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Join Outsports Pride with LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans in Los Angeles, June 6-9, in partnership with UCLA and the Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and UCLA, two storied pillars of diversity and inclusion in the world of sports, will present and host Outsports Pride in Los Angeles, in conjunction with Vox Media, June 6-9, 2019.
Outsports Pride brings together athletes, coaches, executives, fans and members of the media for a weekend of camaraderie, learning and celebration about LGBTQ participation in sports. It will be held during LA Pride weekend.
The theme for this year’s Outsports Pride is “Inspiring Generations” — highlighting voices across the generations of LGBTQ people in sports, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which ignited the modern-day LGBTQ-rights movement.
As part of the Dodgers’ presenting sponsorship, the team will host a “field day” at Dodger Stadium Saturday, June 8. Outsports Pride Attendees will have exclusive access to the field at the stadium to play kickball, throw a Frisbee, soak in some rays or other activities.
“The Dodgers are very proud to be a part of Outsports Pride 2019,” said Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Broadcasting Erik Braverman, who will be a featured voice during Outsports Pride. “The Dodgers have a long and proud history of diversity and inclusion, and we are delighted to welcome so many LGBTQ athletes, coaches, sports executives and fans to Los Angeles and Dodger Stadium for a weekend of the celebration of courage.”
The Dodgers’ partnership with Outsports Pride continues a long-standing dedication to diversity and inclusion for the franchise that brought Jackie Robinson to Major League Baseball in 1947. The Dodgers have also built the largest annual Pride Night in all of professional sports, attracting over 7,000 LGBTQ fans and members of the community each of the last two seasons. This year’s Dodgers Pride Night will be held May 31.
Outsports Pride and UCLA
UCLA will host tentpole events during the weekend, most notably the Outsports Pride Summit on Friday, June 7, which will be held at historic Pauley Pavilion. It will be the perfect backdrop for the summit, which features community-building engagement and speakers including high-profile athletes, coaches, referees, executives and members of the sports media.
“We look forward to hosting the 2019 Outsports Pride Summit at UCLA,” said UCLA Associate Athletic Director Ashley Armstrong. “UCLA has been a longstanding leader on issues of diversity and social justice, always striving to create an inclusive environment. This event is a great opportunity to bring visibility to a minority group of athletes, coaches, administrators and fans, and promote the value of LGBTQ inclusion in sports.”
UCLA is the collegiate home of Jackie Robinson, who won varsity letters in four sports while he was a Bruin. A statue honoring Robinson’s iconic No. 42 stands outside the athletics department. UCLA also counts various out LGBTQ athletes, coaches and administrators as Bruins, including Kirk Walker, assistant coach of the nation’s No. 1 NCAA softball team, who is helping to host Outsports Pride.
Outsports’ 20th anniversary
Outsports Pride will also celebrate Outsports’ 20th anniversary. Outsports.com was founded in 1999 by Cyd Zeigler and Jim Buzinski. In those two decades, Outsports has been a beacon of hope for many, sharing the courageous stories of many LGBTQ people in sports. It has also been key in advocating for inclusive policies across the sports world.
“If any fag, punk ass n-—-r come run up on me, touch, try to touch me on the, all that gay shit, I’m letting you know right now: if I ain’t got my gun on me, I’m knocking you the fuck out,” he says, in the hate-filled rant first reported by TMZ.
Then Broner takes it one step further: “If I got my gun on me, I’m shooting you fucking face.”
While the video no longer appears on Broner’s Instagram account, some of his 1.1 million followers, among others, have shared it and tagged him.
According to TMZ and Yahoo Sports, this is part of an explosive online exchange between Broner and “ex-gay” social media personality Andrew C. Caldwell of St. Louis, who made a name for himself by claiming “I’m not gay no more, I am delivert!” Viral video of his “conversion” has more than 1.2 million views on YouTube.
Their feud has been escalating since Caldwell, who has 96K followers on Instagram, sent Broner a direct message. Broner threatened him for sliding into his DMs: ”[Andrew C. Caldwell] if you don’t get out my inbox before I punch the testosterone out yo GAY ASS,” Broner wrote to Caldwell. That post has also been shared by followers but no longer appears on either Broner or Caldwell’s account pages.
“I’m just gonna go ahead and say this, ’cause I don’t have time. I just posted a picture on my page of the block- I just blocked him, ’cause he needs some attention. Chile, don’t make me call May Floyweather. You have have not won since May of 2017! How dare you come to my inbox! All I said was, ‘Keep up the good work.’ Next you know I’m gettin’ a tag talkin’ ’bout, ‘Stay out my inbox!’”
