Homosexuality and sports – for a long time it was a taboo story. This is still true in men’s professional football today, as the enthusiasm about rainbow colors became apparent in the European Football Championship. But a fundamental change is emerging for the Olympic Games.
Because there are more openly queuing athletes in Tokyo than ever before. In the American magazine “Outsports” there are about 160. This is more than all other Olympic Games in total.
Still more pressure on male athletes
There were less than 60 at Rio 2016, it was a good 20 in London 2012. Team Regenbogen is the winner of the games even before the first competition. Even the first female trans athlete in Olympic history is registered.
Finally – it seems – the development in society as a whole is being reflected in the Olympic Games. There are notable differences between the sexes: eight out of ten athletes listed in “outsports” are gay. The pressure on male athletes to keep their homosexuality a secret is apparently still high.
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Still, some queer Olympians are among the biggest stars in their home countries and sports.
Ikon Megan Rapinoe
The best example is American football player Megan Rapinoe, already an Olympic champion and two-time world champion, and the captain of her team. The 36-year-old is an icon due to his sporting success and his social and political commitment.
As the first white sports star, he took a knee on the field in 2016 to support the Black Lives Matter movement. She fights for equal pay for women and men in American football. His protest against Donald Trump at the 2019 World Cup, his cheering pose with arms for an anti-Trump meme became famous on social media.
Rapinoe made her homosexuality public in 2012 – and aggressively campaigns for other issues she campaigns for queer people. She wanted to cross boundaries, she said: “There are still too many clichés and stereotypes that restrict queer people.” If you follow Rapinoe’s work, you ask yourself whether men’s professional football is really that harsh on political issues. .
Rapinoe is not the only lesbian or bisexual woman on her team, as many lesbian women play in team sports at the Olympics, whether in hockey, volleyball, basketball or rugby.
These are just some of the athletes openly queued at the Olympics (a full list of “outsports” can be found here):
- Basketball: Sue Bird (USA), Chelsea Gray (USA), Brittany Griner (USA), Sabrina Lozada-Cabbage (Puerto Rico), Kim Mestdag (Belgium), Leilani Mitchell (Australian), Shaina Pellington (Canada), Dashley Salaman (Puerto Rico) ) ), Brenna Stewart (USA), Diana Taurasi (USA)
- Football: Yeni Acuna Berios (Chile), Barbara Barbosa (Brazil), Marta da Silva (Brazil), Rachel Daly (Great Britain), Abby Erseg (New Zealand), Magda Ericsson (Sweden), Lena Hurtig (Sweden), Sam Kerr (Australia) ), Fran Kirby (Great Britain), Hedwig Lindahl (Sweden), Megan Rapinoe (USA), Aline Rees (Brazil), Jill Scott (Great Britain), Demi Stokes (Great Britain), Carly Telford (Great Britain)
- Hockey: Sarah Jones (Great Britain), Grace O’Hanlon (New Zealand), Susanna Townsend (Great Britain), Anne Weinendall (Netherlands), Leah Wilkinson (Great Britain)
- Athletics: Michelle-Lee Ahe (Trinidad), Ramsey Angela (Netherlands), Tom Bosworth (GrosBritish), Erica Bougaard (USA), Dutee Chand (Indian), Aois Cook (Ireland), Isabella da Silva (Brazil), Ulimar Rojas (Venezuela) , Raven Saunders (USA), Seni Salminen (Finland)
- Horse riding: Catherine Dufour (Denmark), Edward Gall (Netherlands), Carl Hester (Great Britain), Domian Michaels (Belgium), Hans Peter Minderhoud (Netherlands)
- Rowing: Kendall Chase (USA), Gia Doonan (USA), Maarten Herkmans (Netherlands), Meghan O’Leary (USA), Ellen Tomek (USA), Emma Twig (NZ), Julian Wenski (USA)
- swimming: Rachel Bruni (Italy), Ana Marcella Cunha (Brazil), Amini Fonua (Tonga), Melanie Henick (France), Ari-Pekka Liukonen (Finland), Erika Sullivan (USA), Marcus Thormeier (Canada)
One star in basketball is Brittany Griner. With his dunking and blocks he is one of the most prolific players in the US professional league WNBA, winning the gold medal four years ago in Rio.
Early in his career at WBNA, Griner was open about his sexual identity. She has emphasized several times that she specifically wants to work with queer youth to strengthen them: “I am”. outside And I’m okay with that — and I want young people to feel the same way.”
The fact that more athletes come out may also have something to do with social media. They address their fans directly on their channels and can tell their story unfiltered.
Tom Daly’s upcoming video gets nearly 13 million views
The upcoming video of British diver Tom Daly from 2013 has garnered nearly 13 million views on YouTube. Daly, although only 19 when he came out in public, had already participated in two Olympic Games and was well known in Great Britain as a footballer.
Now, at 27, he is once again one of high diving’s favorites. She is married to screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Oscar for the film “Milk”) and has a son. Daly is likely to be the first openly gay father to compete in the Olympics.
Like Rapinoe and Griner, he uses his fame to draw attention to bizarre issues: at the Commonwealth Games, he criticized that homosexuality was still criminalized in many participating countries.
Thanks to Instagram and YouTube, he has built a kind of brand empire. She shows fitness videos, makes fun movies in which she and her husband answer questions about their family — and runs a knitting and crochet channel. It’s also a way of subverting notions of masculinity.
Of course, there’s still a lot to do when it comes to LGBTI. When it comes to intersexuality, this was shown by the endless trials surrounding runner Castor Semenya, who did not compete on his parade route because he otherwise would have had to lower his testosterone levels.
Laurel Hubbard is the first Trans Olympian in history
After all, New Zealand lifter Laurel Hubbard will be the first trans athlete to write Olympic history in Tokyo.
Around the 43-year-old’s nomination, there was general discussion about whether it was not unfair; Hubert had to prove that his testosterone levels did not exceed a certain threshold.
“I want to be treated with respect”
The IOC once again openly supported his nomination. Hubbard himself rarely gives interviews, even to avoid hostility. “I just want to be treated with respect, no matter how people feel about people in my position,” she said in one of her few public appearances in 2017.
and Germany? Sports shooter Joline Beer is carrying a rainbow flag. According to “Outsports”, he is the only openly gay or lesbian athlete known from the German team to date. “Wife Jessica, a daughter” is quite clearly on his athlete profile at the Olympic Games. She will start her first competition on Saturday. good luck for!