Sunday, October 17, 2010

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight was an entrepreneur, executive, athlete and hero. The CEO of The Bingham Group, a successful public relationship firm in San Francisco and New York, he is most remembered for the heroic act he and his fellow passengers did on United Airline Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Today's Out Spotlight is Mark Bingham.

Born May 22, 1970 in Arizona, Mark Bingham grew up in California, the son of Alice Hoglan, a single mother who struggled to make ends meet. He attended Los Gatos High School and went on to graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, where he helped the rugby team earn national championships in 1991 and 1993. He was a member of Chi Psi fraternity and was president of the school chapter.

A large athlete at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and 225 pounds (102 kg), he also played for the San Francisco Fog RFC, a rugby union team and the city's first gay rugby team. In 2001 most of the Fog were complete novices to the game, but Mark started showing up anyway. He coached, cajoled, and crashed through their practices, and played No. 8 in their first two friendly matches. He also played in their first tournament (where he promptly dislocated his shoulder). He taught his teammates his favorite rugby songs and made them feel like we were part of something bigger than themselves.

In May 2001, as a member of the Fog, he took part in the Washington DC Renegades Invitational Tournament. Although very few in number, most of the gay rugby teams at that time took part in the tournament. It was after the tournament that Scott Glaessgen, who had been inspired by the tournament and who had been friends with Bingham since 1998, contacted Bingham about forming a gay rugby team in New York City.

The Bingham Group had recently opened a second office of his successful public relations firm in NYC and he was spending more time on the East Coast. Mark was excited about the possibility and over the summer the two men started planning the formation of a New York City team the Gotham Knights RFC.

On September 11, 2001 he boarded Flight 93 at the last minute, on his way to California to be an usher in his fraternity brother Joseph Salama's wedding.

About 20 minutes before Flight 93 went down, Bingham called his mother. “This is Mark Bingham,” were his first words. She immediately knew something was wrong. “I love you” were the last words she heard from her son. She knew if there was any way to turn tragedy into triumph, Mark would lead the charge. His mother a former flight attendant with United Airlines, later left a voice mail message on his cell phone, instructing him to reclaim the aircraft after it became apparent that Flight 93 was to be used in a suicide mission.

Bingham is believed to have been among the passengers who attempted to storm the cockpit of Flight 93 to try to prevent members of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization, from using the plane to kill hundreds or thousands of additional victims as a part of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The 9/11 Commission concluded this heroism diverted the plane from its intended target, which was either the White House or the Capitol in Washington, and caused it to crash in an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Bingham was survived by his boyfriend of six years, Paul Holm. Holm said it wasn't the first time Bingham had risked his life to protect the lives of others. He had twice successfully protected Holm from attempted muggings, one at gunpoint.

He describes Bingham as a brave, competitive man, saying, "He hated to lose — at anything." He was even known to proudly display a scar he received after being gored at the running of the bulls in Pamplona.

U.S. Senators John McCain and Barbara Boxer honored him on September 17, 2001 in a ceremony for San Francisco Bay Area 9/11 victims, presenting a folded American flag to Holm.

The Advocate named Bingham its 2001 Person of the Year. He was posthumously awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2002. The Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, an international rugby competition predominantly for gay and bisexual men, was established in his memory.

The California Alumni Association of the University of California, Berkeley now annually awards the outstanding achievement of a young alumnus or alumna with the Mark Bingham Award for Excellence in Achievement at its Charter Gala each spring.

Singer Melissa Etheridge dedicated the song "Tuesday Morning" in 2004 to his memory


“We have the chance to be role models for other gay folks who wanted to play sports, but never felt good enough or strong enough."



" This is a great opportunity to change a lot of people’s minds, and to reach a group that might never have had to know or hear about gay people. Let’s go make some new friends…and win a few games.”

64 comments:

Jersey Tom said...

