In our conversation with out LGBTQ Asian and Asian-American athletes last month, each of them remarked at how few out Asian people there are in sports. Some of the four athletes said they didn’t know any out high-profile LGBTQ Asian athletes other than the people on that conversation. They weren’t far off.
Still, there are more out Asian athletes than many people know about, stretching from Japan and Hong Kong to the United States and Europe.
Leading up to National Coming Out Day, we figured we’d share a list of inspiring Asian athletes who have come out and blazed a trail. They represent a host of different sports and levels of sport, with several competing in the Olympic Games.
Meet them here:
- The trans swimmer made history competing on Harvard’s men’s swimming team. He is now an advocate for trans athletes and a public speaker.
- Julie Chu is a former ice hockey player who won four Olympic medals with Team USA. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
- Lisa Coe was a diver at the Univ. of Pittsburgh who qualified for her NCAA Division I Zone meet for the first time in her career, and even finaled in the Platform event. Lisa Coe Instagram
- Tad Fujikawa made history in 2006 when he was the youngest golfer to ever qualify for the U.S. Open, at age 15. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
- Theresa Goh celebrates winning the bronze medal in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke - SB4 at the 2016 Paralympic Games. Photo by Getty Images
- Sarah Rose Huckman competed in skiing in high school in New Hampshire and is featured in the documentary film about trans athletes, Changing The Game. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
- Bradley Kim played football in high school and then at the Air Force Academy.
- John Kim swam for the Virginia Military Institute.
- Amazin LeThi is a former bodybuilder and current advocate. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Out
- Abi Liu is a competitive swimmer turned swim coach.
- Margaret Lu is an 8-time national champion in fencing and was part of Team USA’s world title in 2018. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Women’s Sports Foundation
- Nong Rose is a trans Muay Thai boxer in Thailand. Photo by Yvan Cohen/LightRocket via Getty Images
- Shiho Shimoyamada (left) is Japan’s first publicly out professional soccer player. Photo by Joachim Sielski/Getty Images for DFB
- Callan Chythlook Sifsof is a snowboarder who was part of the United States’ 2010 Winter Olympics team. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
- Siufung Law is an LGBT genderfluid advocate, life coach, public speaker and IFBB Pro bodybuilder
If you know of any other out LGBTQ athletes who are of Asian decent, please leave their names in the comments below and we’ll be sure to add them to our gallery.
Happy National Coming Out Day.