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Out in the Bay

LGBTQ Track and Field Club Celebrates 40 Years

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The San Francisco Track and Field Club — founded by gay decathlete Tom Waddell 40 years ago — still meets regularly.

In 1981 Waddell created the Gay Olympics and began recruiting people to play. After a lawsuit from the U.S. Olympic Committee, the name of the event was changed to The Gay Games, and after a successful first year the games still occur every 4 years in Waddell’s honor.

This week on Out In The Bay, meet Rick Thoman, a track and field athlete who shares 40 years of memories with the San Francisco Track and Field Club. Plus, Alice Smith joins us to preview the 14th Annual Pride Meet, taking place June 18th at San Francisco State University.

We also hear from reporter Lusen Mendel on how and why the “singular they” went from fringe to forefront in less than a decade.

Please help us keep bringing queer air to your ears. Out in the Bay is an independent non-profit production. We receive no funds from podcast platforms nor from radio stations that air Out in the Bay weekly. Your gift will help keep LGBTQ voices and stories coming to you and others who might not be able to give. (Donate tabs on our website will take you to a Media Alliance interface. Media Alliance is our non-profit 501(c)3 fiscal agent. Your gift will be earmarked for Out in the Bay.)

The Executive Producer of Out In The Bay is Eric Jansen. This edition of Out in the Bay was produced by Christopher Beale, Lusen Mendel and Andrew Sturner.

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Christopher J. Beale is an independent radio host, producer, and journalist living in San Francisco.
Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.
Lusen Mendel / they is a KALW Summer News Journalism intern and News Reporter for Crosscurrents.