GET READY FOR
2019 GSWS celebrate 9/11 hero
Shigeo Iwamiya? GO ONE-ON-ONE WITH
LDeION E GSANDERS E ND
The big four
NAGAAA, NGFFL, IGRA and ASANA
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2018 $3.95 â€¢ COMPETENETWORK.COM
18 ASANA, IGRA and NGFFL: All Meeting Changing Times in LGBTQ Sports
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2018 COMPETENETWORK.COM ONE-ON-ONE 16 Deion Sanders: A True Believer MVP 24 Carly Bryant SPORTS 14 From Gay Paree to Hong Kong 22 K ansas City Says, “Come to Play!” 30 2 018 Gay Softball World Series Recap 36 2 018 World Gay Rodeo Finals® Welcomes YOU! SPORTS DIVERSITY 26 S higeo Iwamiya: Creating Safe, Empowering Spaces for LGBTQ Athletes 32 WNBA'S LGBTQ Support & Visibility Includes Coach Curt Miller 38 SDLC Learning and Fun Go Hand-In-Hand GYM BAG 40 Hot Items You Shouldn't Do Without EVENTS 42 Calendar of Events FROM COMPETENETWORK.COM 44 M ark Bingham’s Legacy Reflected in Compete Award Compete Online Do you love to Compete? Get with the game and shop our online store, subscribe to Compete Magazine, read the hottest news blogs and check out the latest videos online at CompeteNetwork.com. GET READY FOR
celebrate 9/11 hero
LEGEN D DeION SANDERS
Shigeo Iwamiya? GO ONE-ON-ONE WITH
The big four
NAGAAA, NGFFL, IGRA and ASANA
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2018 $3.95 • COMPETENETWORK.COM
COVER ATHLETE: SHIGEO JAMES IWAMIYA, SDL PHOTOGRAPHER: JEREMIAH SJOBERG PHOTOGRAPHY
MILLENNIALS ON SPORTS
CHATTING WITH GAY GAMES ATHLETES BY DIRK SMITH, SDL
hen I took part in my first Gay Games eight years ago, I was overwhelmed by the experience. It was the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany; not only my first trip ever to a new country but also my first participation in such a large-scale event. That experience had a deeply profound impact on my life. It has influenced and inspired me in so many ways and helped make me into the person I am today.
The 2018 Gay Games in Paris was my third Gay Games and my perspective has changed quite a bit. One of the things I was most excited for this year was to share the experience with other athletes who were experiencing the spectacle and grandeur of the Games for the first time, just like I did in 2010. Many of these athletes are also my friends since we’ve already met at previous LGBTQ+ sporting events, including Sin City Classic, IGLA (the International LGBTQ+ Aquatics) and other competitions. However, for them, this was their first Gay Games, their first event on this scale. The first thing people were impressed by was the amount of work the City of Paris put into the event; from “Paris 2018” banners plastered everywhere to the festival village so prominent in front of City Hall, right in the heart of the city. Even regular tourists got a sense of the event’s importance in spite never having heard of the Gay Games. Hosted at the festival village, only registered participants were allowed to enter the village to watch the closing ceremony. When we left at the end, a large crowd of tourists had formed at the entrance to watch the show, too. I’m conveniently forgetting about the opening ceremonies but once the competitions got started, we all started having some real fun. Since my event is swimming, my perspective has an aquatics bias. People were excited to be swimming at the Olympic Pool in Paris, feeling like they were truly part of something big. Once the medals began being awarded, the familiar sounds of clinking medal became more prominent as people were proudly wearing their medals everywhere they went throughout city. I caught up with the Uganda Kuchus, an LGBTQ+ swim team from Uganda, a country known for some of the world’s harshest treatment of LGBTQ+ people. Participating in the Gay Games was quite a refreshing experience for them. To be part of a community where they can be free to speak out, to celebrate who they are without fear of prosecution AND win some medals – even for a short time it is very empowering. Athletes on the Kuchus team took time to educate people about the terrible human rights situation in Uganda by wearing T-shirts and taking part in discussions. They gave us a clear perspective of why the Gay Games are so important for the global LGBTQ+ community. There are spectacles, competition and fun to be sure but it’s the opportunity for LGBTQ+ people to come together and feel welcomed, accepted and included. That’s powerful!
Dirk Smith, SDL Sports Editor email@example.com @competedirk
6 COMPETE September - october 2018
nagaaasoftball.org (636) 3NAGAAA
Play Out at a NAGAAA Tournament
Upcoming 2018 Tournament Dates
Dairyland Classic .....................................Milwaukee, WI ...............10/05/18 - 10/07/18 Show-Me Showdown .............................Kansas City, MO ..........10/05/18 - 10/07/18 Ocean State Cup Classic .......................Providence, RI ...............10/05/18 - 10/07/18 Autumn Classic .......................................San Diego, CA ...............10/05/18- 10/07/18 Seaside Showdown..................................Norfolk, VA ..................... 10/13/18 - 10/14/18 Vegas Neon Classic ................................Las Vegas, NV ................10/27/18 - 10/28/18 Turkey Shootout ......................................Palm Springs, CA ................11/10/18 - 11/11/18 Hurricane Showdown .............................Ft. Lauderdale, FL ............ 11/23/18 - 11/25/18 Bourbon Street Classic ..........................New Orleans, LA ...........12/07/18 - 12/09/18 Sin City Classic .......................................Las Vegas, NV .................01/17/19 - 01/20/19 Tournaments listed as of 09/25/18. For a complete list of NAGAAA tournaments and dates, visit nagaaasoftball.org.
THE CATBIRD SEAT: FROM THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR
FALL SPORTS! F
all is here; my favorite season of the year. it’s a busy time of year for sports and there are lots of great sports stories in this issue of Compete, including an interesting interview with the legendary Deion Sanders by guest writer Matt Swenson. Sanders is just as fascinating and opinionated an athlete now as he was when he was the young phenom playing in both the NFL and MLB.
Who is Shigeo Iwamiya? In addition to gracing our Compete cover, he’s also a recreational athlete dedicated to promoting LGBTQ sports and the community. He is one of many unsung individual heroes who are the backbone of the sports diversity movement. And on a corporate level, the WNBA is showing its continuing support for gay coach Curt Miller as he becomes an LGBTQ role model. Both stories are heartwarming. Softball season is wrapping up but it’s not too soon to be working on next year’s tournament. There is a recap of NAGAAA’s 2018 Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) and then Scott Switzer of the Kansas City host committee provides an update for the 2019 GSWS. Sports editor Dirk Smith weighs in on his experiences at this year’s Gay Games in Paris and the ongoing importance of this international tournament. There’s also an update from the host committee for the 2022 Gay Games to be held in Hong Kong. In order to continue its existence as a viable organization, every LGBTQ sports group has to meet the changing sociological and generational trends, interests and attitudes in its current and potential members. So we asked the heads of three successful groups who are holding their signature events this fall – ASANA Softball World Series; IGRA World Gay Rodeo Finals; and NGFFL Gay Bowl – what their plans are for the upcoming year to address these challenges. There’s also a story on the fun learning opportunities plus money and prizes at the Sports Diversity Leadership Council’s “The Goldfish Bowl.” Don’t miss the next one at the SDLC Conference on November 10. And speaking of the conference, we’re finalizing plans for the 2018 Compete Sports Diversity Awards, aka The Peteys as well as our first Sports Diversity Conference on November 10-11. With fall here and all this fabulous activity going on, what’s not to love and get excited about! And don’t miss our November 9-11 weekend of awards, conference and camaraderie being held this year in the Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa areas of Arizona. For more information, contact us at info@Sports DiversityLeaders.com.
