Statistics on Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport
This page shares the results from Out on the Fields (2015) and OutSport (2019), the first and second international research on homophobia and transphobia in sport. You will find statistics on gay athletes and trans athletes.
- Many of the results for gay athletes and bisexual athletes were identical or similar;
- The data comes from 12,000+ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender participants from all EU countries and the United State, Canada, Australia, and NZ;
This page also links to other high-quality studies to support researchers, LGBTQ leaders, media, and sports organizations understand and write about homophobia and transphobia.
You will find links to data from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.
We only link to studies which are free to read (no paywalls/open access). Contact us to have your study listed.
LGB AND TRANS PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES IN SPORT. RESEARCHERS NEED TO REPORT DATA ON SEXUALITY AND GENDER IDENTITY SEPARATELY.
80% of both gay, bi and straight people have witnessed or experienced homophobic behaviour in sport
43% of football fans have witnessed homophobic behavior while attending a game
51% of gay/bi males and 35% of lesbian/bi females aged 15-21 have been the target of homophobic behavior in sport.
73% of gay bisexual and straight people believe it is not safe for LGB people to come out in youth sport environments
Nearly 90% of LGBTQ people in 2019 believe homophobia and transphobia remain current problems in sport
More than half (54%) of male athletes admit to using homophobic slurs in the past two weeks, and most (69%) have heard teammates use slurs
Out on the Fields
Out on the Fields was the first international study on homophobia in sport.
- Full report
- Peer-reviewed focus on LGB youth sport
- Five-Year Follow-Up study
- IOC Scientific consensus statement use of study
- International Summary of Results
- Country Rankings and Comparisons
- International Infographic
- Raw Design Files for Infographic
- Breakdown of Participant Sexualities
- Education and Employment Overview of Participants
- Sport Participation Rate
- United States: release / summary / American homophobia in sport infographic
- United Kingdom: release / summary / United Kingdom homophobia in sport infographic
- Canada: release / summary / Canada homophobia in sport infographic
- Australia: release / summary / Australia homophobia in sport infographic
- Ireland: release / summary / Ireland homophobia in sport infographic
- New Zealand: release / summary / New Zealand homophobia in sport infographic
Out on the Fields - Five Year follow-up
- The five-year follow-up study published in the world’s highest ranked sport industry journal, Sport Management Review.
- Peer-reviewed study on young LGB people.
- Study investigating why homophobic behavior remains common in sport.
OutSport Study - EU
The OutSport study was backed by the European Union and released in 2019.
It is the first study on homophobia and transphobia in sport which collected data from 5524 LGBTQ+ people living in all European countries (Out on the Fields only included UK and Ireland).
- Full report
- Homophobia and transphobia in sport in Germany
- Homophobia and transphobia in sport in Scotland
- Homophobia and transphobia in sport in Italy
- Homophobia and transphobia in sport in Austria
Reviews and Syntheses of all research
- IOC Scientific consensus statement – summary of research
Out on the Fields – Five Years Out (2020) published in the sport industry’s top journal
Peer-reviewed paper (2018) focused on research conducted on homophobia and transphobia in American college sports
Peer-reviewed paper (2020) which reviews all evidence on LGBTQ issues in sport by a panel for the American Medical Society for Sport Medicine
- Summary by the Human Rights Campaign of key statistics
Final report (2017) UK Parliament Inquiry into Homophobia in Sport
Comprehensive review (2008) of all research on LGBT people in sport conducted for various UK Government agencies
Discrimination experienced by LGBTQ people
- Peer-reviewed study (2020) on discrimination experienced by youth who ‘come out’
- Peer-reviewed study comparing differences in bullying gay vs. straight
- Timeline of key research on this topic
- Experiences of LGBTQ Cricket players
- Equal Play Study – Victimization experiences in youth sport
- Research Brief for Sport England
- Research Brief (2020) from the Trevor Project – USA
Behavior of Straight Athletes
Study of randomly selected UK rugby clubs on homophobic language
Study of Canadian teenage ice hockey teams
Study examining homophobic language in ice hockey and rugby by teens and adults
- Timeline of key research on this topic
- Study examining homophobic bullying by teenage American football players
Study examining homophobic behaviors in cricket
- Study examining homophobic behaviors across multiple sports and countries
RESEARCH ON OTHER TOPICS
RESEARCH ARTICLES ON GAY ATHLETES AND LGBTQ+ EXCLUSION
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...
50 years of research: girls still avoid sport due to lesbian stigma
Most female rugby players in the UK and Canada say people automatically assume they are lesbians for playing the sport. The stigma and discrimination that girls and women experience when they play sports such as rugby, cricket, or ice hockey has been extensively...
Homophobia in sport is a “critical public health issue”
Scott Greenspan and his team of American researchers systematically reviewed and synthesized of all research they could find on the experiences of gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth and gender diverse youth in sport settings. Systematic reviews aim to find as much...