Hudson Taylor comes to my school

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    Feb 02, 2014 2:21 PM GMT
    Hudson Taylor of Athlete Ally came to my high school last week to speak about glbt awareness in sports to the entire student body. There was also a breakout session with selected student leaders and a lunch with coaches. Most of his presentation was spent on raising awareness about choice of words, such as "that's so gay". I hadn't heard that phrase in 1.5 years and thought it had mostly died out, apparently I was wrong because 75% of the kids (about 600 kids total in that session - we had two sessions) hands went up when asked if they'd heard that within the last WEEK. Only four hands went up when asked if they'd heard anybody correct the person that uttered those words.

    Long story short, my high school is becoming the first in Connecticut to start an Athlete Ally chapter. One of my track athletes has ordered Athlete Ally patches for the team to wear to our state championships later this week - I've made it clear to the team that this is an individual choice and not a team requirement.

    For more about his presentation and on the response from the student body, go to http://www.courant.com/sports/hc-riley-column-0202-20140201,0,96408.column. I'm the gay cross country coach mentioned and quoted late in the article. Just to be clear, I don't pull aside my freshmen each year; I outed myself to the Cross Country team a couple years ago (and to the track team this week) when I did an antibullying speech and said that there are plenty of online antibullying resources available, that many are affiliated with gay organizations, and as a gay man I was more aware of them than they, so come find me if they need to. So far nobody has. Interestingly, I've coached close to 2500 kids throughtout my career and only had one that was at least semi-out while in high school, though a few came out while in college; needless to say, I have strong suspicions about many others.

    For more information about Athlete Ally and the Proposition 6 effort at the Sochi Olympics, go to http://www.athleteally.org/
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    Feb 03, 2014 7:06 AM GMT
    Didn't you write an article for Outsports w/Cyd Zeigler 2 years ago or so about you coming out to your team? I can't seem to find it but would have sworn your story sounds familiar. Anyways, best wishes bud. Kev
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    Feb 03, 2014 8:26 AM GMT
    He's spoken for by a woman (maybe married) but that doesn't necessarily mean he's straight, of course. Quite a guy. Now a coach at Columbia University, he was a standout in wrestling while an undergrad at the University of Maryland. During that time he caused a buzz by putting the HRC "equal sign" sticker on his competition headgear.
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    Feb 03, 2014 12:13 PM GMT
    Kev1962 saidDidn't you write an article for Outsports w/Cyd Zeigler 2 years ago or so about you coming out to your team? I can't seem to find it but would have sworn your story sounds familiar. Anyways, best wishes bud. Kev


    No, wasn't me! You're probably thinking of the track coach from the Denver area. There was a story about him last spring.

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    Feb 03, 2014 12:50 PM GMT
    okonomiyaki saidHe's spoken for by a woman (maybe married) but that doesn't necessarily mean he's straight, of course. Quite a guy. Now a coach at Columbia University, he was a standout in wrestling while an undergrad at the University of Maryland. During that time he caused a buzz by putting the HRC "equal sign" sticker on his competition headgear.


    He's a straight ally and yes, he's married. His role at Columbia has been changed a couple of times because of his increasing obligations with Athlete Ally; he's now a volunteer assistant.

    We coaches had a chance to talk to him a bit during lunch. After his presentation at our school (we're the first town south of Hartford, CT) he was headed to Boston, then Chicago, then Sochi. He and a business partner are attending the opening ceremonies and will stay for the first week. They chose that week because if there is a terrorist act, they'll have a chance to get their message out without it getting lost in the fallout from the terrorist act. They'll be concentrating their efforts in the athletes village rather than at the event venues because they'll have direct contact with the athletes there and can come in contact with more.
  • thadjock

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    Feb 03, 2014 4:28 PM GMT
    runnerjc said

    He's a straight ally and yes, he's married. His role at Columbia has been changed a couple of times because of his increasing obligations with Athlete Ally; he's now a volunteer assistant.

    We coaches had a chance to talk to him a bit during lunch. After his presentation at our school (we're the first town south of Hartford, CT) he was headed to Boston, then Chicago, then Sochi. He and a business partner are attending the opening ceremonies and will stay for the first week. They chose that week because if there is a terrorist act, they'll have a chance to get their message out without it getting lost in the fallout from the terrorist act. They'll be concentrating their efforts in the athletes village rather than at the event venues because they'll have direct contact with the athletes there and can come in contact with more.


    never heard of him or his gay rights business b4, but after reading up and watching some vids he has put out, this guy comes off as a self important, self promoting tool.

    I'm guessing the reason he's no longer on staff at columbia is because he's the founder and CEO of Athlete Ally and makes more money doing that than ass't coaching.

    I'm not dismissing what he says he's trying to do, but i just get this slimy vibe that he's co-opted the gay rights issue as a way to draw attention to himself and found a way to profit from it.

    " he created his own major at the UofM in interactive performance art" yeah, that's super special. i can smell the narcissism from here, I know you'll think i'm being cynical but nothing is ever as altruistic as it appears. But then again, that performance art degree should help him convince alot of people he's a hero.