Aug 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Record 29 out LGBTQ athletes set to compete in Tokyo Paralympics

This picture shows the logos of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo on March 20,
Photo: Philip Fond/AFP via Getty Images

A record 29 openly LGBTQ athletes are set to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics, which begin Tuesday, Outsports reports.

Why it matters: It's more than double the number of publicly out LGBTQ Paralympians who competed in Rio de Jainero in 2016. The athletes hail from multiple countries, including the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and Brazil.

  • The LGBTQ Paralympians include at least three nonbinary or neutral athletes, per Outsports.

What they're saying: “I love seeing our out Paralympians highlighted because it shows that while we still have a ways to go, as a society, we have become more accepting, therefore people are able to be their authentic selves and feel safe,” Monique Matthews, a Team USA sitting volleyball player, told Outsports.

  • “It gives me great pride to be part of such a diverse, trailblazing group of people."

The big picture: The Olympics also featured a historic number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes, with at least 142 competing this year.

Go deeper: Trans athletes see the Tokyo Games as a watershed moment

Go deeper