Hosted by COMPETE, special guests included former MLB athlete and vice chairman of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, Billy Bean; Oprah Winfrey Soul Series featured guest, Oprah & Friends radio per- sodality and best-selling author, Michael Losier; 2011 Mr. Gay USA and 2010 Com- pete Athlete of the Year, Michael Holtz; Virginia Norton, United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer and mother of pro bowler Scott Norton; rep- resentatives of the Gay Games, and Walton Isaccson co-founder, Aaron Walton, with Troup Coronado of Troup Consulting serving as the evening’s co-host. robbie_rogers

This is a special time each year for those of us who lovingly labor to bring these two magazines to life for our readers. We love sports and are com- mitted to supporting diversity within the sporting community, one of the last bastions of accepted homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. These awards allow us to honor those who are helping to create a truly level playing field for all athletes.

 

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L to R: Robbie Rogers, Jason Collins, Billy Bean, Dr. William Kapfer, Connie Wardman, Eric Carlyle, Kirk Walker, Mark Moon, Aaron Walton

lexusSpecial thanks go to all our partners who helped make this evening so special …

… to Lexus as our title partner and Northern Trust Bank, Flip, Pump, Jones Communications, Desert AIDS Project, Troup Consulting, Elevation Mammoth & Elevation Utah and Monitronics Security.

We also want to thank members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles who entertained guests at the VIP reception with a variety of songs as well as members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who helped with the program and the California Quake who served as volunteers for the night. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of our award winners in upcoming issues.

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Jason and Jarron CollinsLegacy Award – Jason and Jarron Collins

Presenting the Legacy Award with Eric Carlyle was Mark Braun, vice president for Northern Trust’s National LGBT and Nontraditional Family Practice.

Sometimes, athleticism runs in a family. That is certainly the case with the Collins brothers, Jason and Jarron. Both played college bas- ketball and went on to make impressive names for themselves in the NBA. But what further separates Jason and Jarron from other athletes is the bravery they have both shown off the court. When Jason came out earlier this year it was his most impressive move. And Jarron was equally impressive in his support of his brother and the way Jarron has become an ally to the LGBTQ community. It is because of their com- mitment to each other and to the community that we awarded Jason and Jarron Collins the Legacy Award. Accepting for Jarron Collins was his wife, Elsa.

Inspiring Coach Award – Kirk Walker

Kirk WalkerKirk Walker proves that life really does come around full circle. As a member of the UCLA Bruins staff from 1984-1994, Kirk Walker began a journey that would make him the first openly gay NCAA Division 1 coach. Kirk coached 6 NCAA Championship teams at UCLA. After leaving UCLA for Oregon State, he built a leading women’s softball program there for over 18 seasons all while raising a daughter with his longtime partner Randy Baltimore. He was also a member of the National team coaching staff for the 2000-2004 Olympic Quadrenium.

Kirk is now back home serving as UCLA’s assistant women’s softball coach. His great coaching skills and his ability to live openly and honestly, leading the way for other coaches and individuals to do the same is why our selection committee chose Kirk Walker as our Inspiring Coach.

Publisher’s Award – Helen Carroll

Helen CarrollPerhaps one of the best, most succinct descriptions of what the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) does is a quote by American author, feminist and social activist bell hooks [sic] that reads, “Feminism is a movement to end sex- ism, sexist exploitation and oppression.”

This year’s winner of the Publisher’s Award is someone who our publisher Eric Carlyle truly admires. He shared with guests that her work in advancing the sporting community often leaves him in awe, wondering how she has the time and energy to do all she does. “I am so honored to pres- ent Helen Carroll with our Publisher’s Award because as the Sports Project Director for the NCLR, she works tirelessly and fearlessly, often behind the scenes, to end sexism, sex- ist exploitation and oppression in sports.”

Media & Promotions Award – Tom Whitman

TomIf we truly want to honor sports diversity then we have to look past what many would consider the typical athlete, sport or sporting event. As an inno- vator in sports promotion, Tom Whitman brought the idea of combining gay skiing events with the circuit party to the popular masses long before the idea of sports diversity was becoming mainstream.

