There is a large international field of LGBTQ professional and amateur sports coaches, according to Queerbio. These individuals are present in a wide range of sports categories. Most have made their mark previously as athletes in their chosen sports, including Olympic medal winners, world champions or national champions. Some are coaches of their national team. A few have earned the title of ‘Coach of the Year’ in their respective professions.
LGBTQ sports coaches play an important role in sports. They are not only mentors and leaders for the overall community, they also represent role models for individual LGBTQ athletes in sports, and often within their own teams. It is important for them to be proactive in rooting out homophobia on and off the field of play.
As noted in the articles attached, surveys have found that 84% of gay men and 82% of lesbians have heard homophobic slurs in locker rooms.
Regrettably, some of these individuals were fired (or ‘contracts not renewed’) from their position when they came out. In all of these particular cases, this made them LGBTQ activists for change in professional sports to eliminate homophobia. Others on the list are prominent LGBTQ activists regardless and have become notable specialists in the field of diversity.
There are several firsts in the list.
Eric Anderson is considered to have been the first high school coach to have come out as gay and has written a book about this – today, he is a noted Professor of Masculinities, Sexualities, and Sport. Tennis sensation Renee Richards is a noted transgender leader in sports.
The range of sports represented in the list is notable. The most popular sports are basketball, soccer/football, and tennis. These are followed by figure skating and track & field. Such a wide variety of sports begs the question: Why there is not greater success in challenging homophobia in sports?
They hail from Canada, Venezuela, Australia, Cuba, Great Britain, Germany, United States, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, and Sweden.
To see the list and read their fascinating biographies, CLICK HERE