While LGBTQ acceptance in sports may be widespread and growing all the time, it can still be hard coming out. So many different dynamics to work through, with teammates, coaches, friends, parents, other family and everyone else in between.
How should I come out to people? What’s the right time to do it? Are there right ways or wrong ways to share who I am with someone?
These are all questions that LGBTQ youth struggle with every day. And to answer those questions: There isn’t one way to come out to anyone. Whether you open up to someone, or how you share with them, are individual choices and that choice is totally up to you.
Beyond coming out is being out. Coming out is a moment or a series of moments, but being out can be a lifetime. Navigating the sports world and your own personal life and professional life can take some thought. Who are you? Who do you want to be? How do you want to show up in life?
We hope some of these resources can help you answer any of these questions that might be swirling in your head. And be sure to check out our curated video collection that features LGBTQ people talking about how they’re living their lives coming out and being out.
“Coming Out” - Handbook for LGBTQ Young People
This handbook by The Trevor Project is intended to help navigate questions around personal identity. It explores individual identity, thoughts on sharing one’s identity with others, and provides tools and guiding questions to help with what “coming out” means to every person.
LGBTQ+ & Athletics Teen Toolkit
Here you will find a list of updated and ongoing LGBTQ+ resources for educators, coaches, school administrators, parents, and the community compiled by public school educator and LGBTQ+ sports advocate Micah Porter. Micah has been a public school educator, teacher, coach, Athletic Director, and Principal for three decades.
GLSEN’s “Changing the Game” Project
Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project centers the development, implementation, and expansion of inclusive curriculum and sports for LGBTQ+ students and educators. Laying the groundwork with partners invested in supporting LGBTQ+ students, Changing the Game is the leading program in supporting LGBTQ+ students in P.E. classes and sports in K-12 schools.
Human Rights Campaign’s Resource Guide for Coming Out
This guide was designed by the Human Rights Campaign to help individuals through that process of coming out in realistic and practical terms. It acknowledges that the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion — from fear to euphoria. HRC hopes this guide helps meet the challenges and opportunities that living openly offers.
Here are some sites that contain personal experiences and challenges that others in the LGBTQ+ community have shared. These sites contain meaningful examples as to how others have overcome the many obstacles in order to thrive in today’s society.
Find an Advocate - connect with a K-12 LGBTQ+ sports advocate for support
If you want to connect with someone in K-12 sports for support, please fill out the below contact form (or click here) and someone from the Sports Equality Foundation will get in touch with you.