Connie Wardman, M.A., SDLT Executive Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
8 COMPETE September - october 2018
COMPETE EDITORS EXECUTIVE EDITOR Connie Wardman, M.A., SDLT A graduate of Chatham University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Connie is an adult educator by profession and has a Master's Degree in Adult and Community Education. She has been the editor of Compete Magazine since 2011. HEALTH EDITOR Dr. John Sutherland A graduate of Harvard and the University of Michigan Medical School, Dr. John Sutherland is a board certified internist and cardiologist and the founder of the North Mountain Cardio programs for health and wellbeing. COMMUNITY EDITOR AT LARGE Ty Nolan, SDL An experienced LGBTQ community counselor, Ty is also a Native American storyteller and a USA Today and New York Times Best Selling Author, winning the 2014 BP Readers Choice Award for "Coyote Still Going: Native American Legends and Contemporary Stories." GUEST WRITER Matt Swenson As editorial director of Connect's publications and websites, including Connect Sports, Matt Swenson has almost 20 years of journalism experience. When not putting out some proverbial brushfire at work, he is wrangling with the two small children he loves very much.
Advisory Board DJ Doran, SDLT, Diversitas Media Dr. William Kapfer, JP Morgan Chase Angela Smith, SDL, ASANA Jake Mason, SDL, USA Dodgeball
SDLC Executive Advisory Committee Eric Carlyle, SDLT Patrick Higgins, SDLT, Connect Sports Catherine Kelly, SDLT, NAGAAA MISSION STATEMENT Compete unites the world through sports. COMPETENETWORK.COM FACEBOOK.COM/COMPETEMAG @COMPETESPORTS COMPETE MAGAZINE INSTAGRAM.COM/COMPETEMAGAZINE
10 COMPETE September - october 2018
PUBLISHER/CEO Eric Carlyle • email@example.com COMPETE MAGAZINE Executive Editor Connie Wardman • firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor Dirk Smith • email@example.com Health Editor Dr. John Sutherland • firstname.lastname@example.org Fitness Editor Jake Tommerup • email@example.com Art Director Heather Brown • firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Designer Kristi Wayland • email@example.com Contributors Ryan Adams, Harry Andrew, Ian Colgate, Ryan Evans, Jared Garduno, Aurelio Giordano, Catherine (CJ) Kelly, Kelli Kulick, Miriam Latto, Bryan Lee, Kevin Majoros, Clay Partain, Brian Patrick, Elaine Wessel , Andy Winder. Staff Photographer Ariel Stevens • firstname.lastname@example.org COO/Consultant Barbara Harwell • email@example.com Sales & Operations Vice President Jared Garduno • firstname.lastname@example.org Administration Bethany Harvat • email@example.com SDLC Program Coordinator Raleigh Dombek • firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2018 MEDIA OUT LOUD, LLC All Rights Reserved. All Mail PO Box 2756 Scottsdale, AZ 85252
Corporate Office 6991 East Camelback Road, Suite D-300 Scottsdale, AZ 85251 West Coast Office 3415 South Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90034 East Coast Office 100 Church Street, 8th Floor New York City, NY 10007 Compete is a trademark of Media Out Loud, LLC Sports Diversity Leadership Council, Sports Diversity Leader and SDL are trademarks of Media Out Loud, LLC. Subscribe to Compete Magazine online at CompeteNetwork.com
IT TAKES MORE THAN GOOD LUCK TO BE A WINNER.
To make it to the playoffs, you don’t start practicing the night before the game. Research shows you may live over 30 years in retirement. To spend those years comfortably doing what you love, let’s start planning now. At Prudential, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing your financial life. We’re here to help you win, on and off the field.
© 2018. Prudential, the Prudential logo, the Rock symbol and Bring Your Challenges are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. 1005793-00001-00
As an early leader in the sports diversity movement, Compete Magazine gives out High Fives each issue to deserving athletes, teams, leagues, organizations and corporations as well as high profile celebrities for their contributions to promote diversity, inclusion, equality and acceptance for all. Here are five who get a High Five for a job well done!
Rogers, known best as the first openly gay professional soccer player until his retirement, is now an LGBTQ advocate working closely with a number of charities. He’s also producing a new TV series, “All American” that debuts on The CW in October. Berlanti is well known for his many inventive, highly acclaimed TV series and most recently directed the critically acclaimed movie, “Love, Simon.” Robbie Rogers Instagram Quote: “Still recovering from the most emotional beautiful day, exceeding any dream I ever had. To marry the man I love in front of all of my loved one’s was not something I grew up thinking would ever happen. Thank you to the men and women who made this day possible.”
Courtesy of the LA LGBT Center; Photographer, Hana Asano
ROBBY ROGERS AND HUSBAND GREG BERLANTI …for being individually honored at the Los Angles LGBT Center’s Vanguard Awards on September 22 for their unwavering support of the LGBTQ community and their dedication to creating positive change in the world. They are shown with their son, Caleb.
SIMONE BILES, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL WINNER IN GYMNASTICS … for winning her fifth U.S. Gymnastics Championship title while sweeping all four event titles. Wearing a teal leotard, the color for sexual abuse survivors, Biles acknowledged the women abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar, she being one of them.
STEPHEN KOVACEV, 65-YEAR-OLD HIV-POSITIVE ATHLETE … for competing in every Gay Games since 1990 as a runner and bodybuilder. Also a cancer survivor, in 1997 Kovacev became the first AIDS-survivor to run the Boston Marathon and now finds himself the oldest AIDS-survivor running in marathons around the world.
STEPHEN CURRY, NBA POINT GUARD FOR GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS … for advocating for female equality in a powerful op-ed about raising his two daughters, writing that he and his wife Ayesha want no boundaries placed on their girls’ futures growing up.
MEGAN RAPINOE, PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER FOR SEATTLE REIGN FC … for starting a fire relief campaign via Twitter for Shasta Regional Community Foundation to aid her northern California hometown of Redding devastated by the Carr Fire. U.S. Soccer has joined to partner with her and the Shasta Regional Community Foundation.
12 COMPETE September - october 2018
COMPETE READER SURVEY & GRANDSTANDING FAVORITE FALL SPECTATOR SPORT
LETTERS to COMPETE GRANDSTANDING Home Run (July-Aug 2018) I have never heard of Compete but recently found my first copy at the World Series in Tampa. Yowza! The cover model is super-hot and the World Series story was in-depth and carefully crafted. While I am not an athlete, only an athletic “supporter,” I can appreciate the difference softball makes in my community. Sign me up for lifetime subscription. Mack Bayer Tampa, Florida Editor’s Note: We agree, Mack: softball (and all sports) truly do make a difference. As a community-based media company we appreciate your feedback on how we are doing but also appreciate the subscription.
Please submit all Letters to Compete via email to email@example.com.
FROM GAY PAREE TO
BY DIRK SMITH, SDL
t the Paris 2018 Gay Games, team “Out in HK” had a large presence at the international multisport event. With dozens of athletes from all over Asia represented on the team, it was the largest contingent of Asian athletes in the history of Gay Games. And with Hong Kong being the next site of the Gay Games in 2022, they made the most of their large representation to raise excitement for their hosting debut. Sporting their Out in HK T-shirts, carrying flags, stickers and buttons for Hong Kong 2022, Dennis Philipse and his team took time to chat with people and spread the word about the 2022 Gay Games. During the closing ceremony’s passing of the flag they even incorporated a Chinese cultural routine to celebrate the handover and give us a hint as to what to expect in 2022. Dennis Philipse has taken the lead for Hong Kong’s winning bid to host the 2022 Gay Games. Bidding against eight other world cities, Hong Kong is the first and only Asian city that has ever bid, making it a milestone for the Asian LGBTQ+ community. Part of the bid included 36 events that will take place, including Dragon Boating, Trail Running and Tower Run ICC. Hosting an event on the scale of Gay Games is not an easy task. Paris 2018 had over 10,000 registered participants and thousands of athletic supporters, officials, coaches, media representatives, partners and sponsors. The amount of people in attendance at such an event can easily exceed 40,000 people. The 2022 host committee is currently expecting up to 15,000 participants and 25,000 spectators. But it’s definitely a task a city the size and popularity of Hong Kong can handle. The former British colony is one of the world’s largest, most diverse cities. As a major port and with a booming economy thanks to it being a
14 COMPETE September - october 2018
global financial hub, Hong Kong has invested in itself well to have the capability to host thousands, if not millions of visitors from all over the world on any given day. China and other Asian countries aren’t exactly known for LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusivity which Dennis explained was one of his prime motivations for bringing the Games to Hong Kong. While many residents of the city hold favorable views of the LGBTQ+ community, the laws still reflect the cultural influences of traditional Chinese values and old colonial views against homosexuality. The Gay Games mission, values and history of bringing LGBTQ+ awareness, education and acceptance to its host communities is well established. By bringing that Gay Games reputation and power to China using the slogan Unity in Diversity, it’s hoped to bring a strong influence and positive impact for the Asian LGBTQ+ community. Out in HK’s biggest challenge is building an LGBTQ+ sports community capable of hosting such a large-scale event, ensuring that they have the required experience and training to successfully organize the 15,000+ athletes expected in 2022. But it is a challenge that Dennis and his team have already undertaken and continue to work on. Learn more about Gay Games Hong Kong 2022 at www.gaygameshk2022.com
BECOME OUR 2018 MARK BINGHAM ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
BECOME OUR 2018 MARK BINGHAM ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Photo by Patrick Chin-Hong
In 2008 New York’s Jeff Kagan become Compete’s first Athlete of the Year. Since then we’ve honored ten other amazing athletes, with two Athlete of the Year awards being presented in 2016. In 2013 Mark Bingham’s mother gave us her blessing to officially rename the award the Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year Award. Mark was an amazing athlete and hero. You can read more about him in this issue of Compete. On November 10 we will be honoring our newest Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year at the Compete Sports Diversity Awards, also known as the 9th Annual Petey Awards in Tempe, Arizona. Our Selection Committee, consisting of WNBA player Layshia Clarendon, NAGAAA Commissioner Chris Balton, High School Coach and Trailblazer Stephen Alexander, Paralympian Allison Jones and Compete’s own Eric Carlyle and Connie Wardman will select from the finalists.
