Hudson Taylor (wrestler)

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Hudson Taylor
Columbia University wrestling coach, LGBT activist, and Founding Director of Athlete Ally Hudson Taylor
Hudson Taylor
Born (1987-01-13) 13 January 1987 (age 31)
Education University of Maryland, College Park
Occupation Founding executive director, Athlete Ally
Spouse(s) Lia Alexandra Mandaglio[1]

Hudson Taylor (born Herbert Hudson Taylor IV) is the founder and executive director of Athlete Ally, a former wrestling coach at Columbia University[2] and a prominent straight ally[3] and civil rights activist of LGBT rights.[4]

Athletic career[edit]

Taylor thrice gained the status of NCAA All-American wrestler before graduating and becoming a coach at Columbia University. He also secured the most pins and the most wins in the history of collegiate wrestling at the University of Maryland, College Park[5] and is ranked among the top five pinners in NCAA wrestling history. He holds several hall-of-fame records [6]


Taylor is descended from a long line of Christian missionaries, including James Hudson Taylor, who founded the China Inland Mission during the 19th Century in China.[5] While he has had disagreements with his parents over religion, it instilled in him a "strong sense of inclusion over exclusion."[7]

An athlete all his life, Taylor experienced denigrating humor in high school and college sports, but befriended gay people when he majored in Interactive Performance Art at the University of Maryland. When Taylor began to wear an equality sticker from the Human Rights Campaign on his wrestling headgear, he faced backlash from his peers, but gained attention from the media.[8] When he blogged about experiencing homophobia in collegiate sports, he received hundreds of emails from closeted athletes.[9] This experience eventually drove him to found the not-for-profit organization, Athlete Ally, "with the mission of educating, encouraging and empowering straight athlete allies to combat homophobia and transphobia in sports."[3]

"For me and my generation, LGBT rights is a pressing issue," said Taylor. "I believe that whatever history I'm a part of, I'm responsible for. If I feel something is unjust or unequal, I feel a responsibility to do something about it."

Taylor continues to spread his message of equality and inclusion as the founder and executive director of Athlete Ally as well as a public speaker and recurring blogger for the Huffington Post.[10]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2010, Taylor was named by The Advocate as one of the "Top 150 Reasons to Have Gay Pride".[10]

Following his founding of Athlete Ally in 2011, Taylor received the PFLAG Straight for Equality Award with Rosie Perez and Charlaine Harris[11] and was named "Greatest Person of the Day" on April 8 by the Huffington Post.[9] Later this year, Taylor was honored by Buick and the NCAA alongside Eunice Kennedy Shriver and other advocates in sports as a feature story of the Buick Human Highlight Reel.[12]

His work is now featured in a permanent installation in Make a Difference! The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which aims to empower young persons to stand as leaders against discrimination.[13]

In April 2012, Taylor was named University of Maryland Alumnus of the Year for the school of Undergraduate Studies for his work as an LGBT rights activist.[14]

Taylor received an Emery Award in November 2013 from the Hetrick Martin Institute.[15]


  1. ^ "Hudson & Lia". Philadelphia magazine. Metrocorp. Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Hudson Taylor". Columbia University. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Rugby Superstar Ben Cohen Takes a Stand" (PDF). Equality. Human Rights Campaign: 23. Summer 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  4. ^ Branch, John (2011-05-13). "Two Straight Athletes Combat Homophobia". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  5. ^ a b Steinburg, Dan (2010-02-17). "Hudson Taylor is a wrestling magician". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  6. ^ "Hudson Taylor sets the Maryland career record for wins and pins". Terps Wrestling. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  7. ^ Buzinski, Jim (2010-02-21). "Wrestler Hudson Taylor a Champion for Gay Rights". Outsports. SB Nation. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  8. ^ "Hudson Taylor, NCAA Division 1 All-American Wrestler, Coach, Founder of Athlete Ally". Devote Campaign. 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  9. ^ a b Kavner, Lucas (2011-04-08). "Wrestler Promotes LGBT Support Among Athletes". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
  10. ^ a b "Hudson Taylor". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  11. ^ "3rd Annual Straight for Equality Gala". Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  12. ^ "Buick Human Highlight Reel". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Archived from the original on 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 11, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011. [not in citation given]
  14. ^ "2012 Annual Awards Gala". Alumni Association. University of Maryland. 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  15. ^ "Chelsea Clinton Honored At 2013 Emery Awards Alongside Hudson Taylor, Fallon Fox And Brendon Ayanbadejo". The Huffington Post. 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 

External links[edit]