LGBTQIA+ athletes always give the community something to be proud of
Happy Pride Month!
While Pride shouldn’t always be celebrated just one month out of the whole year, it’s still as good a reason as any to be confident and proud of who you are, who you love, and the community to which you belong.
A big part of that community is the athletes, who may still have a difficult time finding acceptance in the world of sports despite great headways over the past decade. That’s why it’s important to remember that LGBTQIA+ athletes are valid, and they’re not just tokens but the best of the best in their fields as well.
Here are four achievements by LGBTQIA+ athletes from Pride Month 2022 to June 2023:
Chelsea Gray wins the 2022 WNBA Championship and Finals MVP
Although the WNBA has many openly lesbian players among its ranks, it’s still good to celebrate whenever one achieves a great award. Las Vegas Aces point guard and nine-year veteran Chelsea Gray, also openly lesbian, won last year’s WNBA Championship—her second—and secured the Finals MVP award in what’s been called by CBS Sports the “greatest individual playoff runs in professional basketball history.”
Beth Mead wins the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Twenty-eight-year-old openly lesbian English footballer Beth Mead had a major year in 2022. She led England to the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 championship. As a result, she won historic awards because of it, such as being the only English player to win the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament in the Euros, BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, England Player of the Year, and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (only the second out LGBTQIA+ athlete to win it).
While she isn’t the only openly lesbian footballer on the England team, it’s safe to say she was the most elite not just in football but in all of women’s sports.
OhMyV33NUS wins gold for the Philippines at the SEA Games
Cheating the definition of this list a little bit as the prestigious tournament happened in May 2022, legendary gay esports athlete OhMyV33NUS helped Team Sibol, the Philippine national esports team, win a gold medal in Mobile Legends. The Queen also had a solid rest of the year, helping his home team Blacklist International finish second at the M4 World Championship for the same game and winning the MPL Philippines Season 10 championship. He continues to be a proud role model especially for aspiring LGBTQIA+ esports athletes.
Anthony Bowens wins the AEW Tag Team Championship
Professional wrestling may be scripted but its championships are accolades that are still earned by the most deserving star athletes. Thirty-two-year-old wrestler and former baseball player Anthony Bowens, who now identifies as gay, became the first openly gay male wrestler to win a championship in major league promotion All Elite Wrestling by winning its tag team championship in September 2022.
More than anything, the big win is a testament to how Bowens and his tag team partner Max Caster, known together as The Acclaimed, have improved by leaps and bounds to become undeniable superstars in the entire wrestling industry.
Story originally from MULTISPORT.PH