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Four famous LGBT sportspeople

By Charlie Evans Feb 22, 2023
Justin FashanuFashanu was the first openly gay footballer in England. Credit: Colorsport/Shutterstock

Sport has been a pioneering way for members of the LGBT community to spread inclusivity through being themselves.

Some have used their profile to change society for the better. Here are four influential LGBT people past and present in sport.

Justin Fashanu

The former Norwich City footballer was the first openly gay footballer in England when he publicly came out in October 1990.

Fashanu admitted his teammates would often ridicule him for his sexuality and he was mocked by fans for being gay.

He remained the only gay footballer in England for over 30 years until Blackpool’s Jake Daniels came out.

Tom Daley

Tom Daley
Daley has been an active campaigner for the LGBT community.
Credit: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

Daley competed in diving at the 2008 Beijing Olympics aged 14 and won his first gold medal at the delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

It is his “mission” for countries where homosexuality is punishable by death to be banned from the Olympics.

He is a patron for LGBT+ charity Switchboard, a telephone helpline for the community.

Nicola Adams

Nicola Adams
Adams has used her profile to represent the LGBT community.
Credit: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo/Shutterstock

Adams became the first ever female boxer to win a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics and retained her title at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

In 2012, the Independent named her the most influential LGBT person in Britain.

She also made history in 2020 being part of the first same-sex couple on Strictly Come Dancing.

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner
Jenner is arguably the most famous LGBT athlete.
Credit: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

A gold medalist in decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Jenner came out as a trans woman in 2015.

She was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in July 2015 and praised for her bravery to be public with her transition.

Jenner said her decision to be public was to promote issues surrounding gender dysphoria and violence against trans women.

By Charlie Evans

Reporter/News Editor. Interests include: sport, politics and history.

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