Pride Month: LGBTQ couples in sports who inspire us to come out of the closet

Written By: Aditya Sahay | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 12:03 PM(IST)

There have been several LGBTQ couples worldwide who inspire and urge others to break free and come out of the closet. It makes a major impact when the person you look up to, walks the talk. Here's listing 5 such athletes who have embraced their sexuality openly

Dutee Chand

Indian professional sprinter Dutee Chand continues to inspire even off the tracks. The 26-year-old came out in the open about her same-sex relationship in early 2019.

Being India’s first openly gay athlete, she termed the ruling on section 377 as an impetus for her to take her relationship forward. Thus, the current national champion in the women's 100 metres event made her fans proud, teaching them to express love freely. She is a deserving icon for India’s LGBT+ population.

(Photograph:Twitter)

Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova, one of the legends of tennis with a record-breaking 177 career titles and 59 Grand Slam titles, came out as gay at the tender age of 18. While she can be lauded for her bold declaration back then, she had to pay a hefty price by losing out on endorsement deals, etc.

To date, she remains a gay rights activist and is married to Julia Lemigova, with whom she tied the knot in 2014.

(Photograph:Twitter)

Nat Sciver, Katherine Brunt

England women cricketers Nat Sciver and Katherine Brunt is other such LGBTQ couple in the world who inspire millions across the globe. The two English cricketers, who were part of the 2017 ODI World Cup-winning team, tied the knot recently -- last month -- in a private affair.

Thus, the duo not only have cricketing fans, but are a pillar of strength for those individuals who often feel shy, or are hesitant, to come out of their closet. 

(Photograph:Twitter)

Jake Daniels

Last month, young Jake Daniels revealed he is gay. Thus, he became UK's first male active professional football player (since 1990 when Justin Fashanu declared the same) to have openly revealed his sexuality. While he has kept his private life discreet and not much is known about his relationship status, the courage and maturity of the 17-year-old were rightly hailed by many.

In a statement after the announcement, the Blackpool forward player said, "This season has been a fantastic one for me on the pitch. But off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself. It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality." 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, David de Gea and many others applauded Daniels. Needless to say, he also won over his fans and many others who genuinely celebrate the phrase "love is love".

(Photograph:Twitter)

Lizelle Lee, Tanja Cronje

South African women cricketers Lizelle Lee and Tanja Cronje are also part of the elite LGBTQ community. The duo tied the tied in September 2020 after the Covid-19 lockdown pushed their wedding. Nonetheless, even the deadly virus couldn't delay the inevitable as the couple celebrated their love by committing to each other for a lifetime two years back. 

After her wedding, Lizelle had taken to her Instagram handle to share a heartfelt post for her partner. She wrote, "Now I get to call you my wife. A special day spent with special people! Love you so much.” 

Just like every other LGBTQ couple, Lizelle-Tanja also teaches the world to be themselves in front of others and not curb their choices and preferences.

(Photograph:Twitter)

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