Monday, May 12, 2008

Honoring Openly Lesbian and Gay Coaches: Vote for Your Choice has teamed up with Logo, the LGBT TV channel, to nominate four openly gay or lesbian coaches for Logo’s NewNowNext award honoring “the best of the best in today and tomorrow's gay culture.” Thanks to Logo for including sport among the categories for the awards.

Cyd Zeigler of Outsports asked me for suggestions for nominees and I am happy to say that three of the nominees are folks I suggested: Jenny Allard, women’s softball coach at Harvard University, Shannon Miller, women’s ice hockey coach at University of Minnesota Duluth, and Kirk Walker, women’s softball coach at Oregon State University. The fourth nominee is Kyle Hawkins, former men’s lacrosse coach at the University of Missouri.

All of these coaches are pioneers and deserve recognition. There are still not that many publicly out lesbian and gay coaches at any level. More and more coaches are openly gay, but what distinguishes these four is their willingness to speak out publicly as gay. They have spoken on “homophobia in sport” panels and had news articles written about them and their families. In doing so they help to dispel the myth that lesbian and gay coaches pose a threat to their program’s reputation or to the athletes they coach.

Jenny, Shannon and Kirk are all successful coaches who head up well known collegiate programs and do so as openly gay coaches. Kyle is currently coaching in Germany. When prospective athletes and their parents see openly gay successful collegiate coaches who are supported by their schools, their teams and the parents of their team members, it sends a strong message that counteracts the stereotypes that thrive in silence and invisibility.

Go to to learn more about the four nominees and cast your vote for which of these four coaches should be honored with the NewNowNext award. It’s a shame really that they can’t all be honored. As pioneers, all four of them deserve our recognition and our thanks for helping to make sport a better place for the LGBT athletes and coaches who will come after them.


Carol Anne (Scamp) said...

Pat, I want to vote but the "widget" (their word) on seems to be broken. Using Internet Explorer, I can only see part of the ballot. Could you get word to someone?

Pat Griffin said...

Scamp, here is the reply I got from Outsports: There is an issue with older browsers. Logo is working on it. You should be able to vote using the latest versions of firefox and IE. My vote got through using firefox. Hope this helps. Pat

Scamp (aka Carol Anne) said...

Yay! Success on my second try (I've got IE6, for what that's worth.) Thanks, Pat. Now if they'd just update that hideous home page... ;>)

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