Caldwell also claims he’s been meeting with lawyers to discuss potential legal action.
Outsports Pride will be held in Los Angeles, June 6-9, in conjunction with LA Pride.
Outsports Pride 2019 is the fourth-annual Outsports Pride, celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer athletes, coaches, fans, executives and members of the media.
The latest edition of Outsports Pride will celebrate two milestones. First, it is the 20th anniversary of Outsports, which began telling the stories of LGBTQ people in sports in 1999. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which ignited the modern-day fight for LGBTQ equality.
Outsports Pride is presented by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and parts of its program is hosted by the UCLA athletics department. UCLA will host programming in historic Pauley Pavilion. And the Dodgers will host a “field day” at Dodger Stadium, a unique opportunity to participate in a wonderful event.
The weekend will also feature prominent speakers and personalities in the LGBTQ sports movement.
Jacob Cornish is a junior diver at Texas, and he can be found on Instagram @Jake.Cornish. Kennedy Lohman is a junior swimmer at Texas, and she can be found on Instagram @KLo_74.
Kennedy Lohman reveals her experience as a lesbian swimmer at University of Arizona - YouTube
Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBTQ. Results are for competitions that took place Feb. 25-March 10.
Joey Bonanno(senior, Ohio State men’s gymnastics) tied for third on floor (14.400) and tied for eighth on vault (14.350) during Friday’s three-team meet, which No. 5 Minnesota won and No. 7 Ohio State took second ahead of No. 8 Nebraska. On March 2, Bonanno took fourth on floor (14.300) and 12th on vault (13.300) as Ohio State beat No. 6 Penn State 413.15-409.
Abrahm DeVine (senior, Stanford men’s swimming) and Patrick Jeffrey (Stanford diving coach) helped the Cardinal capture second place at the Pac-12 Conference Championships, which concluded Saturday in Federal Way, Wash. DeVine competed in seven events led by third place in the 200-yard individual medley (1:42.77), ninth in the 400 IM (3:43.42), and 10th in the 100 freestyle (43.02 seconds).
Jeffrey saw a men’s diver finish top two in all three diving disciplines, and Stanford freshman Conor Casey won the 3-meter springboard. A Stanford women’s diver finished top three in all three competitions led by Mia Paulsen’s platform title, which helped the Stanford women capture the Pac-12 Conference Championships team title.
Taylor Emery (senior, Virginia Tech women’s basketball) scored 35 points, the fourth-highest point total in ACC women’s basketball tournament history, during the Hokies’ 80-79 overtime loss to Clemson in the tournament’s second round on March 7. “[I am] a senior, and we needed this game,” Emery told The Roanoke Times. “I told them that I’m going to carry us, so get me the ball and I’ll make it happen.” Virginia Tech (20-11 overall, 6-10 ACC) went 3-1 the last two weeks. Virginia Tech wasn’t selected for the NCAA tournament but hosts the Furman Paladins in the NIT Thursday, March 21.
On March 5, Emery received All-ACC First Team honors, the first time a Virginia Tech women’s basketball player has received the honor.
Eric Holley (senior, Oklahoma men’s gymnastics) took ninth on vault (14.100) to help No. 1-ranked Oklahoma beat No. 5 Illinois 425.7-415.7 on Saturday in Norman, Okla. Holley was recognized after the meet as part of Senior Day festivities.
Bree Horrocks (redshirt senior, Vanderbilt women’s basketball), Stephanie White (head coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) and Kelly Komara (assistant coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) ended the season with a 74-57 loss to Alabama in the SEC Tournament on March 6. Vanderbilt finished 7-23 overall.
Sam Lewis (sophomore, Southern California men’s volleyball) recorded four kills, four blocks and three aces in a five-set win against Penn State on Friday. The No. 11-ranked Trojans went 4-0 the last two weeks.
Justice Lord (senior, Barton men’s volleyball) recorded six kills and four blocks in a four-set win against Belmont Abbey on March 1.
Ben Magliato (senior, Northwestern men’s diving), Jack Thorne (senior, men’s swimming) and Jesse Moore (assistant coach, Minnesota men’s swimming) took part in the Big Ten Conference Championships in Iowa City, Iowa, from Feb. 27 to March 2.
