Last Thursday, the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies partnered up with the Canadian Olympic Committee to host the 2015 Bonham Centre Awards Gala (BCAG) at the Hart House.
This year’s gala, presented by Royal Bank of Canada, raises awareness for the importance of LGBTQ inclusion in sports, and honoured those who have made a significant contribution to the public understanding of sexual diversity.
Awards recipients included notable Olympians Greg Louganis (four-time Olympic champion and author), Mark Tewksbury (gold medal Olympic swimmer), and Marnie McBean (three gold medal winner), who have made a difference in the sports communities.
Each award recipient shared their stories on stage:
Greg Louganis is one of the first athletes to announce himself gay to the public. He demonstrated great courage by competing in the 1988 Olympics after being diagnosed as HIV positive.
Mark Tewksbury is a prominent activist for gay rights and the author of Inside Out: Straight Talk from a Gay Jock.
Marnie McBean, appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, mentored five teams and is heavily involved in promoting the safety, health and activity of Canada’s youth and many athlete development programs.
After the moving and inspiring speeches, guests returned to mingling at the back of the hall, where drinks and delectable hors d’oeuvres continued to flow for the rest of the night.
Funds raised from this year’s gala benefit a new LGBTQ course at the University of Toronto.
In addition to the awards gala, the Bonham Centre also hosted a series of events including an exclusive university screening in partnership with Inside/Out of documentary film Back on Board: Greg Louganis, and a summit in collaboration with COC to discuss ways different sectors in Canada can contribute to full inclusion in sports.
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