11 Out Male Athletes are Competing in the Rio Olympics – None are American

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:

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.

David Artavia


David is an award-winning journalist and editor at The Advocate, Plus, and Chill magazines. His work also appears at Pride.com and OutTraveler. He lives in Los Angeles where he lives vicariously through his friends.

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