Advisory Board

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Launched Athlete Scholarship

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2004 Program

2003 Program

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The Gay & Lesbian Athletics Foundation is a 100% volunteer staffed nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is the first nonprofit organization to focus on the acceptance and visibility of LGBT athletes in the professional, amateur, and recreational athletics communities. The Foundation is a politically neutral organization free from party affiliation or bias.

“We want to give athletes an opportunity to share their experiences. Our goals are twofold: One, create a community of gay athletes who can communicate with each other regularly. Two, help cultivate an environment in sports in which athletes are accepted and respected without regard to their sexual orientation. In the process, we help to create positive role models for the society at large.” – O. Mac Chinsomboon, Executive Director

We live in a society obsessed with, and in important ways influenced by, sports. The implication for gays and lesbians is clear. Our full acceptance by the wider society depends in part on our making inroads into what until now has been one of the last acceptable bastions of homophobia, sports. We need your help to develop positive role models and heroes.

The Gay & Lesbian Athletics Foundation promotes acceptance and visibility of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) athletics community by the following means:

  • Provide education, mentoring, and training on issues of sexual orientation and sport
  • Foster support networks for athletes and athletic organizations
  • Promote positive role models and healthy lifestyles through athletics
  • Advocate inclusion, recognition, understanding, and respect among all members of the athletics community

We have the backing of a star-studded Advisory Board consisting of the who's who in gay & lesbian athletics and are recognized for their leadership and athletic achievements. Among the them are tennis legend, Billie Jean King; former NFL players, Dave Kopay and Esera Tuaolo; former Major League Baseball player, Billy Bean; Olympian gold medalists, Bruce Hayes and Mark Tewksbury; former pro basketball player and award-winning author, Mariah Burton Nelson; former National Baseball League umpire, Dave Pallone; author of Jocks/Jocks II, Dan Woog; the still competing three-time Triple Ironman World Champion and member of the USA Triathlon Team, Christopher Bergland, and many others.

Conference 2005 will be held in Washington DC (March 11-13, 2005) at George Washington University

Conference 2003 Summary (March 28-30, 2003), Boston/Cambridge, MA (MIT)
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 attracted over 300 attendees and 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.

Read testimonials from our past conferences

Conference 2004 Summary (March 26-28, 2004), Boston/Cambridge, MA (MIT)
Our second annual event, now named the International Gay & Lesbian Athletics Conference 2004, was again a stunning success attracting several hundred attendees and over 50 speakers. The conference had a greater focus on developing workable diversity and leadership programs for youth, high school and collegiate athletes. The GLAF/TPF Athletics Scholarship Fund was also launched at the fund raising dinner of the conference.

Our conferences have 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.

Read testimonials from our past conferences

Moving ahead, we look forward to building more bridges to other partner organizations, increasing the visibility of our Athletics Advisory Board, and expanding our community of influence to share the benefits with more individuals and organizations. We aim to develop Steering Committees in other cities and countries, build sub-committees to issue guidelines of responsibility, develop a mentor network, and foster the other objectives of the Gay & Lesbian Athletics Foundation. We hope we can continue to count on your support as we move forward into a bright future for LGBT athletes.

Read testimonials from our past conferences 




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