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Outsports Pride celebrates courage in sports at New York City Pride

Athletes, coaches and other LGBTQ people in sports share their stories.

Outsports was out and proud at the New York Pride March
Reginald Louis-Jacques

Outsports hosted 150 people from across the sports world over the weekend in New York City at a wildly successful third Outsports Pride. In addition to some fun social events and a Great Dodgers-Mets game, there were some really nice moments throughout the weekend.

  • The Outsports Pride Summit took place Friday at the Dream Hotel. The day kicked off with a fascinating conversation between 49ers coach Katie Sowers and former NFL player Ryan O’Callaghan, led by SB Nation editor in chief Elena Bergeron. The trio discussed the current state of being out in the NFL, with both Sowers and O’Callaghan painting a bright picture for the present and future in the league.

Sowers got a big laugh when she said one of the lessons she learned was that she shouldn’t have bothered dating men.

  • There were also panels on being out as a coach; how to get a job in pro sports; the challenges facing people in the media; and building an openly supportive team or athletic department
  • The day concluded with a conversation between ESPNW writer Katie Barnes and former NWHL player Harrison Browne. The two brought powerful insights into the empowerment of trans and gender non-binary people in the sports world, hitting on topics ranging from high school to professional sports.
  • Nike hosted us for a fun and heartwarming celebration of courage at the company’s gorgeous new New York headquarters. Attendees shared the names of people whose courage inspired their courage. After a lively cocktail party, several people shared stories of how someone else’s courage was contagious for them.
  • For us the strongest indicator of success for these events is the people now feeling empowered to come out, either privately or publicly. We heard several of these stories over the course of the weekend. Courage truly is contagious.
  • One of the highlights of Friday’s session was a 14-year-old trans boy who came at the last minute with his mom. He plays soccer and ice hockey and his grin never left him all day. He was thrilled to have lunch with Harrison Browne, a perfect example of how important visibility is to provide role models.
  • Marching in the parade may have started a long while after we thought it would, but it was still amazing to march through the streets of New York, and mingle with people like NFL coach Katie Sowers and UFC fighters Tecia Torres, Nina Ansaroff and Sijara Eubanks.
  • We distributed a few thousand “Courage Is Contagious” bracelets to people watching the march, and former college football player Christian Mays won the honor for passing out the most.
  • One of our marchers was Michael, a 16-year-old who had just come out as bi and reached out to Sowers, saying, “I somehow garnered up the guts to come out as bisexual to my friends and family. In order to embrace who I am, I wanted to go to the Pride Parade in NYC this year.” We were thrilled to connect with Michael and make it happen. He did his part by carrying the banner most of the way.

Thank you to everyone who made the event an incredible success. From the support of people at SB Nation and Vox Media, to the contributions of every single attendee, it wouldn’t have been what it was without you.

Stay tuned for information on next year’s Outsports Pride event, which will celebrate Outsports’ 20th anniversary.

Gallery photos by Reginald Louis-Jacques