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At least 36 out LGBTQ Paralympians are competing in Tokyo, by far a record

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Three dozen out LGBTQ Paralympians are headed to Tokyo, triple the number in Rio.

Out Paralympians are ready to compete at the Tokyo Summer Paralympics, representing both their country and the LGBTQ community.
Shelby Weldon

There will be at least 36 publicly out LGBTQ athletes competing in the Tokyo Summer Paralympics, Outsports has determined. The number is almost triple that in Rio.

Over the last few weeks Outsports has enlisted the help of current and former Paralympians, fans and journalists in determining who is publicly out at the Tokyo Paralympics. The list is by no means exhaustive, and it will grow in the coming days and weeks.

There are at least a dozen sports and 10 countries represented by publicly out athletes in Tokyo. The countries with multiple out athletes at the Tokyo Paralympics: United States (9), Great Britain (9), Brazil (6), Canada (3), Australia (2), Netherlands (2) and Germany (2). Great Britain and the United States are heavily represented in part because those are where Outsports’ contacts are most-located.

Wheelchair basketball currently makes up about a third of the list in part for the same reason: Gold-medal Paralympians Stephanie Wheeler and Abby Dunkin were very helpful in building this list.

Women again massively outnumber the out men. Currently there is only one man — Team GB dressage rider Lee Pearson — on the list. There are also at least three non-binary or neutral athletes: Australian track and field athletes Robyn Lambird and Maz Strong and American rower Laura Goodkind.

“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,” Team USA sitting volleyball player Monique Matthews told Outsports. Matthews’ husband, Landon, is transitioning and hoping for financial assistance on his affirming, personal and expensive journey. “It gives me great pride to be part of such a diverse trailblazing group of people.”

At the 2016 Rio Summer Paralympics, there were 12 publicly out LGBTQ athletes that Outsports knew of.

Here are the publicly out LGBTQ athletes competing in Tokyo at the 2020 Summer Paralympics:

Canoe

Emma Wiggs (GB)

Cycling

Katie Dunlevy (Ireland)
Crystal Lane-Wright (GB)#
Kate O’Brien (Canada)#
Monica Sereda (USA)

Equestrian

Lee Pearson (GB)

Goalball

Asya Miller (USA)

Judo

Alana Maldonado (Brazil)#

Rowing

Laura Goodkind (USA)#
Josiane Lima (Brazil)#
Lauren Rowles (GB)
Moran Samuel (Israel) >
Hallie Smith (USA)#

Sitting Volleyball

Monique Matthews (USA)

Swimming

Edênia Garcia (Brazil)
Mari Gesteira (Brazil)#
Querijn Hensen (Netherlands)#

Taekwondo

Debora Menezes (Brazil)#

Track & Field

Tuany Barbosa (Brazil, discus, seated shot put)#
Robyn Lambird (Australia, 100m)
Maria “Maz” Strong (Australia, seated shot put)#

Triathlon

Hailey Danz (USA)
Brenda Osnaya (Mexico)#

Wheelchair Basketball

Kaitlyn Eaton (USA)
Babsi Gross (Germany)#
Jude Hamer (GB)
Bo Kramer (Netherlands)
Tara Llanes (Canada)
Robyn Love (GB)
Mareike Miller (Germany)# >
Cindy Ouellet (Canada)
Lucy Robinson (GB)
Courtney Ryan (USA)
Laurie Williams (GB)

Wheelchair Fencing

Terry Hayes (USA)

Wheelchair Tennis

Lucy Shuker (GB)

# Denotes an athlete who was added after our initial list was published on Aug. 16, 2021.
> Denotes they are their country’s flag-bearer in the Opening Ceremony.

Special thanks to Jon Holmes, Abby Dunkin, Stephanie Wheeler, Lizzie Williams and other readers for contributing to this list.

We know there are others who are publicly out. If you know of an out LGBTQ athlete not on the list, or have any other inquiry, please contact us via email (outsports@gmail.com), or direct message us on Twitter (@outsports), Instagram (@outsports) or Facebook (OutsportsSBN).