April 2013: An exciting month for GO! Athletes & The LGBT Sports Movement
April 2013 marked a very exciting month for GO! Athletes and for the entire LGBT Sports Movement in the United States. Two very important athletes came out as gay (first #1 WNBA draft pick Brittney Griner and later NBA player Jason Collins) causing a media frenzy on the topic of LGBT athletes.
Out and open: Brittney Griner and Jason Collins both publicly came out in April 2013.
GO! Athletes (Generation Out! Athletes), which supports and empowers student athletes who are LGBTQ, responded to various media inquiries also by issuing a statement on our website:
“…The cascade of male and female (former, current, and future) pro athletes that are ready to come out, will become part of the Generation Out movement for LGBT equality in sports, and there has never been a better time for organizations like GO! to work with and empower more young LGBT athletes to use their voices. We are extremely excited to continue this work with LGBT student-athletes and allies across the country…”
In addition to our own statements and blogging about pro athletes coming out, the voices of our GO! Athletes members and directors we featured in local, national, and even international media sources. For instance, I had the opportunity to do an interview with Fox 43 in York, PA the day that Jason Collins came out. This was just one of many exciting opportunities we had in April to get the word out about GO! Athletes and express our gratitude for role models like Brittney Griner and Jason Collins.
While we still have work to do in order to make sure student athletes feel safe at their schools, but we a thrilled to have even more positive role models. Gay youth who are aspiring to become elite athletes can look to role models like Brittney and Jason and think “it’s ok to be gay!” We are part of a very exciting, pivotal moment in history and out athletes can play a crucial role in helping to change our society for the better: Both allies and LGBTQ athletes can teach our peers to respect fellow teammates, coaches, and sports fans.