LGBT+ History Month – Athletes who are a part of the community

Thursday 23rd February 2023

LGBT+ History Month raises awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.

We believe that it’s important for people to be able to be themselves, no matter what career they have. However, sport has historically not been particularly accepting of people from marginalised communities.

Thankfully, some sports stars have felt able to share their stories and raise awareness of the challenges faced by the LGBT+ community in sport, and drive change towards greater acceptance.

We celebrate their bravery and tenacity this month.

These are their stories.


Gareth Thomas is a Welsh rugby player with 100 test match appearances that made him the most capped Welsh rugby union player until he was overtaken in 2011. He also won four rugby league caps for Wales, scoring three tries.

In 2009, he announced publicly that he is gay.

“I feel that if people didn’t feel the need to lie about who they are, life would be a lot easier for everybody.” Gareth says. (Source.)




Kelly Holmes is a retired British middle distance athlete who won gold medals in the 800 metres and 1,500 metres events in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Kelly has achieved seven gold, eight silver and four bronze Olympic, Commonwealth and European medals throughout her athletic career.

In June 2022, Kelly came out publicly as gay.

“”Sometimes I cry with relief. The moment this comes out, I’m essentially getting rid of that fear.” Kelly says. (Source.)



Quinn is a Canadian professional soccer player and Olympic gold medallist.

In 2020, Quinn came out as non-binary and transgender (using gender-neutral pronouns) and changed their name by adopting their prior surname as a mononym.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Quinn became the first out, transgender, non-binary athlete to compete at the Olympics, the first to medal, and the first to earn a gold medal.

“I wanted to be my authentic self in all spheres of my life. And one of those is being in a public space. So that was one of the reasons behind it. Because I was tired of being misgendered and everything like that.” Quinn says. (Source.)



How can you get involved with LGBT+ History Month?


Check out the official website for ways you can get involved this month, and any time of the year.

The website features resources, an event calendar, blogs, and more.


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