Magazine article Out

Mission Possible

Magazine article Out

Mission Possible

Article excerpt


While religion pervades the households of many Americans, Hudson Taylor experienced it on quite a different level. His great-great-great grandfather, James Hudson Taylor, was a Christian missionary in 19th-century China. Historians say he was responsible for the conversion of more Christians than anyone since the apostle Paul.

Now Taylor is on a conversion mission of his own. In 2010, as a star wrestler in his senior year at the University of Maryland, he put a Human Rights Campaign sticker on his headgear to take a quiet stand against homophobic language in sports. Since then, he has started Athlete Ally, a nonprofit organization encouraging high school and college athletes, coaches, and athletic departments to pledge to fight homophobia.

"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: maki ng the sports community more respectful simply by being conscious of your words," he says.

Taylor's fiancée, Lia Alexandra Mandaglio, is strongly behind his advocacy· h was she who encouraged Taylor to wear the HRC sticker, helping him surmount his initial concern about what his teammates might think.

"That was one of the major obstacles that I had to overcome. If somebody thinks I'm gay, and it's a negative thing to them, how is that enough of a fear when you could potentially save somebody's life or make someone feel comfortable joining an athletic team? …

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