Traditional and Contemporary Methods of Coming Out in Sport



This chapter examines the changing way LGBT athletes are coming out. Traditional methods of coming out for LGBT athletes include low-profile announcements, almost ashamedly and apologetically, through autobiographies after retirement—or even being “outed” by tabloid press. However, as both cultural and sporting homophobia has declined in Anglo-American cultures, there has been significantly less stigma attached to LGBT athletes’ coming out, thus leading to a shift in their coming-out stories and narratives. Thus, this chapter is the first to examine the multiple ways in which these athletes now announce their sexuality. It specifically outlines how L, G, B, and T athletes often work with the media, rather than being threatened with their “outing”—as was frequently the case with LGBT athletes from previous generations. Importantly, it also outlines how—regardless of the ways in which athletes have come out—their status as a minority has been almost universally accepted by teammates, fans, and coaches.


United States Tennis Association (USTA) Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Androgyny Lesbian Athletes Navratilova 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sport, Health and Social SciencesSolent UniversitySouthamptonUK

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