Magliato finished 21st on 3-meter (319.2), 22nd on platform (291.3) and 27th on 1-meter (289.85). Thorne tied for 12th in the 200-yard backstroke (1 minute, 44.39 seconds) and took 24th in the 100 backstroke (48.25) with a 69th place in the 50 freestyle (21.09 seconds). Northwestern came in ninth and Minnesota was fifth in the team standings.
Charlie Minns(junior, Princeton men’s diving) helped the Tigers take second at the Ivy League Championships, which took place Feb. 27 to March 2 in Providence, R.I. He came in third on 1-meter springboard (316.25) and sixth on 3-meter (311).
Ryan Russi (senior, Wyoming men’s diving) helped the Cowboys finish third at the Western Athletic Conference Championships, which took place Feb. 27 to March 2 in Houston. Russi took second on 3-meter springboard (342.05, a personal record), third on 1-meter (297.0), and fourth on platform (280.4). During the platform prelims, he scored a personal record of 300.9.
Jenny Allard (head coach, Harvard softball) guided the Crimson (5-4 overall) to go 3-1 the last two weeks.
Lee-J Mirasolo (assistant coach, Harvard women’s hockey) ended the season by losing to No. 9-ranked Colgate 2-1 in a best-of-three series during the ECAC Quarterfinals on March 1-3. Harvard finished the season 12-15-5.
Colleen Mullen (head coach, Albany women’s basketball) guided the Great Danes (13-18 overall) to go 2-2 the last two weeks. Albany’s season ended with a 66-51 loss to Maine in the America East Conference Tournament semifinals.
Simon Thibodeau (head coach, UC-Santa Barbara women’s tennis) led the Gauchos to go 1-3 the past two weeks with the win coming 5-1 against UC Davis on March 3.
Jordan Gaines(junior, Alabama-Huntsville women’s lacrosse)recovered four groundballs in a 12-5 win against Montevallo on Feb. 27.
Mike Holland (junior, Felician baseball) allowed three hits and two runs in 2/3 of an inning pitched during a 24-5 loss to Florida Southern on March 6. Felician (3-9 overall) went 2-3 the last two weeks.
CeCe Telfer (senior, Franklin Pierce women’s track & field) finished sixth in the 60-meter hurdles (8.57 seconds) and 12th in the 200 meters (24.46 seconds) during the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships on Friday and Saturday in Pittsburgh, Kan. Telfer earned First Team All-American honors in her hurdles race and Second Team All-American honors in the 200.
Shawn Becker (head coach, Missouri Western women’s tennis) guided the Griffons (7-4 overall) to go 3-2 the last two weeks.
DJ Slifer(assistant coach, Texas A&M-Kingsville women’s basketball) saw the season end with Friday’s 74-51 loss to West Texas A&M in the first round of the Lone Star Conference tournament. Texas A&M-Kingsville finishes the season 9-19 overall.
Faith Carson (senior, Ursinus softball) provided a hit, a run and an RBI as a pinch hitter in Sunday’s season-opening 11-0 win against Roger Williams.
Alec Donovan (redshirt junior, Centenary wrestling) went 0-2 at the NCAA Division III National Championship meet on March 8-9 in Roanoke, Va. Competing at 165 pounds, he lost his opening bout 6-5 and then lost 11-6 in his second bout.
Lindsey Farrell (senior, McDaniel women’s lacrosse) scored five goals with one assist in Saturday’s 19-4 win against Frostburg. McDaniel (2-3 overall) went 2-2 the last two weeks.
Abram Gregory (sophomore, Vassar men’s fencing) went 6-2 to place 12th in epee at the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Championships on March 2. He came in 37th in epee at Sunday’s NCAA Northeast Regional in Poughkeepsie, N.Y..
JoAnnah Lim (junior, Alverania softball) started at shortstop in nine of 10 games the last two weeks. In one of her best games in that span, she went 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs in a 19-2 win against Wittenburg on March 4. The Golden Wolves (7-5 overall) went 6-4 the last two weeks.
Nathan Matthews (senior, Wittenberg men’s volleyball) provided seven digs and two assists in a five-set loss to Medaile on March 2. The Tigers (12-10 overall) went 2-3 the last two weeks.
Katie Poe (junior, Illinois College softball) started for the first time this season at designated hitter in Friday’s 2-1 loss to Hood. She enjoyed more success as a pinch hitter against Penn State-Behrend on March 5 when she went 1-for-1 with a game-tying RBI in the seventh inning to make it 6-6 before Illinois College added a run to win 7-6.
