force for change.'

Bearse is a strong supporter of community causes, including the Human Rights Campaign, the Victory Fund, PAWS/LA and the Humane Association. In the past she served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Service Center.

'We are delighted to have Ms. Bearse join our family of Gay Games Ambassadors,' said Federation of Gay Games co-president Kathleen Webster of Philadelphia. 'When Amanda came out to the world in 1993, she risked her well-established career for the greater cause of civil rights. She helped set the stage for the coming out of other lesbian entertainers, such as Ellen DeGeneres in 1997.'

Bearse's TV acting debut was on the daytime soap opera All My Children in 1970. She starred in Married ... With Children from 1987-1997 and also directed more than 30 episodes. The show still airs twice a day in syndication in the U.S. and in translation in countries around the world. Since Married ... With Children, she has directed, written and starred in film and TV roles. One recent project was the award-winning Give or Take an Inch, a short film in which she plays a lesbian mom coping with her sister's coming out as transgender.

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Bearse joins a list of Gay Games Ambassadors supporting the Gay Games movement in Chicago and beyond including baseball star Billy Bean, Olympic gold medal swimmer Bruce Hayes, photographer Tom Bianchi, actress Judith Light and former US Ambassador to Luxembourg James Hormel.

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