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Moment #45: Straight wrestler Hudson Taylor comes out as ally of gay athletes

Hudson Taylor (photo by Lewis Payton)

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

Wrestling, 2010: In February 2010 I wrote an article about wrestler Hudson Taylor taking a stand for gay rights. Taylor was then a nationally ranked 198-pounder on the University of Maryland team. The article became our most read of that year and spurred Taylor to a course of activism. From the article:

It's his outspoken support for gay rights, though, that makes him unique in the athletic world, where straight allies are few and far between. Not many athletes would wear a Human Rights Campaign sticker on their headgear in competition.

"For me and my generation, [LGBT rights] is a pressing issue," said Taylor, 23, a native of New Jersey. "I believe that whatever history I'm a part of, I'm responsible for. If I feel something is unjust or unequal, I feel a responsibility to do something about it."

Taylor puts his money where his views are, donating each month to HRC, a leading gay rights organization. But his greatest impact is trying to counteract the aura of homophobia that pervades sports. He does this by bringing up gay rights in media interviews and discussing the issue with teammates, despite the discomfort it might bring.

We have written a lot on Taylor in the past 18 months, which shows the impact he is having on changing the dialogue around gays in sports. He is also a great friend of Outsports and I am honored to have written his "coming out" story, so to speak.

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