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Moment #66: Formation of Penn's Athletes and Allies Tackling Homophobia and Heterosexism

Part of Outsports’ series on our 100 most important moments in gay sports history.

Various sports, 2003. When University of Pennsylvania track athlete Paul Farber (right) quit his team in late 2001, he did so because he didn't feel comfortable being gay on the team. Just over a year later he decided to do something about it, creating what we believe to be the longest-running collegiate gay-athletes support group: PATH (Penn's Athletes and Allies Tackling Homophobia and Heterosexism).

By bridging the gap between the communities, our goal is to foster positive communications and ensure Penn's Athletics program is welcoming of people of all sexual and gender identities and that the LGBT community is welcoming of athletes.

The group's first event was a discussion panel held in March of 2003 featuring varsity athletes, a sports psychologist and other experts in the field of gays in sports. The event drew varsity athletes and some heavy hitters including the school's assistant AD and the NCAA compliance director. The group also brought us Jenelle DeVits, who has become a fierce advocate for ending homophobia in sports.

Farber went on to found the Michigan Athletes and Allies Partnership at the University of Michigan when he headed to Ann Arbor for grad school.

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