Campus Pride Blog

Campus Pride, Compete Magazine launch ‘Out to Play Project’ to score most LGBT-friendly collegiate athletic programs

Official Call for Nominations announced today to profile LGBT progressive NCAA or NJCA collegiate athletic programs at colleges and universities across the country

OutToPlay500x300webad.jpgNobody knows the score when it comes to collegiate athletic programs and where they stand on inclusion and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) players, coaches and staff. For the first-time ever, Campus Pride, in partnership with Compete Magazine, plans to find out who the winners are for LGBT-inclusiveness in college sports — and, ultimately, whether out LGBT athletes, coaches and staff are welcome.

Today Campus Pride launches its newly formed “Out to Play Project” which is designed to address anti-LGBT slurs, bias and conduct in college sports. As part of the national project, both Compete Magazine and Campus Pride will spend from March until June reviewing nominations of colleges and universities for the “Out To Play List.” The LGBT-friendly listing will be published in a special edition of Compete Magazine and online at CampusPride.org profiling the “Best” in LGBT-inclusivity and college sports.

The official call for nominations starts today, March 1. To be eligible, the athletic program must be part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I, II and III, or the National Junior College Athletic Association. Former or current out LGBT and ally athletes, coaches, fans and, or campus staff are encouraged to nominate a college or university. Anyone can nominate a LGBT-friendly college athletic program online at www.campuspride.org/outtoplay.

“Anti-LGBT attitudes and behaviors are prevalent, if not pervasive, in the world of sports. ’Out To Play’ can change all that – by starting in college and setting the standard. The ‘Best of the Best’ listing will highlight college athletic programs that have demonstrated LGBT-inclusion in policy and practice,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride. “If we know the score, everyone will be motivated to play harder – even those farthest behind.”

Windmeyer, also the author of The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, will lead the nomination review team which will partly consist of select individuals who are current and former out LGBT athletes as well as researchers in the field of higher education. Once nominations have been received, the review team will contact college sports program to undergo a further review. The review will consist of a series of LGBT-inclusive athletic questions as well as an assessment of the entire campus community through Campus Pride’s LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index (www.campusclimateindex.org).