Continuing the conversation about marriage equality

The marriage equality campaign currently underway here in Oregon has a limited amount of time to reach and persuade voters who are still on the fence in order to gain the support needed to move forward to the ballot.

This video shows real Oregonians talking about why marriage matters — watch it and spread the word by sharing it through your social networks!

The most important way to […]

Rugby star and gay rights advocate Ben Cohen comes to PDX!

As we mentioned here a few weeks ago, rugby star and noted ally Ben Cohen recently hung up his boots, deciding to focus on his new anti-homophobia and anti-bullying initiative, the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation.

Cohen is kick starting his project by touring the US, and on Thursday he’ll be here in Portland! He’ll be at Niketown (at SW 6th and Salmon) from 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm.


The tide is starting to turn as athletes and others in the sports world come out

Will Sheridan in his playing days

As you may have heard, there has been some extremely exciting news in the intersecting worlds of gay people and sports lately.

On Monday, Rick Welts, the chief executive and president of the Phoenix Suns, came out in a very public way (you can’t get much more public than the front page of the New York Times, can you?). In coming out, Welts aims to break the silence surrounding homosexuality in sports. The reaction to his news has been very encouraging. David Stern, the commissioner of the NBA, has been nothing but supportive. Before coming out to the world at large, Welts came out to Bill Russell, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and to Steve Nash, the Suns point guard and two-time NBA MVP, both of whom offered their full support and respect.

Continue reading »

Dolores Huerta Supports the Freedom to Marry

As you might have noticed, Basic Rights Oregon is hard at work on a freedom to marry campaign.

This week, labor leader and activist Dolores Huerta stated her support for marriage equality in a powerful video.

In this video, Dolores Huerta says supporting the freedom to marry is “so important” because “it’s a human right.” Ms. Huerta has spent more than a half-century advocating for human rights, […]

Portland Shockwave: Football in Your City

If you’re a football fan living in Portland, you may feel a little bereft right now. While the Ducks captivated the nation this fall, Eugene’s kind of far away; Seattle, home to our nearest NFL franchise, is even farther — and besides, it’s the off season for both teams (and with a lockout looming, the Seahawks will be out of play for even longer than usual).

The good news is that there’s a football team right here in Portland in season right now! The Portland Shockwave compete in the Independent Women’s Football League, and they are the real deal. After narrowly missing the playoffs last year, the Shockwave are off to a great start, having soundly beaten the Seattle Majestics 21-0 in last Saturday’s season opener.

Continue reading »

Are you ready for some derby?!

Rose CIty Rollers

Portland has a good number of rec leagues, where anyone with interest and desire can join a team. We also have our pro teams, the Blazers and the Timbers (despite their complete lack of acknowledgment of the queer community, but, hey, that’s a topic for another post).

Finally, we are lucky to have a league that incorporates recreational play for complete beginners as well as awesome spectating opportunities — the Rose City Rollers. RCR has been kicking around Portland since 2004, and in that time they’ve created an infrastructure that should be the envy of any upstart league.

Continue reading »

Athletic Allies

Rugby pro Ben Cohen

A lot of people, myself included, wish that more top-level athletes would come out. Based on rough statistics, it’s clear that there are many athletes competing in the upper echelons of their sports who are queer but remain closeted. The fact is, though, that coming out as an elite athlete is a catch 22–athletes aren’t going to come forward until there is less of a stigma around homosexuality in sports, but there isn’t going to be less of a stigma until there are more openly gay athletes.

This is where straight allies come in. Recently, several high profile straight athletes have publicly declared their allegiance to lgbt rights and to lgbt athletes.

Continue reading »

Queer Sports in Portland

Portland gay volleyball

Here in Portland, we’re lucky to have queer teams, groups, and leagues in a variety of sports. If you’re looking for a specifically-inclusive athletic outlet, check out one (or more!) of these options.

Continue reading »

Interview with Brad Usselman, gay high school athlete and blogger

Brad Usselman

Brad Usselman, a Vancouver high schooler, recently (along with two friends) started a blog that is aimed at altering perceptions of LGBTQ athletes. They describe themselves as,

…3 young adults wanting to change the way LGBTQ athletes are viewed in the sports world. All of us are varsity athletes in high school who are on our own paths to being who we truly are. We invite you to take the stand with us and begin walking the road to equality.

Brad, a sophomore, has been on his school’s varsity track and cross country teams since he was a freshman, and his goal is to run for a Division 1 college team. I recently conducted a short interview with him.

Aly Sneider: What specifically inspired you to start the blog?

BU: The thing that inspired me the most to start this blog is wanting to help out the younger generations and make sure that they do not go through the internal struggles of acceptance that I went through. I also wanted to start a community where gay high school athletes are able to go and realize they that they are not alone.

Continue reading »

Gay high school athletes share their experiences

Openly gay athletes are few and far between, especially in the highest levels of competition. Thanks to small-mindedness and discrimination, we queer folks have been systematically discouraged from participating in athletics. The number of openly gay professional athletes in America can literally be counted on one hand.

Three Pacifc Northwest teenagers are looking to change the queer-athletic landscape by launching a blog devoted to discussing their lives as gay high school athletes. recently published a coming out letter written by one of the kids to his parents.This letter (and its posting on a public website), and the blog that is to follow, are remarkable in that they come from an athlete who is so young, especially given that when elite gay athletes do come out, it is generally after they have retired.At least one of these kids fully plans on continuing his athletic career at the Division 1 college level. The fact that he doesn’t see being openly gay as any sort of impediment to his goals is a sign that our culture is changing, at least in our corner of the country, slowly but surely, one athlete at a time.

Continue reading »