You'd be hard-pressed to name two people who have collectively had a stronger impact on the gay-sports movement than Pat Griffin and Helen Carroll. These two pioneers have been working toward equality for the better part of 30 years. They've visited high schools. They've talked to colleges. They've waged legal campaigns. They've educated educators. And with more incredible work in 2011, our readers have named these two women our "Persons of the Year."
In 2011 alone, Griffin launched GLSEN's Changing the Game project, which is bringing tools to end homophobia in sports directly into K-12 sports programs; Carroll, who heads up NCLR's sports project, has taken a lead roll on the project's advisory board. Together the women published what has become the NCAA's de facto policy on trans-athlete participation. Their behind-the-scenes work is unparalleled in this world; Much of what happened in 2011 can be traced in some way to the work these two women did in previous years. And their guidance to us here at Outsports has been invaluable.
The dynamic duo won by the proverbial landslide, garnering 53% of the vote, a testament to their work in what has been dubbed the "gayest year in sports." High School bloggers and 'It Gets Better' teams tied for second with 11% each. Rick Welts and the Golden State Warriors, who together executed what might have been the single-most important moment of the year, earned 10%. Sean Avery received 9% of the vote, and Anton Hysen got 7%.
Thanks to all of our nominees for an incredible year, and thanks to our readers for sharing their thoughts and votes!