The Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) is a New England-based legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression. They were one of the driving forces behind successful efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont in addition to addressing a broad range of other discrimination issues. GLAD is now interested in taking on homophobia and transphobia in sport.
As a first step, GLAD is conducting an online survey of the experiences of LGBT coaches and athletes. They describe the project as “collecting the stories of LGBT athletes, coaches and allies who can shed light on the challenges and barriers homophobia and transphobia present. We’re also interested in your success stories and positive experiences.”
Last week I was part of a phone conference with Ben Klein, Jennifer Levi and Jamal Brown from GLAD, Helen Carroll of the NCLR Sports Project and Ted Rybka of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Sports Media Project (You might recognize Jamal as an out track athlete from Dartmouth College who is also part of Jeff Sheng’s Fearless Photography Exhibit of LGBT high school and college athletes). Our conversation focused on how each of our organizations addresses LGBT issues and discrimination in sport based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We also talked about how we can collaborate with each other to extend our influence and effectiveness.
It is exciting to welcome another major LGBT rights organization to our on-going efforts to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sport. You can help out by visiting their web site and completing their survey. Whether you are LGBT coach or athlete or a straight ally, if you have a story to tell, GLAD wants to hear it.
Welcome aboard, GLAD, It Takes A Team looks forward to working with you!