Dressed in a red checkered shirt accompanied with a pair of grey khakis, Hudson Taylor walked towards nearly 400 Pacific Lutheran University students March 3. The students were packed into Olson Gymnasium, preparing for what Taylor had to say about his perspective on the homosexual community.
Taylor is a Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender activist, and speaks out against homophobic slurs used not only in athletics, but also in everyday life. He explained that he wasn’t always a supporter of LGBT. He didn’t really understand the group’s mission until he witnessed homophobic language occurring in the locker room at the University of Maryland where he wrestled. That’s when he decided to make a difference.
“I believe that if you are silent in the face of oppression, you are culpable for that oppression…There are everyday instances when people should speak out when they’re currently not,” Taylor said.
Taylor stressed the importance of being aware of how you speak. Using homophobic language can be insulting and should be avoided, according to Taylor.
Taylor believes getting professional athletes to speak out against homophobic slurs can be very powerful because they are so influential.
“Getting a professional athlete or a college athlete to do the same [speak out against homophobia] could make a major difference,” Taylor said.
Amy Wooten, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President, wanted PLU to host Taylor after watching him speak at the University of Washington Leadership Summit last year.
“We’ve already started to implement Hudson’s message this year with the ‘You Can Play’ video and we’ll be running an inclusion poster campaign coming out this week. We’re really trying to get it into our athletes’ minds that we want to be an inclusive department,” Wooten said.