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EBANMAN PROFILE / INSPIRATION / Ubuntu Project

All You Need To Know About Wade Davis

All You Need To Know About Wade Davis

He continued to play for both European and American teams until 2003 when he was forced to retire because of a leg injury. In the meantime, he also graduated from the Weber State University in Ogden, Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. After that he became the captain of the team New York Warriors, part of the National Gay Flag Football League. He publicly came out about being gay in 2012 and spoke about what it felt to hide this during the NFL years. He had great days when his games were awesome, but then he was looking at them on film and was thinking “how gay he looks”. This was tragic for him since he wanted to hide this from everyone. On one hand he was very happy to play in the NFL and to fulfill a childhood dream, while on the other hand he was trying to kill and to destroy the part of him that was gay. At that young age he simply didn’t understand what it felt to be gay and didn’t wanted to ruin the opportunity to play in the NFL because of that. He then joined the board of an organization that has the purpose to combat homophobia in professional sports, named You Can Play. One year later he became the executive director of this organization. He is also the co-founder of the You Belong Initiative, which offers sports instructions and a leadership clinic for the LGBTQ community. Part of this initiative is also the Speaker’s Collective, that provides support particularly for people of color in the LGBTQ community. In 2014 he become the first consultant for diversity and inclusion in the NFL, working with the league and their sponsors in order to reduce sexism, racism and homophobia. He offers training sessions for both players and coaches, helping those in need to better integrate in the team. Together with Darnell L. Moore (the co-founder of the above mentioned You Belong Initiative), he also started the #ThisIsLuv campaign that aims to bring awareness on the LGBT people in the Black community. Similar to this, he was also part of campaigns such as #MyFeminismIs and #BlackMenAndFeminism that were started in partnership with Ebony Magazine and the Ms. Foundation. One year later in 2015, he appeared in the American documentary film called F(l)ag Football, which presents the team New York Warriors as they prepare for the Gay Bowl. The movie also presents the National Gay Flag Football League to the world. Other TV appearances include season 2 of the American Crime drama (where he was also a consultant to director John Ridley) and a guest role in the third season of the “Adam Ruins Everything” series. When it comes to written publications, he was featured in The Huffington Post, Sports Illustrated, The Guardian, The Advocate and others. In 2015 he released his first memoir, presenting the struggles of growing in a religious home and the challenges of advocating the LGBTQ rights. His writings were also cited in multiple books written by Keith Boykin. He is a member of the GMHC board (an organization that supports gay people with AIDS) and also of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. In regards to politics he supported Barrack Obama and was the LGBT surrogate at the 2012 elections. At the latest elections he criticized Hillary Clinton and supported Bernie Sanders. He is not only involved in sports, but also works with large corporations such as Google and Netflix in order to create inclusive corporate cultures that are supporting people of all colors and sexual orientations. He offers coaching to important leaders, helping them to adapt to all sorts of people and to create a balanced environment for everyone. His work was appreciated and awarded multiple times. For example, in 2014 the Northeastern University gave him an honorary Doctorate of Public Service for his efforts to reduce sexism and homophobia in sports. He appeared in lists such as the “50 Black LGBT Adults That Black LGBT Youth Should Know” and the Top 100 of Black influencers and achievers. He gave a TEDx Talk at the University of Florida called The Mask of Masculinity, and he is always trying to bring awareness to men when it comes to toxic masculinity. He truly enjoys to meet people in the community, to understand their lives and points of view and to support them in every way possible. By reading the book Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, he understood that sexism was the root of homophobia and everything else made more sense to him. Lately he suggests that the LGBTQ community should focus and offer the most support to the most marginalized category of all, the queer women of color. He hopes for a future where anyone can be proud of their identity and be able to come clean about it, without others to judge them. For those who feel powerless and marginalized, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation, he suggests to join the women’s rights movement. By joining a community of marginalized women, immigrants or women of color, they can find a place for themselves and be part of a strong community.]]>

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