The issue in regard to the inclusivity and acceptance of gay and lesbian athletes in sports has been heating up lately as we are seeing more athletes in individual sports taking the steps to come out and compete as openly gay. Major professional sports teams in the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA and MLS have been showing support by hosting various Pride Night events, some of which include prominent displays of rainbow flags, appearances by LGBTQI sports teams and athlete panels. In some cases, funding and sponsoring LGBTQI organizations and events. (LGBTQI- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex).
The 2020 Olympic Games are set to be the most equal Olympics yet, and by that, I mean that there will be more gender equality in terms of events offered at the Olympic Games than ever before.
Throughout the history of the modern Olympic Games, gender equality has always been an issue, but it’s not an issue that is solely attributed to the Olympic Games or the International Olympic Committee themselves. It’s more toward the wider societal perceptions of sport in reflection of gender roles overall. This can be seen all throughout the history of the games. For example, despite the first games taking place in 1896. The first females to participate at the Olympic Games was in 1900 where 22 women took part in Tennis, Golf, Sailing and Croquet, sports which were considered more “feminine” at the time.
There has been increased discussion lately regarding the eligibility of transgender athletes and their participation in sporting competitions. Many proponents on both sides have been in heated discussions including several prominent athletes speaking out as well as various national and international sports organizations adopting trans-inclusive or transphobic policies
Coach Dirk, CSCS, is a performance coach, teacher, writer, journalist, and athlete who is currently studying for his Masters Degree in sports psychology at the Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln. He brings over 10 years of experience as a coach, athlete, personal trainer, fitness instructor, and sports psychologist to drive athletes to build their own self efficacy and express themselves through sport.