Ryan Shea's picture

Out LGBT College Division I Athletes Up 86 Percent Since 2016!

As time goes by, and the younger generations start to embrace the LGBT community in a much more loving and accepting way than any others before it, so comes the ability to come out of the closet in a field that is known for its homophobia- sports.

Because of this, 2017 has now become one of the biggest years (if not biggest) for Division I athletes to already have a place out of the closet and with the focus on having their own team win.  According to OutSports, 41 Division I athletes have come out as LGBT, which is an 86 percent increase since 2016 where only 22 came out.  Those numbers are staggering.

These include members of the community from all walks of life who play an array of sports, including Sonia Johnson (senior, DePaul women’s soccer), Ayrton Kasemets (senior, Oakland men’s swimming) and Hannah Griffiths Boston (senior, Portland women’s soccer)  to name a few.

There is also good news for The Power Five Conferences — ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, which saw a 129 percent increase in LGBT members.  16 in total.  YAY!  

With Katie Sowers being the first out coach in NFL history and now this, it seems as if the barriers are breaking down for LGBT people to play the sport(s) that they love without fear of ridicule because of who they are.