Felipe Oliveira (senior, Cardinal Stritch men’s volleyball) recorded 23 kills and 16 digs in a five-set loss to Carthage on March 6. The Wolves (6-11 overall) went 4-2 the last two weeks, and Oliveira had at least 11 kills in five of the six matches.
Nick Clark (head coach, Clarke men’s volleyball) led the Pride (9-9 overall) to go 3-2 the last two weeks.
Lexie Gerson (head coach, Harcum women’s basketball) ended the season with a 66-59 loss to Lackawanna in the Region XIX semifinals on March 2. Harcum finished the season 20-8 overall.
Layne Ingram (head coach, Lansing women’s basketball) ended the season with an 81-59 win against Kellogg Community College on Feb. 27. The Stars finish 9-20 overall.
Erik Hall can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HallErik or Facebook. If you are an out LGBTQ athlete or coach and want your accomplishments recognized, please email Erik.
Pedro Reyes and Evan McKenna met on the cross country team and hope their relationship is a sign of a changing South.
In April 2018, my boyfriend, Evan, and I set out to purchase boutonnieres for our first prom together.
As he drove us down the winding roads of our small Tennessee town, Morristown, my mind was swimming with questions about the upcoming night: How will people react to us being the first gay couple at our prom? Would we be better off not going? Will we be safe?
When we finally arrived at a local store, The Blossom Shop, my questions were answered by the lady working the counter when she asked, “What color will your dates be wearing?”
We hesitantly answered that we were each other’s dates. A moment of lingering suspense filled the room before she exclaimed with a smile, “Great! How can I help you?”
The following day, I received a text message from a local photographer who witnessed the exchange. He introduced himself as Eric McKinley and expressed his gratitude about our courage. He explained that he was a part of the LGBTQ+ community and that he wished he would have exhibited the same courage in high school. He offered to take our prom photos for free.
We found ourselves getting the pictures taken less than a week later by Eric in the quaint downtown of Morristown. I vividly remember the confused looks bystanders gave as we posed as a couple. Despite the unspoken disapproval of passing strangers, the reassuring presence of Evan gave me the confidence I needed to stand strong.
We were both on the speech and debate team at our high school and had a debate tournament that happened to fall on the same weekend as the school’s prom. Our coach, Suzanne Terry, told us we could have our own prom with the debate team. We decided that we would attend the tournament of champions and go to our team prom. The team was very supportive of Evan and I going together. Thankfully, this year Evan will be flying down on April 27 to attend the Morristown West High School senior prom with me.
In that moment, I knew that this was the boy for me.
I met Evan McKenna in the summer of 2015 while stretching before my first high school cross country practice. As an incoming freshman to the local high school, I was not acquainted with the rest of the team until a tall, clumsy boy stumbled over to me, saying, “Hi, I’m Evan! Want to run with me?”
In that moment, I knew that this was the boy for me.
The next two years consisted of fruitless attempts at capturing his heart, until finally, in the autumn of my junior year of high school, we started dating. Evan expressed to me that for his whole life, he felt like he was hiding his true self from the world, and I could do nothing but relate.
In 2017, the true colors of my hometown were revealed at a county commission meeting where a homophobic hate group proposed a symbolic resolution to ban same-sex marriage in Morristown. This attitude is not uncommon in a town buried in the heart of the Bible Belt where LGBTQ+ teens barely have each other to turn to. We live in a small town where on every street there is a church. I believe young kids in our community learn to hide themselves very well.
At the meeting, teens and many others from extremely diverse backgrounds banded together to fight against the resolution. Evan, the once scared and timid boy, stood proudly in front of hundreds of people and exclaimed, “Growing up gay in Hamblen County, I have become very skilled at hiding, but I am no longer afraid of embracing my identity.”
These words resonated deep within me and many others within the crowd. At that meeting, Evan and I came to the realization that we could become an example for the LGBTQ+ community in Morristown and the surrounding areas.
The commission voted that day not to pass the resolution. Everyone on our side cheered. There were news crews outside waiting to interview the speakers but we were told not to speak to the media. I remember at the end of that long day I headed home with a lot of feelings swirling within me.
A year later, as I drive down winding back roads to The Blossom Shop for my senior prom on April 27, I think back on these events that have shaped who Evan and I are today.
