Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-11-30
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

facebook twitter pin it 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 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Nancy Reiff, former Daley staffer, dies 2016-12-01 - In writing of the warrior, Morihei Ueshiba observed "when life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A ...


Gay News

Federal court rehears gay discrimination case 2016-11-30 - The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, on Nov. 30, reheard oral arguments in the case of Kimberly Hively, an Indiana math instructor who ...


Gay News

'SheFest' Dec. 12 2016-11-30 - Pride Films and Plays will host SheFest at The Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway, on Monday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m. SheFest is a ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Swingin' with Jane Lynch 2016-11-30 - Actress Jane Lynch returned to her roots in Illinois to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to comedy. She appeared at ...


Gay News

CMSA Hall of Fame welcomes six in the class of 2016 2016-11-30 - Leslie Wallin started playing 16-inch softball before some in today's Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association ( CMSA ) leagues were even born. She started ...


Gay News

Barry's Bootcamp brings workouts to Chicago 2016-11-30 - Joey Gonzalez came home in mid-November for "one of the most climactic and meaningful moments" of his career: the opening of Barry's Chicago, ...


Gay News

San Antonio 4 exonerated in appeals court, lesbians wrongfully convicted 2016-11-23 - Filmmaker Deborah S. Esquenazi woke up to a phone call from attorney Mike Ware of The Innocent Project of Texas telling her the ...


Gay News

Gaylon Alcaraz's radical journey 2016-11-23 - Gaylon Alcaraz is a self-described radical. An activist in different capacities, she is passionate about certain topics, most of which she has what ...


Gay News

Ellen DeGeneres among Presidential Medal of Freedom winners 2016-11-16 - WASHINGTON, DC — Today, President Barack Obama named 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE: TV/PODCASTS Kirsten Vangsness talks 'Criminal Minds,' being queer 2016-11-16 - Actress Kirsten Vangsness currently portrays Penelope Garcia in the CBS series Criminal Minds. She has also play the role in Criminal Minds: Suspect ...


 



Copyright © 2016 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



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     
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.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com