GO! Athletes relaunches with GOATHLETES.ORG

The Board of Directors for GO! (Generation Out) Athletes is thrilled to announce that the organization has a new website, GOATHLETES.ORG. (We will no longer be using www.ourgroupathletes.com.) Please help us spread the word about GO! Athletes by using the hash-tag #goathletes with a link to the website: GOATHLETES.ORG and send us feedback on the new site!

Also, SAVE THE DATE: GO! Athletes will have a relaunch event, featuring out soccer-star JOANNA LOHMAN, who currently plays for DC United the Women’s Premier Soccer League Elite. The event will be held at University of Pennsylvania, Thursday, October 11, 2012 from 7-9 pm in Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall.

Join our movement as we EMPOWER and EDUCATE on behalf of LGBTQA athletes across the nation!

Announcing the GO! Athletes ALL-STAR Advisory Board….

“Announcing the GO! Athletes ALL-STAR Advisory Board. These individuals make up our unique advisory team of incredible role-models and “coaches” who have supported GO! Athletes as we have evolved over the years. Some are excited new members to join GO!, while other members have been involved in GO! since 2008 when the group first formed under the name of “Our Group.”

We would like to take a moment to thank these incredible athletes, role models, and mentors as they have guided our young organization as we continue to represent the new GENERATION of OUT (GO!) Athletes.”

Who is on our list? Check out the ALL-STAR bios here: http://ourgroupathletes.com/all-star-advisory-board/

Happy #WinningWednesday!

Our Group is now GO! Athletes

The Board of Directors for Our Group is thrilled to announce that the organization has officially been renamed GO! (Generation Out) Athletes.  We’re also excited to share the GO! Athletes logo.

Changing our name to Generation Out (GO!) Athletes is a direct response a tremendous opportunity we have to increase visibility and support for the LGBTQA sports movement.  Now more than ever athletes, coaches, staff, and fans are ready to be OUT, or to stand up and be allies. We know that athletics are at their best when trained for and contested in an inclusive, safe space where we educate allies and empower young people to respect one another. Now truly is the time for the next generation(s) of out athletes and allies.

We encourage you to share our new logo on your personal websites and social media outlets.  Stay tuned next Monday for the launch of our new website.

The Board of Directors would like to recognize the efforts of Steve Oatmeyer (www.steveoatmeyer.com) – an exceptional art director and graphic designer who created the GO! Athletes logo.  We also extend sincere gratitude to the web development team at Yerger Tech (www.yergertech.com), which donated the time, resources, and expertise needed to build the new GO! Athletes website.

Our Top 5 Olympic Moments from the 2012 London Olympics…in Pictures

While there were many winning moments from this year’s Olympics, here are some of our favorite “Winning Wednesday” worthy moments from the 2012 Games in London.

1. U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins Gold (An obvious for ‘Winning’ moment for out soccer player Megan Rapione)

Photo Credit – http://www.People.com

2. Australian trampolinist Ji Wallace announced that he is HIV positive. Wallace won a silver medal from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Photo Credit – http://www.smh.com.au

3. The exhibits at the Pride House 2012: This “house” created a welcoming space for all athletes, staff, spectators and friends of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with the purpose of “bringing together all members and friends of the worldwide LGBT community to view live screenings of London 2012 events and discuss relevant LGBT and sports-related topics, with exhibits, photos, and videos celebrating LGBT sport.”

Photo Credit – http://pridehouse2012.org/

4.  Statistically, OUT athletes were more likely to medal than straight athletes: (10 of 23 out athletes won Olympic medals). For instance, Seimone Augustus (pictured below) shows off her Olympic hardware. In addition to Augustus, 9 other openly LGBT athletes won Olympic medals – Carl Hester, Gold for Great Britain in Equestrian; Megan Rapinoe, Gold for USA in Soccer; Marilyn Agliotti, Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel, Kim Lammers, and Maartje Paumen, Gold for the Netherlands in Field Hockey; Judith Arndt, Silver for Germany in Cycling; Edward Gal, Bronze for the Netherlands in Equestrian, and; Lisa Raymond, Bronze for USA in Tennis.

Photo credit: http://www.facebook.com

5. The Spice Girls reunite to perform at the Closing Ceremonies – ‘nuff said

Photo credit: http://www.glamour.com

Going Forward – Exciting Changes on the Horizon for Our Group


In the coming weeks, we’ll be making some exciting announcements. We will be introducing our fabulous new affiliates (including an All-Star Committee) as well as debuting a new “look and feel” for the organization.  These changes are indicative of Our Group’s ongoing growth and evolution – these changes will allow also us to more effectively execute our mission to empower and educate of behalf of LGBTQ student athletes.

Over the past several months, we’ve been busy spreading the word and building the infrastructure needed to take Our Group to the next level.  We’ve received tremendous responses and feedback from athletes, allies, leading LGBTQ service organizations, and many others.  Your guidance has been instrumental in shaping our vision, and you’ve affirmed the shared belief that Our Group is ready to provide unprecedented service for a rapidly growing generation of OUT athletes!

