Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-08-27
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Broadway in Chicago puts on free summer show Broadway in Chicago

puts on free summer show
The hill was alive with the sound of music in the Jay ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Lesbian excels as sports official
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2012-11-20

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


The tattoo on her right ankle—a zebra with a whistle around its neck—is a fitting tribute to how Julie Colwell has meshed her passion into her profession.

Julie Colwell, 52, an open lesbian who lives in north suburban Lincolnwood and has been a teacher at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) for 30 years, also is a high-ranking, top-tiered (certified) amateur sports official in the Illinois.

Colwell officiates multiple sports, including volleyball (boys and girls), basketball (girls) and softball (fast- and slow-pitch). She is one of the few females who has officiated key high school state tournament games in volleyball (boys and girls) and basketball (girls).

Sports officiating at high-level high school games/matches is male-dominated, but that hasn't slowed Colwell's drive and determination to excel on the fields of play.

"Officiating is all about customer service, social relationships," said Colwell, who was born in Fargo, N.D., and was a two-sport athlete (field hockey and softball) at Western Illinois University. She still plays softball and golfs, and recently picked up running. Colwell previously has played organized basketball and volleyball.

Her officiating career also has also led Colwell to the court for women's college basketball games. Plus, Colwell has umpired both the predominantly male Gay Softball World Series and the Women's Softball World Series.

"Being able to umpire my peers at the highest level is great, and I really cherish those weeks," of the World Series, she said. Colwell was in San Diego in August for the women's Amateur Sports Alliance of North America (ASANA) annual World Series.

She has been a softball umpire for 12 years—and an officiating teacher for nine years, literally.

Colwell teaches a sports officiating class at Evanston, which has received extensive local mainstream media coverage over the years.

"I feel strong that female athletes need to see female officials," said Colwell, who is a mentor to several younger, up-and-coming officials.

Often, she brings tales from her officiating career into the classroom.

"As I tell the kids [in class,] sports officiating is a great way to make some money and give back to sports," she said. "I've had many highlights from the sports officiating class. One was a student who went on to the University of Arizona. He wrote me [from college] to say that he was hired to officiate [the school's] intramural sports. He was the only freshman hired; the others were juniors and seniors. Another time, a University of Michigan student told me that he was [assigned] to umpire high school freshmen baseball games—I could see the pride in his face as he was telling me."

Colwell also teaches health-wellness education at Evanston, which includes discussions on sex education, nutrition, drug use, stress management and more. About 20 fellow ETHS teachers are her former students. One of her former students is going to be a grandmother.

So, does it feel like 30 years?

No, she said. "I don't feel like I'm 52," Colwell said.

Colwell wears a No H8 bracelet in the classroom and has never hidden her sexual orientation. Being out has never been an issue, she said.

Colwell, in fact, started Evanston's gay-straight alliance about 15 years ago.

"If kids come up and ask questions, they get me; I have my heart on my sleeve, so they get an open and honest answer," she said.

Her health education class includes discussions on bullying.

"I firmly believe in equality across the board," Colwell said. "Part of our teacher training the first two days [of classes] included talking about LGBT issues, and how do you deal with that in the hallway and in the classroom.

"Thankfully, our culture at Evanston Township is very inclusive.

"I think every school has some issues [on the LGBT front;] that's probably how it always will be. Explaining same-sex relationships to some—students and faculty—can and probably always will be a challenge."

Colwell, who enjoys traveling and attending concerts in her limited free time, is now a Board member for the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association (CMSA).

"Make your bucket list, and do your bucket list," she said of advice she offers all.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Women's Words Film Fest premieres shorts 2014-08-29
Street being named for Women & Children First Bookstore 2014-08-28
FGG co-president opens up on Gay Games past, present, future 2014-08-27
Sky to Face the Indiana in WNBA Eastern Finals 2014-08-27
Wanda Sykes talks kids, family and hitting the road 2014-08-27
Indigo Girls joining Nettles Aug. 29 in Aurora 2014-08-27
NLJGA 2014: Diversity coverage hits and misses discussed 2014-08-24
NLGJA 2014: Panel maps the future of lesbian media 2014-08-24
Chicago Dragons competing for Bingham Cup in Australia 2014-08-21
Chicagoan captures bodybuilding gold medal at Gay Games 9 2014-08-20
Streisand's new CD; Bourdain's support; Latifah's kiss 2014-08-20
Out Chicago rabbi heads to Israel for advanced studying 2014-08-20
Sept. 7 Victory Fund event to feature Houston's mayor 2014-08-20
Honors roll in for UIC researcher 2014-08-20
Jane Lynch to announce Jeff Award nominations 2014-08-19
'Epic Fail Challenge 5K' Aug. 23 at Soldier Field 2014-08-19
Spurs hire NBA's first women assistant coach 2014-08-19
NBA referee weds partner 2014-08-19
The loss of queer space: Parlour on Clark 2014-08-19
Three couples tie the knot in festive fashion 2014-08-19
'Orange' wins Creative Emmys 2014-08-17
WNBA players Griner, Johnson engaged 2014-08-16
Chicagoans celebrate gold and more at Gay Games 9 2014-08-15
Chicago Rowing Union wins gold at Gay Games 9 2014-08-15
Greg Louganis helps kick off Gay Games Opening Day 2014-08-14
Tales of a Stage 4 Cancer: One woman plus one woman comedy show 2014-08-14
Arizona State football player comes out as gay 2014-08-14
Gay-rights activist receives baseball award 2014-08-13
Lesbians Who Tech network at The Brixton 2014-08-13
Affinity conference takes on post-marriage equality issues 2014-08-13
Lesbian drama 'Anatomy' on Vimeo 2014-08-13
Former bookstore owners reflect on local legacy 2014-08-13
Fertility group talks options for lesbians 2014-08-12
Michael Sam debuts in NFL 2014-08-12
'Out at the Sox' Aug. 16 2014-08-12
Houston Mayor Parker at Sept. 7 Victory Fund Chicago event 2014-08-12
Willa Taylor showcases Goodman Theatre's original behind the script talents 2014-08-11
PASSAGES: Veronica "Ro" Gazzillo (nee Soper), Force assistant coach 2014-08-11
Gay Games 9 opens in Cleveland-Akron 2014-08-10
Out at the Sox: LGBT Pride Night Aug. 16 2014-08-08





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

DINING Freshii's Alex Blair on expanding empire
 
Before we go moving the Pride Parade...
 
Attendees board 'Soul Train' at ALCC event
 
Michael Jackson tribute Aug. 28-30 in Gary, Indiana
 
Way-out Wizard World: costums, characters, artists
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.