On June 8, the Big Ten Conference announced their plans for an LGBTQ+ Working Group that will aim to find solutions to better serve and support the LGBTQ community. The group, which is a part of the Big Ten Equality Coalition, will include student athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and Big Ten Network staff.
This month, the Big Ten will focus on celebrating Pride, which commemorates the Stonewall riots that occurred at the end of June 1969. The conference plans on honoring the month with a series of activities, such as recognizing members of the LGBTQ community in the Big Ten and collaborating with broadcast partners to highlight Pride celebrations.
The conference is also debuting a new hashtag, #B1GPRIDE, to help create more conversation and awareness across social media. The conference has also included information at bigten.org about resources and activities across all 14 of the Big Ten campuses regarding the LGBTQ community.
“Joining the LGBTQ+ Working Group is very important and personal to me, especially at this time in our country, where a number of anti-LGBTQ+ laws are being enacted,” University of Maryland Assistant Athletic Director Resa Lovelace said in a release from the conference. “The members of this working group have all come together to create spaces where we can uplift, support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ individuals across the Big Ten Conference."
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren will also take part in the LGBTQ+ Working Group.
“We are proud to continue to ‘Unite as One’ in support of the members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community and to amplify their voices as part of the Big Ten Equality Coalition,” Warren said. “The formation of the LGBTQ+ Working Group will help inspire more members of the conference’s LGBTQ+ community to use their voices to drive change in their respective communities.”