“Our Group” Supports LGBT Athletes
For a long time now, there has been a need for an organization to help support the concerns of LGBT athletes around the country. “Our Group” was born out of that need. According to the website, Our Group “is an outreach, support and advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) high school and college student-athletes and allies. It serves as a network to connect LGBT student-athletes with other LGBT student-athletes. Our Group is also dedicated to educating athletes, coaches and fans so that the sports community is an accepting one for ALL athletes, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
I don’t know about you, but I personally like the sound of that mission statement. An organization like Our Group can help shift the high school and college athletic landscape for LGBT athletes across the country. They will be able to network and connect with other athletes such as themselves, so that they don’t have to feel secluded and alone. Far too many discriminatory instances occurred in the past that were easily overlooked and carefully hidden under the rock. Our Group strives to bring those instances to the forefront, as well as other prevalent issues facing LGBT athletes.
Our Group was originally founded by Andrew Langenfeld, a Division I student athlete himself. Langenfeld’s experiences as a collegiate athlete and interactions with other LGBT athletes prompted him to start an organization that was specifically designed to offer support and resources for LGBT athletes at the high school and college level. Since its inception in 2007, Our Group continues to grow. “Each day as we meet new student-athletes, hear their stories, and offer a place where any student-athlete, former or current, can fearlessly take part in a growing community of supportive peers.”
It’s also important to note that Our Group is expands beyond issues of discrimination and negativity, and also focuses on positive stories and issues of diversity as well. Treasurer Jenelle DeVits recently wrote a column for OutSports.com about how female athletes and stories are seriously underrepresented. “With my work in Our Group and activism at my own university, I have found a common trend: the LGBT athletic community lacks support for people of color, and male domination is not leaving,” she wrote. “I would love to see more women volunteer to tell their story and do lengthy feature stories.”
I couldn’t agree more. If you are a lesbian athlete who has a story to share, contact me and I will highlight you and your story on this blog. (lgbtathletes.org)
Blogger Bio: Lyndsey D'Arcangelo is a versatile writer, having experience as a journalist, copywriter, author, freelancer and blogger. She is the author of the Golden Crown Literary Society Award-winning book, The Trouble with Emily Dickinson (also a Lambda Literary Award finalist). Her recent novel, The Crabapple Tree, was published in May 2009. In addition to writing short stories and novels, Lyndsey also contributes regularly to a variety of national and local publications. (lyndseydarcangelo.com)