The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil is already blazing the way for out LGBT athletes. A record 42 Olympians are lesbian, gay bisexual or intersex—currently there are no out trans people. Unsurprisingly, very few of these athletes are competing for the USA.
Outsports reports that only seven competitors (all women) will be in Rio this year. They are Seimone Augustus (basketball), Kelly Griffin (rugby), Brittney Griner (basketball), Angel McCoughtry (basketball), Ashley Nee (kayak whitewater slalom), Jillion Potter (rugby) and Megan Rapinoe (soccer).
Team LGBTQ USA is also represented in women’s soccer, headed by coach Jill Ellis. But is it enough?
American sports is more homophobic than all English-speaking countries on earth, according to a study called “Out in the Field.” But the fact there are no out male athletes competing does not mean there aren’t any LGBTQ men going to Rio. According to Outsports, there is at least one gay male who isn’t out yet, and more might come as the games unfold.
Contrastingly, a country like Brazil, who isn’t known particularly for being LGBTQ friendly, has at least four out athletes competing (one being diver Ian Matos).
In total, there are eleven out male athletes competing in Rio this year. The list is expected to grow fuller still, especially on European teams where less-known sports don’t receive much publicity, which means men don’t have to worry about their image as much.
Here are the names of all out current athletes, as reported by Outsports:
- Nicola Adams (Great Britain, boxing)
- Seimone Augustus (USA, basketball)
- Tom Bosworth (Great Britain, race walk)
- Dutee Chand (India, track & field)
- Tom Daley (Great Britain, diving)
- Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (Netherlands, field hockey)
- Lisa Dahlkvist (Sweden, soccer)
- Katie Duncan (New Zealand, soccer)
- Nilla Fisher (Sweden, soccer)
- Amini Fonua # (Tonga, swimming)
- Larissa França (Brazil, beach volleyball)
- Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian)
- Kelly Griffin # (USA, rugby)
- Brittney Griner (USA, basketball)
- Carl Hester (Great Britain, equestrian)
- Michelle Heyman (Australia, soccer)
- Mélanie Henique # (France, swimming)
- Stephanie Labbe # (Canada, soccer)
- Alexandra Lacrabère # (France, handball)
- Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden, soccer)
- Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (Finland, swimming)
- Robbie Manson (New Zealand, rowing)
- Hans Peter Minderhoud (Netherlands, equestrian)
- Ian Matos (Brazil, diving)
- Angel McCoughtry (USA, basketball)
- Nadine Müller # (Germany, discus)
- Marie-Eve Nault (Canada, soccer)
- Ashley Nee # (USA, kayak whitewater slalom)
- Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey)
- Mayssa Pessoa (Brazil, handball)
- Jillion Potter # (USA, rugby)
- Megan Rapinoe (USA, soccer)
- Helen Richardson-Walsh (Great Britain, field hockey)
- Kate Richardson-Walsh (Great Britain, field hockey)
- Carolina Seger # (Sweden, soccer)
- Caster Semenya (South Africa, track & field)
- Martina Strut # (Germany, pole vault)
- Melissa Tancredi # (Canada, soccer)
- Susannah Townsend # (Great Britian, field hockey)
- Sunette Stella Viljoen # (South Africa, javelin)
- Julia Vasconcelos # (Brazil, taekowndo). Julia confirmed to Claudia Custodio (@Cau__ on Twitter) with ESPN Brazil that she is a lesbian.
- Jeffrey Wammes # (Netherlands, gymnastics)
- Spencer Wilton # (Great Britain, equestrian)
The fight is still going for closeted male athletes. While we’ve had great accomplishments in the last few years, American sport culture seems to be more suppressing than anything else. But it will soon change.