This year Tom began bridging the gap between professional sports and the LGBTQ community by working with the Los Angeles Dodgers to pro- duce LGBT Night OUT with the Dodgers. Because of his work to make gay sporting events mainstream, we are pleased to present Tom Whitman with the Media & Promotions Award.

Outstanding National Tournament – National Gay Flag Football League

Jared Garduno, Commissioner

National Gay Flag Football LeagueJoining Eric to announce this award was Seth Greanleaf, producer of “Flag Football the Movie.”In sports, the idea of playing in a tournament is often one of the most motivating factors for an athlete to stay engaged throughout a season. This year, the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) hosted Gay Bow XIII in Phoenix. The event played host to hundreds of players and fans. But the tournament was not just a spectacular sporting event, it was an equally impressive social event, combing the best of sport and play at one national tournament. This year, we are honoring the National Gay Flag Football League and individu- ally, Jared Garduno, their commissioner, with the Outstanding National Tournament Award.

Editor’s Award – Scott Norton

Scott NortonConnie Wardman, editor in chief for both magazines, joined Eric on stage to present the Editor’s Award to professional bowler Scott Nor- ton. Also joining them as presenters were Ken Hoffman and his husband Thomas Fleisher representing the International Gay Bowling Organiza- tion (IGBO).

Norton is a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA). Known on the circuit as “The Counselor” since he’s also a practicing attorney, in 2011 with the organization’s permission, he came out on the PBA website. At Scott’s 2012 request that they offer his husband Craig Woodward the same courtesy as the spouses of the other contestants, during a national tournament the PBA announcer continually referred to Craig as either Scott’s husband or spouse, not his “friend” as the year before. And when Scott won that national PBA title and hugged and kissed his husband, ESPN broadcasted the pre-recorded segment without deleting it. All this created a very special moment in sports tele- vision history that’s now known as “The Kiss Seen Round the World.”

Professional Athlete of the Year – Robbie Rogers

Robbie RogersJoining Eric as a presenter was Jamie Gin from the West Holly- wood Soccer Club. When asked to help present this award to Rob- bie Rogers, Jamie replied he couldn’t since he just died. (We were glad he came back to life for the presentation.)

Robbie Rogers is the first athlete to play a major team sport as an openly gay man. After a brief retirement from a British soccer team, he announced he was gay. His coming out immediately set an example for other athletes – both amateur and professional – to have the courage to be open about who they truly are. As a current member of the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy, Robbie continues to build on the legacy he has begun.

Sports Pioneer Award – Cyd Zeigler

Cyd ZeiglerWhile many people have contributed to the LGBT sports diversity movement, perhaps none have been as strong and continuing an activ- ist as Cyd Zeiger. As co-founder of Outsports, Cyd has been instru- mental in helping many gay athletes come out publicly with dignity and grace. Joining Eric and Connie to present the award was Helen Carroll of the NCLR.

An award-winning athlete himself, Cyd is the creative founder of the Nike LGBT Sports Summit that has created the the LGBT Sports Coali- tion that aims to end homophobia, transphobia and biphobia in sports by 2016. He is a true pioneer in sports diversity and we at Compete Magazine are proud to honor him.

Contributing Writer Award – Dr. William Kapfer

Dr. William KapferWriting is a skill. And writing with passion and purpose is a very special skill. Compete Magazine is fortunate to collaborate with Dr. William Kapfer. His genuine desire to move society as a whole into a place of true acceptance for everyone moves beyond the pages of Compete. Bill’s work in and for the LGBT community, including his efforts on behalf of marriage equality, have made him the perfect person to honor with this year’s Contributing Writer Award.

Business Partner Award

Los Angeles Community Business Partner Award

We honored three individuals with the Los Angeles Community Business Partner Award. Through their efforts in the community, these honorees have made significant strides in making our host city of Los Angeles a better, richer and more diverse place. This was our oppor- tunity to recognize individuals and their businesses for work done on the field of commerce rather than the field of sport.

