The LGBTQ community is fighting for equal rights the world over. The 11th edition of the Gay Games to be held in Hong Kong in 2022 is another occasion for the community to come forward. Set to be held for the first time in an Asian city, these games is not exclusively for the LGBTQ community.
The Gay Games is very similar to the Olympics with 70 countries participating in over 36 sports from fencing to mountain biking. Started in 1982 by former Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell, the first edition of the event was held in San Francisco. While the games may help a few closet athletes come forward, here are a few who have already broken the taboo around their sexuality by winning medals at the Olympics.
The 23-year-old from Great Britain made headlines when he announced he was gay but that did not stop him from winning a bronze at London Olympics 2012 and a bronze at Rio Olympics, 2016 for men’s synchronized 10m platform diving.
Before the 29-year-old from Australia received the highest single diving score in Olympic history, he came out before the world in 2008 proving that sexuality has little to do with talent.
Several Olympians have revealed their sexuality, before, after or during the games but by and large it is mostly female athletes who have done the daunting task.
The Brazilian judoka won a gold medal at the 2013 World Judo Championships and at the 2016 Summer Olympics and acknowledged her relationship during a media interview.
The South African track runner won gold at 2016 Rio Olympics and has several World Championships to her name and had also been subject to sex verification exams. She came out as a lesbian later and married her longtime partner.
The multi-talented athlete has represented South Africa for cricket and javlin throw. She won silver at 2016 Rio Olympics and gold at Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010 and is an open lesbian.As the list gets longer for women athletes coming in the open, the Gay Games might just help and encourage more men to step out of their closet as well.