On Campus

Athlete Ally Has Over 35 Active Collegiate Chapters

Hudson Taylor

Athlete Ally founder and three-time NCAA All-American wrestler, Hudson Taylor, regularly visits K-8, high school and college campuses to educate and empower the next generation of athletes to fight homophobia and transphobia in sports.

Invite Athlete Ally to your campus

Athlete Ally visits K-8, colleges, high schools and corporate campuses to educate and empower athletes.



Invite Athlete Ally to your campus

Athlete Ally visits colleges, high schools and corporate campuses to educate and empower athletes. If you would like Athlete Ally to visit your campus or school to deliver a presentation, workshop or other program on LGBT inclusion in sports, send us a message using the form for more information.

Campus Ambassadors

Our college and high school activity is led by Athlete Ally Campus Ambassadors, a volunteer network of athletes, coaches and administrators who work to uphold the principles of respect and inclusion in their athletic communities.

Terri Howes

Campus Ambassador

Sr. Associate AD, West Virginia U.

“Employed in intercollegiate athletics for over 25 years, I have had the pleasure and opportunity to work with many individuals from diverse backgrounds, including a strong network of colleagues and students (current and former) identifying as part of LGBTQ community. I feel my past and present positions on-campus and nationally would help foster my interest in a college ambassador role with Athlete Ally. In particular, I would like to be part of an organization that could foster a more inclusive culture in intercollegiate athletics and help create supportive structures in needed areas.”

T.J. Greggs

Campus Ambassador

Head Coach, Women's Tennis, Agnes Scott

"As a former out college athlete, and now serving as an out coach, I look forward to helping the experiences of those athletes and coaches who may struggle to gain acceptance on the playing field. I am honored to help Athlete Ally with their mission."

Yogi Roth

College Ambassador

Pac-12 Analyst

Yogi Roth is a former Division 1 college football player at the University of Pittsburgh, who went on to work under Pete Carroll at USC, first in the Trojans player personnel department, and then as an assistant coach to their talented quarterbacks. From 2005-2009 he worked with both John David Booty and Mark Sanchez as the team won two more Pacific-10 titles. Today, he is a TV host, college football analyst for outlets like ESPN, Elite 11, and Pac-12 Networks, best-selling author, motivational speaker, actor and filmmaker. Yogi is also an Athlete Ally.

“To be the 100th member of the Athlete Ally team is something I’m humbled and proud of. Together, we plan on actively partnering with college football programs to join the rapidly growing movement toward respecting everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

I’ve been fortunate to travel to over 20 countries and work in more than 100 locker rooms and in each setting the common trait is respect. Ranging from respecting ones skill set to ones religion. Now, we are witnessing coaches, teammates and fans begin to respect each other’s sexual preference. To celebrate that and continue to compete to raise awareness that football has no boundaries we encourage everyone to use the hashtag #Football4All, as this great game has no color, no religion and no sexual preference.”

On his brother, Ravi Roth:

"I get paid to talk about football.

To discuss the toughest, most competitive and strong-willed men in sport who risk their health for a sport that they love with their entire soul, as I did when playing.

But I was recently reminded that the gladiators we celebrate are not nearly as tough as we make them out to be. Well, at least they aren’t as tough as a young man who has been a hero of mine for over 20 years.

You see, at times on a field we have a different persona, an ‘alter ego.’ We are even taught to flip that switch and let it rip.

But my hero, who also loves the art of performance in front of large crowds, is a little different. In a world defined by what we do more often than who we are, my hero has never altered regardless of stage. It’s as if he almost dared a team to blitz him and he stood in the pocket, took a shot and delivered. No matter what.

Looking back, I am surprised that my hero didn’t turn on me. In high school and early in my college career I too joined the majority without even knowing it, using an offensive vernacular without recognizing that there would be repercussions, without flinching as I offended millions as a college athlete.

And last week, in a world where we can be defined by what others say and are affirmed by ‘likes’ on social media, my hero truly defined ‘no flinch.’ He simply lived his authentic story with his authentic voice.

And he did it without putting shoulder pads or a helmet on.

So to Ravi—congratulations on your engagement to Josh. We are so lucky to have you both in our family and lucky to be on your team."

