First Published: September 2001
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
Mark Bingham is one of the passengers who's being honoured after storming the cockpit of the hijacked jet which crashed in Pennyslvania last Tuesday, foiling the attempt to crash it into the White House. U.S. Senators John McCain and Barbara Boxer honored Mark Bingham on September 17, 2001, in a ceremony for San Francisco Bay Area victims of the attacks, presenting a folded American flag to Mark's partner of six years Paul Holm. Mark Bingham
Mark Bingham
Mark Bingham, 31, a public relations executive and out gay sports enthusiast, was one of a number of passengers who made mobile phone calls from the plane. He told his mother, Alice Hoglan, about three men who claimed to have a bomb before the phone connection failed.

"This was the only flight of the four that did not reach its target, which they believed to be Camp David, and that gives us reason to believe that perhaps Mark was able to help save the lives of people on the ground," Mark's mother who's a United Airlines flight attendant, told NBC's "Today" show. U.S. intelligence officials have already revealed that mobile phone communications from Flight 93 suggest that some passengers overpowered the hijackers but were unable to maintain control of the plane.

Mark was a large athletic man who was once gored during the Pamplona bull-run in Spain. A keen Rugby player one of his proudest moments was when his gay Rugby team won a place in the straight California league. He recently told gay sports website OutSports:

"When I started playing rugby at the age of 16, I always thought that my interest in other guys would be an anathema -- completely repulsive to the guys on my team -- and to the people I was knocking the shit out of on the other team. I loved the game, but KNEW I would need to keep my sexuality a secret forever. I feared total rejection.

As we worked and sweated and ran and talked together this year, I finally felt accepted as a gay man and a rugby player. My two irreconcilable worlds came together.

Now we've been accepted into the union and the road is going to get harder.

We need to work harder. We need to get better. 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. More importantly, we have the chance to show the other teams in the league that we are as good as they are. Good rugby players. Good partiers. Good sports. Good men."

His friends are sure he may have been one of the three passengers who confronted the hijackers.

One friend who played basketball with Mark said "I have no doubt that if there was an opportunity to save lives that Mark would have initiated action. He was a competitor and leader, but even more so, he was a caring individual."

To commemorate this anniversary we present items from the OutUK Outback Archive which reflect the events of 9/11 and its aftermath.

More on The Anniversary of September 11th 2001
OutUK sponsors the The Bingham Cup
Results and pictures from the 2004 Bingham Cup
Attack on America - The story of 9/11
The book that tells of the heroism and sacrifice of Mark Bingham
Eyewitness Reports From New York and Washington


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