By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
LANSING – Lansing-area activists will have a chance to voice their opinion about Penn State women’s basketball coach Renee Portland on Jan. 5 when the now-infamous anti-lesbian coach will bring her team to play Michigan State University’s women’s team.
Portland is being sued by former player Jennifer Harris for anti-lesbian discrimination and harassment. On Dec. 13, PlanetOut reported that two other ex-players had come forward on ESPN with their own allegations about Portland’s virulently anti-lesbian attitude. According to the PlanetOut report, Portland has publicly stated on two occasions that she will not allow lesbians to play for her team. Penn State has included sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy since 1991.
According to organizer Penny Gardner, the LGBT organization at Penn State is organizing protests at the other Big Ten schools. The MSU protest will allow the non-campus LGBT community to join their voices with the students’.
Gardner said that the protest will feature a sale of T-Shirts reading “Lavender Menace Goes Green Goes White,” which will be sold at cost, and that the group may order pom-poms from Penn State’s LGBT group in order to provide that organization with financial support.
Final details about the planned protest were not available as of press time. For more information contact Penny Gardner at 517-484-4512 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gay Games needs your help
Renee Portland and U.S. sports culture may be behind the ball in accepting lesbian athletes, but there is an international organization that will welcome them. The Gay Games was founded in the early 80’s to allow LGBT athletes to be out and proud about their sport and their orientation. The next Gay Games, to be held in Chicago in July, needs financial help in order to assist athletes who want to come to compete but who lack the means. For more information visit http://GayGamesChicago.org.