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New Website on LGBT Issues in Sport Launches on National Coming Out Day, October 11

PHILADELPHIA, October 10, 2012


New blog will be the definitive resource for research on LGBT issues in sport

Sport, as an institution, has historically been behind the times when it comes to issues related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. But a growing push for social justice in sport has begun to transform cultural attitudes. On National Coming Out Day, October 11, Drexel University’s Goodwin College for Professional Studies will launch a research and activism network, “LGBT Issues in Sport: Theory to Practice,” which aims to be the definitive resource for research on LGBT issues in sport.

The website will provide public access to research focusing on LGBT issues in sport, with the goal of turning theory into practice in order to make sport more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The site also will serve as a resource for sharing research that has been vetted through peer-reviewed processes to facilitate a greater awareness of work being done in this field and connect researchers and activists in order to impact public policy and education.

Founded by Dr. Ellen Staurowsky, a professor of sport management in Drexel’s Goodwin College for Professional Studies, along with colleagues from the Pennsylvania State University and Texas A&M University, the website was conceived of in response to goals identified at the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Sport (SOGIS) Conference hosted by Texas A&M in April 2012 and the Nike LGBT Sports Summit at Nike World Headquarters in June 2012.

“The LGBT Issues in Sport: Theory to Practice blog is an initiative that manifests Drexel’s aspirations to engage the public in informed dialogue to cultivate an inclusive, socially just community,” said Staurowsky. “One of our shared values as a university is diversity, the benefit of which lies in fostering understanding, respect and opportunity. We hope to achieve this goal, in part, through inspired and transformational research collaborations and projects such as this venture.”

More than 20 experts and activists from around the country have agreed to contribute regularly to the website, sharing their perspectives on issues that affect athletes, coaches and administrators at U.S. colleges and universities. They will make significant contributions to the dialogue around homophobia and sexual prejudice in college sport with the ultimate goal of eradicating the hostile climate for sexual minorities in sport within the next five years.

Expert contributors include:

  • Heather Barber, associate professor, sport studies, University of New Hampshire
  • Erin Buzuvis, associate professor, Western New England College of Law and co-founder, Title IX Blog
  • Austin Calhoun, Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, University of Minnesota
  • Nevin Caple, founder, Br{ache the Silence
  • Helen Carroll, sport project director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • Kiera Duckworth, instructor and doctoral student, sociology, University of Buffalo
  • Pat Griffin, founder, Changing the Game: The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network Sports Projects
  • Matthew Jolles, student ambassador, a freshman sport management major at Drexel University and charter member of GO! Athletes
  • Cinda Kamphoff, associate professor, sport psychology, University of Minnesota-Mankato
  • Kerrie Kauer, assistant professor, University of California-Long Beach
  • Vikki Krane, professor, sport and leisure studies, School of Human Movement, Bowling Green State University
  • Nicole LaVoi, associate director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, University of Minnesota
  • Lis Maurer, director, The Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services at Ithaca College
  • Nicole Melton, assistant professor, Seattle University
  • Kris Newhall, co-founder, Title IX Blog & University of Iowa
  • Alyssa Norris, Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, University of Minnesota
  • Brenda Pitts, professor, sport business management, Georgia State University
  • Emily Roper, associate professor, health and kinesiology, Sam Houston State University
  • Melanie Sartore-Baldwin, assistant professor, sport management, East Carolina University
  • Matt Tracy, student ambassador, senior sport media major, Ithaca College
  • Jenny Withycombe, assistant professor, Pacific University

 “The LGBT Issues in Sport: Theory to Practice blog represents a wonderful and unique collaboration among activists, coaches and scholars,” said website co-founder George Cunningham, professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. “By making research on this topic more accessible to all parties, the blog will undoubtedly contribute to the many efforts aimed at ending sexual prejudice and heterosexism in sport.”

“Ending the homophobia that has silenced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes and coaches for decades is the ambitious vision of those who attended the Summit,” said website co-founder and participant in the Nike LGBT Sports Summit Susan Rankin, a research associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education and associate professor of education in the College Student Affairs Program at The Pennsylvania State University. “This website provides an outlet for activists and researchers to support that vision by providing public access to dialogue around these issues.”

Staurowsky is internationally recognized as an expert on social justice issues in sport which include gender equity and Title IX, pay equity and equal employment opportunity, the exploitation of athletes, the faculty role in reforming college sport, representation of women in sport media, and the misappropriation of American Indian imagery in sport.  She is co-author of the book, College Athletes for Hire:  The Evolution and Legacy of the NCAA Amateur Myth.

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Alex McKechnie

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