All are encouraged to apply or to nominate a worthy athlete at competenetwork.com/aoty. JEFF KAGAN: 2008 ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
True BY MATT SWENSON Editor's Note: Guest writer Matt Swenson is editorial director for Connect Meetings. He shared with Compete Magazine this recent interview he did with sports legend Deion Sanders, done in preparation for a faith-based Connect event Sanders will address this fall.
Deion Sanders, the Hall of Fame football player and current NFL Network analyst, hit proverbial rock bottom 20 years ago. With his marriage crumbing and other challenges getting the better of the former two-sport superstar (he played pro baseball for the Atlanta Braves, among other teams), Sanders drove over a cliff in 1998 with the intention of dying. As Sanders hoped would happen, he met his Maker – just not in the expected manner. Both he and the car were undamaged. Sanders doesn’t believe it was an accident that he has gone on to live happily ever after. God was with him on that journey, Sanders says, and He has never left the star’s side. Whether you are a believer or not, Sanders’ story is remarkable. Outwardly, Sanders was – and remains – one of the most selfconfident public figures you’ll ever see. But as high as his highs have been, his lows have been equally steep. Matt Swenson: What are you going to tell our Connect Faith audience? Deion Sanders: I don't know what I am going to say until I touch the microphone. That’s the way God works with me. There’s nothing preconceived or written out. The thing I want people to know is that if it wasn't for the Lord, I’d be six feet under right now. He saved me. I’m thankful; I’m appreciative. I try to maximize every moment that I have. MS: How were you saved? DS: There was a time in my life that I didn’t want to be part of this world. I wanted to take my own life.
Photo courtesy of Matt Swenson, Connect Meetings
16 COMPETE September - october 2018
ONE-ON-ONE Slowly but surely, I have been restored … replenished, rejuvenated and revitalized. I am so thankful that now that I understand that even at my lowest points, there was a place God was trying to take me. MS: You seem so confident on and off the field. How did you reach such a low point? DS: The thing you need to understand is when you have public success, there are going to be private struggles. People tend to think money is the solution to all problems. Money is a material thing; everyone has trials and tribulations. What separates us is how we handle it. MS: Have you always been someone of faith?
DS: My moniker since high school has been “I believe.” I truly believe. Not only do I believe in our Lord but I believe in the gifts He bestowed upon me, especially when we live in a day and time with so many people who are playing make-believe. MS: How would you describe the role of your faith in your life? DS: My faith was like my navigation system. I was able to have my path directed to a certain place – that place was Jesus. That’s allowed me to know when to say “when,” when to stop, and when to go. Having that navigational system is everything. MS: You are someone who’s been very vocal about your faith. Were you concerned that would hurt your career or business opportunities? DS: When I owned nightclubs, I was vocal about going to the club. When I stopped, I was vocal about stopping. I’m a vocal person. I think a person should be who they are regardless of what they believe in no matter who you are. That's the problem with society right now. We’ve got everybody trick-or-treating and it’s not even October yet. [Author’s note: the interview was conducted in the summer] MS: The NFL continues to face controversy about players expressing their beliefs. What are your thoughts about players kneeling during the national anthem? DS: I can see both sides. I applaud all gentlemen in the NFL for taking a stand for what they truly believe. I could never say anything negative about those gentlemen whatsoever. I understand that aspect. I don't think the NFL is saying we’re not going to allow you to do what you
do. I think the NFL is saying that it wants you to be unified. Whatever you do, be unified in it. Everything has a place. I didn't turn my TV on to watch to see if you are going to stand or kneel for the national anthem. I turned my TV on to watch a good old-fashioned football game, and I pray we get back to good old-fashioned football games, not the other nonsense that's materialized by politics. MS: You started Prime 5 to help impoverished families in the Dallas area. What does our society not understand about poverty? DS: Poverty is something we tend to overlook, especially if you don't live in those types of neighborhoods. Poverty is real. It doesn’t mean someone is lazy – they can be working their butts off. MS: How do you choose which companies to partner with? DS: I only partner with people I believe in and products I truly utilize. We look for relationships, not partnerships. Relationships transcend generations. That’s what we are looking for. MS: Do you want your kids playing football? DS: All my kids play. Football is the reason they are sleeping in the beds they are sleeping in; football is the reason they are in the car they drive. Football is the reason I spend the time with them I do and raise them properly. That’s what football has done. I can’t turn my back on the gift the game has presented to me. It’s truly a gift. MS: What about football translates to ordinary life? DS: My greatest accomplishments have nothing to do with me alone. It has always been as part of a team. I exude those daily. I articulate that daily with the kids I coach and with my own kids. To really provoke change, it is going to take a team—not just you. MS: Looking back at your life, is there anything you can’t believe you’ve accomplished? DS: I’m never going to say, “I can’t believe I did this.” But I am most proud of being the father I am. I really am. MS: What has fatherhood meant to you? DS: Fatherhood provokes more responsibility. It makes you look at life totally differently. You are not just living for you. Once upon a time when you have no children, you tend to be selfish and look out for one’s self. Fatherhood changes that whole dynamic. Now you are looking out for the child first and for their future, health, welfare, stability. Fatherhood has that capacity to change a multitude of things instantly.
Photo by Pixil Studio
Photo courtesy of ASANA
LGBTQ SPORTS LEAGUES A-CHANGIN' WITH CHANGING TIMES BY CONNIE WARDMAN, SDLT
The famous Bob Dylan song, “The Times They Are A-Changin'" may have been written back in 1964 but it certainly expresses the operational challenges faced by current leaders of LGBTQ recreational sports leagues. In today’s rapidly changing world they’re not only required to know the essentials of operating a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization, they must also be aware of competition both for new players and financial support by the newest sports making their way onto the scene (quidditch, for example). Sports leaders must also face rapidly changing generational trends that impact their recruiting efforts for new players; they’ve got to deal with the increasing importance of social media, live streaming and changes in family structures. And perhaps the biggest need for all organizations? To have effective leaders who stay in touch with their members and listen to what they have to say! An important focus of all LGBTQ sports tournaments is to always give back in some way to the LGBTQ community to increase positive visibility in an ongoing effort to break down the stereotypes that
18 COMPETE September - october 2018
continue to breed homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, racism and sexism. So Compete decided to interview three LGBTQ sports league leaders whose organizations are having their signature tournaments this fall, questioning them about the direction they’re taking to keep their leagues moving forward and their members and fans engaged. You will hear from ASANA (Amateur Sports Alliance of North America) Commissioner Angela Smith, SDL, IGRA (International Gay Rodeo Association) President Candy Pratt and NGFFL (National Gay Flag Football League) Commissioner Thurman Williams, SDL; all of them have been inducted into their organizations’ Halls of Fame for their ongoing service to their sport. All three organizations have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to sports diversity by becoming charter members of the Sports Diversity Leadership Council. While they’re LGBTQ organizations, they’re all ally-friendly and have similar missions. But each organization has a different target audience that influences its decisions for the future.
