Bestselling author Kate Fagan to discuss challenges of growing up LGBTQ in sports
Eat Chat Parent to feature former ESPN columnist for in-person events Wednesday and Thursday
Coaches, parents and athletes have seen firsthand the positive impact of sports on the development of youth. Sports provide opportunities for shared experience and personal growth.
Mountain Youth and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health believe sports are a valuable resource for cultivating greater appreciation and understanding for one another, which is why both organizations partnered to bring Kate Fagan, renowned author of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling book “What Made Maddy Run” to Eagle County for a discussion on identity, inclusion and diversity in sports.
Fagan, a former ESPN columnist and advocate for mental health, gender equity in media and sports and LGBTQ issues who starred on the basketball court at the University of Colorado Boulder, will discuss the challenges of growing up LGBTQ in sports. She will share how hard it was coming out playing basketball for a nationally ranked school in college and trying to figure out her sexual identity in the closeted and paranoid world of big-time college sports. She will share her struggles as a high-performance athlete and how identity has played a role in her career at ESPN and as an award-winning author.
“Bringing Kate Fagan to our valley to discuss student/athlete mental health issues and begin the conversation of what it means to come out LGBTQ+ and what parents and community members can do to support our youth, is a conversation that is long overdue,“ said Amy Baker, the family education manager for Mountain Youth. ”Mental health misunderstandings and stigma, within athletics and outside of it, are still pervasive, and our attention needs to be narrowed in on not only the physicality of our youth athletes but their mental health as well.”
The conversation with Fagan will be moderated by Megan Vogt, a licensed professional counselor who brings a decade of experience to her private practice in Edwards, where she supports both youth and adults navigating a multitude of mental health and LGBTQ issues. Parents and their youth have two opportunities to join this important conversation. The first option is Wednesday, Nov. 10, at Colorado Mountain College. The second is Thursday, Nov. 11, at Eagle Valley High School or on Zoom.
“It’s challenging to be a teen, a talented athlete, and figure out your sexual orientation. Having these discussions and promoting equity in athletics should happen daily,” said Madison Partridge with Eagle County Pride. “Thank you, Mountain Youth and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, for bringing this issue to light. These discussions make our youth feel safe and supported.”
Eat Chat Parent is sponsored by Vail Health, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, Alpine Bank, Vail Resorts Epic Promise, The Slifer Smith & Frampton Foundation, Eagle County Schools, El Pomar, towns of Avon, Eagle, Gypsum and Vail, Eagle River Foundation, Vail Valley Cares, SAMHSA, Wells Fargo, Colorado Office of Behavioral Health and Eagle county government.
“Eagle Valley Behavioral Health is incredibly excited about this presentation,” said Dr. Casey Wolfington, the senior director of community behavioral health for Eagle Valley Behavioral Health. “We live in a community where sports, activities and community engagement are part of our core values and part of our lives from such a young age. It is crucial that we explore ways to ensure these sports and activities truly support our entire community.”
What: A Conversation on Identity, Inclusion, & Diversity in Sports with Kate Fagan
When: Wednesday, Nov. 10, at Colorado Mountain College; Thursday, Nov. 11, at Eagle Valley High School or Zoom
Times: Free dinner provived at 5:30 p.m. both nights, presentation from 6-7:30 p.m.
Audience: For parents with teens
Child care: Free child care available, but reservations are required, as space is limited
Live Spanish interpretation will also be available
Register: Sign up at MountainYouth.org/eatchatparent