Hudson Taylor, the founder of Athlete Ally, spoke to students on October 10 at the West Memorial Stadium in Nebraska on LGBT issues in sports.
“For the last few years of my life, I’ve been a loud, proud ally for the LGBT [community]in sports. I wasn’t always an ally,” Taylor said during his speech as he talks about his family history and Christian background. “We have this athletic culture where female athletes are fighting off a lesbian label and male athletes are staying in the closet… and no one was speaking out.”
Not until his theater friend came out of the closet did Taylor recognize his derogatory language and reasons that it comes from the “power of conformity.”
“Because of the culture of the locker room, I didn’t know anyone who was gay,” he said. “It made me realize that this type of conduct isn’t what I want in my athletic community.”
Formed in 2011, Athlete Ally is a nonprofit advocacy group with aims to end homophobia and transphobia in sports. The organization’s objectives have always been “to treat others the way they want to be treated, seek to maximize happiness and minimize suffering and acting as though the burdens of actions don’t outweigh the benefits of the actions.”
Taylor advised everyone at the stadium to be the change they wanted to see by speaking out for inclusion across platforms and audiences.