ASANA ASANA COMMISSIONER
Photos courtesy of ASANA
The focus for ASANA Commissioner Angela Smith, SDL is to continue her organization’s founding purpose of heading in a new direction. Once part of the women’s division of gay softball giant NAGAAA, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, in 2007 some of the women who wanted to have an opportunity for innovation decided to found ASANA. This year marks their 11th ASANA World Series being held September 17-22 in New Orleans and the second year of women’s flag football play. As an SDLC member, ASANA became a finalist and first place co-winner in the recent SDLC Goldfish Bowl at the Connect Marketplace in Salt Lake City. All four finalists’ presentations not only highlighted their organization and its events, presenters also gained valuable information from judges on preparing the best sponsor/ partnership presentations. ASANA has always included a focus on fellowship and family. Smith explained that whether it’s done at a bar, restaurant or field, the opportunity to hang out and visit over a cold brew is an important element of ASANA events. And with the advent of same-sex marriage, a growing number of families with children have become the new normal for the league. It’s also prompted a lower-key approach to holding a tournament; there is less time and money spent on the pageantry considered a must have in most other leagues. Looking at millennials and others used to technology to access live streaming events, a major goal for this year is already in place – a partnership with professional streaming service, Cloud Sports Network (CSN). Smith says that “Being able to broadcast our games live across different social media channels simultaneously will make this and future ASANA Softball World Series even more accessible for softball fans and the friends and families of the players.” This has also offered the league a unique marketing opportunity. Women’s sports have never had the same cache as men’s sports; particularly when it comes to recreational sports. But advertisers who once looked only at major targets are now interested in microtargeting. And this new partnership provides an opportunity for people wanting to reach women athletes in a broadcast medium. “We’ve already started the dialogue with potential advertisers and the response has been extremely positive,” said Smith. “They are interested because we are offering the kind of return on investment usually associated only with micro targeting but on a macro scale."
IGRA IGRA PR ESI D ENT
20 COMPETE September - october 2018
The idea of positive community – of loving rodeo, the LGBTQ Western lifestyle and supporting amateur sportsmanship through participation, competition and recognition while breaking gender stereotypes is the cornerstone of IGRA’s mission. And President Candy Pratt is more than capable of meeting the challenge of bringing the Old West into the New West. Rodeo isn’t a hobby for her; it’s her way of life and her leadership philosophy mirrors that of her organization: “Be yourself, have fun and speak up. The competition is important but it is only part of the overall experience.” With 202 wins, Pratt is IGRA’s all-time leading All-Around Champion and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2009. She’s also spent years in various leadership positions within the organization, traveling around the country to support newly-formed local IGRA associations. So one of her goals as president is to provide more structure and support for the now 19 Gay Rodeo Associations and their numerous individual chapters across the U.S. IGRA’s signature event, the World Gay Rodeo Finals (WGRF) is being held October 25-28 in Mesquite, Texas. Another of Pratt’s goals is to improve rodeo production and partnering with sponsors. There are a lot of moving parts to putting on a rodeo. In addition to the regular welcome, opening and closing ceremonies, a dance and other events you might see at any other organization’s tournament, the WGRF includes 14 different events, all involving large-to-medium sized farm animals and horses that all need to be housed and fed. Animal safety and welfare is always a prime concern and so is contestant safety. For those who have never ridden a horse and would like to try their hand at bull riding or bareback bronc riding or any of the other events, IGRA offers rodeo school. Held by different IGRA chapters, classes tend to focus on entry level events, like Calf Roping on Foot, Chute Dogging, Steer Decorating and Steer Riding. Instructors present overall health and safety training for all participants and then students can choose a class or classes based on their personal interests. One of Pratt’s goals is to expand opportunities for rodeo school teaching and mentoring of new members, getting them involved in IGRA. Growing the membership/contestant base and infusing more fun into all aspects of IGRA will play a role in the strategic planning process where Pratt will be involving the membership in setting “a vision that ensures a vibrant, relevant organization that meets the needs of IGRA members and community both now and in the future.”
Photos courtesy of Candy Pratt and @CowboyFrank.net
NGFFL NGFFL COMISSIONER
Photos courtesy of NGFFL
Holding its 18th annual Gay Bowl in Denver from September 13-16, this year over 1,000 participants representing 57 teams and 22 cities from the U.S. and Canada will be ready to snap the ball. The NGFFL is headed by Commissioner Thurman Williams, SDL whose long-term vision for its growth rests on four strategic pillars: enhancing the Gay Bowl experience; driving the growth of memberships and leagues; developing national partnerships; and giving back more than the organization takes in. Williams is focusing on five key areas within these pillars to accomplish the league’s strategic goals: to acknowledge, recognize and celebrate the league’s cities, people and communities and to expand the possibilities for Gay Bowl through bold entrepreneurial actions that make hosting a Gay Bowl an opportunity for all markets; this can make a desired positive social impact through the league giving back more than it takes. Additionally Williams wants to drive member-city effectiveness through technology and partnerships and enhancing city-member engagement with the NGFFL through improved communication and standardized routines. An NGFFL learning sessions and podcast has been proposed as well as increased social media involvement. Perhaps the most visible accomplishment of the NGFFL’s goals toward partnership and social impact was last year’s financial sponsorship of Gay Bowl XVII held in Boston by the New England Patriots. That has carried over to this year’s Gay Bowl in Denver. The Denver Broncos have stepped up not only to financially sponsor the Gay Bowl but also to sponsor the introduction to the NGFFL’s special game with the Denver region Special Olympics top Unified team, the Spectrum Skyhawks and a combination of players from NGFFL cities and leagues that Williams says are legends of the game. “To have the Broncos on board helps to build credibility as we work on creating impact and change within the community around gay athletes in sports,” said Williams. “As we continue to expand our league and our footprint across the country it helps us to create the credibility we need to make that happen as well.” The league has also recently partnered with Athlete Ally. Williams says that “Gay Bowl XVIII is our opportunity to give back, and we’re thrilled to do so with Athlete Ally. Funds raised from NGFFL merchandise, Broncos memorabilia and donations throughout the weekend will be donated on behalf of the NGFFL."
Thanks to Angela Smith, SDL of ASANA, Candy Pratt of IGRA and Thurman Williams, SDL of NGFFL for sharing their visions for the future of their leagues. The wonderful thing about sports diversity is that it supports equality, inclusion, diversity and acceptance; it enables people to join the teams and leagues that have meaning for them. Congratulations to ASANA, IGRA and NGFFL for their important leadership work in paying attention to their members as they work to grow gay sports. The best part? Their leadership maintains an open, welcoming attitude that doesn't require you to be an elite athlete (or even an athlete) to join their league.
KANSAS CITY SAYS, “COME TO PLAY!” BY DIRK SMITH, SDL
I recently had an opportunity to talk with Scott Switzer, SDL, executive director of the 2019 Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) to see how things are progressing for next year’s tournament. It’s being held in Kansas City, Missouri and carries the tag line, Come to Play.
Dirk Smith: Scott, thanks for doing this interview. First, please tell me about your involvement with gay softball and then why we should want to “Come to Play” softball in Kansas City in 2019. Scott Switzer: This is my 11th year playing gay softball. In addition to working on NAGAAA’s (North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance) GSWS for next year, I’ve also been involved with a grassroots group that started “Out at the K" pride night with the Kansas City Royals, making it the only one put on by a local community instead of an MLB team DS: The last time a GSWS came to Kansas City (KC) was in 1999. What inspired your group to bid for the 2019 world series? SS: There were rumors that KC wanted to bid for 2019. I had talked to people involved in the league but we couldn’t find the right people to do it or anyone who wanted to commit. We were ready to skip it for that year but during a local softball meeting I told them that I would like to take it on. So we bid for the GSWS in September of 2017. The committee plus Becky Harsch from VisitKC went to Portland, Oregon to present our bid to NAGAAA delegates. After being selected we went to Tampa twice to deliver updates. We’re really getting excited to host the NAGAAA winter meetings in January to start showcasing what we have to offer. DS: Tell us about the kinds of activities and social events you already have planned from now until next fall. And how are you getting people involved? It takes a lot of volunteers to raise money and participate in all the activities it takes to put this on successfully.