Edward Butorac, Butorac Wealth Management

In 2009 Edward Butorac started Butorac Wealth Management in Los Angeles. Since its inception more than four years ago, Edward and his company have worked hard to give back to the community where the business is based. He is a director of the Hollywood YMCA and is a member of the Board of Advisors of St. Camillus Catholic Church.

Ivan Estrada, Keller Williams Hollywood Hills

Ivan Estrada is a California native who has been in real estate since 2007. Ivan has done much to further diversity in his community, including serving as past president for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. He is also the founder of PREPA, the first National LGBT association of REALTORS. Additionally, Ivan is a supporter of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and sings with the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus.

Wendy Hartman, Law Offices of Wendy Hartmann

Wendy Hartmann has a significant background supporting LGBT equality and diversity. Wendy has served on the executive boards of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association and the Estate and Gift Tax Sub-Commit- tees for the Taxation Section of The State Bar of California, among others. An advocate for equality, Wendy devotes a large portion of her business to advising same-sex couples on important issues such as family formation, adoption and tax matters.

Corporate Community Partner Award – Greenberg Traurig

Corporate Community Partner AwardJoining Eric to present the Corporate Community Partner Award to international law firm Greenberg Traurig were Chris Richey and Scott McPherson of The Stigma Project. They shared with the guests the enormous amount of help they have received in taking their efforts to end the stigma of HIV to an international platform with their Ambassadors program and their media partner, HIV Plus Magazine. Accepting the award for Greenberg Traurig was Phillipe Phaneuf.

Los Angeles Sports Team, League & Organization Award

League & Organization AwardHeroes come in many shapes and sizes. Some might look up to professional athletes while others look up to their high school quarterback or weekend ice hockey player. The Los Angeles Sports Team, League and Organization Award is presented to presented to some local sports heros – those that set an example of good sportsmanship and character.

Team Popular, accepted by David Rae

Over the past several years Team Popular has stood out as one of AIDS/LifeCycle’s most prominent fundraising teams. Team Popular has raised more than $800,000 to help find a cure for HIV/AIDS. Making the 545 mile trek from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money for an important cause is truly a labor of love for this outstanding team and its indi- vidual members. Accepting on behalf of Team Popular was team captain, David Rae.

West Hollywood Soccer Club, accepted by Jamie Gin

The West Hollywood Soccer Club is a non-profit organization established to promote the growth and understanding of soccer and to foster a sense of community within the LGBT community. The team welcomes all people for membership regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race or religion. The club further promotes inclusion and diversity by playing in a traditional soccer league. Accept- ing on behalf of the West Hollywood Soccer Club was the club’s president, Jamie Gin.

Los Angeles Tennis Association, accepted by Steve Sax

Founded in 1978, the Los Angeles Tennis Association is a membership organization catering to the LGBT community, although all are welcome. The organization offers year-round team ten- nis leagues, tournaments, and ladder competitions for all ages and levels of players. They also hold annual competitions against other leagues and a variety of social events throughout the year. Accepting on behalf of the Los Angeles Tennis Association is the organization’s president, Steve Sax.

StandUp Magazine Sportsmanship Award – The Dodgers

the dogersPresenting the StandUp Magazine Sportsmanship Award to the Los Angeles Dodgers were Alison Doerfler, executive director of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, and the foundation’s vice chairman and former Dodger, Billy Bean. The award, accepted by a representative of the Dodgers’ organization, acknowl- edged the team’s LGBT Night OUT outreach efforts.

The LGBT Night OUT at Dodger Stadium featured both Bean and Jason Collins as part of the opening ceremonies as well as the lesbian couple who 13 years ago were kicked out of the stadium for sharing a kiss.

Community Organization Award – Desert AIDS Project

desert aidsThe Desert AIDS Project has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS service providers in the U.S. They are one of only a handful of agencies operating an on-site medical clinic, full range of client sup- port services as well as a comprehensive HIV education and prevention program, including free and confidential HIV testing.

Their annual Desert AIDS Walk and their Tour de Palm Springs event tie this outstanding community organization directly into the sporting community they serve. Accepting the award was Brett Klein, Events & Retail Marketing Manager for Desert AIDS Project.