9 Ways Mizzou Stands With Michael Sam

All-American Mizzou football player Michael Sam came out on Sunday, which means he could be the first openly gay NFL draft. Here’s a look at the reasons Mizzou is a great place for any Tiger to come out.

1. Sam told his teammates he was gay in August, and they respected his decision to keep it a secret.


“My teammates were very supportive. They rallied around me, and they support me even now,” said Sam, in an interview with the Columbia Tribune.

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2. When the Westboro Baptist Church announced a protest at Mizzou, students organized a counter-protest with 2,614 attendees on Facebook and counting.

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3. This year, Mizzou had its first gender-queer Homecoming King candidate.

Mizzou Homecoming’s Facebook Page / Via Facebook: MizzouHomecoming

Mizzou had the first homecoming in 1911. Josey Herrera made history as the first member of a sorority running for Homecoming King. Read more here.

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4. Mizzou is proud to be inclusive for trans* students.

Mizzou’s news bureau made this video to promote inclusivity. MU offers trans* students medical insurance for medical care, hormone treatment, lab tests and surgical care. (Students are still pushing the university to provide gender-neutral housing and include preferred names in the campus directory.)

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5. Mizzou provides benefits for same-sex partners of university employees.

Last year, the MU Board of Curators approved employee benefits for “sponsored adult dependents,” which includes same-sex couples. Read more here.

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6. The current student government president identifies as gay and the current Panhellenic Association (PHA) president identifies as queer.

Mizzou also has an active Greek Allies chapter that promotes acceptance in the Greek community.

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7. Mizzou has the largest Alternative Breaks program in the nation, and for the first time this year one of the service trips will focus on LGBTQ issues.

From Mizzou Alternative Breaks’ Facebook Page / Via Facebook: MizzouBreaks

The organization strives to be inclusive to everyone.

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8. Mizzou has a university-funded LGBTQ resource center.

Pride Parade/MU LGBTQ Resource Center’s Facebook Page / Via Facebook: mulgbtq

The center sponsors educational events and works to create a more inclusive community on MU’s campus. Learn more here.

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9. In 2003, sexual orientation was added to MU’s anti-discrimination policy.

MU Triangle Coalition’s Facebook Page / Via Facebook: MU-Triangle-Coalition

According to lesbian and gay Tigers, this resulted in a decline in reported harassment.

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