This year, let’s go #Mad4Equality

This year, instead of my usual Mad Librarians bracket challenge, I’m teaming up with ButchWonders and Bess Sadler to co-host a bracket challenge for charity. For a $10 suggested donation per bracket , anyone can enter the Mad4Equality challenge (we even have a Mad4Equality Men’s group). To enter, just sign up for a free ESPN account, fill out your bracket, and join the Mad4Equality or Mad4Equality Mens group. The Womens’ brackets will be open on Monday night (3/18) and need to be completed before the first game on March 23.  The Mens’ brackets are open now, and need to be completed before Thursday’s first game tips off.

PayPay links are set up at ButchWonders for both tournaments. Local folks can just give their entry fee/donation directly to me or Bess.  Feel free to chip in more if you feel so compelled. If none of those options work for you, just email me and we’ll work something out. And also, please spread the word — the more entries we get, the bigger the pot and the more money goes to these awesome charities.

Chris, age 9, hoops

Check out that form on the jump-shot!

At the end of the tournament, the winner gets 1/3 of the money collected, and the remainder of the pot gets split between the  Trevor Project and the Campaign for Southern Equality.

The Trevor Project is “the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.”

The Campaign for Southern Equality “is a national effort to assert the full humanity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in American life and to increase public support for LGBT rights.” Their work is focused on communities across the south, “taking a new approach, building upon a rich legacy of civil rights organizing in the South and working in close partnership with other LGBT and civil rights groups.”

I am thrilled that these are the charities we are supporting this year. I have been a basketball-loving dyke forever — I mean just look at these pictures. But while I have never felt compelled to deny my love of hoops, I spent a lot of energy over many years trying to deny my own sexuality. Being gay or lesbian as a teenager in the 1980s was a scary, scary thing. Unfortunately, it is still pretty scary for many kids today. The Trevor Project does some awesome work trying to make life easier for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning kids.

Chris age 8 hoops

I was a big NC State fan at just the right time. David Thompson & Monte Towe were my favorites.

I also grew up in the south (Virginia), and spent many summers and four years of college in North Carolina. I love the south. I’ve been out here in California for over 15 years now, but I still know that tea is cold and sweet, barbecue is picked from pigs, and cornbread is better when fried. But the sad truth is that the south is not always a very comfortable place for folks like me. And except for Maryland and DC, there is no place in the south, especially not in my beloved North Carolina, where my marriage would be recognized. But I’m not willing to give up on the south, and I’m glad that  The Center for Southern Equality isn’t either.

So please, pitch in your $10 (or more) and join our #Mad4Equality bracket challenge.

We even created a group for the Men’s tournament, cuz we’re all about equality and stuff.

We will also be giving various prizes for creativity, best trash-talking, etc.; so don’t be shy about entering your best theme-based bracket. I’ll probably enter at least one based on counting up the number of exes and other people I don’t care for who went to each school, and picking the school with the lower number to win (yes, sometimes I can be a very small and very petty person).

Trash-talking is highly encouraged, here in the comments, over at ButchWonders, or on Twitter with hashtag #Mad4Equality. Side-bets are likewise encouraged. In fact, I’ll put up $25 extra to the charity of choice for anyone (especially any UConn fans) who wants to wager that their team will advance farther than my Cardinal. And I’m calling out Bess Sadler right now to put up another $25 against my bet that my Blue Devils will dance longer than her Tarheels. Go Cardinal, Go Blue Devils!

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