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Presents the 2 nd Annual International Gay & Lesbian Athletics Conference. “Taking on the Challenge …” March 26-28, 2004. Mission.

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Presents the 2nd AnnualInternational Gay & LesbianAthletics Conference

“Taking on the Challenge …”

March 26-28, 2004


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Mission

The Gay & Lesbian Athletics Foundation is dedicated to the acceptance and visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender men and women in the professional, amateur, and recreational athletics communities. The Foundation promotes through education, understanding and respect for all members of the athletics community regardless of sexual orientation. Adjunctly, GLAF promotes positive role models for society-at-larger.



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NGLAC 2003 – “Heroes Among Us”@ Boston City Hall & MIT


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“Heroes Among Us”

  • Our inaugural event, the National Gay & Lesbian Athletics Conference 2003 was universally hailed as a stunning success that has touched more lives and created a deeper impact than anyone could have possibly imagined. Our partners and representatives included the NCAA, Women’s Sports Foundation, US Olympic Committee, MIT, Sports in Society, Harvard University Spaulding Hospital, GLSEN, GLAAD, and others. The three-day conference brought together over 50 speakers, the “Who’s Who” of gay athletics and straight allies, to discuss and debate the issues confronting LGBT athletes and have started the working conversations to make progress towards accomplishing fair and equal playing environments for everyone.

  • The event was covered by a number of media groups, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, HBO Real Sports, Boston Globe, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other notable LGBT and mainstream press. During the weekend of pending War with Iraq, the event still attracted 300 attendees from the recreational, Olympic, professional, high school, and collegiate communities, with more than 20 colleges represented. We have received feedback from the attendees complimenting the professionalism and attention to detail, the content, the food, the committees, and the diversity.

  • The conference brought together people from all over the world with many different experiences, and from many different perspectives, with a goal of decreasing and eliminating homophobia in sports through galvanizing supporters of topics ranging from women in sports, gays & lesbians in high school and collegiate athletics, sensitivity training for athletes and coaches, creating and strengthening healthy alternative community institutions for GLBT athletes and the greater community, and identifying and developing leadership training needs in collaboration with and in support of the sports community at-large. The conference achieved the magical balance of networking, collaboration, intellectual discussion, debate, warmth, electricity, and its success sets a higher standard for our collective work.


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Statements from 2003 Attendees

  • “When you stand up here and look, at all of you, all of us here together …. Most of us have a shared experience in our lives … that each of us share a time in our lives where we felt a certain way and we felt different from everyone else and we felt alone and isolated and that were the only people in the world like this, and it’s incredible to see these rooms filled with people like me, and like each other – we have a huge family here.”

    • Mark Tewksbury, Gold Medal Olympian Swimmer

  • “This is just the beginning … I can see this conference grow to thousands of people attending …”

    • Robert Dover, Bronze Medal Olympian Equestrian

  • “I had to scrap up change from a jar to make it to take two buses from Philadelphia to Boston … I’m so excited to be here.”

    • Paul Farber, journalist and runner at the University of Pennsylvania

  • “This is the first time I’ve ever talked about my sexuality in a public setting and this is a very moving moment for me … have the strength now and I want to be a part of this [movement].”

    • Holly Metcalf, Gold Medal Olympian Rower

  • “… for us as a group here [today] to build that bridge … for those that are able to live openly and honestly, you’re the hero and you can impact people that you don’t even know and that’s how we’re getting closer to being everywhere and being accepted …”

    • Billy Bean, Former Major League Baseball Player

  • “… sports challenges the distribution of power in society -- hyper-masculinity has caused more pain, more oppression, more discomfort in this society, than anything. We live in the most violent society -- guns are a masculine thing -- sports are a masculine thing -- masculinity causes violence -- violence against men and violence against women!” “This [conference] is the first time men and women have gotten together to talk about these issues.”

    • Eric Anderson, sociologist and author of “Trailblazing”

  • “I’m here on behalf of the US Olympic Committee and it’s a great step for the organization to play a more active role with the [gay] community … At the US Olympic Committee, they are very aware that they have LGBT staff and athletes and we’re about producing the best athletes and how to get the best performance out of the athletes.”