Check out Yogi's website
Follow Yogi on Twitter

Jennifer Cruz

Campus Ambassador


Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer Cruz and I am Seattle University's very own Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador. As our campus's ambassador to I hope to create an open dialogue and conversation about homophobia in athletics at SU so that we can be inclusive to all students on our campus, athlete or not. I believe that no matter who your teammate is, they have the same desire, passion, and drive as you in whatever sport you do. That is why I am an Athlete Ally. No matter what your sexual preference is, everyone is equal and deserves to be treated so. We as Student-Athletes should take pride in what we believe in and stand up for it. As a Student-Athlete myself I pledge to stop all intolerance to the LGBTQ community, and strive to respect all of my teammates as well as opposing players regardless of sexual orientation.

You may be wondering, "Who is this girl?" Well don't you worry your little head, I'll answer that question in a jiffy! I am a Sophomore Psychology major in the College of Arts & Sciences here at Seattle U. I am also a member of the Women's Varsity Rowing Team, GO REDHAWKS! I currently work in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, am involved with Colleges Against Cancer, Campus Ministry, as well as Dance Marathon. When not in class, working, or out on the water with my team I enjoy going downtown to Pikes Place, reading, and watching Netflix in my bed.

I am so excited to see what this year has in store for us all this year and hope to start something big here on campus! If you haven't already joined the movement, here is the link to sign the online pledge form: http://www.athleteally.org/action/join/
Invite your teammates, coaches, friends, family, professors, roommates, doctor, mailman, and anyone else you know who believes in equality in athletics!

Ashleigh Storme Torres

Campus Ambassador

USC Upstate

The University of South Carolina Upstate has a great group of Athlete Ally Ambassadors who are helping bring equality for the LGBT community to campus. One such leader is Ashleigh Storme Torres, who told Athlete Ally Program Coordinator Brian Healey about the positive change she thinks the efforts will have on campus.

My name is Ashleigh Storme Torres and I'm an Army brat that was born in Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado. I moved to Escondido, CA at two and stayed there until Freshman year of HS. Then we moved to Roanoke, VA where I finished HS and lived in Las Vegas, NV for awhile. My family includes my mother, twin sister (20), and younger sister (10). I started running in 4th grade and now run Cross Country and Track & Field for USC Upstate. I also played Basketball from 8th to 12th grade.

I've always known I was different since kindergarten. I actually went into a denial in elementary school when I realized that I was a lesbian. The denial lasted a whole week, haha. I finally accepted my sexuality in 7th grade and hid it until I finally came out to my sister when I was 16. I actually never told my mother, she just overheard when I admitted it to my aunt's female fiancé. Awkward. But she's cool with it. Now I'm all about educating people on the LGBT community and trying to extinguish gay stereotypes.

How do you think the athletic culture at USC Upstate could potentially be improved through Athlete Ally chapter on campus?

I think Athlete Ally will improve the athlete culture exponentially. Teammates feel like a second family to some people. But families have secrets, and we can be afraid that if the secret gets out, we'll be shunned by our family. If we can have it to where gay athletes know for a fact that their teammates wholeheartedly support our sexual orientation, imagine the acceptance being the cement to the family bond.

Do you feel Athlete Ally's being on campus will make it a more welcoming environment for LGBT student-athletes?

Athlete Ally being on campus definitely makes it a more welcoming environment for LGBT athletes. To be able to compete without any bias remarks to our sexuality is amazing. And if an LGBT athlete gets hated on or discriminated against, knowing that our teammates will have our back is so comforting. No athlete should be afraid of any factor such as orientation being used as ammo that would affect any aspects in their sport.

Does allyship from professional athletes like Andy Roddick or any others we've worked with seem important in making people more open to LGBT athletes?

Having any well-known and or professional athletes support the LGBT cause, especially an ally, is a huge factor. Athletes have influence. If a kid has Andy Roddick as his hero and role model, and he sees that Andy Roddick is an ally, then the kid may imitate his hero and be accepting as well. We just effectively recruited another ally of the future generation. That's one more voice helping our cause for equality.