Although we have overcome numerous obstacles, we are faced with a new series of questions: What colors will we wear this year? How will Evan get home from college (he goes to the University of Notre Dame)? Will we still be the cutest couple at prom?
As a young gay athlete, I was lucky to find Evan when I joined my team but know others are not so lucky. Being on a sports team in a small town in the South, I knew that I had to keep my sexuality to myself. I felt trapped and felt like I couldn’t be myself. Evan hid every part of him that could make him seem gay until we came out to each other.
I told him many times throughout high school that I liked him and he responded, “thanks but I’m not gay.” One day after practice, when he was a senior and I was a junior, he asked if I would like to go eat. We met at a local fast food place and started talking.
I told him I liked him and he told me that he felt something for me also. We stayed there about three hours just talking about our lives. We couldn’t believe that we had been on a team together for three years and not realized we were meant to be. I knew that night that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this amazing boy.
As a youth activist, I plan to continue to fight for LGBTQ youth. I want younger kids to see that we’ve been through that and they can go through it too and hopefully we make it better for them. Running cross country has always been something Evan and I both deeply enjoy, but together we hope to make it easier for younger kids to be themselves and enjoy the sport even more.
Things have changed for the better in our community, but unfortunately we are still fighting to this day, and we will continue to keep fighting for not only ourselves, but the rest of our community. Even though Evan and I live 410 miles apart now, every time he comes home, we make time to run together.
We didn’t plan to become activists but after experiencing how hard it was growing up in the South, we knew that we need to tell our story.
I’ve been blessed with a platform that has allowed me to tell my story. Growing up in Morristown I felt disconnected and alone. I want no other teen to feel that way.
I’ve been given a voice to speak up and to fight for our LGBTQ youth. We are reaching out to the youth in my community to make sure they know they are not alone. We are working with Trevor Project on a project in order to help LGBTQ+ youth across the nation.
We didn’t plan to become activists but after experiencing how hard it was growing up in the South, we knew that we need to tell our story.
To the teens and countless other people reading this, if you ever need anything please feel free to reach out.
Follow us on our journey as we redefine the South.
Pedro Reyes, 18, will be graduating from Morristown West High school in Tennessee in 2019. He serves as the head captain on the speech and debate team and ran on the cross country team. He will attend the University of Alabama in the fall. He can be reached by email (Pedro.email@example.com), Twitter or Instagram (thepedroreyes).
Evan McKenna, 18, will be graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2022. He is a pre-med major and plans to attend medical school after. He is also a member of the Notre Dame liturgical choir. He can be reached by Instagram (evanjmckenna)
Pedro’s friends Karcyn Kowalski and Dalton Miksa helped him with the writing of this story.
Story editor: Jim Buzinski
If you are an out LGBTQ person in sports and want to tell your story, email Jim (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Sharron Davies are asking the International Olympic Committee for more research on the “residual benefits” of being a trans athlete
From across the pond comes the latest headline in the transgender inclusion debate, this time from the BBC: “Dame Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Sharron Davies to write to IOC over transgender athletes.”
Although Radcliffe has questioned whether it is “fair for a biological man to compete alongside women,” she has stood apart from Holmes and Davies in declaring: “Right now, transgender women are not a threat to female sport.” Radcliffe does believe, however, as lesbian tennis legend Martina Navratilova has claimed, there is a danger in a cisgender man potentially transitioning just to “manipulate this if there is an opening there to make money and win medals.”
Want to send the IOC your recommendation for transgender inclusion? Scroll down for details on how.
Of course, as Outsports reported on March 13, the IOC is already actively recruiting researchers into this hot topic. And the BBC echoed our report in noting the IOC is “expected to publish updated guidelines after a lengthy consultation with various stakeholders. They include the IOC medical and scientific commission, medical, scientific, human rights and legal experts, plus international federations and national governing bodies.”
The current level of testosterone allowed for athletes by the IOC is below 10 nanomoles per liter, but there are reports it may be halved to under 5 nmol/L, matching a level proposed by the IAAF. Despite widespread reports that this is already decided, that is not the case. The reason the level is significant is because, as Science magazine reported in July 2018, “more than 99% of [cisgender] women have testosterone levels less than 3 nanomoles per liter.” There are, of course, women who have naturally higher testosterone levels, including South African 800m champion Caster Semenya. She is not transgender and is appealing proposed restrictions to her competing without medical intervention.