Thank you all for your unwavering support.  Stay tuned for our upcoming announcements!!

Keelin Godsey – Story of an Olympic Hopeful

by Keelin Godsey

On July 21, 2012, I competed at the US Track and Field Olympic Trials in the women’s hammer throw. I competed as the first out female-to-male transgender athlete pre-medical transition. However, this was my second time competing at the Olympic Trials.  At the 2008 Trials, I was closeted and placed seventh. This year, however, I was out and placed fifth.  I only missed the team by a hair.

The major difference between the Beijing and the London trials was that I was fully, publicly out and everyone knew. My competitors knew. Their coaches knew. Everyone in my field knew.   Prior to the games I was inundated with emails and messages, from all sorts of different people about my story and what they thought about it.  Dealing with the pressure was a new avenue that I learned to navigate. I trained for 10 years to make the US team. I already had enough pressure on myself to make the team.  At the same time, I felt additional pressure to succeed on behalf of the transgender community.  Even though there was no direct pressure, I did not want to disappoint all the people who said they looked up to me. I wanted to give them something to look up to.

While I threw a personal best of 70.48m at this year’s Trials (which is a meter better than my previous personal best), it was hard not to feel like I let people down who supported me. Most importantly, I felt like I let myself down. I missed out on making a team I spent my whole post-collegiate career trying to be a part of.  That was the hardest thing to get over.   We all hear about the amazing stories of those who made the team, but we don’t hear about those who don’t – the athletes who were so close. We don’t hear how hard it is to reconcile with the kind of loss and pain of trying to determine what is left in a career as an athlete at this level. I can tell you from my perspective it is incredibly hard.  Being that close to my dream has been one of the biggest struggles I have ever had to deal with.

Prior to the Olympics, I told myself that I threw really well and so I am happy with how I performed.  Yet, it wasn’t until watching the opening ceremonies that it all hit me. I thought I was stoic enough to watch the opening ceremonies but all I could think about was “I wish I was there.”  I felt disappointed that I was not competing in London, as I watched the games and remembered how close I had come to being there.  Now, the most recent issue of what’s next in my life is also complicated by my need/want to transition my gender.

Mostly, I wonder what’s next in terms of my career as an athlete. What do you do when throwing is the only thing you want to do, or that you feel you are really good at? I am lucky that I have found another job, yet what do I do with the free time after work when I would be practicing? When you have spent most of your days focused on one thing, something that you love to do, it is a huge hole that requires a lot of energy to fill. I spent the last 10 years focusing on track and school, so I didn’t have much of a social life.  I am now learning how to really get out and be active within any community that isn’t sports focused.

Competing at the Olympic Trials and being out as transgender was easy compared to this transition time in my life. I was doing what I know and what I love. I had the honor of competing at the highest level and loved every second of it. I lived for those big meets. But what’s next? Where do I go and how will it work? Another big meet could be in my future, but for this year, I will be watching the Olympics from afar.

Jeff Sheng’s Fearless Campaign

This week’s Winning Wednesday is from a founding advisory board member that has been working with Our Group from the beginning.  Jeff Sheng’s unifying Fearless Campaign has been a source of pride for all the members that have been involved and we are proud to support Fearless and Jeff in the current drive to make the full dream a reality.  Read Jeff Sheng’s message to the Our Group community below.

Dear Our Group,

As some of you may know, I am one of the founding advisors for OUR GROUP.  I became involved because of my photo project “Fearless,” a photo series that I began in 2003 about “out” LGBTQ high school and collegiate athletes, and since that time, have photographed over 150 athletes already, some of whom are on the board and active members of OUR GROUP.

What motivates me to continue working on this project, are the stories of high school and college athletes – brave young men and women who are sometimes one of the few “out” people in their entire school, let alone your sports teams.  These are the unheard acts of true heroism and courage, and it highly frustrates me that book publishers don’t see how powerful and important your lives truly are.  It’s why I have to fundraise on my own to self-publish this book, for its 10-year anniversary next year, so that I can finish “Fearless” into a large photo book next year.

As such, I am working on a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 which will allow me to self-publish this work next year into a beautiful large photo book featuring their stories, as well as to fund at least 50 more photo shoots to reach a goal of over 200 athletes.  I just launched the drive last weekend, and already have over $5000 pledged.  Nike is sponsoring this drive with some really amazing Nike “Fearless” T-shirts, the same ones they printed for their employees when I exhibited my work on their campus two years ago.  You can read more about the different pledge levels and the gifts associated with them at the links below.  Also, if any of you would like to be part of the series, please let me know.  There is no charge at all to be in it (which is why this fundraising drive is so important).  All I ask is that you do your best to help publicize this so I can reach the $50,000 goal (if the goal isn’t met, then the project isn’t funded by Kickstarter and the shirts don’t get printed etc).

The link to help is here:




Thank you again,

Jeff Sheng