There are very few people in the LGBT community who have advocated as long and as loud in the world of sports as Pat Griffin. Currently Professor Emeritus in the Social Justice Education Program at UMass-Amherst, Griffin has spent decades leading seminars aimed at educating coaches, administration, and students on LGBT sports issues at schools around the nation. She served as director of the It Takes a Team! Campaign from 2005-09, as founding director of GLSEN's sports initiative Changing the Game, and was a key part of developing the NCAA LGBT resource guide "Champions of Respect.”
On April 13th The Washington Blade released an article highlighting Griffin's achievements and thanking her for her years of dedication and advocacy to this still prominent cause. In the article, Griffin states that all social justice movements, not just LGBT rights, "require the active participation of the target demographic along with their allies."
This ideology is reflected in the fact that she served as the director of both It Takes a Team! and Changing the Game. “Young people, both male and female, are the ones leading the change that we are currently experiencing,” stated Griffin in the article. In educating the younger generations of athletes on LGBT issues, Griffin is helping to create a more inclusive athletic environment for the future; whether it is for athletes, coaches, administration, or fans.
GLAAD thanks The Washington Blade for taking the time to recognize Pat Griffin for her contributions to LGBT sports advocacy, as this issue has leapt to the forefront of the movement for LGBT inclusion and equality. We regularly work with Pat, and also thank her for the years of service she has committed to this cause.
25 years ago there wasn't much public support or discussion around the LGBT cause in general, let alone issues involving LGBT identifying people in athletics. Pat Griffin helped to guide this discussion, because, as a former athlete at the University of Maryland, she must have known that young LGBT athletes yearned for an inclusive and accepting atmosphere. Without her positive influence and trailblazing actions, we would almost surely lack the level of acceptance currently enjoyed by many in the world of sports. For that, we are thrilled that Pat Griffin is getting the recognition she so rightfully deserves.