This panel, sponsored by Washington University, explores the legacy of LGBT athletes in American culture, starting with Emile Griffith in the 1960s and moving forward to the challenges and opportunities that face amateur and professional athletics to become increasingly inclusive today. Terence Blanchard is joined on the panel by singer Aubrey Allicock, as well as Hudson Taylor (Executive Director of Athlete Ally), Greg Larocque (former North American President of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association), and Philip Deitch (St. Louis amateur athlete and community activist).
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World-renowned jazz musican and trumpet player Terence Blanchard is known for his work as a composer of hauntingly beautiful jazz pieces for small ensembles, symphonic settings, film, and stage. He has received five Grammy Awards, including the 2007 Large Ensemble Grammy for A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina). Most recently for film, he wrote the score to Lucasfilm’s Red Tails, which chronicled the story of the Tuskegee pilots and starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. His music was also recently represented on Broadway with the score to Emily Mann’s new production of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Blair Underwood.
Hudson Taylor is a wrestling coach at Columbia University and a prominent straight ally and civil rights activist of LGBT rights. Taylor thrice gained the status of NCAA All-American wrestler before graduating and becoming a coach at Columbia University. He also secured the most pins and the most wins in the history of collegiate wrestling at the University of Maryland, College Park and is ranked among the top five pinners in NCAA wrestling history. He holds several hall-of-fame records.
During his final season as an NCAA All-American and team wrestling captain at The University of Maryland, Hudson decided that his closest-held values as a leader and student-athlete required that he stand up and say something about the homophobia and transphobia he experienced in locker rooms and on playing fields across the nation. To show his solidarity as a straight ally, he wore an HRC sticker on his wrestling headgear. That single act drew thousands of appreciative emails from closeted athletes, parents and other members of the LGBT community. Hudson came to realize a much deeper reality—that allies willing to stick their necks out are an integral part of eliminating discrimination and prejudice. This experience eventually drove him to found the non-for-profit organization, Athlete Ally, with the mission of “educating, encouraging and empowering straight athlete allies to combat homophobia and transphobia in sports.” Taylor continues to spread this message of equality and inclusion as the organization’s Executive Director as well as through his public speaking and blog on the Huffington Post. Today, Athlete Ally engages thousands of sports participants around the country, including scores of college athletes. Professional players are signing on every week, including: Brendon Ayanbadejo (Baltimore Ravens), Chris Kluwe (Minnesota Vikings), Scott Fujita (Cleveland Browns), and David Pocock (Australian Ruby star).
Taylor received the PFLAG Straight for Equality Award with Rosie Perez and Charlaine Harris and was named “Greatest Person of the Day” on April 8 by the Huffington Post. Earlier this year, Taylor was honored by Buick and the NCAA alongside Eunice Kennedy Shriver and other advocates in sports as a feature story of the Buick Human Highlight Reel.
His work is now featured in the permanent Miller Family Youth Exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which aims to empower young persons to stand as leaders against discrimination. In April 2012, Taylor was named University of Maryland Alumnus of the Year for the school of Undergraduate Studies for his work as an LGBT rights activist.
As a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2010, Aubrey Allicock performed the roles of Zaretskyin Eugene Onegin and covered the title role of Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. In the prior season of 2009 he sang the role of the Customs Official in La bohème and also covered the role of Figaro in The Ghosts of Versailles. In addition to OTSL, Aubrey has performed with the Wexford Festival Opera, the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic and most recently with Concerts-Austria where his was the bass soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Massat Karlskirche. He has also had the honor of sharing the stage with Academy Award winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr. in Chamber Music PLUS’sproduction of New World: Portrait of H.T. Burleighwhich featured the music of Antonín Dvořák.
In the 2010-11, Mr. Allicock joined the Metropolitan Opera where he covered the roles of Astarottein Armida and Marulloin Rigoletto. He returned to Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2011 in his role debut as Mamoud in The Death of Klinghoffer.
He is a Sullivan Foundation Grant winner for 2013 and a 2012 recipient of the Richard Gaddes Fund for Young Singers from Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Greg Larocque currently resides in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Before he retired, Greg was an Administrative Tribunal in the Canadian federal government where his expertise was conflict in the workplace, including discrimination, harassment and other types of conflict. Now in private practice, Greg continues to conduct mediations, investigations and other interventions, including areas enshrined in the Canadian Human rights Act such as discrimination based on the prohibited grounds of sexual orientation.
Greg has also been active with the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA) since 2005. Greg has served with GLISA in varying capacities: Membership and Finance Committee member, contributed to the establishment of the first North American Outgames held in 2007 in Calgary, Alberta; President for the North American chapter for GLISA and co-chaired the organizing committee for the Human Rights Conference at the 2011 Vancouver, BC North American Outgames.
He as also served on the board for Vancouver Frontrunners and is a member of International Frontrunners.
Philip Deitch has served on over 50 community coalitions and not for profit Boards of Directors. His broad based civil rights work has been recognized with numerous awards that include those from the American Bar Association, the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, and the Jewish Community Relations Council. He has been written up twice in the Congressional Record and is the only person to have been honored by both St. Louis LGBT PRIDE and Black Pride festivals.
He was among the founders of several national LGBT organizations including GLAAD - the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Stonewall Democrats, SOULFORCE and the National Association of LGBT Community Centers and worked with most others. Philip was the campaign administrator that defeated the 1995 anti-gay ballot amendment in Missouri and he created and chaired the Faith Coalition which worked against the Same Sex Marriage amendment in 2004.
In sports Philip has competed in martial arts. He has an advanced diver certification in scuba and he was a life guard and aquatics instructor for many years. This included his being a Camp Aquatics Director for the Boy Scouts of America with service on their national aquatics committee. Philip wrestled on his high school and college teams. He also organized and wrestled with the St. Louis squad in the 1994 Gay Games held in NY in conjunction with the Stonewall 25th Anniversary.