The first US national Hall of Fame dedicated to LGBT athletes has been launched in Chicago. The National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame will announce its first inductees in August after the organization accepts first round nominations this summer.
The Hall of Fame will honor those who have helped break down stereotypes and have had a unifying impact for diversity in sports, says the group’s Executive Director, Bill Gubrud.
“Sports are an American pastime, and honorees inducted will have brought together fans from all walks of life, demonstrating that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, deserves the right to play, watch and win,” said Gubrud in a statement.
“I envision an induction to the Hall of Fame not only being a great honor to obtain, but a vehicle for the inductees to continue to make advances within our community,” he added.
The organization will also aim to recognize the history of LGBT people and their impact on sport nationally, both amateur and professional. In addition, educational outreach is a prime objective in order to ensure LGBT young people across the US do not feel alienated as athletes.
Its first induction ceremony will take place on August 2 at the Center on Halsted, a LGBT community center in Chicago. This will coincide with “Out at Wrigley Field,” the nation’s largest “Gay Day” at a major league sporting event, in the city on August 3.