Canadian world champion cyclist and transgender advocate Dr. Rachel McKinnon argues against any testosterone level restriction, noting that this is applied only to competitors who identify as women, and that “this approach already treats trans women as ‘really’ men/male, who may only become women after sufficient medical intervention.”
McKinnon also makes the point that there is “relatively little empirical data on the relationship between endogenous testosterone and athletic performance,” referring to the T-levels naturally produced by all human beings, cisgender male, cisgender female, intersex, transgender male, transgender female and gender non-conforming, to various degrees. That is essentially the same point Holmes, Radcliffe and Davies are making as well, but they and McKinnon come at this question from opposite corners.
Davies tweeted about their effort on Sunday, recruiting other elite athletes to add their names.
Hi @sharrond62@paulajradcliffe@damekellyholmes are sending a private letter 2 the @iocmedia asking 4 more research into residual benefits of transition in transgender sport. We ALL need a safe & fair place 2 compete, love more elite athletes: loads so far DM us 2add your name
This explains things really well medically & ethically from a highly qualified source. Males cannot races females fairly. PODCAST: Why sex-segregated sport matters https://t.co/eTFnXjzAuw via @FeministCurrent
The podcast she shared included discussion of McKinnon and her arguments in support of trans athletes. Former Canadian Champion and NCAA All American heptathlon athlete Linda Blade was the guest, and she called being transgender “a psychological issue” and said there is no such thing as a “transgender female.” She said a trans woman like McKinnon “is a straight-up man,” misgendered her, used outmoded terms to describe intersex people, inaccurately described IOC trans inclusion as a new phenomenon that suddenly appeared in 2015, and compared the inclusion of trans athletes like McKinnon to adding Formula One cars to NASCAR racing. She also criticized Twitter executives for banning her for a time for tweets that were judged to be transphobic, including calling journalist Jessica Yaniv “him” and screenshotting a Yelp review posted under her deadname. Blade filed suit last month over the ban.
Please guys let’s be kind, we’re all humans & life’s tough enough, tougher I’m sure if you’re transgender & /or transitioned. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes - my mum used to say, miss her.. thank you all https://t.co/vvuMYSlvNT
Thank you.. our letter has dozens of ex Olympians who feel the same way & everyone I speak to can’t understand why we are here! Sadly not thought out properly with credible medical research or at enough length but hopefully it will be now
Whatever the IOC decides, it is expected to go into effect for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. And just for the record, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to express your opinion. If you’d like to have your voice heard by the IOC, here’s how:
IN COMPETITION, I don’t come out to people. They see ‘Jaimi Salone’ on the flight sheet for the discus and that’s all I can expect them to know. If I have to explain my pronouns to every track and field official … there are just too many variables to people’s responses, and I can’t let that distract me.
So, I keep it inside.
But outside competition, I never stop coming out. It’s an every day, every hour process. It can be a one-time thing when I introduce myself, or it can be exhausting, constantly correcting classmates, professors or family. It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting. But my pronouns are important. It’s worth it to be addressed in a way that expresses respect and acknowledgement.
Salone’s column, talking about being genderqueer in sports and in life, is a powerful testament to the journey of LGBTQ athletes.
A Minnesota state champion in high school, Salone finished 13th in the Pac-12 championships their freshman year and 10th their sophomore year. If they continue to perform at this level, a top-five finish at the Pac-12 championships as a junior or senior is within reach.
Instead of copying and pasting various passages of their insightful story, we encourage you to visit Stanford’s website and read Salone’s story for yourself. It’s powerfully written and brutally honest.
However, we cannot leave you without sharing this. If nothing else does, we hope their intersectional identity drives you to read their powerful story.
I’m Black, I’m bisexual, I’m trans, I’m genderqueer, I’m low income, I’m neurodivergent, I’m able-bodied, and I’m a survivor.
That’s the word from Campus Pride, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a safer environment for LGBTQ youth on college campuses.
As these two notorious schools of higher learning celebrate making it to the Big Dance this week, they also have the dishonor of being selected as two of the 150 colleges and universities named to “The Shame List” by Campus Pride. This online index identifies the “absolute worst campuses for LGBTQ youth” in the U.S., according to the org’s website.
The alphabetic list includes every higher ed institution whose administration officially and openly chooses a policy of discrimination against LGBTQ youth, as well as those which have applied for or received federal government exemptions to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. In every instance, religious-based bigotry is part of the horrid history of these colleges and universities through their anti-LGBTQ actions, programs and practices.
