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2003 Program

Our Program --> High School Athletics Panel by PFLAG and GLSEN

Be sure to join our mailing list for latest news releases and updates! See the FULL PROGRAM. See our bulletin board to engage others in a conversation about the topics in our program.

Also see:
+ Collegiate Athletics Panel by the NCAA (Sat, Mar 27)
+ The Truth About Love - PFLAG Parents Talk About Their GLBT Children (Sat, Mar 27)
+ Fearless: A Photography Project on Openly Gay High School and Collegiate Athletes (All weekend)
+ Athlete Scholarship Fund Raising Dinner (separate fee) (Sat, Mar 27)
+ The Women’s Sports Foundation’s Project to Eliminate Homophobia panel and the showing of “It Takes a Team” (Sun, Mar 28)
+ Annual PFLAG Pride & Passion Party (Sun, Mar 28)

DayBeginning Time Duration Event
Sat, Mar 27, 2004 1:45 PM
3:45 PM
2 hours High School Athletics Panel by PFLAG and GLSEN


About Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Persons (www.pflag.org

Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) is a national non-profit organization with over 80,000 members and supporters and more than 460 affiliates in the United States. This vast grassroots network is cultivated, resourced and serviced by the PFLAG national office, located in Washington, DC, the national Board of Directors and 14 Regional Directors.

About the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), (www.glsen.org)

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike. We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. We welcome as members any and all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.

LGBT Athletes in High School Sports Panel

Are you a high school or primary school athlete? Are you a coach in a high school or primary School? This panel is for you and will focus on your issues.

Are high school athletic teams ready for openly gay athletes? What are the special challenges facing LGBT coaches and administrators at the high school level? These panelists will share their knowledge and experience on these issues and more. The high school athletics panel is co-sponsored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network) and Boston and Greater Boston PFLAG (Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).


  • Deb Levy
  • Mark McGrath
  • Jesse Sullivan
  • Dan Woog

If you would like to come, please consider seeking funding from your school or district's development funds, as well as the local Gay Straight Alliance, the local NCAA chapter. Please contact us if you seek this assistance.

Deb Levy has been leading training sessions on gay and lesbian issues and homophobia in sports for the last 15 years. She is currently a violence prevention specialist and the advisor for the gay straight alliance at Brookline High School and a teaching fellow in the Psychology Department at Harvard University, teaching human sexuality to undergraduates. As a former high school and college basketball player, Deb understands the impact and dynamics of homophobia in sports and has facilitated workshops with high school and college students and coaches. She worked closely with Corey Johnson, an openly gay high school football captain, and his coaches. She recently presented a workshop on homophobia in sports at the 2003 NCAA volleyball coaches’ conference in December. Deb lives in Cambridge, with her athletic six-year-old daughter, Aliya.

Mark McGrath is a veteran coach and official in basketball and baseball, on both the high school and college level. He taught history and coached soccer at the Dwight-Englewood School from 1990-93, where he “came out” to his players and fellow coaches. Now an attorney in private practice, Mark represents several professional athletes and continues to serve as an advisor to high school student-athletes.

Jesse Sullivan is a recent high school graduate from Concord, MA. He has participated in many different sports. He played soccer and swam competitively for many years; in middle school he switched sports and began playing football. In his freshman year and third year playing football Jesse came out to his team, school, and family. Because of the harassment he received Jesse has become a young activist for gay rights. Last year Jesse was the National Day Of Silence Co-Chair, for GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) the largest protest for Gay students, with over 300,000 participants. Jesse has been involved in many Safe Schools Projects. Presently he sits on the Greater Boston PFLAG board, and works closely with the Freedom to Marry Coalition and Massequality.org.

Dan Woog is a journalist, educator, soccer coach and gay activist. His articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated and USA Today. He is a contributing writer for the Advocate magazine, where he has written on such topics as marriage and monogamy in the gay world, and his particular interest, the special problems of gay youth. He is the author of 11 books, including two collections of his most popular newspaper columns.

His first book on gay topics, School's Out: The Impact of Gay and Lesbian Issues on America's Schools (Alyson Publications, 1995), examined that complex and highly charged issue through the eyes of teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, librarians, parents and students, while Jocks: True Stories of America's Gay Male Athletes (Alyson, 1998) shined a light on one of society's last remaining closets: the sports locker room. His third book on gay issues, Friends And Family: True Stories of Gay America's Straight Allies, was published in 1999. It spotlights the wonderful contributions of straight allies in areas ranging from religion, politics and the military to education, HIV/AIDS and cyberspace. His most recent book, Gay Men, Straight Jobs, looks at three dozen men, in professions ranging from truck driver, firefighter and Christian bookseller to physician, news anchor and country music singer. He is also the author Dear Dan, a humorous look at hypocrisy in the gay and straight communities It took many years for Dan Woog to come out of his own closet, however. For years he hid his homosexuality from students, athletes, colleagues and readers. Dan Woog speaks nationally on gay issues.

Dan Woog has spent nearly 25 years at Staples High School in Westport, Conn., where he works closely with the English department. He is also the assistant soccer coach at Staples, as well as a founder and faculty adviser for the Gay/Straight Alliance, the first such organization at a public school in the state of Connecticut. Dan Woog is also a founder and co-facilitator for OutSpoken, a county-wide support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth. In eight years, he says, over 800 young people have attended meetings. And, he points out, "That's just the tip of the iceberg."

See last year's videos and photos. Read the testimonials from 2003.


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