These 10 Queer Athletes Will Make You Sweat

Prepare for your lesbian heart to race.

Lesbians love sports. Hockey, soccer, basketball, you name it… most of us love it. But sometimes the world of professional athletics can feel like it lacks queer representation. Luckily, the realm of sports has been changing fast in recent years, as more and more people opt to be open and honest about their sexualities. 2013 served as a turning point for LGBTQ representation in sports when college football player Michael Sam came out, as did established basketball star Jason Collins.

Since then, many athletes from a range of disciplines have been open about their queer identities. They’ve smashed stereotypes and increased visibility in traditionally underrepresented arenas. Below, you’ll find a list of up and coming sports stars who fall somewhere under the LGTBQ umbrella!

Ramona Bachmann

 

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Swiss footballer Ramona Bachmann, a forward on the Switzerland women’s national football team, came out as a lesbian during the 2015 FIFA World Cup. Bachmann, instrumental in helping Switzerland qualify for the World Cup that year, was a high scorer for the team throughout the tournament. She came out during the cup when she announced her relationship with fellow teammate Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.

Taylor Emery

Up and coming college basketball star Taylor Emery has racked up a lot of impressive awards during her short career. Emery won the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year award for junior/community colleges during her first year at Gulf Coast State College before working her way up to Division I teams. Currently, she’s the lead scorer on the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team. Despite being openly gay, Emery has stated she’s not worried about playing basketball in a more conservative region, saying, “When you’re in athletics, it’s a lot different than being in society.”

Bianca Sierra

Bianca Sierra and her partner Stephany Mayor became the first openly gay athletes in Mexican history in 2016 when they went public with their relationship. Sierra and Mayor made the decision to come out despite discouragement form their then-coach Leonardo Cuellar. The pair both play for the Mexican women’s national football team. Despite their former coach’s hesitations, Sierra and Mayor remain out, open, and happy.

Brittany Bowe

 

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Speed skater Brittany Bowe competed in both the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. While she hasn’t put a specific label on her sexual orientation, she has been open about her long-distance relationship with fellow Dutch skater Manon Kamminga. Bowe frequently posts photos of the two on social media and has spoken about the benefits of dating someone with similar passions and goals.

Emilia Andersson Ramboldt

Swiss hockey player Emilia Andersson Ramboldt married her partner Anna Ramboldt in 2015 and the pair have one son together. Ramboldt competed in the women’s hockey tournament during the 2018 Winter Olympics and previously represented her country in the 2010 Winter Olympics. She was named the Female Hockey Player of the Year by Sweden after the 2014/15 season.

Belle Brockhoff

 

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Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff is openly gay. She was an outspoken critic of Russia’s anti-LGBTQ laws in 2014 when competing in the Sochi Olympics. However, due to concerns for her own safety and fear of a potential arrest, she minimized her participation in protests during her time in the country. In addition to competing in the Sochi Olympics, Brockhoff represented her country again in the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang and appeared in multiple commercials advertising the games.

Cheryl Maas

 

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Dutch snowboarder Cheryl Maas has competed in the Olympics three times, including the most recent 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. Married to another woman, Maas was critical of the decision to host the 2010 Olympics in Russia due to the country’s history of LGBTQ discrimination, but nevertheless, she participated in the games. As a form of protest, Maas wore a rainbow glove during one of the ceremonies.  

Simona Meiler

 

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Simona Meiler is a three-time Olympian from Switzerland who credits coming out as gay as having helped her achieve athletic success. In a 2014 interview, Meiler spoke about how discrimination impacts sports, saying, “Sports is supposed to be about inclusion, tolerance, respect, and fair play, so many people who do sport say homophobia is not an issue. It’s important to show that it is an issue, that people are being discriminated against and that people who are gay do not dare say it.”

Harrison Browne

 

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The first transgender athlete in American hockey, Harrison Browne was assigned female at birth and played for the Women’s National Hockey League where he won championships for both the Metropolitan Riveters and the Buffalo Beauts. During his time as a hockey player, Browne helped the WNHL form policies regarding transgender players, ensuring the rights of trans athletes are protected and respected. While Browne retired from women’s hockey in 2018, the star is only 25 years old. Whether it’s hockey or another endeavor, let’s all hope Browne continues to pursue athletic achievement and fight for trans rights!

Ireen Wüst

Speed skater Ireen Wüst was the youngest person in Dutch history to compete in the Olympics when she represented her country during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy. Wüst took home a gold medal in speed skating that year and has gone on to win eight medals total. Wüst is openly bisexual and currently in a relationship with a fellow female speed skater.


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