    • Alicia McConnell, Associate Director, Community Outreach Programs, United States Olympic Committee

  • “I have not had such a positive experience in so long a time. The GLAF conference was indeed overdue, I am very glad I was a part of this inaugural event. Indeed, this is just the beginning of something remarkable.”

    • Chuck Hagel, hockey player and organizer from Minnesota


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Affecting Society Through Sports

  • Affecting society through sports

  • Sports---professional, amateur and recreational—permeate the world’s culture

  • A way for impoverished children to pass the time and adults to bond, and a tool of diplomacy

  • It’s big business: televised sports is now the biggest part of the entertainment industry taking in tens of billions of dollars a year in the United States alone, outstripping movies, publishing and music in revenues. Unlike the 1970s, when T.V. sports was pretty much limited to the weekend, sporting events and the programs derived from them (like ESPN) can be found on the tube just about any time of the day or night.

  • Like nothing else sports bring communities together, from small ones like Norman, Oklahoma (University of Oklahoma football) to big ones like New England (Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics) to even bigger ones like Brazil (the country’s 2002 World Cup victory unified its rich South and poor North). A survey by Deloitte & Touche revealed that New York area residents believed that professional sports played a positive role in comforting and unifying the country in the weeks following September 11th and has played a role in helping the country recover from the attacks.

  • From childhood to retirement, sports play a huge role in our emotional and physical well-being. Some of the most formative experiences growing up happen on a field, court or track. As children, the interaction with team mates is often where we all learn our social skills that are then refined through out our adult years. And, besides parents and teachers, no group of adults has a greater impact on a kid’s development than coaches.

  • Sports terminology and metaphors permeate our politics and culture. Need proof? Here are two examples. When a politician gives a great speech or a movie has a smash opening weekend, they are said to have “hit a homerun.” How many times has somebody told you to “get on the ball” when you’ve fallen behind on a project or misplaced something?

  • Sports is a platform for social change (e.g. business often purchase sky boxes; stadium naming rights; corporate sponsorships; etc)


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Affecting Youth Through Sports

  • For many, often the first type of hero or role model a child takes on is that of a sports hero, television show hero, or comic book hero

  • In children, involvement in sports has a very defining role, those that have echoing effects throughout their lives

  • If a child is ostracized from sport, anecdotal and documented evidence exists that there are effects throughout their life

  • Youth thinking is very moldable and often prejudices that may be encumbering in life are often developed during those formidable years


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Goals

  • Promote recognition, understating and respect among ALL members of the athletics community (recreational, high school, collegiate, professional/Olympic), including athletes, coaches, managers, owners, sponsors, media, and fans

  • Promote fair and inclusive environments

  • Eliminate homophobia in all areas of sports

  • Create a network for support, education, and mentorship for LGBT athletes

  • Promote and protect endorsement opportunities for LGBT athletes

  • Assist LGBT athletes to be the best they can be without fear of retribution

  • Provide access to the tools to develop local sports communities

  • Provide a meeting forum of exchange and learning for national, umbrella, and local sports groups

  • Promote athleticism and a healthy lifestyle in the greater LGBT and straight communities

  • Develop LGBT athletes as positive role models for society-at-large


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Wide Reach

“The conference isn’t just for ‘jocks’ but it’s for everyone and it’s about growing up and having positive role models, mentors, and heroes,” and Chinsomboon adds, “Could we save lives in the process and at least make the coming out process less painful? Consider stories like those of Matthew Shepard and how it could be different … very different!”


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Notable and Future Accomplishments

  • Partner include National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), Gay Lesbian Straight Educators Network (GLSEN), Gay & Lesbian Advocates Against Defamation (GLAAD), Outsports.com, Federation of Gay Games, Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, Women’s Sports Foundation, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, AIDS Action Committee, Federation of Gay Games, Center for the Study of Sports and Society, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and others.

