US Justice Department: Don’t treat trans athletes as girls

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) | The U.S. Justice Department is getting involved in a federal civil rights lawsuit that seeks to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from competing as girls in interscholastic sports.

Attorney General William Barr signed what is known as a statement of interest March 24, arguing against the policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the board that oversees the state’s high school athletic competitions.

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Canadian Olympic swimmer comes out in online essay

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Olympian Markus Thormeyer, photo via Instagram.

An Olympic athlete has come out as gay in an emotional online essay.

Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer, who competed in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay team in the 2016 Olympics, posted his coming out story on the website OutSports Wednesday, beginning his narrative by revealing that “the secret I was keeping” was “holding me back” when he began training with his team in Vancouver in 2015.

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Olympic qualification a hurdle for out Tongan swimmer

By : Kevin Majoros OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Amini Fonua, photo courtesy Fonua.

An elite athlete who represents his or her country on the international stage generally receives living expenses and medical insurance funded from a variety of sources.

The athlete may also receive paid travel and accommodation for competitions, high quality racing gear, training equipment, coaching, post-workout recovery treatment and nutritional supplementation.

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49ers’ Sowers to be first openly LGBTQ coach in Super Bowl history

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers, image via YouTube.

Every Super Bowl is historic, but next month’s Super Bowl LIV in Miami will be a special landmark for LGBTQ sports fans.

Offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers of the San Francisco 49ers has already made headlines by becoming the first openly gay coach in NFL history, in an interview with Outsports when she joined the team in 2017. With the team’s win against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, she became not only the first openly LGBTQ coach to reach the Super Bowl, but the first female coach as well.

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Sin City Classic brings LGBTQ athletes together for weekend in Vegas

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sin City Classic 2019 participants. Photo via Sin City Classic’s Facebook page.

The biggest LGBTQ sporting event in the world is about to get bigger.

The Sin City Classic Sports Festival, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas, is adding four new sports to its lineup, increasing the total number of participating sports to 24. Presented by Lexus, the massive event is set to take place from January 16-19.

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Lorenzo Gilbert, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader

By : Elizabeth Lentz, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader
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I first met Lorenzo a few years ago, when we were booked for a dance gig together. I didn’t know much about him, just that he was a phenomenal dancer and full of talent.

Fast forward to April of this year. I heard that he was debating trying out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders and I could not have been more excited! Having been part of the organization for three years, I knew how much the team meant to me and was excited for him to share that.

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Colleges hold trainings to better support LGBTQ athletes

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ABOVE: Kenyon’s Timothy Bussey and Denison’s Kayla Hayes. Photo via Twitter.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) | Coming out as gay or transgender can come with many questions and fears.

For LGBTQ student-athletes, it can mean uncertainty about whether teammates and coaches will be accepting, whether playing time will be reduced, and whether they can continue to play a sport that, for many, has been a key part of their life and identity.

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Utah soccer star overcomes challenges as openly gay athlete

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ABOVE: Carly Nelson. Photo by Steve C. Wilson via University of Utah Women’s Soccer’s Facebook page.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Carly Nelson loves everything about her goalkeeper’s job description for the Utah women’s soccer team, including the pressure of keeping opponents from scoring, having a unique view of the field and directing the defenders in front of her. “And, of course,” she said, “wearing the different colors.”

Nelson has worn distinctive goalie uniforms of gray, pink, blue and yellow at various times in her Ute career. Those color choices are her personal expressions, just as her parents once believed about her sexual orientation.

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Out NFL bisexual Ryan Russell just wants to play

By : Karen Ocamb of the Los Angeles Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Ryan Russell, photo courtesy Russell.

LOS ANGELES | It was a long two days. NFL free agent Ryan Russell came out twice in a personal column on ESPN on Aug. 29 and during the subsequent whirlwind of press—first as a bisexual and second as a defensive end who writes poetry and romance stories.

“My primary objective right now is football and getting back in the NFL and playing. And I think the biggest way that I could also kind of help be a more visible figure in professional football, for other LGBT players, is to be on the field,” Russell who continues to train at the NFL’s Exos sports program in Carson, tells the Blade. “I know that there’s an opportunity for me, and I know that my best years of playing are ahead of me and I can’t wait to show the world what I can do.”

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Hong Kong turmoil raises questions about 2022 Gay Games

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of The Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Recent unrest in Hong Kong has some wondering about viability of the Gay Games there in 2022. (Photo by Studio Incendo via Flickr)

The escalating violent street clashes between Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement protesters and local authorities taking orders from China that have taken place each week since June have raised questions about whether Hong Kong can remain a viable host city for the 2022 Gay Games.

In 2017, the Federation of Gay Games, which organizes the quadrennial international LGBT sports event that attracts as many as 15,000 athletes and thousands more spectators, selected Hong Kong as the host city for the 2022 Gay Games.

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Education Dept. agrees to take up anti-trans complaint from girl athletes

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Betsy DeVos, Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The Trump administration has agreed to investigate a complaint from an anti-LGBT legal group contending a Connecticut’s school trans-inclusive policy has “denied equal athletic benefits and opportunities to girls.”

The complaint was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of three teen athletes and accepted by the Department of Education Wednesday at a time when opponents of LGBT non-discrimination measures are stoking fears over men playing in women’s sports to derail those efforts.

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Megan Rapinoe gives special birthday shoutout to brother after World Cup win

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Megan Rapinoe at the World Cup. Photo courtesy Rapinoe’s Facebook page.

Megan Rapinoe took the time to give her brother Brian Rapinoe a birthday shout out right after leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to its second straight World Cup win.

While giving a post-game interview to Fox News, Rapinoe directly addressed her brother.

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