Being an openly lesbian athlete definitely has its challenges. Especially, since I'm in a sport where I'm surrounded by many other female athletes that run around in short spandex and sports bras. If I can be in an environment where If I don't have to be just so overtly showing that I'm in no way looking at other girls, then that would be so amazing. It's hard. There's discrimination everywhere and I don't want to have to always fight the mentality that LGBT athletes are perverts. It's easier to prove someone right than it is to prove them wrong.

Derrick Anderson

Campus Ambassador

Ohio State University

“I had to struggle with how i saw myself and find out who i really was on the inside. but with the support from my boyfriend I was able to come out in a way that was casual and easy.”

My name is Derrick Anderson, I'm 19 years old and majoring in Financial Services at The Ohio State University. I am from Mansfield, Texas. My parents are both highly involved in the military my dad is a captain in the army and my mom is a civilian but works as a family readiness coordinator for my fathers unit. I have two other sibling a older sister Nian who is 21, and a younger brother, Darrius who is 14.

I decided to come out because my boyfriend saw how not being myself was affecting the way I was acting in my everyday life. From keeping a major part of myself a secret it just made me feel like I was living a lie, and I had to keep compounding lies just to hide who I really was. All of this just became too much up to the point where i wouldn't even talk to my parents or became extremely secretive when I was around people that I didn't want to find out. I think another major reason is that by staying in the closet it made me way more self conscious than i had ever been in my entire life, I had to struggle with how i saw myself and find out who i really was on the inside. but with the support from my boyfriend I was able to come out in a way that was casual and easy.

I have been an athlete for almost my entire life. I started with gymnastics when I was about 6 and went all the way up until I was 13. While I was in gymnastics I played baseball and football and got introduced to track when I was in the 7th grade and then went ahead and stuck with it ever since.

Claire Collins

Campus Ambassador

Whitman College

“I want all varsity and club athletes to be able to be who they really are and have their team support them!”

Claire is a Varsity Women's Swimming Team member and Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

A junior English major, Claire Collins is one of Athlete Ally's newest Ambassadors, and will be working at Whitman College to keep the discussion about homophobia and transphobia in athletics alive on campus.

Following in the footsteps of former Whitman ambassadors Matt Rowett and Alice Minor, Claire sees the swim team as an inclusive space, and hopes to help ensure the same for the rest of the athletic teams on campus.

"As an Athlete Ally Ambassador, I hope to create a dialogue and conversation about homophobia in athletics at Whitman. I feel as though a conversation will allow for more acceptance in athletics. I want all varsity and club athletes to be able to be who they really are and have their team support them!"

"I think one of the most important parts of Athlete Ally is that anyone can be an ally and I would like to see some of my friends get excited about Athlete Ally"

Since joining Athlete Ally as a Campus Ambassador, Claire has helped empower her athletic community to take action on LGBT inclusiveness. They even made a video, view it HERE.

Dylan Ryan

Campus Ambassador

Duke University

“On my own team, we have seen strides. Though not everyone changes immediately, many of my teammates have upheld the pledge by keeping each other accountable.”

My name is Dylan. I’m white, I’m middle class, I’m from New Hampshire, I’m Republican, I’m a sophomore on the Duke University wrestling team, and I’m an Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador.

After first meeting Hudson Taylor as a freshman in college I was touched by his message, though it was one of my fellow ambassadors, Conner Hartmann, who was initially carrying his words. I did not act immediately, but always remembered the message. This spring, while in an online argument about basketball, I was repeatedly called a faggot and a homosexual because of the sport I choose to participate in. This repeated hate speech put me into a period of reflection, in which I remembered Hudson Taylor, who also happened to participate in my sport. I couldn’t imagine being a part of the LGBT community and being part of the locker room, as hearing the constant badgering and dissociation of that community would be nearly impossible to deal with. This is when I contacted Hudson Taylor, and became an ambassador for Athlete Ally, and thus beginning the program at Duke University.

The first thing I did was recruit Conner Hartmann, our NCAA qualifier at 197 pounds, to join me in the fight to end this hate speech in the athletic community. After meeting with Leslie Barnes, our Director of Student-Athlete Development, and Janie Long, our Director at the LGBT Center, we made it our mission to push the message at Duke. We have had a few more athletes jump on board and will start a Facebook page to help promote the pledge on campus. We also plan to do a photo shoot and create posters so our athletes can promote the pledge. I will also be wearing a customized headgear in all my matches next season to promote the message of equality for the LGBT community in sports. Hopefully this gives the message some publicity and allows more athletes, coaches, and fans to join in.

