2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Allyship: Becoming a Champion for Inclusion

#sxsw #allyship SXsports

This session will bring together a diverse contingent of professional athletes, sports figures and LGBT and ally activists discussing LGBT visibility and allyship in sports. Presenters will use their personal experiences to outline how activism and outreach through sports can foster real social change in a variety of contexts. This panel will go beyond the notion of inclusion and acceptance of LGBT athletes in sport, and move to develop an understanding of how LGBT athletes can be celebrated and how momentum can be built around them to support a social movement.

This session is part of the brand new SXsports programming at SXSW 2014.


Brittney Griner

Professional Basketball Player

Phoenix Mercury


Hudson Taylor


Athlete Ally

Hudson Taylor, a three-time NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland is

currently a wrestling coach at Columbia University and is the founder and executive director

of Athlete Ally. Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging athletes,

coaches, parents, fans and other members of the sports community to respect all individuals

involved in sports, regardless of perceived or actual sexual-orientation or gender identity or


Taylor’s exceptional collegiate wrestling career, marked by his is ranking among the top five

pinners in NCAA wrestling history, propelled him to found Athlete Ally. During his final season

as an NCAA All-American and team wrestling captain at The University of Maryland, Hudson

decided that his closest-held values as a leader and student-athlete required that he stand up

and say something about the homophobia and transphobia he witnessed in locker rooms and on

playing fields across the nation. To show his solidarity with the LGBT community as a straight

ally, he wore an HRC sticker on his wrestling headgear. That single act drew thousands of

appreciative emails from closeted athletes, parents and other members of the LGBT community.

Since founding Athlete Ally, Taylor has received numerous recognition awards including

the PFLAG Straight for Equality Award and the Huffington Post’s "Greatest Person of the Day"

recognition. Earlier this year, Taylor was honored by Buick and the NCAA alongside Eunice

Kennedy Shriver and other advocates in sports as a feature story of the Buick Human Highlight


Taylor’s work is now featured in the permanent Miller Family Youth Exhibition at the Illinois

Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which aims to empower young persons to stand

as leaders against discrimination. He has worked tirelessly to build a strong contingent of

professional athlete ambassadors for his cause that includes Brendon Ayanbadejo (Baltimore

Ravens), Chris Kluwe (Minnesota Vikings), Andy Roddick (Tennis), Kenneth Faried (Denver

Nuggets), and scores more. In April 2012, Taylor was named University of Maryland Alumnus

of the Year for the school of Undergraduate Studies for his work as an LGBT rights activist.

Taylor is married to Lia Parifax and lives in New York City.

LZ Granderson


Athlete Ally

Thanks to our sponsors

Miller Lite Monster Energy Esurance Chevrolet AT&T IFC Subway Austin Chronicle

Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil