GO! Athletes (formerly Our Group Athletes) is a national network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) high school, college, and former student-athletes that serves to educate and empower. GO! stands for We connect LGBTQ student-athletes with other LGBTQ student-athletes, and serve as a united voice to encourage schools to create safer spaces. GO! is dedicated to educating athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans to foster athletic communities that are accepting of ALL, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
GO! Athletes was born as Our Group in January of 2008. Seven current and former LGBT student-athletes came together to discuss the different issues and challenges that LGBT student-athletes face, and more importantly, the different ways that they could help eliminate the homophobia that exists within athletics. They believed that by creating a space where student-athletes could access existing resources for LGBT athletes, as well as safely and easily communicate with other LGBT student-athletes, that they could help the many athletes who feel they must remain in the closet to participate in sport.
With the help of John Amaechi, Pat Griffin, Jeff Sheng, and Ted Rybka, this group of athletes started the arduous task of locating and contacting other LGBT student-athletes in order to make the dream of creating an LGBT student-athlete and ally organization a reality. After just two years, Our Group found over 200 supporters, became incorporated in Arizona with the goal of becoming a 501(c)3, began participating in panel discussions across the country, attended the 2009 Creating Change Conference in Denver and the Sport, Sexuality, and Culture Conference in Ithaca, hosted a panel discussion at Philidelphia Gay Sports Week, and more importantly, has been setting the foundation to create a network that provides the best resources to LGBT student-athletes and allies across the country.
GO! Athletes continues to grow each day as we meet new student-athletes, hear their stories, and offer a place where student-athletes, former or current, can fearlessly take part in a growing community of like-minded individuals. Whether people utilize the GO! website and forum or attend one of the advertised conferences and panels — GO! Athletes hopes to offer the resources and support that any athlete may want or need.
This is GO! Athletes, Welcome!