  • Assembled a distinguished Advisory Board of over 70 well-known athletes, academics, coaches, writers/authors, and others respected in athletics (including Billie Jean King, Dave Kopay, Olympians, the Triple-Ironman winner, Eco-Challenge athletes, and others).

  • Successful 2003 conference; pending 2004 conference

  • Distributed over 10,000 pamphlets about the conference nationally and internationally

  • Financial sponsorship from a number of multinationals

  • Steering Committees in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Nashville, Dallas, and Colorado

  • Launch of a scholarship fund for high school, collegiate athletes and Olympic hopefuls

  • Creation of a network of corporations that financially support and promote health and wellness within the greater community


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Panels and Workshops

  • National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and Sexual Minorities in Athletics (SMIA): collegiate athletics: collegiate athletics

  • Federation of Gay Games (FGG): topic to be determined

  • Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN): high school athletics and coaches

  • Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF): Women and sports, gender equality

  • Outsports.com and Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD): media and athletics

  • National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR): legal issues of athletics, Title IX

  • Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS): sports academic research

  • AIDS Action Committee: HIV/AIDS and athletics

  • Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA): Psychology of sport

  • Professional sports panel

  • Panel of Olympians

  • Fiction and sports

  • Workshops: GLMA on health and athletics

  • Workshops: How to build a local sports group/team/league

  • Meeting: Project on Homophobia (training)

  • Meeting: Local sport teams meet to share and discuss learning

  • Meeting: Local umbrella organizations meet to share and discuss learning

  • Meeting: International sports governing groups meet to share and discuss learning

  • Documentary: Maybe the filming of a documentary? Open mic?


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2004 Program Features

  • Sports Leadership Congress (Fri) – sports organization leaders from around the convene and share ideas – over 50 organizations representing over 24,000 LGBT athletes; Opening ceremony

  • 500 actual attendees from around the world – “leaders and influencers”

  • Sports & Company Exposition (Sat)

  • Health, Fitness & Wellness Clinics (Sat)

  • Sports Clinics (Sat)

  • Keynote speeches (breakfast/lunch/dinner – All weekend)

  • Panel and workshops (All weekend)

  • Social activities and networking (All weekend)

  • Athletics race and competition (Sunday)


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Athletes and Youth Scholarship

  • In partnership with The Point Foundation, GLAF is launching the creation of a Scholarship fund for High School, Collegiate Athletes, and Olympic hopefuls.

  • Premise of scholarship fund:

    • Athletic, Intelligent, highly capable youths are turned away from their homes, abandoned by their friends, turned away by uninformed and unsympathetic school counselors only to be left alone to fend for themselves or are shunned. Sound unlikely? It happens all the time. Every day young people with outstanding athletic capability and leadership promise, gifts and drive are stripped of the precious tools they need to successfully start and continue their athletic training. Even in this day and age, it is possible to lose emotional and financial support from family and friends, counselors and positive role models when they are needed the most — all because an individual reveals his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • About The Point Foundation:

    • Founded in 2001, The Point Foundation is the first nationwide LGBT scholarship foundation granting scholarships to undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students of distinction. The mission of The Point Foundation is to provide financial support, mentoring and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    • In the academic year 2003-04, The Point Foundation awarded $132,000 in scholarships to ten American college students as an investment in a better world for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. In the previous year, $125,000 in scholarships were awarded to eight scholars--six of whom are continuing their educations, and two of whom have graduated with highest honors.

    • The Point Foundation offers hope, financial assistance and a network of individuals to support scholars who are physically, intellectually and morally capable of leadership within their chosen field of endeavor. These recipients are known as Point Scholars.

    • By identifying and supporting these scholars, The Point Foundation hopes to provide a greater level of acceptance, respect and tolerance within future generations for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.


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Athletics Card Membership and Affinity

A membership vehicle like HRC and GLAAD offer it’s constituents to support the organization, with the added benefit of members discounts on corporate products


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Verizon and GLAF Together

  • Supporting the Community

  • Corporate Social Conscience and Leadership

  • Innovators

  • Providers

  • Foundation supporter

  • Scholarship fund supporter

  • Membership card product sponsor


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