And it’s not just Christian centers of learning, although the majority of colleges and universities on the list certainly are. George Fox University in Oregon is Quaker-affiliated; students at Yeshiva University in New York study Judaism; several institutions call themselves interdenominational or interfaith, but they are without doubt practicing various forms of Christianity to the exclusion of all other faiths.
When it comes to Christian schools, there are few more famous than the one founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971: Liberty University.
Campus Pride lists more than a dozen news articles detailing Liberty’s track record on LGBTQ issues, and defends its ranking this way:
“Liberty University has qualified for the Shame List because it has a long and well-documented history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, including placing students in conversion therapy; denying tuition discounts to same-sex and trans spouses of military personnel, despite offering those discounts to heterosexual and cisgender spouses; and a formal affiliation with the dangerously anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel.”
Campus Pride lists Abilene-Christian as having “implemented an aggressive, discriminatory ban on same-sex relationships for student employees (including same-sex dating) that has created an inhospitable, harmful climate.”
Yet despite their flagrant records for openly discriminating against students who are LGBTQ, Abilene-Christian and Liberty get a pass from the NCAA time and time again.
After all, as writers on Outsports have made clear:
“The NCAA’s own house isn’t in order. They are complicit with Christian schools that are often the proving ground for religious discrimination strategies that state legislatures borrow. NCAA member schools have been carving out pockets for legal bigotry as long as there has been a Title IX.” — Haven Herrin
Transgender wrestling phenom Mack Beggs is the subject of the ESPN films documentary, “Mack Wrestles,” that premiered at SXSW
His trademark bleach-blonde locks are gone, and the boos he once heard from transphobes have been replaced by cheers from his college wrestling team teammates.
Mack Beggs has never concealed his quest to wrestle as the man he really is. But for the first time, the 19-year-old transgender man is revealing what he endured during his record-breaking, history-making two years in the public eye. He is the focus of a new documentary film that takes audiences behind the scenes of his groundbreaking meets, as well as away from the mat.
“I still get upset about it sometimes,” Beggs told the Daily Dot. “Yeah, I won two state titles. But I identify as a dude. I couldn’t do anything about it. Technically, I did win but I didn’t win. It’s a fucked situation.”
While news coverage of Beggs has been rampant, often vitriolic, throughout his high school competitions, the wrestler focused on what he does best.
“During my junior year, my coach and my grandma were shielding me from a lot of it,” Beggs said. “I was so focused on wrestling 24/7.”
In 2017, he did step into an advocacy role, recording a public service announcement in support of trans rights for Athlete Ally.
Mack Beggs Texas Special Session Athlete Ally - YouTube
Seeing and reading what he was dealing with on the mat inspired the filmmakers to go deeper.
“We just felt super drawn to him and to this story,” co-director Hess said. “We felt like it was an opportunity to tell a very powerful human story about Mack and his grandmother but also to penetrate what the nature of this law is and to get people to question their assumptions about why certain policies and laws are in place.”
“Mack is a teenager who has been pulled into something so much bigger,” co-director Sanger told the Daily Dot. “It’s a reflection of what’s going on our country right now and how it’s having a serious impact on kids.”
He told Outsports last month he’s learned more life lessons in just a few weeks than he ever has. “I’m very blessed and honored to apart of such an amazing program,” said Beggs. “The mindset of this team is definitely a force to be reckoned with. No one is going to be ready for us. I’m excited to be a part of their storm.”
So we did a thing. We didn’t tell many people, but on March 17, 2019 @worlds_gayest_strongman and I got MARRIED!! To call this man my husband is a dream come true and he is and always will be my soulmate. I am so excited to start this new journey as a married couple and my heart has never been so full of love #husbands
March 17th, 2019 is a day that i will never forget. Today is the day that I OFFICIALLY MARRIED MY BEST-FRIEND! @worlds_strongest_gay you will always have my heart and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for us
Kearney, 27, came out five years ago and has been very public about his relationship with Aleixo, including their brief separation last year. When not competing, he is the head athletic trainer at the Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts.
He is also insanely strong. For example, in one event at the Arnold, he carried a device (called a yoke) loaded with 1,102 pounds and ran the distance in 13.2 seconds.
Kearney and Aleixo at the Arnold Pro Strongman contest in Melbourne.
“He said that when the metaphorical weight was lifted from his shoulders, he could focus all that energy on lifting literal heavy objects. And his strongman career blossomed. ‘It made me a better strongman,’ he said.”