Awesome Spotlight. Mark and all the people on Flight 93 were heros. It breaks my heart when I hear about those last messages.

Little tired today. My Phils loss a tough one last night. What great seats I had. Hopefully the Phils can come back tonight and even up the series.


The Giants Tim Lincecum is quite a story. The guy looks like a 14 yo old kid out there. He is so small. I have no clue where he gets his power from.

Jersey Tom said...

lilianvivisloon said...
Yes I know SK, sounds like she ran into them on Friday. Why is it interesting?

Are you implying she tweeted about them after she went back to SC because perhaps she made it up?

Maybe samwaters5 made it up as well!!

Austin usually tweets when he flies anywhere,sounds like both he and Sophia decided to stay in NC for the weekend.

They are never in the same state at the same time it seems and no I don't think Austin flew to L.A., he had plenty of time to do that on Friday, he wasn't working.



Do yourself a favor stop making a fool of yourself. You have no clue where Austin is. I never believe any tweets one way or another. I need pics like we had last week in Colorado. I believe that Jake and Austin spend a lot more time together than we realize.
I have a feeling that tweet was made up by a teenager who loves to gossip and wants Julian and Brook together.

dina said...

Do yourself a favor stop making a fool of yourself. You have no clue where Austin is.

LOL!! Do you think the same thing when the OMG choir all believes in a tweet about Jake... eg Austin City Limits.

Jack again said...

LOL!! Do you think the same thing when the OMG choir all believes in a tweet about Jake... eg Austin City Limits.


LOL!!! (I added an extra exclamation point for emphasis.) Alright. Show me a post where you can prove there is an OMG choir and everyone believed the Austin Music Festival tweet. You can't. And, you know it. Because you just love to make stuff up. On the other hand, you were the one who immediately discounted the Austin tweet because it didn't fit your version of events. And, that's a fact.

prairiegirl said...

One of your best Spotlights, Special. Truly. What an inspiration this gentleman was; what a courageous life. It's chilling.
How heartbreaking for his mother.

Tom? Sorry about the Phils, buddy. That's tough. Still, must've been quite an experience.

What a beautiful autumn day - it's just gorgeous. Yesterday was spent with family and think I'm headed over there this afternoon for a bit more family therapy.
Since I'm in Fairway watching crazy little Maizie & Kirby and it's 3rd Sunday of the month, that meant a trip to Whole Foods for a treat. Their vegetarian pizza is just awesome.

And stopped on the way there at a really nice park for an impromptu walk. What a beautiful neighborhood park and the trees are all suddenly starting to turn. I passed a guy out with his tripod and camera, getting set to take a picture of a beautiful maple that was halfway turning colors.

Jersey Tom said...

dina said...
Do yourself a favor stop making a fool of yourself. You have no clue where Austin is.

LOL!! Do you think the same thing when the OMG choir all believes in a tweet about Jake... eg Austin City Limits.



We couldnt believe it for long. We were handed 9 million tweets that placed Jake in NYC. Reason why. Whos knows. Probably just somebody &*&% up in the head that didnt take their medication again.

dina said...

you were the one who immediately discounted the Austin tweet because it didn't fit your version of events. And, that's a fact.

Get a grip, hon. What version of events are you screaching about? That Austin was with Sophia all weekend? That's a fact.

prairiegirl said...
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prairiegirl said...

Great song choice today, Special.


Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.

prairiegirl said...

Oh, Dina, BoobyAnn, LOL, lol, So Very Bitter, Popcorn, + 1001 others,

ALL AKA JACK,


You just keep right on. G'head, g'head. Put on a show for us today - just go for it! Sittin' here in the sunroom with Maizie & Kirby, great view of the golf course. Got my feet up, hands clasped behind my head.

Hurl your best at us. Because you have no idea. No utter clue.

prairiegirl said...

I'm using this older avatar for a few times because I love the closeness of the guys.

Dina, BoobyAnn, LOL, lol, So Very Bitter, Popcorn, + 1001 others said...

