At least 135 out LGBTQ athletes to compete at Tokyo Summer Olympics


At least 135 publicly out gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and nonbinary athletes are headed to Tokyo for the Summer Olympic Games, more than double the number who participated at the 2016 Rio Games.

The number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes in Tokyo is greater than the number athletes who have participated in all of the previous Summer Olympic Games combined while publicly out.

The massive increase in the number of out athletes reflects the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people in sports and society. The rise of social media, especially Instagram, has given athletes a forum where they can live their lives openly and identify directly with their followers.

In contrast, Outsports counted 23 publicly out Olympians in 2012 and 56 in 2016 at those Summer Games.

“Competing at the Olympics as an openly gay athlete is pretty amazing,” Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer told Outsports. Thormeyer was not out when he competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and came out publicly as gay in a 2020 essay for Outsports.

“Being able to compete with the best in the world as my most authentic self at the biggest international multi-sport games shows how far we’ve come on inclusion in sport. I’m hoping that by competing at these Games I can show the LGBTQ community that we do belong and we can achieve anything we put our minds to.”

This year at least 25 different countries will be represented by at least one publicly out athlete in 26 sports, including the first trans Olympians.

The United States has the most out athletes at these Olympics, with the more than 30 out athletes we know of about a quarter of all the attendees on the list. Team USA is currently followed in the number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes by Britain (15), Netherlands (13), Canada (12), New Zealand (9), Australia (9) and Brazil (7). We will update the numbers as we learn more about the current Olympic athletes.

These numbers include reserve athletes who have been practicing with the team and are traveling to Tokyo with the team.

Women on the list outnumber men by about a 8-1 margin, with women’s soccer having more than 30 out players. This continues a trend seen at past Olympics and is reflective of out athletes in elite non-Olympic sports where women also proliferate.

To be included on the Outsports list of out LGBTQ Olympians, an athlete has to have come out publicly in the media, or they have to be clearly out on their public-facing social media.

If someone has not made a public declaration to the media that they are LGBTQ, they can still be included on this list if they are openly living their life as an out person on social media, particularly if they have made clear they are in a same-sex relationship.

We also work with LGBT historian Tony Scupham-Bilton, who runs the blog The Queerstory Files, to compile the most extensive list anywhere, and each athlete has a link below to some aspect of them being publicly out.

We know we likely have missed some out athletes, especially those who are non-Americans, as Outsports is based in the United States. If you know of an out LGBTQ athlete not on the list, or have any other inquiry, please contact us via email ([email protected]), or direct message us on Twitter (@outsports), Instagram (@outsports) or Facebook (OutsportsSBN).

Tokyo Summer Games Out LGBTQ Athletes


Julie Allemand (Belgium)
Sue Bird (USA)
Paula Ginzo (Spain)
Chelsea Gray (USA)
Brittney Griner (USA)
Sabrina Lozada-Cabbage (Puerto Rico)
Kim Mestdagh (Belgium)
Leilani Mitchell (Australia)
Shaina Pellington (Canada)
Dayshalee Salamán (Puerto Rico)
Breanna Stewart (USA)
Diana Taurasi (USA)
Ann Wauters (Belgium)

BMX Freestyle

Perris Benegas (USA)
Hannah Roberts (USA)
Chelsea Wolfe (USA, reserve)


Rashida Ellis (USA)
Kellie Harrington (Ireland)#
Michaela Walsh (Ireland)#

Canoe Slalom

Evy Leibfarth (USA)
Florence Maheu (Canada)


Georgia Simmerling (Canada)


Tom Daley (Britain)
Anton Down-Jenkins (New Zealand)


Cathrine Dufour (Denmark)
Edward Gal (Netherlands)
Carl Hester (Britain)
Domien Michiels (USA)
Hans Peter Minderhoud (Netherlands)
Nick Wagman (USA, reserve)


Astrid Guyart (France)

Field Hockey

Sarah Jones (Britain)#
Grace O’Hanlon (New Zealand)
Susannah Townsend (Britain)
Leah Wilkinson (Britain)#


Mel Reid (Britain)
Alena Sharp (Canada)