22 COMPETE September - october 2018
SS: We will be at several gay softball tournaments, including the local Show Me Showdown Softball Tournament. We have several more local events as well as bingos. And we’ve partnered with AIDS Walk KC and Kansas City Pride to help out with volunteers along with other teams in Heart of America Softball League. DS: Who do you have sponsoring the GSWS already? With events like the Gay Bowl receiving sponsorships from professional sports organizations, are you pursuing anything like that for GSWS? SS: As of right now we don’t have any pro sports organizations but we have reached out to the Kansas City Royals. Terri Goddard has a lot that she’s working on for sponsors – some large corporations as well as local business sponsors and the Missouri Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Terri has also been working with Compete Magazine on program ads and sponsorships and WE also kicked off our Friends of the Series campaign. DS: It sounds like the 2019 GSWS is in capable hands, Scott. Anything else you’d like to share with our Compete readers? SS: We’re really excited to host this event and are very confident that people will have a great time. Since KC is both a very affordable travel destination and place to party, we’re hoping to hold the largest tournament in the history of NAGAAA. So to your readers we say, “Come to Play in 2019. And if you don’t play then come to party! You won’t want to miss what we have planned.” DS: Thanks for the update, Scott. Since last year’s Petey Awards were held in Kansas City, I agree – KC is a great place to visit and party!
First and Last Name: Carly Bryant. Age: 52. Hometown: Terrell, Texas. Your Day Job: A professional farrier for 30 years. Relationship Status: Taken. Your Sport: Rodeo.
MVP SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2018 Favorite Rodeo Event: Barrels and team roping. Interests/Hobbies: Trail riding, fishing; anything outdoors. Why do you love rodeo? The thrill of the ride, competition and good friends. The International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) is a great organization with the best people you can ever get to know. It gives me the opportunity to show the diverse ability of my horses that are home raised and trained. How did you first get involved in rodeo? I've competed in rodeos since I was in junior high school. I started in IGRA in 1992; I wanted to compete in the gay rodeos in a place that didn't discriminate . What keeps you coming back to the World Gay Rodeo Finals each year? Competition, friends and the sport of rodeo. What would you tell someone who is thinking about participating in the rodeo for the first time? IGRA embraces all levels of riders, the friendships you make last a lifetime and it’s a great reason to travel. What do you consider your greatest personal achievement? Having my stallion Jesses Double Dee. I picked him out then broke, trained and competed on him by myself. He was a winning all-around horse in the arena . He is now retired and has become a successful breeding stallion. Now his offspring are competing and flourishing as well. What’s your greatest athletic achievement(s)? Winning my first Paint Horse World Championship. Now it’s still doing what I started over four decades ago and being competitive at it. Please tell us something about you and what interactions you have had with the LGBTQ sports community. I’ve been a member and competed in American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), American Paint Horse Association (APHA), Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) and the United Professional Rodeo (UPRA)Association. I have been competing in IGRA since 1992. After 40 years, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and skills to be successful.
What would you tell/teach your younger self if you had the opportunity? Love yourself first and always be you. Don't be afraid to set goals and believe in yourself. What are your thoughts about the LGBTQ community’s inclusion in sports diversity? It creates a safe, fun environment for people to be themselves.
SHIGEO IWAMIYA, SDL:
CREATING SAFE, EMPOWERING SPACES FOR LGBTQ ATHLETES
Photos by Jeremiah Sjoberg Photography
BY CONNIE WARDMAN, SDLT
26 COMPETE September - october 2018
hile we all love knowing about sports superstars, especially the more recent LGBTQ athletes from Jason Collins to pro golfer Tadd Fujikawa who have come out, it’s the everyday athletes like Shigeo Iwamiya, SDL, who are one of the big reasons I love this job! It’s recreational athletes who often sacrifice their time, money, even personal ego to play the sport they love and make it better for everyone – they are the heart of the sports diversity movement.
Born and raised on an American Air Force base in Tokyo, Japan, as a bi-racial person Shigeo says he’s been navigating his way through a mixture of worlds his entire life. Having moved to the U.S. in 1994, he earned a Master’s Degree in Education. His degree and life experiences are a perfect fit for his professional life as the Director of Residence Life and Housing at Suffolk University in Boston. But what does all this have to do with sports – LGBTQ sports in particular? Shigeo loves sports and has been playing and coaching a variety of them all his life. But as a gay man it wasn’t until he found the National Gay Flag Football League’s (NGFFL) New York Gay Flag Football League back in 2011 that he found the home for which he’d been searching. Of that experience, Shigeo has this to say:
ometimes I was not Asian S enough and other times I wasn’t White enough; I was always looking for ways to find my place. And being part of LGBTQ sports made that connection when I could just simply be myself and accept me for being me; to go out there and have fun and play sports. It’s that moment when I realized I need to help others feel the same way I did, which is why I work hard at creating these spaces for people to feel accepted and belong to a community.
SPORTS DIVERSITY As a natural introvert, he was raised in the polite, reserved culture of Japan where he also received lots of abuse from his father. It's through American LGBTQ sports that he learned to change his childhood narrative of not being enough to a new one. He finally embraces one that confirms he’s more than enough, saying “I can be whatever I want to be.” Now having been part of flag football since 2011, Shigeo calls it “an amazing journey.” And while he’s never thought of himself as a star athlete, he says he’s been lucky enough to be team captain in three different cities (his job requires lots of moves), Denver, Boston and New York where he led his team to the B Division championship at Gay Bowl XIII in Phoenix. He’s also been elected as a director for the NGFFL. However, true to his caring nature, he said that at last year’s Gay Bowl XVII in his hometown of Boston “I made a commitment to Gay Bowl to not participate with a team at all and simply assist the Host Team and NGFFL to elevate the experience for everyone.” It went so well that he continued his commitment to this year’s Gay Bowl XVIII in Denver. “I think it’s important for LGBTQ people to be included everywhere, even in non-LGBTQ specific sports. … I feel that we need to be better at using sports as communities to bring people together rather than point out the differences between people.” This isn’t to say that Shigeo doesn’t have other interests and hobbies. He enjoys traveling, camping, beaches, working out, trying new foods, listening to new music, photography, sipping coffee, learning new graphic design tricks –he even likes going to the library (good for someone who works on a college campus). But he loves sports because he thinks it brings out the best in people. “It gives people an opportunity to shine in ways that they might have never thought was possible and it gives a chance to bring a group of people together to work on a common goal,” said Shigeo. “I think every player, every athlete can have his or her own goal of what success looks like; I find that very inspiring to share many of these moments with people, no matter how athletic they consider themselves.” Because of his deep and sincere commitment to sports diversity, to helping bring out the best in people and their organizations, Shigeo is now the NGFFL representative to the Sports Diversity Leadership Council. So for you, Shigeo Iwamiya and all the other dedicated part-time recreational athletes like you who are using your leadership skills to promote inclusion, diversity, equality and acceptance both on the field and off, I am in awe of you. From the bottom of my heart I salute and support you for making the world a better place for us all!
28 COMPETE September - october 2018
JOIN US TODAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THE POWER OF SPORTS COMMUNITY
WWW.SPORTSDIVERSITYLEADERS.COM SPORTS DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL IS A TRADEMARK OF MEDIA OUT LOUD, LLC
2018 GAY SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES WRAPS UP BY HARRY ANDREW
Photo Credit: Courtesy Larry Barthel, Triquetra Productions.
30 COMPETE September - october 2018
Photo courtes y of NAGAAA
AGAAA’s 42nd annual Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) is now in the books as another great success. As a first-time host for the GSWS, the Tampa host city committee knocked it out of the park. In spite of the rain they were able to leverage six softball fields so all the games were able to be played without any format changes. And talk about a remarkable fan base – the Seattle Sasssysquatch had a very special fan come out and cheer for them. The 102-year-young grandmother of one of Sassy’s players came to root them on and even had her picture taken with the team. While NAGAAA is all about competitive softball, off the field the league also serves as family for its many members and friends who are also there to reunite with old friends, to make new friends and have fun in the process. As you can see from the pictures, everyone had a great time!
