Despite the growing visibility of LGBTQIA+ athletes, many still choose to remain in the closet.
80 percent of LGBTQIA+ teenagers and 83 percent of transgender teenagers are not out to their coaches. This is problematic for many and more progress needs to be made in order to help those who identify this way to feel more supported.
41 percent of transgender boys, 34 percent of transgender girls and 31 percent of non-binary youth never feel safe in the locker room. Only 24 percent of LGBTQIA+ youth say they play a school sport, compared to 68 percent of a national non-LGBTQIA+ sample. These statistics show how difficult the sports environment can be for those who identify as LGBTQIA+.
Many famous athletes have come out as members of this community. Examples include Megan Rapinoe, Alana Smith, Sue Bird, and Caitlyn Jenner. They have paved the way for this community and continue to make strides in helping those struggling to feel more heard.
Sue Bird even wrote an essay about her girlfriend, Megan Rapinoe, in which she said “My girlfriend … was putting American soccer, women’s sports, equal pay, gay pride, and TRUE LOVE on her back, all at once.”
Thanks to women like them, strides are being made for the LGBTQIA+ community in the sports world.