By Tracy Baim
The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame officially launched in Chicago Aug. 2 with an induction ceremony at the Center on Halsted.
Bill Gubrud was inspired to create the Hall of Fame after years of doing an Out at Wrigley event for LGBT Cubs fans.
While the biggest names being inducted into the Hall of Fame were unable to attend the ceremony, the event attracted several dozen supporters and a few of the honorees, including former Major League Umpire Dave Pallone, sports journalist Christina Kahrl and out LaCrosse player Andrew Goldstein.Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, accepted the Hall of Fame induction of the Cubs, and Kurt Dahl accepted on behalf of the Federation of Gay Games and a separate award for Gay Games founder Dr. Tom Waddell. Cyd Ziegler accepted the award for Outsports, an LGBT sports website he co-founded. Several inductions were given posthumously, including for Waddell.
The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame complete list of 2013 inductees is: Gay Games, Outsports.com, Chicago Cubs, International Gay Rodeo Association, Anheuser Busch, Chris Kluwe, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Ben Cohen, Dave Pallone, Justin Fashanu, LZ Granderson, Christina Kahrl, Dr. Tom Waddell, Chuck Dima, Jerry Pritikin, Dave Kopay, Glenn Burke, Renee Richards, Billie, Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Greg Louganis, Patty Sheehan, Andrew Goldstein, Jason Collins, Orlando Cruz and Johnny Weir.
TJ Chernick of Gay Chicago TV was MC for the ceremony.
"The National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame's mission is to recognize both individuals and organizations whose achievements and efforts have enhanced sports and athletics for the LGBT community," Gubrud said in prepared statement. "In addition, the Hall of Fame will preserve the history of LGBT individuals who have impacted professional and amateur sports and provide outreach and education to the sporting world so that LGBT youth all across the nation feel welcome and safe to participate in any and all athletic-related activities."
Out at Wrigley on Aug. 3 was set to feature two rainbow gay pride flags from the upper deck of the stadium, making them the second-ever men's professional sports team to hang the pride flag at their gay day game (the first being the Seattle Mariners June 30).
(Top) Honorees, from left: Dave Pallone, Kurt Dahl (for Gay Games), Andrew Goldstein, Christina Kahrl, Jerry Pritikin, Ed Barry (for rodeo), Cyd Ziegler (Outsports) and Laura Ricketts (Cubs). Photo by Hal Baim
(Bottom) The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame board of directors.