Going for Gold!
This year we are celebrating the EuroGames when some of the finest LGBTI+ athletes will be celebrating their sporting prowess. Yet the arena of sports hasn’t always been a healthy place when it comes to LGBTI+ visibility. By coming out, some key players have challenged conservative and unhealthy attitudes.
Edênia Garcia is a Brazilian Paralympic swimmer who specialises in backstroke and has won multiple World and Parapan titles, including three Paralympic medals. She came out as lesbian during the 2019 Parapan American Games. In an interview with the International Paralympic Committee she said: “Being a lesbian and a person with a disability is a double challenge, as you carry the stigma of being invisible. Many people think that a woman with a disability doesn’t have an active sexual life, let alone that this woman may have many sexual orientations. Therefore, she’s only seen as a limited body – which is not true!” With a congenital condition, swimming became a treatment and then a sport she would participate in for almost three decades. Continuing to fight prejudice, she believes that “Sport is a transformative agent and we, athletes, can be a fundamental part of social change.”
Credits: Billie Jean King – Lynn Gilbert • Parinya Charoenphol – Fairtex • Edenia Garcia – paralympic.org • Matthew Mitcham – Lance Richardson • Nila Fischer – Pechblaend • Dutee Chand – Athletic Federation India • Anja Parson – Vasalopet