On my own team Conner and I have seen strides. Though not everyone changes immediately, many of my teammates have upheld the pledge by keeping each other accountable and catching themselves when they call someone “gay” or “fag”. Already we have had teammates sign the pledge and promote the message, which is touching in a sport like wrestling that has many people attack it for being “gay”.

One challenge we faced is the image people have of the LGBT community for stereotypes and upbringing, as many refuse to understand what their speech and practices do to our community. It is challenging to change these opinions and build their belief in the pledge, but through continued observance of the pledge and continuing to maintain it, some of these people have jumped on board for equality in sports. Many members of the religious community also have a tough time understanding the pledge, but with use of religious messages, ideals, and stories, we have been able for many to see that the pledge does not interfere with religious beliefs.

My hope is that all professional leagues members of the LGBT community do not have to hide their identity in fear of disappointing or hurting their teammates. Jason Collins’ courageous step is the first step in changing this culture in major professional leagues, and with more recognizable athletes joining Athlete Ally and upholding the pledge this can only change for the better. Sexuality should not come between teammates, coaches, and fans. We can build equality in the athletic community and we can end the negative stigma.

Brendan Striano

Campus Ambassador

Rutgers University

“We, as athletes, need to start standing up against the intolerance of others.”

Brendan is a junior at Rutgers University, and the captain of the Crew team. Below he tells why he chose to become an Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador.

I have been involved in competitive athletics throughout the course of my life. I got involved in rowing when I was a freshman in high school and have continued my athletic career during my education at Rutgers University. I, like many others, cherish every aspect of sport. I love training every day. I love the camaraderie that comes from training with a dedicated group. But above all, I love competition. No matter what sport you play or where you go, love for competition is the one commonality. This love for competition is what unites us as athletes. Competition is so special because it is the great equalizer. Undoubtedly, every team is different. Each squad has its own technique, team dynamic, training regiment, along with many other details, but none of this matters on game day. On game day, once the teams are squared away, both teams are on an even playing field; no one is given an advantage, everyone is considered equal. This is what we as athletes love, being lined up as equals, given the chance to demonstrate our athletic ability.

I strongly believe that just as all teams are treated as equals on game day, all athletes should be treated equally day in and day out. There should be no distinctions made based on unique features of one's person, especially sexual orientation. Accepting others will go a long way toward advancing equality in athletics. Unfortunately, accepting others is not enough.

We, as athletes, need to start standing up against the intolerance of others. As Athlete Allies, we need to speak out against acts of homophobia committed by others. We can no longer allow the outspoken ignorance of others to shape athletic culture in America. For too long, athletes of the LGBT community have been forced into silence by the intolerance of others. It is time that as athletes we stand up against these injustices and promote equality in athletics

Kyle James

Campus Ambassador

Ithaca College

“We’re the same people, with the same love for the game that everyone else has.”

Kyle James is just finishing up his first year at Ithaca College, and studies in the Integrated Marketing Communications and Sport Management Program.

Being a gay athlete in a small Ohio city was the biggest balancing act in my life. I wanted to be true to who I was, but at the same time, I knew that being gay AND an athlete was never an option for me. My biggest fear wasn't people judging me or losing friends, it was that my sexuality would be a distraction that would hurt the team. My biggest fear was proved true when the topic of LGBTQ rights got brought up at practice one day. Most of my teammates felt uncomfortable with the subject, some voiced their support, and even more voiced their disapproval. However, one reaction stays with me to this day.

One of my teammates said, "I'd be okay with gay people if we put them on their own island away from everyone else." From that moment on, I knew that I would never be able to come out to my soccer team. His comment made me feel like an outsider, almost as if he had stranded me on that island by myself. By being a student ambassador for Athlete Ally, my goal is to change the perception of LGBTQ athletes. We’re the same people, with the same love for the game that everyone else has. I hope that one day LGBTQ athletes won’t have to worry about being a distraction to their team and can feel completely safe being themselves while playing the sport they love.

