Gene Dermody to be
inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame
July 2015 in Chicago
The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame is please to annouce the induction of
Gene Dermody along with
friends Roger Brigham, Kye Allums, and Chris Morgan, as well as Megan Rapinoe, Roy Simmons,
Helen Hull Jacobs, Dale Scott, and Robbie Rogers. It is an awesome and humbling honor to be
included in such a revered group of athletes.
Gene Dermody’s experience at Gay Games I in 1982 moved him so much that he dedicated the rest of his life
to helping thousands of other LGBT athletes experience the challenges and rewards of inclusive
sports participation. Preaching to his fellow athletes the importance of giving back rather
than seeking self-centered goals, Gene has coached thousands of wrestlers
across the globe, was a founding member of Wrestlers WithOut Borders and Team San Francisco,
infused information technology into the Federation of Gay Games while serving twice
as its president. As founder of the Golden Gate Wrestling non-profit, he launched a low-cost
community-based wrestling program for at-risk children. He is the 2014 winner of the Tom Waddell Award.
Previous Inductees Link
Gene Dermody '75 MA
featured in Montclair State NJ Alumni Magazine October 2015
Eugene Dermody came to Montclair State University in 1973 with the desire to make a difference.
The New Jersey native spent his early post college years coaching wrestling and teaching chemistry and
physics at numerous high schools in New Jersey. But it was his dedication to creating a safe, inclusive
space for LGBTQ individuals that earned him recognition throughout a long-lasting career.
In 2014 he was awarded the Tom Waddell Award by the Federation of Gay Games, the world’s largest
sporting and cultural event organized by, and specifically targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender athletes.
Dermody graduated from New York University with a Bachelor Degree in Classical Languages and Chemistry,
and soon after earned his New Jersey teaching certificate. During a period when science teachers were in high demand,
Dermody taught at Paramus Catholic high school, and immediately enrolled in the Masters in
Teaching secondary school science program at Montclair State.
"The teaching program at Montclair State helped me tremendously in my own classroom," says Dermody.
"The professors in the science program were hands on and way ahead of their time.
At Montclair State I was learning technology in the classroom that wasn’t available to my own students.
I learned firsthand how impactful it could be to the learning experience, and that it was the future. "
After earning his Master’s Degree, he taught at New Milford, Northern Burlington, Paramus Catholic,
Hawthorne, and Leonia high schools. He also coached wrestling. At the time, Dermody was living in New York
City during the AIDS epidemic. One day, he saw a flyer for the first Gay Games, being held in
San Francisco, CA., and boarded the next flight to compete.
"The Gay Games experience changed and saved my life." he says. "I decided that I needed to let others
like me know how they could find happiness and success being gay by meeting like-minded people through
playing sports. It was also a powerful and positive political message at a scary time when it was much needed by the community. "
Dermody’s award in 2014 is the highest honor given by the Federation of Gay Games to recognize
individuals who have inspired pride in sports, culture, or volunteerism. It’s named in memory of the
’68 Olympian and founder of the Gay Games, Dr. Tom Waddell, and is awarded every four years.
Dermody is the only wrestler to have competed in all nine Gay Games, winning four gold, two silver,
and two bronze medals along the way. He has served as president of Golden Gate Wrestling Club since 1986,
founded Wrestlers WithOut Borders, and is a former president of the Federation of Gay Games.
On 24 July 2015, Gene will inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in
Chicago with the likes of Robbie Rogers.
Happily semi-retired, Dermody lives in San Francisco and returns to New Jersey every month to visit family members.
Montclair State didn’t have a wrestling program when Dermody was a student but it now has an active club sports team.
"I’m so glad to hear that students now have the opportunity to get involved in wrestling," he says.
"If it weren’t for the camaraderie and discipline I learned from being a part of a team, I wouldn’t have become who I am today.
I’m truly blessed, and it’s been an honor for me to give back to my community and my sport throughout the years."
Montclair State University Alumni Spotlight Link
Gene Dermody to receive
2014 Tom Waddell Award at Cleveland Gay Games August 2014
The Federation of Gay Games is
pleased to announce American pioneer of LGBT sport Gene Dermody as winner of the
2014 Tom Waddell Award. Named in the memory of the founder of the Gay Games, the
Tom Waddell Award is the highest honor bestowed by the FGG. The Dr Tom Waddell Trophy
was a gift of the LGBT community of Vancouver, and was first awarded there at
Gay Games III in 1990. Since then it has been presented every four years in
recognition of the outstanding contributions of men and women to the international
Gay Games movement and the FGG’s mission of equality in sport and culture and
through sport and culture.
Gene Dermody of San Francisco has
a lifetime of contributions to LGBT sport and the Gay Games. Dermody has said
that the Opening Ceremony of Gay Games I in 1982 changed his life; he has spent
every day since then paying forward the gift of Dr Tom Waddell and many others
who made that event possible.
Dermody has served the Federation
of Gay Games in a variety of capacities, including sports officer, technology
officer, and president, often at the most trying times in the organization’s
history. He has been a key leader in many LGBT sports organizations, including
the Golden Gate Wrestling Club, Wrestlers WithOut Borders, and Team San
Francisco. In these organizations and in the FGG, he has given selflessly of
his time, energy, expertise, at times at a personal and financial cost, always
with the goal of sharing the precious tool for personal discovery and empowerment
that are the Gay Games.
About his experience at the
Opening Ceremony in 1982, Gene said: " I had finally come ’home’ after a very
long exile." For 37 years now, Gene has been at the door, welcoming men and women
from San Francisco and far beyond to their "home" as part of the Gay Games
Kappa Sigma Caduseus Alumni Newsletter Winter/Spring 2015 Link:
Federation Press Release Link
"Out In The Castro: Desire, Promise, Activism"
... BirthPlace of the Gay Games Movement
... The Last Closet: The Locker Room
by Gene Dermody,
Published & Edited by Winston Leyland
First Edition November 2002
MP4 Video FreeStyle Masters 136# Finals San Francisco 1986 Gay Games II Tim Cech (Chicago) Gene Dermody (NYC)
"Gold Should Not Be The Only Goal"
... from coverage of the Sydney 2000 Olympics
by Gene Dermody
"Filling In The Blanks: The Missing LGBT Athletes"
... from Jim Provenzano's Sporting Life Exhibit (2005):
LGBT Athletics and Cultural Change from the 1960s to Today
by Gene Dermody
"Title IX Hearings San Diego 2002: A Different Perspective"
... Presented on Invitation from the Department of Education (DOE)
by Gene Dermody
"The ADVOCATE" August 1998 reprint from "JOCKS" ....
"The ADVOCATE" August 1998 original "JOCKS"
by Dan Woog
"KQED Local Heroes" June 2003 Pride
"BASOC Board of Directors: Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (2002)"
... San Francisco 2012 Olympic Bid
"I Remember Fr. Mychal Judge (2001) "
by Gene Dermody
"No Holds Barred Interview on Gay Games Wrestling (2014)"
by Eddie Goldman
"No Magic in a Unified Event (2015)"
by Gene Dermody
"GLISA WOGs IV Miami Fraud (2017)"
by Gene Dermody
"Patricia Nell Warren/Front Runner Tribute (B.A.R)"
by Roger Brigham