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Out LGBTQ athletes Tom Bosworth and Lauren Hemp on King’s New Year Honours List

World-record-holding racewalker Bosworth and England footballer Hemp made MBEs — they join several other British LGBTQ athletes to have been recognized.

Birmingham City Council’s Chelsea Flower Show Entry
Tom Bosworth MBE has been recognized for services to racewalking.
Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images for Birmingham City Council

Over 1,200 high-achieving people from the U.K. have been named on King Charles III’s New Year Honours List — and among them are two out LGBTQ athletes.

The List is part of the British honors system. Eligible individuals who have contributed to public life can be nominated for assessment by a committee which then makes recommendations to the Prime Minister and in turn, the reigning monarch.

Tom Bosworth, the two-time Olympian who retired from competitive athletics in summer 2022, has been made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to racewalking.

Now 33, Bosworth came out as gay via a BBC television interview in October 2015 — the first Team GB athlete to do so.

He finished sixth in the 20km racewalk at the Rio Games the following year and also proposed to his partner Harry on Copacabana Beach. The couple were married in October 2022.

Bosworth has spoken powerfully in the past about his battle with depression, including on Cyd Zeigler’s “Five Rings To Rule Them All” podcast in 2019, and has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ mental health and wellbeing through getting active.

He still holds world-best times for the mile race walk, set in London in July 2017, as well as the indoor 3,000m walk, recorded in Glasgow the following year.

Meanwhile, England star Hemp — who scored three goals for the Lionesses in their run to the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Australia — has also been made an MBE.

The 23-year-old Manchester City forward recently reached a half-century of international caps.

Other British athletes who are publicly out as LGBTQ and who have received honours include Sir Lee Pearson and Dame Kelly Holmes; Colin Jackson, Gareth Thomas and Hope Powell (all CBE); Tom Daley, John Amaechi, Nicola Adams and Kate Richardson-Walsh (all OBE); Jess Fishlock, Carl Hester, Beth Mead, Casey Stoney, Nigel Owens, Helen Richardson-Walsh and Susannah Townsend (all MBE).