2018 GAY SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES FINAL STANDINGS A DIVISION Co-3rd — Palm Springs Rounders, San Francisco Fury Unleashed 2nd — Phoenix Arizona Toros 1st — Orlando Unicorns
B DIVISION 4th - Austin Fusion 3rd – Ft. Lauderdale Noize Co-Champs — Knoxville Cyclones, Orlando Voltage
C DIVISION 4th – D.C. Envy 3rd – New Orleans Southern Belles 2nd - Atlanta Wet Demons Champs – Mid-Atlantic Thunder
D DIVISION 4th - Boston Postmasters 3rd - Austin Blaze 2nd – Kansas City Hitmen 1st – Mid-Atlantic Norfolk Gunnners
MASTERS CLASSIC 4th – Ft. Lauderdale Code Blue 3rd - Phoenix Arizona Spare Parts 2nd – Mid-Atlantic Master Gunners 1st - Houston Hey Daddy!
MASTERS LEGENDS 4th - Phoenix Dusty Ole Devils 3rd – Ft. Lauderdale Silverhawks Co-Champs – Palm Springs Desert Dogs, Philadelphia Triple Play Legends
BDZ Sports [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
WNBA LGBTQ+ SUPPORT & VISIBILITY INCLUDES
C O A C H
MILLER BY DIRK SMITH, SDL
32 COMPETE September - october 2018
The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has grown into a strong, open supporter of its women players, coaches, team and front office personnel. And in 2014 it finally recognized not only the league’s open lesbians but also became the only professional sports league to openly acknowledge and recruit its many LGBTQ+ fans. Compete has covered many stories on the progressive nature of the WNBA and I’ve written some of them. But as a gay man, it made me especially happy to see that the league made another first with the hiring of openly gay Curt Miller as the head coach and general manager of the Connecticut Sun in 2016. His hiring made sports history since it’s believed he became the first openly gay male head coach in U.S. professional team sports. The WNBA showed that its commitment to diversity and inclusion also included its gay male employees as well as the women. In 1994 Miller became an assistant college coach at Syracuse and he decided at age 25 to finally explore his sexuality. Even though his older brother and sister were also LGBTQ+, up until then Miller had masked his homosexuality. But then he met Jamie Broadwell and they fell in love, a relationship that lasted until 2015. Not long after their relationship began, Miller and Jamie adopted five-year-old twins, Brian and Shawn Seymore belonging to Jamie’s sister. Due to her substance abuse issues she wasn’t able to care for them and asked Curt and Jamie to raise them. The couple stepped up and Miller became legal guardian for the twins for the next 18 years. Miller’s coaching record is enviable – his teams have won five MAC regular season championships and five MAC Tournament championships and he was named the 2017 WNBA Coach of the Year. Yet with all his coaching achievements, being a father has been one of Miller’s most rewarding experiences. With a recent trip home to visit Brian who is in college at Indiana University studying journalism, Miller reflected on the trip: “What was most enjoyable was being able to do dad things for him and feel good about it.” Although Miller and Brian were practically inseparable during the trip, there was something missing. Unfortunately,
SPORTS DIVERSITY Shawn didn’t take the same path as his twin brother. As the boys entered high school their paths diverged. While Brian was pursuing a life as an academic and athlete, Shawn chose to get involved with a bad crowd and spent his time doing drugs; he got hooked on opioids and wound up breaking the law. In 2014 Shawn was remanded to an Indiana correctional facility for 13 years following a conviction for armed robbery. Speaking about Shawn, Miller said, “He couldn’t have been more of an angel, I don’t know what changed.” Unfortunately, with Shawn’s mother’s history of drug abuse, sometimes there’s not much a parent can do until the child is ready to change. But Miller never gives up on Shawn; he keeps in communication with him and is waiting for Shawn to have a second chance. Curt Miller has always coached women’s basketball. Starting his coaching career in 1991 at Cleveland State, he went on to Syracuse and Colorado State in assistant coaching positions. Then in 2001 he moved to Bowling Green and then to the Indiana Hoosiers as a head coach before being hired by the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. After a season as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Sparks, Miller was hired as the head coach for the Connecticut Sun in December 2015. As an openly gay coach and a family man since the mid-90s, the media attention of being an openly gay head coach in professional basketball has surprised him a bit. In an interview with the Hartford Courant’s reporter John Altavilla, he said it was well known throughout the women’s basketball community that he was gay; to him, it was a non-story. But it has caused some retrospection on his part. LGBTQ+ visibility and representation in the world is truly important. That’s especially true for successful openly gay individuals in the sports world to be visible. It helps show that being LGBTQ+ is not about a “lifestyle” or an “agenda” – that being LGBTQ+ is a normal part of the human condition. What’s NOT normal is being afraid of losing your job if people discover you’re gay. Miller was out for years within his family, friends and women’s
34 COMPETE September - october 2018
basketball communities but he never deliberately called attention to his sexual orientation. Early on in his career his reluctance was about job advancement or even job loss. But Miller now realizes that he also didn’t want to let down the LGBTQ+ community by not being the perfect role model. Without any gay role models in sports to emulate as he was growing up, he felt his life wasn’t perfect enough to be a role model. And later, when his son Shawn got into trouble, he didn’t want people being able to use it to say children need to be raised by a mother and father, not two fathers. There is a lot of unrecognized pressure on role models to be perfect!
But that has changed for Miller. He now realizes that the perfect role model actually shows his imperfections, an act that enables others to relate to his humanness and release their own fears of not being perfect. Miller is ready to help the next generation of athletes or coaches looking for a proud LGBTQ+ role model. At the Sun’s Pride Night in July against the Phoenix Mercury, Miller was on a panel that included Sun player Layshia Clarendon, Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner of the Mercury, and LGBTQ+ advocates Wade Davis and Katie Barnes. In a recent Connecticut Sun SunCast, Miller shared with host David Siegel that he feels like he’s “wasted a couple of decades” not being a male role model in his collegiate days. He says he was comfortable in his own skin for a long time but without talking a lot about being gay. Miller is now enthusiastically using his platform as the first openly gay coach of a professional sports team to help inspire young LGBTQ+ athletes and future coaches. Now that he’s getting more comfortable about speaking out, Miller is ready to make up for lost time by also sharing his son Shawn’s story of opioid addiction and speaking out against it and prescription drug abuse. Miller says of all his opponents, opioids are the toughest opponent he’s ever had to fight. It’s also the thing he’s most passionate about in his life, seeing it as a new purpose in his life beyond basketball. Miller has said the he’s always wanted to be known as “the successful basketball coach that happens to be gay as opposed to the gay coach who people felt was a pretty good coach.” From my perspective, I think he’ll be known as the successful gay coach and dad who is also an inspirational role model for untold numbers of individuals.
