Which Countries Treat Famous Gay Athletes Well?
Fri, Nov 12, 2021
Held in Tokyo a year late due to the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, the last summer Olympic games were notable for the record number of LGBTQ participants. The final tally was believed to be 163, three times as many as competed in the previous games, Rio 2016. Covering every sporting pastime from swimming to pole-vaulting, these gay athletes represented a range of countries. But why is this figure not even higher, as it still represents a lower percentage than the general LGBTQ community? This is partly down to the difficulties gay men and women still face in certain parts of the world. Here we list some of the most accepting nations.
Same-sex relationships were legalized in Britain as far back as 1967, with gay marriages being legitimized in 2014. This longstanding liberal spirit has meant the UK has treated its famous gay athletes well. Clare Balding, a lesbian jockey, is now a prime-time TV commentator, featuring as one of the BBC anchors during Olympic events. Tom Daley, a diver, won Gold in Tokyo and is a double World Champion for the 10-meter dive. He has also graduated to the position of a respected sports pundit. Lesbian boxer Nicola Adams became the first female to win an Olympic Gold for her sport.
For any aspiring athlete, the UK is an open and inclusive nation, and this is reflected in its healthy scene of gay dating. If you are single and a budding athlete, you’ll be able to interact with prospective partners on various digital dating platforms without fear of being judged. Top gay athletes in the UK have been known to dabble in online dating – if you’re single and seeking a musclebound hunk like Tom Daley, you could commence your search by joining a virtual matchmaking service.
Although the LGBTQ community in the US has faced its fair share of discrimination, its gay, lesbian, and trans athletes have always been encouraged. Several top professional players have come out over the years without facing any sort of backlash in a country that has a vocal conservative Christian lobby. These stars include performers from the field of American football, baseball, ice hockey, basketball, wrestling, and boxing.
The Eastern European nation is not renowned for its progressive attitudes towards same-sex relationships; in fact, there was the worldwide condemnation of the disparaging attitude towards LGBTQ Olympians in Japan displayed on Russian national TV. But the weightlifting champion Nataliya Kuznetsova, who has won numerous trophies during her glittering career, also identifies as bisexual.
Like its North American neighbor, the USA, Canada treats its famous gay athletes well. There are top performers across the board; their endeavors are celebrated by fans of everything from gymnastics to figure skating, ice hockey, and mountain biking.
Spanish athletes who have celebrated their LGBTQ status include lesbian footballer Mapi León, who plays for both FC Barcelona’s women’s team, and the Spanish national side.
This Scandinavian country is worth a particular mention because top footballer Thomas Berling came out as gay in 2000. Association football has been far less accommodating to gay athletes than many other sports. It has led to some homophobic abuse, but every small step is a sign of potentially better days.
As we have demonstrated, while gay athletes find themselves on an even footing in some countries, this isn’t universal. There are many sporting trends across the globe, from those regularly participating in track and field events to individuals who prefer flexing their creative muscles by honing their expertise with sports simulators. Hopefully, another trend will be the continuing acceptance of gay athletes.