Sports teams at Ithaca College are generally accepting of LGBTQ athletes. We've been consistently ranked in the top 10 colleges by many different websites for LGBTQ inclusiveness and have been an example for our policies that work with our transgender students. It is therefore pretty natural that our sport teams follow in this manner. To my knowledge, there is even a LGBTQ athlete that holds a captain position of their sports team and many more participate as active members of their team. However, there is still much to be done. There are still athletes that find the need to hide their sexuality from their teammates in fear of being looked down upon. Some incoming freshman don’t join sports because they are afraid of how their teammates would handle a LGBTQ teammate, and being honest, coming into college is a nerve-wracking experience enough without having deal with that kind of extra pressure.

As a student ambassador for Athlete Ally, I'll be working to make sure that all students feel comfortable on their sport teams regardless of their sexuality. Ithaca College has been a leader in LGBTQ rights on their campus and there is no doubt in my mind that with a little work, we can make this next step as well.

Christie Cicero

Campus Ambassador

Mercyhurst University

“Every athlete deserves the same treatment as the teammate next to him or her.”

Christie is a Junior forward for the Mercyhurst Women's Hockey Team. Along with being an Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador, she is an Exercise Science major, and hails from Manalapan, New Jersey.

Since the day I could walk I laced up my skates and played hockey. Athletics have been an extremely huge part of my life and will continue to as I grow older. It has already been a tremendous accomplishment that women were able to gain acceptance throughout America to join college athletics. Sports build people's character and personalities and essentially mold them into who they are. It brings out a side that many people do not have. The drive, the dedication, the competitiveness, the perseverance; you can’t teach those things, they truly come naturally. No matter who your teammate is, they have the same passion and desire as you do. That is why I am proud to become a member of Athlete Ally.

I believe Athlete Ally is an extremely important organization to gain equality throughout sports. I have had numerous teammates, or know of people, who have been abused by other teammates, coaches, or players on opposing teams for who they are or their sexual orientation. The spread of equality needs to begin now, and quickly. Their sexual preference does not change who they are, and most certainly does not take away from their athletic abilities. All individuals should be treated the same, and we as student athletes should take pride and stand up for what we believe in. Every athlete deserves the same treatment as the teammate next to him or her, and the ignorance of others needs to come to an end. Homophobia is an excuse to abuse people, or to treat them differently.

As a women's ice hockey player, I pledge to stop all intolerance to the LGBT community, and strive to respect all of my teammates as well as opposing players regardless of sexual orientation. As an Ambassador for my community, I will do my best to spread this message to all athletes on campus.

Kevin Hunt

Campus Ambassador

Saint Michael's College

“As a coach, we have a job to not only prepare our players for games, but to guide them as they mature and become adults.”

Kevin was Saint Michael’s College Lacrosse Captain 2011-2012 before becoming the SMC Men's Lacrosse Assistant Coach. He’s an Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador.

As a collegiate coach and former collegiate athlete, I have witnessed homophobia both on and off the field of competition. Athletes and coaches have often been guilty of using the words "fag," "fairy," "homo," or "gay" in an extremely derogatory context. These terms are used naively, without any understanding or thought as to how they may be offensive and hurtful to an individual.

Having two siblings who are homosexual and a best friend and former college roommate who is homosexual, I have become more aware of the language that we use in our daily lives. I cringe every time I hear the phrase "That's so gay" or "You're a fag." As an athlete on a sports team, it's difficult to stand up to teammates and colleagues. Many athletes feel pressured to fit in and go along with group mentality at times, even if it means saying or doing something they don't truly feel comfortable with. It takes a special person to be able to stand up to peers when something is being said or done that they don't agree with.

As a coach, we have a job to not only prepare our players for games, but to guide them as they mature and become adults. Creating a safe environment - one that does not tolerate prejudice or homophobic behavior - is a key ingredient to upholding Athlete Ally's mission. I have found that an effective way to create such an environment is by setting clear expectations around the language that the team uses. When it is known that a coach will not tolerate homophobic phrases, players are much less likely to use them. The trick, however, is to get more coaches on board with this mission. With more and more professional athletes coming out, there's no doubt in my mind that there will be a growing trend in collegiate sports with athletes coming out, both as Allies and as member of the LGBT community. We need to uphold our end as coaches and establish a culture amongst our teams that found itself on the basis of accepting everyone as they are.