october 31 - november 4, 2018
YOUTH POWER FOR CHANGE
A AD A ME G
N & FERRA JO
J E S SI E
FO R MER
IC O â€™S
, SAR A H
U VEN ES IN
OCT 31 HALLOWEEN PALM SPRINGS ON ARENAS ROAD PALMSPRINGS.PRIDE NOV 1 GEORGE ZANDER CANDLELIGHT VIGIL NOV 2 FREE STREET PARTY / DIP INTO PRIDE POOL PARTY pspride.org NOV 3 FREE FESTIVAL / ARENAS ROAD BLOCK PARTY / POOL PARTIES / 5K RUN WALK NTOWN P NOV 4 10 AM PARADE / FREE FESTIVAL A OW
AG E S
MARK DUEBNER DESIGN
2018 WORLD GAY RODEO FINALS
WELCOMES YOU! BY HARRY ANDREW Get ready to grab your cowboy hat (you’re already Spacious bleacher seating accommodates 5,500 fans wearing your boots!) and saddle up your favorite horse and spectators in climate-controlled comfort and other – it’s time to mosey on down to Mesquite, Texas for the features include convenient close-in parking, concession International Gay Rodeo Association’s (IGRA) 32nd stands, food stalls and a bar with full liquor service. Annual World Gay Rodeo Finals® (WGRF) running IGRA is one of the most welcoming of the LGBTQ from October 26-28. sports organizations. While many of these groups are This year’s WGRF, IGRA’s signature event, brings also LGBTQ and ally-friendly, IGRA has a written policy over 100 men and women contestants from throughout allowing all competitors, regardless of sexual orientation the U.S. and Canada to compete against their peers in or gender identity to compete without discrimination. eleven traditional rodeo events like bull riding, bronc The rodeo has always been about spreading appreciation riding, steer riding and chute dogging; speed events like for Western culture and the sport of rodeo. Thanks to its barrel racing, pole bending, and flag racing; plus three welcoming “neighbor-helping-neighbor” camaraderie, light-hearted yet fiercely competitive “camp events,” the not everyone gets involved in competing; many folks are likes of which are only to be seen at the gay rodeo. just as happy serving as volunteers. IGRA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is the The rodeo also serves as a fundraising vehicle sanctioning body for all LGBTQ rodeos, and competitors benefiting many charitable organizations. This year the compete for prize money and the coveted title of Allmonies earned by the 2018 IGRA Royalty Team Charities Around Cowboy and All-Around Cowgirl at each of the will go to Wish for Wings, a wish-granting agency for Texas rodeos held by IGRA’s regional gay rodeo associations children fighting life-threatening medical conditions; across the U.S. The winners of each event receive trophy 4 Paws 4 Patriots, a group matching trained shelter dogs buckles that are designed by the host rodeo association. to American veterans needing service dogs; the Trevor At season's end, the contestants with the highest points Project, the organization providing crisis intervention in each event receive invitations to the WGRF that’s and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people presented by IGRA. ages 13-24 nationally; and Joyful Heart Foundation, The venue for this year’s WGRF is the highly acclaimed carrying out healing, education and advocacy through an Mesquite Arena. Just 15 minutes east of downtown integrated program portfolio. Dallas, this completely self-contained facility provides an Come on down and enjoy the World Gay Rodeo Finals excellent venue for both the audience and participants. – you’re sure to have a grand ole' time!
Thursday, October 25 • 7:00 p.m. Royalty Competition Western Wear & Public Presentation Friday, October 26 • 9:00 a.m. Horsemanship Videos (open to the public) • 10:00 a.m. Royalty Interviews (closed to the public) • 4:00-6:00 p.m. Contestant Registration • 7:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies • 7:00 p.m. Royalty Competition (entertainment Saturday, October 27 • 9:00 a.m. Rodeo (doors open 8:00 a.m.) • 7:00 p.m. Royalty Competition Crowning • WGRF Dance (Immediately following crowning) Sunday, October 28 • 9:00 a.m. Rodeo (doors open 8:00 a.m.) • 7:00 p.m. Awards Dinner • 8:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony
36 COMPETE September - october 2018
SDLC LEARNING AND FUN GO HAND-IN-HAND BY CONNIE WARDMAN, SDLT The mission of the Sports Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC) is to train tomorrow’s leaders today but that doesn’t mean that all this learning has to be solemn and boring. Held in August at the Connect Sports Marketplace in Salt Lake City, The Goldfish Bowl is a great example that learning and fun can go hand-in-hand (or fin-in-fin?). A fun take on the TV show “Shark Tank,” The Goldfish Bowl was sponsored by Compete Magazine, Connect Sports, Diversitas Media and Front Row: Ba rbara Harwel l, Jake Mason Back Row: Er several other media media partners with special , Matt Swenso ic Carlyle, Dan n; ielle Vincenti, Catherine (CJ) Angela Smith Kelly, DJ Dor thanks to Connect Sports Marketplace. Over , Chip McKen an, Mashond ney, a Gilmore $18,000 in cash and prizes went to the winners but it was also a great SDLC learning exercise on how to put second place prize together and deliver your organization’s best presentation packages equally between ASANA and for potential partners and sponsors. the GPL. They also declared a tie for third place between The four finalists competing for money and prizes WeHo/USA Dodgeball and Lynn Lewis Foundation, based on the strength of their presentations included: dividing the third and fourth place prize packages equally the Amateur Sports Alliance of North America (ASANA), between them. represented by its commissioner, Angela Smith, SDL; the SDLC’s next Goldfish Bowl will be held at the SDLC Gay Polo League (GPL) represented by its president, Chip Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona on Saturday, November McKenney, SDL; WeHo/USA Dodgeball by its president 10, 2018 as part of the Compete Sports Diversity Awards Jake Mason, SDL; and the Lynn Lewis Foundation weekend (aka, The Petey’s). represented by its founder, Mashonda Gilmore, SDL. The water has been tested and proven to be Judges for the presentations were Danielle Vincenti, “shark-free” so join in the fun and experience SDL from Richmond Region Tourism; Catherine (CJ) the added bonus of learning how to create an Kelly, SDL from the North American Gay Amateur Athletic effective Sponsorship Presentation. Contact us at Alliance (NAGAAA); and DJ Doran, SDLT from Diversitas info@SportsDiversityLeaders.com for further information. Media. Based on the compelling presentations, the judges Here is how one of the contestants described her declared a tie for first place and divided the first and experience in The Goldfish Bowl.
MY DAY AS A GOLDFISH! BY ANGELA SMITH, SDL
I got to “Jump Into the Goldfish Bowl” to showcase ASANA, the organization I love. Not only did ASANA compete but we tied for first place. For those who don’t know, ASANA became a charter member of the Sports Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC) in 2018. ASANA represents a sports community of female athletes rich with pride, unity and love for who we are. For just those reasons we were chosen as one of four SDLC finalists for the Goldfish Bowl competition. So with sweaty hands and my Southern drawl it was time to showcase ASANA with a concise PowerPoint presentation I created. With an unexpected lump in my throat I began explaining what ASANA was, who and what we represented and the family we’ve become. As I went on to highlight our Peanut Foundation, the many charity organizations we’ve supported over the years and the softball play of the ASANA World Series I found myself tearing up, realizing that not only was I representing the organization but also all the players past, present and future who carry on our great tradition. This wasn’t just about a contest to win, it was who I was and who we all are, proud and fierce organizations with significant purposes. To myself I thought, “Wow, no matter who wins this, we all are really winners!”
