Impact of Homophobia and Transphobia in sport on LGBTQ people

Researchers first identified the harm from homophobia and transphobia in sport in 1971, yet sport organizations have done little to stop this harm. More than a thousand studies and papers have been published over the last half-century.

There is now strong evidence that if kids are the target of homophobic behavior (as this study found), or they are exposed to words like ‘fag,’ it increases their risk of suicide and self-harm.

In more recent years, public health agencies have become alarmed by data from large-scale population studies which shows large disparities in sport participation rates, particularly between gay and bisexual boys and their peers. If these boys could play sports in a safe environment this would help to reduce their risk of suicide and self-harm. 

FAILURE TO PROTECT LGBTQ PEOPLE FROM DISCRIMINATION IS A SERIOUS VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS

2015 Joint Statement by all UN Agencies 

Gay boys play team sport at half the rate of their straight male peers. The CDC has reported similar findings. 

Only 20% of LGB adolescents are ‘out to everyone’ on their team; those who do come out are more likely to be the target of homophobic behavior.

More than half of trans people say they have experienced direct or over exclusion and discrimination in sport

If LGBTQ youth are the target of homophobic behavior, or even  just exposed, they are significantly more likely to attempt suicide.

Both boys and girls avoid sport due to discrimination, though straight girls also avoid some sports because they don’t want to be assumed lesbian

LGBT youth consistently report attempting suicide at rates 4 – 6 times higher than their peers. UN agencies have called for urgent action because discrimination is the primary driver.

RESEARCH ARTICLES ON IMPACTS TO LGBTQ PEOPLE FROM DISCRIMINATION IN SPORT

Gay boys play team sports at half the rate of their peers

Public health officials and scholars call for urgent action to address large disparities in sport participation rates between gay and bisexual boys and their peers Ground-breaking data by public health researchers at the University of British Columbia has found gay...

Half of male athletes have recently used homophobic slurs

Studies conducted on three continents and in different sports find most male athletes have also heard teammates recently use homophobic slurs Key Takeaways Claims that homophobic language is rare whenever professional athletes such as Marcus Stoinis (above) are caught...

VIDEOS ON IMPACT AND HARM