Pride Month Stories: How Kinzie Frey strives to create welcoming environments in MLS NEXT Pro and her community


All of her previous professional experience seemed to prepare Kinzie Frey for her current position with the Colorado Rapids. She’s come into her own through more than two years handling the club’s public relations, communications, and content in her role as a Communications and Content Manager.

However, another part of that growth was personal. A member of the LGBTQ+ community, Frey is open about her identity and experiences working in sports. Throughout Pride Month in June, she’s felt the support from the Denver community and in her role with the Rapids.

“This is the first place I have come to in my career where I have not hidden my sexuality and where I have spoken very openly about it,” Frey said in a conversation with MLS NEXT Pro. “It's the first organization I've done it in… I think in some work settings maybe that's viewed as like, ‘We don't talk about those things,’ but that's a part of my identity. And you know what, I don't ever want to hide that again. Because I've gotten so much support here and because I have felt that, I don't think I ever will hide it again, which has just come a long way from where we started.”

Frey forms an important part of the Rapids’ front office, working as the main communications employee for MLS NEXT Pro side Colorado Rapids 2. She also helps lead communications work for the first team.


The opportunity to lead communications for Rapids 2 has been one of the most fulfilling experiences for Frey. She began working with Rapids 2 as they entered MLS NEXT Pro. The club saw tremendous success last season, finishing atop the Western Conference in the 2023 regular season while elevating multiple players from the second team to the first team.

“I think it was the biggest opportunity I've had in my career,” Frey said, “to grow a platform from the ground up, really be the only one who was working in that space and to come to Year 3 and just see how much it's grown over these past two seasons and be really proud of the champion I've become for the second team in MLS NEXT Pro.”

As she has become more involved in the community in the Denver area, Frey has volunteered as a mentor at a school in Commerce City, Colorado. She has also participated as a member of the Rapids organization with You Can Play, an activism campaign to eliminate homophobia in sports. In either of these community involvement positions, the importance of advocacy and visibility as an LGBTQ+ community member has come into focus.

Though organizations such as the Rapids and MLS work with organizations that advocate for increased acceptance and allyship, the true meaning of support for LGBTQ+ people and the issues they face lie in the organization’s belief in fostering a positive environment.

“The most important work is done in those hard settings, because that creates another ally, potentially,” Frey said. “That creates a deeper level of understanding… We talk about gameday environment and making this a more open, welcoming place to come to, but that's a direct result not just of us throwing money toward charity. It's a direct result of the organization putting time into us.”


Frey grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, and later left to attend college at the University of Missouri’s prestigious journalism school. Her career in sports communications started to take off, with an internship with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets following an internship in Barcelona, Spain.

Frey, an Asian-American who came out as lesbian when she was 21 years old, feels she didn’t know many others with the same life experiences as she grew up. But being involved as a journalism student in news coverage of social justice issues in college and spending time in other cities around the country and the world helped Frey expand her experiences.

“Everything I had experienced growing up was so one dimensional, and it was really impactful to me in that moment,” Frey said. “It took me so long to acknowledge who I was. My mom's adopted and she's Japanese and Korean, and we never talked about that growing up. It took me until college to even realize that's the background I came from. And so when I went (to college), it really opened up the scope of what I could experience and what I wanted to experience for myself. And so I think that was the start of it. It was getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.”


As Frey continues to gain experience and serve as a leader in her profession, she takes pride in the level of visibility for LGBTQ+ people and allies.

In stadiums across the country, she takes pride in seeing rainbow flags and other showings of support. And while there are currently no out players in MLS, Frey hopes the outpouring of acceptance within the league and from fans can make it possible for a player to feel comfortable to be themselves.

“The little kid in me jumps out all the time, because I feel so proud to see that in the stands constantly and see that they're trying to make that push,” Frey said. … I think it signifies to the players as well. I can imagine that there are players in this league who are struggling with that.
Statistics tell us there are. Maybe seeing that show of support allows them to take some comfort in that, like, ‘Hey, I'm in a safe place.’”