38 COMPETE September - october 2018
GYM BAG u o y s m e t i Hot ut! o h t i w o d shouldnt Fitbit Versa Live your best life with Fitbit Versaâ€”a health & fitness smartwatch with a 4+-day battery life that includes all important Fitbit features, including compatibility with iPhone, Android & Windows phones. Features include on-screen workouts, connected GPS, smartphone notifications, 24/7 heart rate tracking, phone-free music, apps, coaching and more. Available in black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case or peach with a rose gold aluminum case for $199.95 while the Fitbit Versa Special Edition includes Fitbit Pay. This special feature is available for $229.95 in a lavender woven band with rose gold aluminum case or charcoal woven band with graphite aluminum case, each including an extra black classic band. Customize your Versa by choosing from a range of accessories like Horween leather, stainless steel links and metal mesh bands that range from $29.95-$99.95. www.fitbit.com
StrongBoard BalanceBY DIRK SMITH StrongBoard Balance is a one-of-a-kind, premiere balance board for all levels of fitness enthusiasts. Designed to complement and intensify any workout routine, StrongBoard Balance utilizes MULTI SPRING TECHNOLOGYâ„˘ (MST). MST works with your body to deliver the perfect amount of stimulation, keeping core musculature and stabilizing muscles engaged and contracted while training your central nervous system, expediting calorie burn, improving posture, proprioception and reaction time. Portable and electricity-free, StrongBoard is a functional fitness tool that allows users to train using their own body weight, or modalities, alone, with a personal trainer, or in group exercise. From yoga to kickboxing, athletic conditioning to gaming, StrongBoard plays well with others. Simply standing on StrongBoard Balance provides a complete core workout. Performing basic exercises on StrongBoard engages more muscles than the same exercises on the floor. It also requires focus and supports mindfulness. From the novice to the advanced, StrongBoard Balance delivers profound results, creating desired changes in how users look and feel along with huge improvements in balance, stability, core strength, agility, and posture. $269-$329 Strongboardbalance.com
Rollerblade RB 110 3WD Unisex Adult Fitness Inline Skate These Rollerblade unisex inline skates are perfect for the urban skater, offering lots of speed with reduced vibration for a smoother, more durable ride. The RB molded shell provides exceptional lateral support; is vented for breathability; padded performance liner with additional heel shock absorber adds great vibration dampening and dual buckle and lace closure makes the skate feel like an extension of the foot. The 3WD extruded aluminum frame 255mm/10" is rigid, stable with a lower profile design to lower the center of gravity with increased speed and maneuverability; adjustable frame alignment. Rollerblade Supreme 110mm/85A Wheels maximize roll, grip, speed and wear. A performance upgrade from entry level models; SG7 bearings spin is fast, helping provide appropriate speed. Sizes 5-13; Price $187.62 - $292.95 www.amazon.com
40 COMPETE September - october 2018
EVENTS: FOR A COMPLETE CALENDAR OF EVENTS PLEASE VISIT WWW.COMPETENETWORK.COM/EVENTS BASEBALL
San Diego Doubles 2018
MLB World Series
NCAA Football Season Starts
Location TBD, October 23-31
Various cities, Sept. 1
NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series
BASKETBALL SLC Hardwood Classic Salt Lake City, Oct. 6-7
BOWLING San Jose Invitational Tournament
NFL Season Opener
Tampa Bay, Sept. 3-8
Philadelphia, Sept. 6
ASANA Softball World Series
Gay Bowl XVIII
New Orleans, Sept. 18-22
Denver, Sept. 13-16
St. Louis Arch Invitational
St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 15-16
Inaugural GPL Tournament
San Jose, Sept. 1
Reading, England, Sept. 8
The Albuquerque Roadrunner
Albuquerque, Sept. 21
Bridgetown Invitational Tournament Portland, Ore., Sept. 29
Jackpot Oklahoma Lambda Tournament Tulsa, Oct. 5
Motown Invitational Classic Canton, Mich., Oct. 5
Palm Springs Desert Invitational Classic Palm Springs, Oct. 18
Cincinnati Tri-State Invitational Tournament Cincinnati, Oct. 26
Capital Halloween Invitational Tournament Washington, D.C., Oct. 26
DANCESPORT New England Open 2018 Boston, Sept. 28-29
Ryder Cup Paris, France, Sept. 28-30
MOTORCROSS Monster Energy Cup Las Vegas, Oct. 13
NASCAR Bojangles Southern 500 Darlington, S.C., Sept 2
Big Machine Vodka at The Brickyard 400
Show-Me Showdown Kansas City, Mo., Oct 5-7
Ocean State Cup Classic Providence, R.I., Oct. 5-7
Seaside Showdown Norfolk, Oct. 13-14
Vegas Neon Classic Las Vegas, Oct. 27-28
TENNIS U. S. Open 2018 Peach International Tennis Championships
Las Vegas, Sept. 16
Federated Auto Parts 400 Richmond, Sept. 22
Bank of America 500 Charlotte, N.C., Sept 30
1000Bulbs.com500 Lincoln, Ala. Oct. 14
Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas City, Kan. Oct. 21
Mill Spring, N.C., Sept. 11-23
Milwaukee, Oct. 5-7
South Point 400
WeHo Charity Halloween Tourney
FEI World Equestrian Games
New York, Aug. 27-Sept. 9
First Data 500
Columbus, Sept. 29-30
Indianapolis, Sept. 9
West Hollywood, Oct. 20
Buckeye Softball Classic
Martinsville, Va., Oct. 28
Best Buck in the Bay San Francisco, Sept. 14-16
Big Horn Rodeo Las Vegas, Sept. 21-23
World Gay Rodeo Finals Mesquite, Tex., Oct. 25-28
42 COMPETE September - october 2018
Atlanta, Sept. 1-3
Rose City Open 2018 Beaverton, Ore., Sept. 1-3
Capital Classic XXVI Washington, D.C., Sept. 14-16
Queen City Open Cincinnati, Sept. 21-23
Laver Cup Chicago, Sept. 21-23
15th Indy Tennis Classic Indianapolis, Oct. 12-14
2018 CTA Doubles Championships Washington, D.C., Oct. 12-14
Texas Open 2018 Dallas, Oct. 12-14
Aloha Tennis Open 2018 Honolulu, Oct. 19-21
San Diego, Oct. 20-21
WeHo Sports Volleyball 2018 Los Angeles, Sept. 1
Labor of Love Classic 26 Columbus, Sept. 1
Beantown Classic Boston, Sept. 8
Emerald City Cat Fight Seattle, Sept. 15
Steel City Classic Pittsburgh, Sept. 22
Minnesota Autumn Classic Minneapolis, Sept. 22
Fall Ball V Portland, Oct. 6
Dallas Fall Classic Dallas, Oct. 6
Palm Springs Masters Tournament Palm Springs, Oct. 13
Circle City Fest Indianapolis, Oct. 13
Vegas Baby! Las Vegas, Oct. 27
Music City Challenge Nashville, Oct. 27
Seattle & Atlanta, Sept. 2 Seattle & Atlanta, Sept. 4 FINALS:
Sept. 6, 9, 12, 14 & 16
Thank You to Our 2018 NAGAAA Partners Presenting Partners
World Series Partners
Grand Slam Sponsors
RE F L E CTE D INBY BRIAN C OPATRICK M P ET E A WA R D Compete Magazine was founded by ruggers Eric Carlyle and David Raich after attending the third biannual Bingham Cup in New York City in 2006. There was littleto-no coverage for gay sports and they realized that few knew about the Bingham Cup and of those who did, fewer recognized who Mark Bingham was and why it was named for him. Bingham’s legacy both on and off the pitch has always been a core influence for Compete. Mark Bingham is internationally acknowledged as one of the 38 passengers on hijacked Flight 93 who stormed the cockpit on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. Thanks to their courage and determination, Bingham and the other passengers ensured with the price of their lives that their plane would not hit its intended target. A graduate of the University of California/Berkley, Mark founded the Bingham Group, a successful public relations firm with offices in San Francisco and New York. But he was one of those fun, high energy, competitive people who
loved playing gay rugby. As a founder and teammate on the San Francisco Fog RFC (Rugby Football Club), in 2000 Mark was actively involved in starting another one in New York City – the Gotham Knights RFC. Mark was always well known for his courage and willingness to stand up for someone in trouble as well as his support of the LGBTQ community in general and the LGBTQ sports community in particular. So in 2002 the Fog hosted the first Bingham Cup in San Francisco to honor their fallen hero. As an early leader in the sports diversity movement, in 2013 Compete Magazine decided to change the name of its oldest, most prestigious award from Athlete of the Year to the Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year. Mark’s legacy of courage and his commitment to sports diversity, to inclusion, acceptance and equality for everyone continues to live on through the lives of the following athletes who have been named Mark Bingham Athletes of the Year.
COMPETE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2008 Jeff Kagan
2009 John Deffee
2010 Michael Holtz
2011 David Rae
2012 Jack Mackenroth
2013 Chris Mosier
2014 R. Tony Smith
2015 Jake Mason
2016 Jeremy Ballard
44 COMPETE September - october 2018
2016 Sonya Jaquez Lewis
2017 Ryan Long
MARK BINGHAM ATHLETE
YEAR SEARCH SELECTION COMMITTEE
Eric Carlyle Founder of Media Out Loud, LLC
Layshia Clarendon WNBA Athlete
Allison Jones Multi-Gold Medal Paralympian
SELECTION CRITERIA > Commitment to personal achievement. > Active participation in an individual or team sport. > Commitment to supporting and/or encouraging others in sports. > Commitment to sports diversity and/or diversity and inclusion. Winner to be announced at the 9th Annual Petey Awards.
Stephen Alexander H.S. Coach & Sports Illustrated Trailblazer Award Winner
Connie Wardman Media Out Loud Editor & SDLC Education Director
Chris Balton NAGAAA Commissioner
To apply visit: competenetwork.com/aoty