Mark O'Connell

Campus Ambassador

Princeton University

“Every student has a right to play and sexual orientation or gender identity should never inhibit individuals from excelling or contributing to their team’s goals.”

Mark is a member of the Princeton Swim Team and an Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador.

The world of athletics and the LGBT community can appear to be two seemingly separate and hostile worlds for some people. The reality, however, is that LGBT athletes play a critical role in all sports and are no different from their straight teammates and competitors in regards to athletic ability. Although some may think that allowing LGBT athletes to be open will ruin a team’s dynamic or chemistry, I think many would argue the opposite. An all-inclusive environment that celebrates people’s differences can only help a team or an individual’s level of achievement.

At Princeton, we have recently launched our own version of Athlete Ally in order to raise awareness of LGBT issues on our athletic teams. From an outsider’s perspective, Princeton may appear to be relatively conservative, but I have found this to be an inaccurate judgment of the campus environment. Although the university places a large emphasis on tradition, Princeton is very progressive and its students and faculty are incredibly accepting and supportive of those who are different. Princeton’s success in athletics is one of the school’s many traditions. As one of the leading competitor’s in the Ivy League, I think it is Princeton’s responsibility to show its support for the LGBT community on our varsity sports teams.

The goal of Princeton Athlete Ally is to create a more inclusive and less hostile environment for those student-athletes who identify as LGBT. By giving allies the means to express their support for the LGBT community, we hope individuals will feel more inclined to open up to their teammates. One of the most important parts of Athlete Ally at Princeton is the belief that anyone can be an Athlete Ally. Whether someone is a player, fan, parent, coach or referee, everyone can support this movement. Allies can be straight or not straight; sexual orientation does not matter, what does matter is that people stand up for what they think is right. Every student has a right to play and sexual orientation or gender identity should never inhibit individuals from excelling or contributing to their team’s goals.

Become a Campus Ambassador

The Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador Program is a volunteer-based initiative, helping students across the world connect with their campuses to spread Athlete Ally’s message of inclusion in sports.


Present information about Athlete Ally to athletic directors, student leaders, coaches, teams, and student­run groups.


Encourage your athletic community to sign the Athlete Ally Pledge and stand up as allies through a range of campus initiatives.


Organize your athletic community online and offline to take action promoting LGBT inclusion in sports.

Interested in representing Athlete Ally on your campus?

Request a welcome pack for more information on how to begin.


What’s in the Welcome Pack

  • An in­ depth look at Athlete Ally and why we need your help to spread the word
  • Talking points to help you present Athlete Ally’s mission to teams, coaches, and leaders on campus
  • Template materials to share with your peers, encouraging them to sign the Athlete Ally Pledge and challenge homophobia and transphobia in sports through a range of on campus programs
  • Community building resources, including social media and campus networking strategies
  • Best practices and resources to begin a program at your school
How can I talk to teammates who may be uncomfortable with a openly gay player?

Some straight athletes don't realize that LGBT people are very active in sports. It's estimated that 40% of LGBT youth have played at least one team sport. Chances are that you and your teammates have played alongside – and showered alongside - LGBT athletes in the past, though they may not have realized it. The only thing that changes when a player comes out is that he or she feels more comfortable being himself or herself.

It's also unfair and inaccurate to assume that an LGBT person will sexualize the locker room experience. LGBT athletes are there to play the game, just like everyone else, and they deserve the same opportunities and respect. If you need a quick response, simply tell your concerned teammates: 'don't flatter yourself.'

How can I work with my team to be inclusive in all contexts, even away from athletics?

Becoming an ally is a journey for many people. Sometimes, a person will be inclusive in one context, like the playing field or at work, but not an ally at home or in social settings. Being an Athlete Ally means that you have to be ready to build bridges and work respectfully with people along their journeys.

