Lesbians love sports. But sometimes the world of professional athletics can feel like it lacks queer representation. Luckily, the realm of sports has been changing fast in recent years, as more and more people opt to be open and honest about their sexualities. Since then, many athletes from a range of disciplines have been open about their queer identities.
Sportswomen are stereotyped as gay – but that doesn't make coming out easy
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Equal Opportunity Coaching by Allison Steele. Part 2: How women athletes deal with homosexuality. In the past, both Billy Jean King and Martina Navratilova lost sponsorship and public support over the publicity surrounding the exposure of their personal lives. However, both have regained acceptance. Among athletes, viewpoints vary on how important it is to be "out" in women's sports. Fae Gibson, NYU track team member and star shot putter, thinks that the athletic world is a haven for lesbian and bi-sexual women, and can play an important role in their social lives. Fae Gibson.
The U. But in countries where homosexuality is still stigmatized, she added, many players probably remain closeted. Gay men in professional soccer have been slower to come out. There are currently only three known openly gay professional male soccer players in the world — Collin Martin of the U. Martin, who plays for the Minnesota United, is the only openly gay player still in the league, and the only out man in any of the big five American sports leagues.
Casey Stoney, the England football captain and Arsenal defender, has spoken in detail for the first time about being a lesbian. Her sexuality has been written about in the past — notably in , when she was included in the Independent on Sunday Pink List. I've never hidden it within football circles because it is accepted, but to the outside world, I've never spoken about my sexuality.