Because you have no idea. No utter clue.

Meaning you do? LOL

Go have another meltdown because you think Austin's tweets are personal messages to you. Talk about not having a clue!!!

prairiegirl said...

And which message exactly would that be, Jack?

Please remind me.

prairiegirl said...

Poor Jack. I'll give you one thing.

At least you admit you don't have a clue. Hey, it's a start!

I've gotta go. Time to get outside and some fresh air.

destiny said...

What a heartbreaking post today.

Seaweed said...

Another outstanding Spotlight on an outstanding individual Special! It has been a quiet weekend for me and have been savouring it. Hope everyone else is likewise, enjoying some peacefull thoughts and rememberances.

Had a nice chat with Tom the other day and just left a msg for PG and will catch her later. Thinking of all my OMG friends and being thankfull for the opportunity to communicate with all.

Great news for NPH and David, wishing them much happiness and thinking of the other two and how things could be with their little family. Thanks to Destiny and ROMA for their perceptive review of LaOD and for Special's great post drawing it all together.

Hugs for all...

destiny said...

Okay, why is Austin posting a link to a clip of Blue Valentine which includes a brief shot of Ryan Gosling's rather prominent member and telling people to check it out. ;)

Jersey Tom said...

Thats funny Destiny I thought that same thing. Was that thing real or what:-)

the real m said...

Great spotlight today, as usual. Such a tragedy for all those folks on the flight.

Whats up with the troll? Going on about stuff no one is even talking about. He must be bored.

Michelle and Ryan fucking=hot/nc-17 said...

I think Austin got off on Michelle and Ryan about to fuck, a very sexy and het scene.

Austin like to post links to youtube, he seems obsessed with that site.

BV is the buzz flick and Austin knows that he will get attention if he links to it.

Special K said...

^Waves at Jack.

Stubborn TB said...

I think Austin got off on Michelle and Ryan about to fuck, a very sexy and het scene.

Wow, if you think Austin gets off on this kind of "sex" scene, then you obviously believe he and Sophia have sex even less than the rest of us here do.
Cause whoa, holy desperate jerk-off material!

Diddy said...

Wow you lot are either very naive or downright stupid.

Be real said...

Men Str8 or Gay don't get off on any scene unless there is nakedness. Hello. Austin loved that bulge.

destiny said...

If Austin just wanted attention for linking to BV, he would have just used the trailer. Not to mention, how is he going to get attention for mentioning BV when he doesn't even mention BV in his tweet, but just says "check this out"?

I'm not even a RG fan, and I found him incredibly sexy and hot in that scene, and barely noticed Michelle.

seriously? said...

That BV scene is incredibly well-acted and it's pretty sad that no one here can see that or mentions that, and instead focuses on juvenile things like the "bulge," and worse yet project your own viewpoints onto Austin. It's an example of really, really true-to-life acting. Too bad you can't give Austin credit for realizing that and respecting it.

People said...

Star Tracks Jake

For seriously? said...

Too bad you can't give Austin credit for realizing that and respecting it.

You seem to be a reasonable person, so here is a friendly advice. It is best to lurk here, get updates on jaustin, and then choose to ignore the rest.

Jersey Tom said...

Its funnny how Jake and Austin are now interested in Ryan Gosling movies. Jake just brought up Ryan at the NYC interview and now Austin is posting clips of Ryan's movies.

Special K said...

Anybody notice how Jared said that Jake arrived back in LA today and not yesterday.

Just Jared

Tom you beat me to the Gosling thing. Blue Valentine is supposed to be good. It is also slated to be at the AFI Film Fest.

the real m said...

So right Tom. Jake is in Leadville, Austin mentions Leadville. Jake mentions Gosling, Austin mentions Gosling. And we could find 100 more patterns.

