LGBTQ+ advocacy is something very important to me, especially when it comes to youth and athletics. It is a vital part of what fuels me in my daily work.
Here you will find resources, ideas, and experiences that I have been privileged to be part of in my personal journey to authenticity and self-love.
My most recent contributions will always be on the top of those below.
Sorry, this post is not about the DC Comic's superhero team. Though, I will say I have a special affinity for the Cartoon Network series. My son and I loved playing the PS2 game together (I was always Beast Boy and he loved Starfire) and DC’s live-version of the iconic teen series, Titans is also a pretty awesome reboot.
This is about REAL Teen Titans. One of the many rewards of being a public educator is the privilege to work with young people. Everyday they remind me as to why I love this work and how much there is to learn from their young hearts and minds. If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that us adults certainly don’t have things figured out. It is a miracle that teens continue to listen to us at all.
My time as a LGBTQ+ teen sports advocate has been some of the most rewarding of my life. The work fuels me and I love making new friendships through advocacy. Over the past year, it is amazing how being so far apart has brought so many of us closer together. An invigorated Sports Equality Foundation (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) has strengthened many in our advocacy movement. The work and relationships that the Equality Coaching Alliance and GO! SPACE have fostered over many years has kept us all connected and helped inspire to keep advocating for LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the sports we love.
Over the past year, it is amazing how being so far apart has brought so many of us closer together.
This time has provided us more “mature” (I use that term lightly, for a number of reasons) members of the movement to explore new ways to connect. Recently a new group of young leaders have taught us many ways to authentically connect with the many younger LGBTQ+ athletes in our movement.
Our young members proposed adding TikTok as an avenue to share our message to younger generations, and the project has been amazing. The energy, creativity, and good will that has emerged from this campaign has reminded me to trust, listen, and learn from our torchbearers of tomorrow.
To connect with these young leaders, check out the videos on Sports Equality Foundation’s TikTok page! In partnership with Outports.com, this campaign has already provided an avenue for hundreds, if not thousands, of young people to see that they can be out, authentic, and participate in the sports they love. And I can attest, the Teen Titans I know have superpowers that can truly change the world.
On September 19, 2013, my coming out story was published in Outsports.com and the trajectory of my life forever changed. We all have those experiences, planned or unplanned, that put into action a course of events that alter one's life. For me, this one was big.
"Like so many closeted gay men before him, Porter reached the point at which he simply couldn't live a lie anymore."
I had actually ended my heterosexual marriage a few years before the article came out, met my current partner Brandan, and had begun to navigate a new life. Concerns about my career, coaching, and general privacy kept me from making any public declaration about my sexuality. However, I learned that being out publicly and proudly was extremely important in the work that I did as and educator and athletics' coach, and now as an LGBTQ+ advocate. My visibility mattered.
Inspirations of Advocacy
My real advocacy inspiration and work began after attending Nike's LGBT Sports Summit in Portland in 2014. At this incredible event, which was still in its annual infancy, I made some of my dearest friends and was exposed to a level of empowerment and networking that still impacts me both personally and professionally to this day. Meeting other LGBTQ+ athletes and coaches alongside Nike's #BETRUE apparel line sent my mind and motivation on a positive journey that will remain a permanent part of my life and work.
Finding My Voice
It has been through the incredible work of Outsports.com that I have learned to find my voice and how to be a leader in the LGBTQ+ sports advocacy world. I was well beyond my years of competing as an athlete when I came out, and it was my success as a high school coach that initial provided me some leverage to make a difference.
From coming out stories, LGBTQ+ sports news, advocacy work, virtual workshops and conversations, the team at Outsports.com has given us all a platform to share, connect, celebrate, and learn. Thank you to Cyd Zeigler, Jim Buzinski, Dawn Ennis, and Alex Reimer for being such incredible beacons for us all.
You Can Play
I have often shared the importance that You Can Play had in my life when I came out publicly in 2013. It was both a beautiful and difficult time for me personally and professionally. Much of the darkness and pain that I experienced during period challenged me in ways that I was not fully prepared for.
The light that this amazing organization gave me will never be forgotten or taken for granted. I was very fortunate to have two of the founders of You Can Play, Brian Kitts and Glenn Witman, here in Denver. After being introduced to them by Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com, I met with Glenn and Brian and they immediately got me involved.
LGBTQ+ athletes and allies. Teaming up for respect.
I found myself being warmly welcomed into an organization that championed the intersection of athletics and the LGBTQ+ community like I had not experienced before. This inspired and launched me into advocacy work in ways I never thought possible. Since those early days, I have been extremely fortunate to continue being involved with You Can Play, and have grown into a leader in the LGBTQ+ sports movement.
Using my Voice
I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to share my story and experiences in the LGBTQ+ sports space with a number of outlets. My hope is that there is something in these conversation that is helpful in some capacity.
It was a true privilege to be asked to join my friend Layne Ingram on his The Reconstructed Man Podcast on June of 2021. We talk about coming out, Pride Month 🏳️🌈, advocacy, growing up in Michigan, and much more. Check it out!
I truly loved being a part of a conversation with my friend Zaylore Stout on his Our Gay History in 50 States Facebook page with Lindsay Hecox and Layne Ingram, two amazing leaders in the trans athletic community.
Q-Laborative Conversations: A video cast supporting LGBTQ+ youth. Here we discuss the importance of participation in athletics and activities for LGBTQ+ youth and teens.
Outsports.com Google Hangout with moderator Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com and coaching friend Anthony Nicodemo. We discuss our first season as out coaches and how it affected us personally and professionally.
Level Playing Field Podcast that aired on Sept. 17, 2019. I enjoyed sharing a little of my story and advocacy with Randy Boose of "Level Playing Field". I really enjoyed my conversation with Randy and am grateful for his questions and the opportunity to reflect on my childhood, love of sports, and the journey that has me where I am today.
Spent time with Colorado Public Radio's Ryan Warner sharing my experiences in coming out as high school coach in a traditional educational environment. I was able to discuss volunteering with You Can Play and the work they are doing to end homophobia in sports.
Enjoyed spending a cool fall morning in October of 2019 with my friend Ken Young as part of his podcast series, Listening Studio. I was able to share my journey of self-acceptance, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and my love of education. It remains one of my favorite conversations.