NCAA Inclusion Forum

The NCAA Inclusion Forum was in Indianapolis this year, and I was able to present again – last year I did a solo session, but this year I teamed up with the LEGENDARY Helen Carroll to present on NCAA Inclusion of Transgender Athletes.

These events are amazing because I get to meet a lot of people and help them create safer spaces for student athletes. But it’s basically a family reunion for me too, because I get to see so many of my favorite people:

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It was a great event – very happy to be a part of it!

Outspoken Interview

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 3.51.37 PMI recently did an interview with the fun guys at Outspoken – full posting below, and link to their great shows here!

OUTSPOKEN IS A LOCAL RADIO PROGRAM ON KYRS FEATURING THE UNIQUE VOICES OF 2.5 VERY DIFFERENT GAY MEN.

TUNE IN SUNDAYS

FROM 12:00 TO 2:00
88.1 AND 92.3 FM

 

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Compete Magazine

I was thrilled to see Fallon Fox on the cover of the January 2016 issue of Compete Magazine, and equally excited to see a few mentions about the GO! Athletes Mentorship Program:

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The article on page 22 is one I wrote for the June 2015 issue, before the mentorship program was launched. But we got a timely reference as well, with a big thumbs up:

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The mentorship program is up and running and we are thrilled with the response and support we’ve received so far.

And a big thank you to both Connie and Eric, who mentioned me in their columns!

 

PrideWorks 2015

prideworks_logoEarlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend PrideWorks at Pace University. I attended last year and was thrilled to be asked back by Anthony Nicodemo, who puts together a panel discussion for this conference annually. Over 600 LGBTQ and ally youth attended this year’s conference. What an awesome opportunity to let young people know they can be queer and be successful in sports!prideworks_2015

This year, Anthony, Derek Schell, and I spoke with high school students about our experiences as LGBTQ athletes and coaches. We talked about making the team atmosphere more inclusive, interrupting biased comments and actions, being a good ally, and how to navigate the coming out experience on a team.

A few athletes asked for help with deciding on a college – would their identity hurt them in the recruiting process? Would they be able to be out on a team, or would they have to be closeted? Derek’s story was helpful for the students to hear and weight the options. Derek attended a very conservative college and struggled for a long time with trying to hide his identity from his team and those around him. We discussed how students could determine if a college was LGBTQ friendly, and how to assess the athletic department and team cultures as well.

After the presentations, a few students told me they attended last year and returned to hear me again – which was very nice. There were plenty of new faces in the audience as well, and the most valuable part of the session for me was our Q&A, where the students shared their own experiences as an LGB person or as an ally. Hearing them talk about their experiences gave all of us on the panel an inside look as to what it’s like in high schools for athletes today.

We shared our resources, listed below for you as well:

GO! Athletes for support and community – GO! Athletes is the largest network of current and former LGBTQ student athletes

Trans*Athlete for trans*-inclusive policies – Trans*Athlete is a resource for athletes, coaches, and administrators on trans*-inclusive policies at various levels of play

Campus Pride for college assessment – Campus Pride’s annual index and sport’s index can help students make informed decisions about their education

You Can Play for visible signs of support – many athletes have made You Can Play videos

Big thank you to Anthony for having me be a part of this awesome event again!

BuzzFeed

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I’m featured on BuzzFeed right now in a story, “8 Transgender Athletes Explain What Fitness Means To Them.” Pretty cool exposure for TransAthlete.com and GO! Athletes – I think BuzzFeed is fun and has a huge audience, so I’m really excited. The article also happens to pop up with my photo in the thumbnail, so here I am on BuzzFeed, in today’s laugh of the day:

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Yes, sandwiched right between “custom anus sculptures” and “11 cats poised for world domination.”

AMAZING!

#StandUpDay G+ Chat

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On November 12, I took part in a panel with Campus Pride and The StandUp Foundation to talk about #StandUpDay, being an LGBTQ athlete, and how others can stand up to bullying.

Campus Pride explains StandUp Day: “StandUp Day, held annually on November 14th, is a day of remembrance, a time to StandUp against bullying, and a time to celebrate the True Champions in our lives. Ben Cohen is known as one of the world’s best athletes and founder of the StandUp Foundation. November 14 marks the day when Ben’s father died as a result of violence inflicted upon him when he stood up for an employee who was being attacked. This day serves to promote the vision of the StandUp Foundation as a memorial for Ben’s father and all who have been lost to violence and hate.”

The panelists were amazing:IMG_0501

Anna Aagenes is a community organizer, LGBTQ activist, athlete, and speaker. Anna is one of the Co-Founders and currently, the Executive Director of GO! Athletes
Chris Mosier is an American transgender advocate, triathlete, and speaker (I love that this was taken directly from my Wikipedia page!)
Lauren Neidigh is an NCAA Swimmer at the University of Arizona
Julie Shaw is the Women’s Basketball Head Coach at the University of La Verne
Monica Rochon is a community organizer, race and gender justice advocate, Tampa Bay Inferno Tackle Football Player.

We had a great conversation about how we and others stand up to LGBTQ bias in athletics, our personal experiences, and how others can stand up. Watch the Google Hangout (which was archived in its entirety on YouTube) HERE and see me make funny faces when I talk.

Resources listed during the end of the panel are below:

My website: www.transathlete.com
GO! Athletes, info@goathletes.org
Outsports: www.outsports.com
SPACE: http://spacestudentalliance.blogspot.com/
NCAA Champions of Respect document:http://www.transathlete.com/#!documents/cqh1
Breache the Silence: http://freedomsounds.org/
The National Center for Lesbian Rights: http://www.nclrights.org/
Campus Pride: www.campuspride.org
Campus Pride Sports Index: http://www.campuspride.org/tag/sports-index/
LGBT Sports Coalition https://www.facebook.com/lgbtsportscoalition
Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation: http://www.standupfoundation.com/

Download the StandUp Day action kit here.

How do I StandUp? I think one way is by intervening in situations and being an ally for other people. It’s often easier for others to stand up when something is happening than it is for the person it’s happening to – at least that has been my experience. I was so grateful for the times my partner or my friends stepped in to correct pronouns or ideas during the early phases of taking testosterone; it was embarrassing for me to make those corrections myself because I felt hurt. Now, any time I can do that for others, I do.

Other great ways to StandUp are mentioned in the G+ Hangout. Check it out!

How do YOU StandUp?

Section One Leadership Conference

I really enjoyed speaking with high school coaches and athletic directors about bullying in athletics earlier this week at the Section One Leadership Conference. It was my first time speaking with fellow GO! Athletes Board Members Anna Aagenes & Sean Smith (shockingly) and it was a great session. Amazing stories and amazing athletes – it was great to hear their thoughts and bounce around ideas.

I also got to sit in on the athlete panel and hear the stories of Nora, Derek, Mai, and Matt as they talked to high school athletes. There were also sessions on responsible social media use, NCAA eligibility, and overall leadership.

I love events like this where we can really get the buy-in of the people who can help create change in their schools. Shout out to Anthony Nicodemo, who does a tremendous job organizing these events.

Photo credit: Anna!

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