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Mother of Openly Gay 9/11 Hero Shows Support for LGBT-Inclusive Sports

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Ten years after the September 11th attacks, the stories of the day’s many heroes continue to inspire us. In the case of Mark Bingham, the openly gay rugby player who helped save countless lives by giving his own in a revolt against hijackers on Flight 93, his legacy lives on through Alice Hoagland, his mother. Mark’s actions were crucial in preventing an attempted crash into the White House or the U.S. Capitol Building, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. Alice, herself a retired flight attendant, is now an outspoken advocate for aviation safety, LGBT issues, and – of course – rugby.

In a recent profile appearing in the 9/11 Remembered portion of Yahoo.com, Alice talks about her work in the world of gay rugby. She believes rugby helped shape her son into the person he was. Alice is a major supporter of the Bingham Cup, a tournament named after her son that is known to many as the “World Cup of gay rugby.” Earlier in 2001, Mark had helped found the San Francisco Fog, a gay rugby club that Alice is still involved with today. Speaking about the club, Alice said, “I may have lost a son but I’ve gained a very huge family and it makes me feel good every time I see them.”

Mark’s story is now being told by Alice through the feature length documentary film, With You. In the film, Alice discusses her son’s heroism on Flight 93, saying, “He made a lot of difference in our lives, and saved a lot of lives that day.” GLAAD applauds Yahoo.com for featuring this inspiring, LGBT-inclusive story in its coverage the 9/11 anniversary, and encourages other media outlets to share these important stories.

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