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40 out LGBTQ participants in the 2019 Women’s World Cup

40 players, one coach and a trainer are among the out participants at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

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United States of America v Netherlands : Final - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France
From left, Ashlyn Harris, Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger celebrate winning the World Cup. All three players are gay and Harris and Krieger are engaged,
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway in France, featuring 24 teams. Among them are 40 out gay, lesbian and bisexual women — 38 players, one coach and a trainer.

It’s likely there are more lesbian and bisexual women on these teams than we know about, especially since some participating countries — like Nigeria, Cameroon and Jamaica punish homosexuality with prison time — and other countries still struggle with varying degrees of societal homophobia that may keep players closeted.

“While the men’s professional game has been reluctant to be fully inclusive and supportive of anyone within the game who identifies as LGBT, it’s generally regarded that football is much more accepting of women who are lesbian or bisexual,” Lindsay England, founder of Just A Ball Game, an organization that works to end anti-LGBT bias in soccer, told Outsports,

While there may be more out women than men in professional soccer (there were no out men at the 2018 World Cup), another disparity also exists between the two: The 2019 Women’s World Cup prize money is $30 million — 7.5% of the Men’s World Cup prize.

Out lesbian U.S. World Cup player Megan Rapinoe is part of a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for “tolerating a two-tiered, gender-based workplace, with its male soccer players enjoying better travel, superior playing conditions and even more food.”

Meanwhile, would-be female soccer players around the struggle to even make it onto the field because of institutional sexism that plagues countries around the world. That make the achievement of these women all the more important.

The list of publicly out women at the 2019 Women’s World Cup stands at 40. One engaged couple — Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger — play for the U.S. In 2015, the number of out participants was 18.

Please let us know if we missed anyone — you can tweet us @outsports or email us at outsports@gmail.com and please provide a link to where the player discussed her sexual orientation.

Editor’s note: This number fluctuates based on reader tips. In some cases there are players “everyone knows” is LGBTQ but without any public declaration — in the media or social media by the player — we do not add them.

The out players

Barbara Barbosa, Brazil

Lorena Benítez, Argentina

Kadeisha Buchanan, Canada

Rachel Daly, England

Tierna Davidson, USA

Anouk Dekker, Netherlands

Katie Duncan, New Zealand

Abby Erceg, New Zealand

Magdalena Eriksson, Sweden

Lisa Evans, Scotland

Nilla Fischer, Sweden

Adrianna Franch, USA

Ashlyn Harris, USA

Isabell Herlovsen, Norway

Emma Kete, New Zealand

Sam Kerr, Australia

Ali Krieger, USA

Stephanie Labbé, Canada

Hedvig Lindahl, Sweden

María Pilar León, Spain

Chloe Logarzo, Australia

Beth Mead, England

Tegan Micah, Australia

Vivianne Miedema, Netherlands

Fernanda Pinilla, Chile

Quinn, Canada

Megan Rapinoe, USA

Cristiane Rozeira, Brazil

Caroline Seger, Sweden

Kailen Sheridan, Canada

Sherida Spitse, Netherlands

Jodie Taylor, England

Merel van Dongen, Netherlands

Daniëlle van de Donk, Netherlands

Marta Vieira da Silva, Brazil

Hannah Wilkinson, New Zealand

Janine Van Wyk, South Africa

Tameka Yallop, Australia

The out coach

Jillian Ellis, USA

The trainer

Pia Sundhage, Sweden

Hat tip to Brightest Young Things.

Correction: An earlier version listed Michelle Heyman from Australia, who is not playing this year.