Babi Arenhart (Brazil)#
Nathalie Hagman (Sweden)
Alexandra Lacrabère (France)


Amandine Buchard (France)
Tessie Savelkouls (Netherlands)


Aoife Cooke (Ireland)


Saskia Budgett (Britain, reserve)
Kendall Chase (USA)
Gia Doonan (USA)
Maarten Hurkmans (Netherlands)
Meghan O’Leary (USA)
Ellen Tomek (USA)
Emma Twigg (New Zealand)
Julian Venonsky (USA)


Kelly Brazier (New Zealand)
Gayle Broughton (New Zealand)#
Isadora Cerullo (Brazil)
Megan Jones (Britain)
Alev Kelter (USA)
Celia Quansah (Britain)
Kristen Thomas (USA)
Ruby Tui (New Zealand)#
Sharni Williams (Australia)
Portia Woodman (New Zealand)


Jolanta Ogar (Poland)
Cecilia Carranza Saroli (Argentina)


Andri Eleftheriou (Cyprus)


Margielyn Didal (Philippines)
Poppy Starr Olsen (Australia)
Alexis Sablone (USA)
Alana Smith (USA)


Yenny Acuña Berrios (Chile)#
Andressa Alves (Brazil, reserve)
Bárbara Barbosa (Brazil)
Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada)
Marta da Silva (Brazil)
Rachel Daly (Britain)
Tierna Davidson (USA)
Anouk Dekker (Netherlands, reserve)
Christiane Endler (Chile)#
Abby Erceg (New Zealand)
Magda Eriksson (Sweden)
Sisca Folkertsma (Netherlands)#
Adrianna Franch (USA)
Lina Hurtig (Sweden)
Sam Kerr (Australia)
Fran Kirby (Britain)
Stephanie Labbé (Canada)
Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden)
Chloe Logarzo (Australia)
Erin McLeod (Canada, reserve)
Teagan Micah (Australia)
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)
Kelly O’Hara (USA)
Fernanda Pinilla (Chile)
Quinn (Canada)
Megan Rapinoe (USA)
Jill Scott (Britain)
Caroline Seger (Sweden)
Kailen Sheridan (Canada)
Sherida Spitse (Netherlands)
Demi Stokes (Britain)
Carly Telford (Britain)
Daniëlle van de Donk (Netherlands)
Shanice van de Sanden (Netherlands)
Stefanie Van Der Gragt (Netherlands)#
Merel van Dongen (Netherlands)
Hannah Wilkinson (New Zealand)
Tameka Yallop (Australia)


Ally Carda (USA)
Amanda Chidester (USA)
Taylor Edwards (USA, reserve)
Larissa Franklin (Canada)
Haylie McCleney (USA)
Kaia Parnaby (Australia)
Anissa Urtez (Mexico)


Sofia Mulanovich (Peru)#


Rachele Bruni (Italy)
Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil)
Amini Fonua (Tonga)
Mélanie Henique (France)
Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (Finland)
Erica Sullivan (USA)
Markus Thormeyer (Canada)


Jack Woolley (Ireland)


Demi Schuurs (Netherlands)
Sam Stosur (Australia)
Alison van Uytvanck (Belgium)

Track and field

Tom Bosworth (Britain, race walk)
Erica Bougard (USA, heptathlon)
Dutee Chand (India, sprints)
Gabriela DeBues-Stafford (Canada, 1500-meter)#
Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela, triple jump)
Raven Saunders (USA, shot put)


Ana Carolina (Brazil)#
Douglas Souza (Brazil)


Laurel Hubbard (New Zealand)


Kayla Miracle (USA)

# Denotes the athlete was added after our initial list was published on July 12.

This does not, of course, include the coaches and trainers who are LGBTQ in Tokyo. For example, we know Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve is publicly out. She will be working with the United States women’s basketball team.

We are not including Paralympians on this list. We will be covering the Paralympics separately. Please check back for our list of out LGBTQ Paralympians ahead of those Games.

This list was compiled by Cyd Zeigler, Jim Buzinski and Shelby Weldon of Outsports and LGBT historian Tony Scupham-Bilton.


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