I’ll bet the above headline just caught your eye. The thought
just crossed my mind as I sat wonder what will be needed so that
someday in future we can see LGBT parents (both single and couples)
root for their kids competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in
swimming, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, sailing, equestrian
events, boxing, wrestling and all the other sports at the Summer
Olympics (and the sports at the Winter Olympics too).
Two large challenges will need to be overcome for dreams to
become reality. First of all, the sports world will need to evolve
to the point where athletes can feel safe from abuse and career
limitations in coming out. Certainly there have been a handful of
openly gay and lesbian Olympians out during the games but they have
been few and far between and they have been mainly in individual
The sports world needs to become more accepting of gay and
lesbian players so that they can come out at the height of their
career. Few have taken the risk in doing so. By coming out when she
did Martina Navratilova lost hundreds of millions of dollars in
endorsements. Martina was one of the greatest athletes of the
20th century and yet her endorsements were limited to
the Rainbow Card and Subaru USA and Olivia Cruise Lines. Had
Martina remained closeted her face would have been plastered on
products in ads all over the media.
There are plenty of gays in sports, don’t get me wrong and
there are also many LGBT sports fans. Take a look at the popular
website Outsports.com at www.outsports.com to see coverage
of a wide range of sports. In fact they have been producing an n in
depth coverage of the Olympics. My dear friend, famed writer
Patricia Nell Warren writes a regular column on gay sports history
for Outsports.com , which can be accessed at http://www.outsports.com/history/index.htm.
I definitely recommend taking a look at both Outsports.com and
Patricia’s “History of Gay’s In Sports Columns.
Still to see openly gay people in sports the way we do in other
fields the sports world will need to overcome its locker room
Openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parents rooting
for their kids at the Olympics will require different changes.
First parents will need to feel safe in being out when traveling to
and within the country where the games are being hosted. Couples
will also benefit from having the right to same-sex marriages. So
many rights come with same-sex marriage not only to those getting
married but also even to those that don’t. Marriage opens the
door for the advancement in other venues such as employment. That
is one of the reasons the religious right are fighting same-sex
marriage in California and elsewhere. It is critical that we win
the fight in California in beating back Proposition 8, which will
put a constitutional amendment in place banning same-sex marriage.
Whether we live in California or not we all need to get involved
with the fight to kill this amendment. Two websites worth visiting
and contributing money to are Equality for all at www.equalityforall.com and
Marriage Equality USA at www.marriageequalityusa.org.
I look forward to the day where my husband and I can go to the
Olympics and root for our grandson should he make an Olympic team.
I also look forward to all LGBT athletes being able to compete in
the Olympics by being out and proud when they do so!