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Hope for the Future of the LGBTQ+ Community in Sports

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Being a mix of a theatre major and a Division I wrestler at the University of Maryland, Hudson Taylor had a unique perspective on LGBTQ+ respect and inclusion in these two very different worlds. He gained national media attention when he decided to wear an LGBTQ+ equality sticker on his wrestling headgear to confront the marginalization of LGBTQ+ people in sport during his time at University of Maryland. This experience ultimately drove him to start “Athlete Ally,” an organization whose mission is to “end the rampant homophobia and transphobia in sport and to activate the athletic community to exercise their leadership to champion LGBTQ+ equality.”

A former Division I basketball athlete, attorney and equity and inclusion strategist, Ashland Johnson’s past experiences all combined to found The Inclusion Playbook. The Inclusion Playbook is a sports impact project led with the goal of “empowering social change agents to transform communities in and through sports.” In 2016, Ashland was named as one of the 40 best LGBTQ+ lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. Ashland has also worked in numerous professional sports leagues such as the NBA and the NFL to strengthen their policies and programs surrounding inclusion, race, gender, and law.

An Olympic Gymnast, entrepreneur and part owner of the Chicago Red Stars, Joshua Dixon has a unique perspective regarding LGBTQ+ inclusivity in sports and his personal journey becoming an openly out athlete in gymnastics. Leading the Stanford Cardinals to win the 2011 NCAA Championship, he went on to win several bronze medals in the Winter Cup. Since graduating from Stanford and moving on from USA Gymnastics, Josh has championed for matters of racial/gender equity and LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport.

In this video, Hudson, Ashland and Josh all discuss what they hope to see improve or change in regards to LGBTQ+ individuals in sports in the next few years.