Looking at that picture of Jake at LAX, he has very little luggage. Either its a very short trip or he had his bags sent ahead. Or maybe the nanny is lagging behind somewhere with all the stuff. Jake even took the backpack to the ballet yet he does not have it here.

LAOD opens in about 6 weeks yet except for previews, we've seen very little promo. If they took lower salaries for the film, there may not be much set aside for marketing. I hope Jake at least does the talk show circuit.

Jersey Tom said...

I wonder where Jake's new GF is? I guess he didn't bring his ballet date back to LA with him.

Jersey Tom said...

the real m said...
So right Tom. Jake is in Leadville, Austin mentions Leadville. Jake mentions Gosling, Austin mentions Gosling. And we could find 100 more patterns.



Not only did he mention Leadville m he was there:-)

JJ got it wrong again said...

IHJ Posted the LAX pics last night, so he had to have arrived in L.A. yesterday, not today.

JJ got it wrong again said...

IHJ Posted the LAX pics last night, so he had to have arrived in L.A. yesterday, not today.

Special K said...

Exactly, "JJ got it wrong again".

Should we be keeping count of how many times JJ has?

prairiegirl said...

Actually, you guys, I think that's like a backpack, but it's on wheels. It's not a straight carry-on. I was shopping for a carryon just before my trip to NYC and although I didn't buy one, I got a good look at all kinds of luggage/messenger bags/vanity cases/backpacks on wheels.

Boy, once again, trolls and Austin haters alike are all stirred up.

It's hilarious, actually. I say let 'em knock themselves silly.

prairiegirl said...

Boy, Jake did leave town apparently without his TrainGirl date, didn't he. What's up with that? Takes her to the ol' ballet, sits in a tree, I mean the train with her, you'd think there was a hot romance cookin' there.

Alas, there he is alllll alone at LAX. Oh, sorry! And his backpack on wheels. LOLLLL! Come on Jake, you're allowed two carry on's. Take advantage, buddy! You have to get creative, too with those two carry ons.

seriously? said...

Boy, Jake did leave town apparently without his TrainGirl date, didn't he. What's up with that? Takes her to the ol' ballet, sits in a tree, I mean the train with her, you'd think there was a hot romance cookin' there.

What the heck are you talking about? When did anyone say Jake was involved in any hot romance? No one knows who was at the ballet with him or on the train. And LOL at the "Austin haters" remark. It's the people at OMG who think he's so foolish and shallow that he posted a link to the Blue Valentine scene solely because of a "bulge."

prairiegirl said...

Go back home, DaveB. I'd rather talk to Jack than talk to you.

prairiegirl said...

And I will be in the minority here. But, lol...

Ryan Gosling does nothing for me, sorry. I didn't even like that Postcard movie. I think it's the light colored hair. I just do not go for light haired ones. And I'm not a Michelle Williams fan either, so that definitely won't be a movie on my queue.

Oh wait! lol - The Notebook, not Postcard. LOLLLL! Where in the heck did I get postcard?

And yeah, I could see Austin noticing that. Hey, he's the one who likes Brazilian soccer players, said that the guy who played Nathan on OTH looked great "wet" and made a comment about wanting to be in the same tent as the Twilight guys or something to that effect.

Don't blame us - we're not the ones who held a water blaster to Austin and made him tweet those little revelations.

prairiegirl said...

I know what Tom & M&M are doingggg.... lol.

destiny said...

lol PG.

prairiegirl said...

Am I not right, Dest? We didn't tweet about the Brazilian players. We also didn't say anything about the pilot telling Austin he could come up and honk his horn.

prairiegirl said...

Boy, I am hearing alot of cheering going on in that game. I can't see it; I have it on in the sun room for Kirb and Maizey. So I can only hear it.

destiny said...

You're right PG. And it's certainly not my doing that the very first comment on the YouTube video is "The outline of his cock at 1:14 is kind of graphic! lol", and it's up there first because people voted it the best comment. Honestly, I doubt I would have noticed the bulge if not for seeing that comment before I watched the clip.

