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Founded in 1999, the Gay & Lesbian Athletics Foundation is a 100% volunteer staffed nonprofit organization that is newly reapplying for 501(c)3 status. It is the first nonprofit organization to focus on the acceptance and visibility of LGBT athletes in the professional, amateur, and recreational athletics communities. The Foundation is a politically neutral organization free from party affiliation or bias.

“We want to give athletes an opportunity to share their experiences. Our goals are twofold: One, create a community of gay athletes who can communicate with each other regularly. Two, help cultivate an environment in sports in which athletes are accepted and respected without regard to their sexual orientation. In the process, we help to create positive role models for the society at large.” – Noa Padowitz, Managing Director

We live in a society obsessed with, and in important ways influenced by, sports. The implication for gays and lesbians is clear. Our full acceptance by the wider society depends in part on our making inroads into what until now has been one of the last acceptable bastions of homophobia, sports. We need your help to develop positive role models and heroes.

The Gay & Lesbian Athletics Foundation promotes acceptance and visibility of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) athletics community by the following means:

  • Provide education, mentoring, and training on issues of sexual orientation and sport
  • Foster support networks for athletes and athletic organizations
  • Promote positive role models and healthy lifestyles through athletics
  • Advocate inclusion, recognition, understanding, and respect among all members of the athletics community

We have the backing of a star-studded Advisory Board consisting of the who's who in gay & lesbian athletics and are recognized for their leadership and athletic achievements. Among the them are tennis legend, Billie Jean King; former NFL players, Dave Kopay and Esera Tuaolo; former Major League Baseball player, Billy Bean; Olympian gold medalists, Bruce Hayes and Mark Tewksbury; former pro basketball player and award-winning author, Mariah Burton Nelson; former National Baseball League umpire, Dave Pallone; author of Jocks/Jocks II, Dan Woog; the still competing three-time Triple Ironman World Champion and member of the USA Triathlon Team, Christopher Bergland, and many others.

Read testimonials from our past conferences

Moving ahead, we look forward to building more bridges to other partner organizations, increasing the visibility of our Athletics Advisory Board, and expanding our community of influence to share the benefits with more individuals and organizations. We aim to develop Steering Committees in other cities and countries, build sub-committees to issue guidelines of responsibility, develop a mentor network, and foster the other objectives of the Gay & Lesbian Athletics Foundation. We hope we can continue to count on your support as we move forward into a bright future for LGBT athletes.

Read testimonials from our past conferences 


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