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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ben Cohen, Michael Irvin, Hudson Taylor, Nick Youngquest Talk Gay Rights

Five openly straight professional athletes – Ben Cohen, Michael Irvin, Hudson Taylor, Nick Youngquest and Mike Chabala – talk gay rights in the latest issue of gay glossy Out.
A shirtless Irving graces the cover of the magazine's sports issue.
In his profile, the NFL Hall of Famer talks about his late brother, who was gay, and how his sexual orientation was not discussed in the family, and relates a story about how he found out his brother was a cross-dresser.
Driving with his father at the age of 12, they came upon his older brother Vaughn walking down the street wearing women's clothes.
“My dad looked back at me and said, 'Yes, that's your brother. And you love your brother,'” Irving said.
Irving added that he's ready to support an openly gay professional athlete.
Cohen retired from playing rugby in the UK earlier this year to head his anti-homophobia campaign, the Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation.
“The time is right now to retire from rugby and follow my new passion,” Cohen said during a videotaped interview. “People have the right to be happy and, you know, to be loved and love others.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Twenty-seven-year-old Houston Dynamo Mike Chabala posed last year for the NOH8 Campaign, which raises awareness and funds for gay rights causes.
He told the magazine that he would support an openly gay soccer player.
“The treatment of gay people isn't a liberal or conservative issue,” he said, “it's a human rights issue.”
Australian rugby player Nick Youngquest also talked about supporting an openly gay teammate. The six-foot player with a huge gay following added that he believes in marriage equality: “I don't see any reason why gay people shouldn't be able to marry. I think it should be a union of two people in love. Why not?”
Columbia University wrestling coach Hudson Taylor is doing more than talking; he started Athlete Ally to fight homophobic speech in sports.
“There are a lot of ways you can be an ally, but for what I'm aiming at in sports, it's a pretty simple equation: making the sports community more respectful simply by being conscious of your words,” Taylor told the magazine.

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