And again, Austin just happened to post this clip, and not the official trailer. That wasn't our doing either.

Almost makes you wonder what in the heck Austin was googling to come up with that. :-D

the real m said...

I had to go back and watch that video again, pausing specifically at 1:14. It is indeed a lovely sight. Reminds me of that picture of Jake in the blue beach trunks. Ryan does not do much for me either, but I have to admit he is a good actor. One of those that disappears into the role. I bet Austin sent Jake the link as well. We know Jake has a bit of a crush on Ryan.

out there said...

We know Jake has a bit of a crush on Ryan.

LOL we do??? What part of your fantastical brain does that little gem come from pray tell.

lol said...
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mind boggling said...

I had to go back and watch that video again, pausing specifically at 1:14. It is indeed a lovely sight. Reminds me of that picture of Jake in the blue beach trunks
I bet Austin sent Jake the link as well

This is a joke, right? You spend your time on the internet looking for outlines of cocks? And, yeah, destiny, I'm sure that's how Austin and Jake spend their time, too. Googling "hard on" and then sending the links to each other and giggling like schoolgirls. Good god, why do you people follow these two if that's your opinion of them?

Huh? said...

We know Jake has a bit of a crush on Ryan.

Because he said he'd like to work with him? He said he wants to work with Michelle again, too. Does that mean he has a crush on her? Newsflash: Not everyone has a 13 year old mindset.

boobyann said...

And it's certainly not my doing that the very first comment on the YouTube video is "The outline of his cock at 1:14 is kind of graphic! lol", and it's up there first because people voted it the best comment.

By your own logic, it certainly wasn't Austin who posted comments about bulges on youtube.

And you are the one saying:

Okay, why is Austin posting a link to a clip of Blue Valentine which includes a brief shot of Ryan Gosling's rather prominent member and telling people to check it out.

At least have the fortitude to stand by your ridiculous comments, rather than lame attempts to shift the focus onto youtube comments.

Kerry said...

We know Jake has a bit of a crush on Ryan.

Surreal M, you should stick to your boring commentary about Ted's bombshells, PR conspiracies, and scanning youtube for bulges!!!

Spotlight said...
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To all loyal OMGers said...
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Special K said...

Those who are trying to instigate and create tension between blogs. Stop. We will not fall for this.

This is someone trying to create issues and stir up trouble. It is not for benefit of anything.

As we can see that several trolls have woven in and out of the comments in yesterday and this morning. We know that they come here not contribute anything but just to create chaos and havoc.

Cheese said...

Have you been posting videos again SK?

Jersey Tom said...

Well PG the cheers you heard came from the Phillie fans last night. Phils won 6 to 1. Boy did they need that one. Now they go to M and M's and m's part of the country for game 3 tied up 1 to 1.

Zari said...
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Special K said...

The person at 8:09 and 8:47 is just trying to stir things up and create chaos.

sienna said...
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Special K said...

Nice try but Sienna is not from Britain and her spellings would be American and not British spellings.

This is misrepresenting yourself as someone else and you will be reported.

stupid trolls said...

"Sienna" you are trolling WFT, OMG and WFT2 for years and you aren't fooling anyone.

Special K said...

Anne is on the cover of Vogue and does an interview.

The 27-year-old actress opens up about the ordeal in the November issue of Vogue magazine.

Asked to name her "deal-breakers" with men, Hathaway replied, "Uh ... fraud?" and laughs.


...The experience taught her to be "more wary," she said. "It takes a minute for me to let my guard down, but once I do and I get to know someone, I'm very open, very trusting. Some might say too trusting."

Shooting the movie "Love and Other Drugs" opposite Jake Gyllenhaal helped Hathaway move forward, she said. Trust is a theme of the film, and it forced Hathaway to confront the issue.

"I was a wreck from start to finish," Hathaway told Vogue. "I think I cried every single day."