Do queer kids miss out on sport?

Do queer kids miss out on sport because of homophobic attitudes?

A report published in the USA suggests that sport remains one of the areas where LGBTI youth are most likely to be subjected to homophobic comments and harassment, leading to queer youth avoiding sport all together.

The Play to Win report was published by the US based Human Rights Campaign in 2018 and noted that while there is a growing number of prominent LGBTIQ+ sports stars, the effect has not yet flowed through to young people’s experiences of engaging with sports during their teenage years.

They found that many people hide their sexual orientation from coaches and officials out of fear that disclosing that they are gay or bisexual would lead to negative outcomes, and for people who are transgender the situation is much worse.

Given that exercise and sport is one of the best natural remedies to battling depression and other mental health challenges it is concerning that barriers still remain for LGBTIQ+ youth.

The research cited in the report claims that 84% of people have experienced or witnessed anti-LGBTIQ attitudes in sport, and that in the USA only 24% of queer youth regularly play sport. In states which have obvious homophobic policies in this area, the participation rate was even lower.

Overall around 68% of teenagers in the USA play sport regularly but LGBTIQ participation is much lower, the lowest rates of participation are among non-binary and transgender youth. Only 14% of non-binary youth and transgender boys engaged with spot, and just 12% of transgender girls.

The survey sampled over 17,000 participants across the whole of the United States.

If you’re looking for an LGBTIQ+ friendly sporting team here in Perth, check out our community listings which feature everything from Hockey to Tennis, Water Polo and more. 

OIP Staff