(CNN)At slightest 30 athletes competing successful the Tokyo Paralympics place arsenic LGBTQ -- a caller precocious for LGBTQ practice astatine the Paralympic Games, by 1 count.
That's much than treble the magnitude of athletes who publically identified arsenic LGBTQ successful the 2016 Rio Paralympics, according to the SB Nation blog Outsports, which conducted a similar number of LGBTQ participants for the Summer Olympics.
Former Paralympians helped the blog compile the database of LGBTQ athletes competing this period successful Tokyo. The competitors this twelvemonth see Asya Miller, a US golden medalist successful goalball, a athletics for athletes with ocular impairments; engaged wheelchair hoops players Laurie Williams and Robyn Love from Team Great Britain; and Edênia Garcia, a Brazilian swimmer with 4 golden medals.
Both the Paralympics and Olympics saw an betterment successful the fig of LGBTQ athletes this year, according to Outsports. The Summer Olympics successful Tokyo saw astatine slightest 168 LGBTQ athletes, by the blog's count. A fig of those athletes -- specified arsenic British diver Tom Daley, Canadian shot prima Quinn and Brittney Griner of the US women's hoops squad -- earned golden medals.
But researchers who survey LGBTQ practice successful sports antecedently told CNN the fig of LGBTQ Olympians should person been higher. Less than 2% of each 11,000 Olympians who competed this twelvemonth identified arsenic LGBTQ, per Outsports' count. That lapse successful practice whitethorn beryllium owed to a sports civilization that inactive doesn't invited queer and trans athletes, said Katie Schweighofer, an adjunct module subordinate astatine Dicksinson College who studies inclusion successful sports.
Athletes contend with stigma from disablement and sexuality successful sport
Paralympians who place arsenic LGBTQ inactive person to contend with antagonistic attitudes toward queer and trans people. In a blog station for the International Paralympic Committee, Brazilian swimmer Garcia said she "had to shield myself from a repertoire of jokes" portion training.
"Being a lesbian and a idiosyncratic with a disablement is simply a treble challenge, arsenic you transportation the stigma of being invisible," Garcia said successful the blog post.
But competing earlier an planetary assemblage tin animate change, too. Lee Pearson, champion of dressage and Team Great Britain's archetypal cheery Paralympic golden medalist, was voted his team's flagbearer successful Rio successful 2016. The grant moved him, helium told the BBC successful February.
"It wasn't astir me, it was the connection we sent retired to different countries," helium said. "I anticipation it sent a connection retired to different nations wherever divers sexuality is oppressed and inactive not accepted and wherever sometimes you tin adjacent beryllium enactment to death."
Williams and Love from Team Great Britain person been teammates since 2015 and got engaged successful 2020. Competing successful the Paralympics unneurotic "has made [their] narration strong," Love wrote successful an Instagram station successful July.
Williams and Love volition vie successful women's wheelchair hoops beginning Wednesday. In an interrogation past year, Love said she hoped to animate young radical to travel retired not by doing "extreme things" but by being herself -- though winning a golden medal astir apt wouldn't hurt, either.