21 June 2022
The month of June is the Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation’s Annual Rainbow Logo Challenge.
The Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation (GLRF) sent a press release, which reads:
The Rainbow Logo Challenge is a month-long community celebration of the global LGBTQ+ rowing community. Sponsored by the Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation (GLRF), the Challenge is an opportunity for rowing clubs, programmes, governing bodies, and related businesses to openly show support for LGBTQ+ rowers by incorporating rainbow colours in their social media and website logos.
The Challenge runs for the entire month of June. There is still time for organizations to jump onboard. Publicly supporting the Challenge are the national governing bodies for rowing in New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain and the United States as well as the publication Rowing News. The most recent club to join the Challenge is Marin Rowing Association, which has one of the largest junior rowing programmes in the United States. They added rainbow colors to their logo on all their social media sites including their website.
Displaying a rainbow logo on your social media site sends a message of inclusion and acceptance to both adult and youth athletes who are LGBTQ+. It not only offers them reassurance, but it also communicates that the rowing community fully welcomes them. The rainbow logo also sends a broader organizational message to everyone in the club or programme that LGBTQ+ acceptance is an important cultural value.
The Rainbow Logo Challenge has its origins at the June 2019 USRowing Junior National Championships. The USRowing Executive Director at the time, Patrick McNerney, while visiting the GLRF vendor booth, asked how his organization could do more to support the LGBTQ+ community. Upon learning that June was Pride Month and the importance of rainbow colors, he had the USRowing logo changed within six hours to incorporate them. From that, GLRF created the Rainbow Logo Challenge for the global rowing community. (The policy of including the rainbow colors in the USRowing logo each June has continued under Amanda Kraus, the current Executive Director.)
After two years of dormancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GLRF has once more launched the Challenge. For more information about 2022 Rainbow Logo Challenge participants, go to GLRF’s Tumblr page.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, GLRF is a global individual membership organization that fosters an international community of LGBTQ+ rowers, coaches, coxswains, and judges at all levels of the sport, including junior, collegiate, veteran/masters and elite through its online platform. The organization provides resources and information to LGBTQ+ rowers and serves as a liaison to national and international rowing governing bodies and to other sports organizations.