Prizm News / November 7, 2017 / By Taylor Henschell
Photo by Jason LeeSpicer

Taylor Henschel

Co-founder, Stonewall Sports Cleveland

Home: Cleveland

Identifies As: Gay

Pronouns: Him/He/His

When did you realize Stonewall Sports was something you were called to create?

“It was probably a solid year or more after we started, after we expanded to our second sport, after we established our board, and after we found ourselves engaging the greater Cleveland community that we realized that we had created something special. We didn’t set out with the purpose of leadership and certainly did not expect the sort of growth we’ve experienced the last two years. We’ve taken opportunities as they’ve come, and instead of resting on our success, we’ve surrounded ourselves with people who challenge us and who are constantly pushing our organization to improve upon itself and be its best possible self.”

What has been some of the most rewarding aspects of this work?

“Hands down, it’s the people and their stories. Everyone’s story is unique and beautiful and we’ve been so fortunate to be on the receiving end of so many. They are the most rewarding and the ever-present reminder of the value of this sort of work.”

What have you seen to be the single most important way to foster change and growth in LGBTQ youth?

“Listening is key. We may all fit somewhere within the LGBTQA+ spectrum, but as we’ve come to learn, our experiences are incredibly diverse. Youth need to be heard and their experiences validated. Only then will they feel like they have a place at the table and take ownership in our efforts to foster change and growth.”