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Eberly News Blog

8 Oct

In 2000, Brian Sims came out to his football team after helping to lead them to the Division II National Championship game as their captain. He remains the only former NCAA football captain to have ever publicly come out, and is one of the most notable collegiate athletes to do so in any sport. Now a prominent attorney and LGBT civil rights advocate, Sims is running unopposed as the first openly gay candidate for the Pennsylvania state legislature.

The WVU Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and a student-led anti-bullying group are co-sponsoring a lecture with Brian Sims on Tuesday, October 9 at 8 p.m. in Ming Hsieh Hall room G20.

Sims, recognized by Campus Pride among the top 24 “Best of the Best” LGBT Speakers in 2011, speaks openly about his experiences in college-level athletics and his encounters with homophobia.

“Brian Sims serves as a role model for students, student athletes, coaches, family, peers—all of us, really. Hopefully his time here at WVU will help remind our community that, even if one doesn’t identify as LGBT, people most certainly can identify as an ally and friend of equal civil rights,” Brian Jara, senior lecturer in women’s and gender studies, who regularly teaches a course on Men and Masculinities notes.

Sims is a former Staff Counsel for Policy and Planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association, and served as both the President of the Board of Directors of Equality Pennsylvania and as Chairman of GALLOP. He has worked with attorneys, legislators and community organizations on issues ranging from gender and pay inequity to environmental regulation.

The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies supports teaching, research and advocacy that is based on feminist perspectives and centered on analyses of gender and its intersection with race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age and ability.

For more information, contact the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at

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