To help your teammates become allies in social settings, you may want to start showing support for LGBT inclusion on social media. Share stories of LGBT individuals and allies on Facebook and Twitter. This may demonstrate to your teammates that social allyship is well received. You may also want to mention fun stories or experiences with your LGBT friends in front of your teammates.

Hopefully, the teammates will soon realize that they are missing out on great experiences and great people in their social lives.

How can I reconcile my faith, or that of my teammates, with being an Ally

Faith is personal, which means that every individual has a unique experience incorporating allyship into his or her religious beliefs. Countless Athlete Allies are also people of faith. We recommend that you look closely at the values of allyship and see how they fit in the larger context of your religion. For example, being an ally means treating others with respect, dignity and kindness. It means embracing difference and respecting people rather than judging them. We also suggest that you study why some members of your faith may view LGBT people negatively and ask yourself if those views make sense to you.

Seek out LGBT affirming organizations within your religion. We promise they exist, and we are happy to help you find them. Learn about their views, ask constructive questions and share the answers with members of your religious community. Thoughtful questions are often the first point of productive conversation about being an ally of faith. Also, it's important that athletic environments are inclusive and respectful of all backgrounds and beliefs. Sport is a neutral playing field, and everyone should be able to bring their whole selves to the game.

Even if you ultimately decide that you don't support diverse sexual orientations, being a member of an athletic community means that you should respect and welcome everyone.

How can I help make my campus athletics more inclusive?

The Sports Inclusion Project is here to help! Athlete Ally and Campus Pride have launched the Sports Inclusion Project to help campuses work toward more LGBT-inclusive athletic departments and rec sports. Click here to learn more: www.sportsinclusion.org

Is the use of sexist or homophobic names to motivate a team really a problem in athletics?

Coaches use a range of strategies to motivate athletes. They may penalize, criticize, compare, compliment or reward an athlete to help improve performance or work ethic. In any case, it's wrong and discriminatory to use a coaching strategy at the expense of LGBT people, women or any individual. A derogatory slur insults or criticizes someone by degrading a group of people. A slur doesn't just hurt the person you're trying to insult, it hurts the community you're referencing through the insult.

Anti-gay or sexist language and conduct can make others feel insulted and degraded. Coaches have many options to motivate their players. Just like using physical violence or racist taunts, homophobic and sexist language is not acceptable. Coaches can always motivate athletes and preserve the competitive spirit of a team with a broad range of productive, appropriate and respectful options.

Do I have to be a top performer, starter or other leader in order to be an effective Athlete Ally?

By being an ally, you are being a leader. You are standing up for what you think is right, and you're asserting your opinions within a group of your peers. Though it may seem that teammates may respond better or listen more to the views of a top player, your commitment and fortitude will stand out. Others will hear you, and you will affect them even if in subtle ways.

Sometimes, being an Athlete Ally is about planting the seed and making the case. It's about telling others that you care, that you will hold people accountable for inconsiderate and unsportsmanlike conduct and that you will support and respect LGBT individuals.

Many allies are often surprised to know how one supportive comment or action, which they thought was insignificant or ignored, had profound impact on people around them. Remember, your every word and action as an Athlete Ally matter, and if you can empower just one or two more athletes to join you, there will be strength in numbers.

I identify as LGBTQ. Am I still welcome to be an Athlete Ally?

Making athletics a safe space for all takes teamwork, and each of our Ambassadors, whether LGBT or straight-identifying, are invited to help foster allyship in their own communities.

Educating and empowering allies of all kinds to take a stand against homophobia and transphobia in sports is what Athlete Ally is here to do. You can learn more about some of our dedicated Ambassadors in the profiles above.

I’m thinking of coming out to my team, can you help?

Athlete Ally works closely with LGBT athletes across the world. We also collaborate with affiliate organizations that specialize in providing support to LGBT athletes who are considering coming out. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for support, guidance or resources. We also recommend connecting with the LGBTQA center on your campus.

I’m thinking of coming out to my team, can you help?

Athlete Ally works closely with LGBT athletes across the world. We also collaborate with affiliate organizations that specialize in providing support to LGBT athletes who are considering coming out. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support, guidance or resources. We also recommend connecting with the LGBTQA center on your campus.

You can also connect and find support with any of the following organizations: