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 2014-04-16
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

Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
What started as a hobby for one gay couple from North Carolina ...

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

Julie Colwell. Photo by Ross Forman


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.

VIEWS Sexual harassment in the queer community 2014-04-16
Soccer movie spotlights team, player's identity 2014-04-16
Chicago Red Stars eyeing playoffs 2014-04-16
Margaret Fleming leaves Adoption-Link 2014-04-15
Pressure on IOC demanding no anti-gay games 2014-04-15
Chicago Force takes second step toward repeating 2014-04-14
Statue stolen from HBHC Peace Garden again 2014-04-13
Louganis at Open Door benefit 2014-04-13
Kate Ekman's labor of love 2014-04-11
Astraea Lesbian Foundation to celebrate Vernita Gray 2014-04-11
Vicci Martinez performs in Chicago 2014-04-10
Etheridge to perform with Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2014-04-10
Ind. lesbian couple wins right to marry 2014-04-10
Second City Tennis honors champions 2014-04-09
Artemis Singers concert May 31 at Broadway United 2014-04-09
Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Stand Up Comedy Show 2014-04-09
MOMBIAN Classic film about lesbian mothers now on DVD 2014-04-09
Sapna Kumar chases dreams to Hollywood 2014-04-09
UMass Amherst b-ball player Derrick Gordon comes out 2014-04-09
Gay former college swimmer now a rising force in real estate 2014-04-09
Gray, Baim, Rodriguez to be honored by Astraea May 16 2014-04-08
National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame open to nominations 2014-04-08
Lavender U: Balay on sexuality, gender in steel mills 2014-04-07
Kurtis, Baim and Meyer to get Lifetime Achievement Awards 2014-04-03
Northern Trust hosts lesbians in business panel 2014-04-02
Artemis Singers plans Feminist Mosaic Pride concert 2014-04-02
Photographic fundraiser to support Ride For AIDS Chicago 2014-04-02
Film on gay rugby star; Oprah tour; Tegan and Sara win 2014-04-02
LGBT runners have two races this June 2014-04-02
Judy Gold among City Winery's upcoming acts 2014-04-02
Ty Pennington at Disco Dash June 26 2014-04-02
Former Mr. Universe Bob Paris on Oprah, coming out, marriage 2014-04-01
Astraea benefit May 16, to honor Gray, Baim, Rodriguez 2014-04-01
Community gathers to remember Vernita Gray 2014-03-31
Center on Halsted's Human First gala honors leaders 2014-03-30
Pride 5K lakefront night race and party to benefit Center 2014-03-28
Astraea starts $20 million world push for LGBTQI equality 2014-03-26
Game On: Chicago Force drive to retain national championship 2014-03-26
Vernita Gray: A community remembers 2014-03-26
Hannah Thomas: Out singer showcases voice in various genres 2014-03-26





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.

 

 

 



 

Police expect to release footage of Boystown assailant
 
Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher on gay marriage, future
 
'This Is What It Feels Like' to be Armin van Buuren
 
New Evanston independent bookstore to open in June
 
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.