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Our Program --> The Social and Psychological Benefits of Coming Out Panel by NAGWS

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:
+ High School Athletics Panel (Sat, Mar 27)
+ Collegiate Athletics Panel (Sat, Mar 27)
+ The Truth About Love - PFLAG Parents Talk About Their GLBT Children (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)
+ Athlete Scholarship Fund Raising Dinner (separate fee) (Sat, Mar 27)

DayBeginning Time Duration Event
Sat, Mar 27, 2004 9:45 AM
11:45 AM
2 hours The Social and Psychological Benefits of Coming Out by NAGWS


National Association for Girls & Women in Sport (NAGWS) (www.nagws.org), a member of American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (www.aahperd.org)

The vision of NAGWS is "to be the premiere organization dedicated to addressing issues and promoting opportunities for all girls and women in sport". Its organizational mission is "to develop and deliver equitable and quality sport opportunities for ALL girls and women through relevant research, advocacy, leadership development, educational strategies, and programming in a manner that promotes social justice and change". NAGWS is an association of AAHPERD - American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (http://www.aahperd.org) and a member organization of NACWAA - National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (http://www.nacwaa.org).

The Social and Psychological Benefits of Coming Out by NAGWS Panel

The mission statements of NAGWS and the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation afford us a unique opportunity to blend what we know theoretically about the social and psychological benefits of athletics participation and coming out. If silence and homophobia tend to create social and psychological barriers and negative experiences for many people who participate in athletics and sports, then perhaps voice and visibility of an increasing number of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender athletes, coaches, officials, teachers and administrators will provide a solid foundation for us to begin to build positive bridges and networks within the world of athletics. Members of our panel will briefly address their view of how coming out can positively reinforce the social and psychological benefits of athletics participation for ALL people. We will ask those who attend this session to engage in a dialogue that will illuminate strategies to create athletic environments that can provide a socially and psychologically safe place for athletes, coaches, teachers, and/or administrators to come out. We believe that our session will bring to life the shared mission of NAGWS and GLAF especially in the contexts of advocacy, visibility, educational strategies, acceptance, social justice and change.


  • Camille O'Bryant (moderator)
  • Kerrie Kauer
  • Elizabeth Slator
  • Tatiana Ryba

Camille O'Bryant has made presentations on the topics of gender, race/ethnicity and socialization into sport and physical activity in a variety of settings. These settings include presentations (lecture and workshop format) at the following professional conferences: National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education (NAPEHE), National Symposium for Girls and Women in Sport, AIESEP World Sport Congress, Ohio Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (OAHPERD), California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD), and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). Her primary area of interest in scholarship and teaching involves exploring and describing socialization factors and experiences of people of color in sport and physical activity. One of the ultimate objectives of Dr. O'Bryant's scholarship is to reduce and eliminate myths and stereotypes associated with negative physical activity and sporting experiences for females and people from diverse racial/ethnic groups. She is currently vice president for diversity for the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).

Kerrie Kauer is currently in her second year of the doctoral program in Sport Psychology with an emphasis in Cultural Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Kerrie was a four year collegiate athlete for a successful women's basketball program at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. She earned her B.A. in psychology and pursued a brief career in coaching collegiate women's basketball for three years before attending Bowling Green State University where she received her master's degree in Sport Psychology. She worked primarily with Dr. Vikki Krane implementing both feminist and social justice issues into the field of sport psychology. She has presented at the international conference for the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) on the topics of femininity and muscularity in female college athletes and on heterosexism and homonegativism in sport. Currently, Kerrie is interested in utilizing queer theory to explore the experiences of lesbian coaches in collegiate athletics (and would welcome ideas about making connections with lesbian collegiate coaches). Kerrie enjoys running, swimming, basketball, and discovering different microbrews from around the country.

Elizabeth Slator, a former softball player and Auburn University alum, is currently a doctoral student in sport sociology at the University of Tennessee. Her research interests focus on gender and diversity issues in sport, and during the course of her graduate career she has made several presentations on these topics. Primarily, her scholarly pursuits include the incorporation of social justice issues and critical pedagogy into sport settings. She hopes to teach at a university or college after completing her Ph.D. next May and is open to any and all career advice. Elizabeth enjoys all sporting activities, is an avid runner, and lives with her very handsome cat, Booty Shoes.

Tatiana V. Ryba is a Doctoral student in the Department of Sport and Leisure Studies at the University of Tennessee. Her primary research interests are in the intersection of Sports and Cultural Studies with a focus on Sport Psychology, the implications of cultural theories for transforming Psychology of Sport into a social justice based interdisciplinary praxis, the tension between the constructions of and institutionally assigned athletic identity/identification, and qualitative methods and historiography.

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.

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


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