Home » Successful Sports Parenting Channel » Resources For Parents of LGBT Athletes

Resources For Parents of LGBT Athletes

The following are selected resources for parents of LGBT athletes:

  1. The Family Acceptance Project is a community research, intervention and education initiative that studies the impact of family acceptance and rejection on the health, mental health and well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Results are being used to help families provide support for LGBT youth; to improve their health and mental health outcomes; to strengthen families and help maintain LGBT youth in their homes; to develop appropriate programs and policies; and train providers to improve the quality of services and care these youth receive in a wide range of settings.
  2. GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established nationally in 1995, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on our educator resources, research, public policy agenda, student organizing programs or development initiatives, click here.
  3. The "It Takes A Team!" education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in sport is an education project of the Women's Sports Foundation focused on eliminating homophobia as a barrier to all women and men participating in sport. According to the WSF, the "primary goals are to develop and disseminate practical educational information and resources to athletic administrators, coaches, parents and athletes at the high school and college levels to make sport safe and welcoming for all. Prejudice against lesbian and bisexual women in sports discourages girls and women from participating in sport out of fear of being called "lesbian." Homophobic attitudes and policies that target lesbian and bisexual athletes, coaches and administrators perpetuate this prejudice. The practical effects of such discrimination and prejudice are that all female athletes are denied a healthy and fulfilling sport experience and environment." Because the WSF "also recognizes that homophobia pervades all of sport, influencing the lives of male as well as female athletes. Addressing homophobia in women's sport and in men's sport acknowledges the web of sexism, homophobia and gender oppression that can limit the experiences of athletes of all genders and sexual orientations. It Takes A Team! reflects this inclusive approach to addressing homophobia in sport." For more information click here.
  4. Pat Griffin's LGBT Sport Blog. Pat Griffin is Director of It Takes A Team! Education Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues in Sport. Dr. Griffin is a Professor Emerita in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is author of Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbian and Homophobia in Sports and co-editor of Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Trainers, Routledge. For the past 25 years Dr. Griffin has led seminars on diversity issues and lesbian and gay issues in athletics at numerous colleges and universities as well as at coaches and athletic administrators' association meetings around the United States and Canada. Dr. Griffin has discussed homophobia in sports on ESPN's "Outside the Lines," HBO's "Real Sports" and ABC Sports. In 2007 Pat was selected as one of the "Top 100 Sport Educators" by the International Sport Institute. She played basketball and field hockey and swam at the University of Maryland. She coached high school basketball and field hockey in Silver Spring, Md., and coached swimming at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  5. Transgender Law and Policy Institute.
  6. National Federation of State High School Associations. Transgender Students: Participation in School Sports, Access to Facilities.Helpful article on transgender rights and sports recommending that school and athletics administrators research and familiarize themselves with requirements for the treatment of transgender athletes, inclduing in any applicable state statute, state association policy or board of education regulations, and that they and develop district-wide and sports program-specific policies addressing all transgender issues, including
  • Terminology regarding LGBTQ categories and distinctions
  • Appropriate pronoun usage for addressing transgender students
    Sources of law establishing the legal rights of transgender students
  • The rights of transgender students regarding participation in school athletics programs
  • The rights of transgender students regarding participation in physical education courses
  • The rights of transgender students regarding participation in extracurricular activities
  • Access by transgender students to restrooms, locker rooms and shower rooms
  • Housing and other issues during sports and extracurricular activity road trips
  • Dress codes and their applicability to transgender students and student-athletes
  • Fact versus fiction and an understanding of blatantly false transgender stereotypes
  • Transgender student privacy rights per FERPA and HIPAA
  • Strategies for communicating transgender policies to all school district constituents

The details regarding each of these topics are available, says the NFHS, in three excellent resources - a 24-page publication from the National Association of School Boards titled Transgender Students In Schools: FAQs & Answers (www.nsba.org), a 25-page policy guidance from the U.S. Department of Education titled Examples of Policies & Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students (www2.ed.gov), and a 57-page publication from the National Center for Lesbian Rights titled On The Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student-Athletes(www.nclrights.org).

The most useful template for such a policy - one that could be revised and edited into a structure consistent with any state or local legal mandates - is a model high school policy addressing transgender sports participation and facility use that was issued in 2016 by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and which is titled All 50: The Transgender-Inclusive High School Sports & Activities Policy & Education Project. It is available at www.nclrights.org.

Updated February 11, 2017


Now Available in KINDLE