10 LGBTQIA+ football players who inspire us to be ourselves on and off the field

10 jogadores de futebol LGBTQIA+ que nos inspiram a sermos nós próprios dentro e fora de campo


“This is my charge to everyone: We have to be better. We have to love more. Hate less. We got to listen more and talk less.” - Megan Rapinoe

In tribute to Pride Month and to honor those who dare to be themselves, we ́re featuring 10 of the most inspiring people in the world of soccer. In a sport where strength, skill, and determination define the game, sometimes it’s the courage to be oneself that truly sets players apart.

These 10 LGBTQIA+ football players inspired us with their bravery, both on and off the field. These athletes excel in their sport while champion the cause of inclusivity and acceptance, breaking barriers, and paving the way for future generations. Their stories of resilience and pride remind us that being true to ourselves is the greatest victory of all.

Once again, fans have had a positive impact on soccer by accepting the players as they are. So, let’s honor these footballers who had the strength to stand up for themselves and, in many cases, were bolstered by the support of their fans.

Top 10 of the most inspiring queer soccer players

In 2006 the journalist Simon Barnes wrote that homophobia in football was entrenched and would never change. Two years later, journalist Matt Williams stated that being a gay professional player in football was still taboo. Despite these opinions, several soccer players have chosen to come out and share who they are with the soccer world and the fans. Discover the 10 athletes who inspire us every day.

Megan Rapinoe

(come out in July 2012)

Megan Rapinoe is one of the pioneering openly gay high-profile football players and a 2012 Olympic Champion. An LGBTQ+ activist and World Cup champion with the US women's national team, Rapinoe is known for her strong voice against social injustice. She knew she was a lesbian by her first year in college, though she only came out publicly in 2012. She was in a relationship with Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh from 2009 to 2013. Rapinoe asserts,  “No one should ever tell you what your limits are''.

Josh Cavallo

(come out on 27th October 2021)

Josh Cavallo is an Australian pro player who plays left back and central midfielder for Adelaide United. He came out as gay, becoming the only current top-flight male professional footballer in the world to do so. He decided to stop living a double life and said, “All I want to do is play football and be treated equally” with the full support of his teammates. After coming out, he received death threats, but also much love and affection from the football world. 

Since then, Cavallo has used his platform to fight for LGBTQ+ rights, particularly in sports, and challenges FIFA to accepts LGBTQ+ players and fans. In March, he proposed to his boyfriend on the pitch, sharing the special moment where it all began.

Colin Martin

(come out in June 2018)

Martin is a National Football League (NFL) player who became the first active professional player to come out as gay in 2018. His family, friends, and teammates already knew about his orientation. Martin believes, “Having role models in any workplace, in any setting in life, is important. The fact is, there aren't enough professional athletes that are good models for kids that are growing up that are gay.” He emphasizes that “people need to know that it doesn't matter what sexuality you are, how old are you, what race. It doesn't matter.” Martin embraces being a role model.


(come out in 2022)

Richarlyson is a former professional Brazilian soccer player who played as a defensive midfielder, left back, and central defender. He is currently a pundit on SporTV. He came out as bisexual in 2022 during an interview on the podcast Nos Armários dos Vestuários, becoming the first out LGBTQ+ male player to play for the Brazilian men's national team.

Richarlyson advocates against labeling, stating,“There is a more important issue, people are dying, Brazil is the country that kills the most homosexuals.”, he continues to fight against homophobia in Brazilian sports.

Kelley O´Hara

(come out in July 2019)

Kelley O'Hara is an American professional soccer player who came out publicly by celebrating the US women's national soccer teams World Cup victory with her girlfriend by kissing her. This moment during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France was her way of coming out.

She believes, “It's so important to be seen because if you don't see it, you don't know about it, you don´t understand it, you can´t connect to it.” O´Hara also highlights the unifying power of football saying “The landscape of football brings people together, you don't have to speak the language. It allows for this connection, it is the global game”.

Robbie Rogers

(come out on 15th February 2013)

Robie Rogers announced his retirement from professional soccer at the age of 25 and came out as gay in 2013, becoming the first out gay man to compete in a top North American pro sports league when he played for the LA Galaxy that same year. After coming out, Rogers married writer, producer, and director Greg Berlanti on December 2, 2017. He now works as a producer.

Alba Redondo

Alba Redondo is a talented and inspiring Spanish professional player whose presence in sport is an important step towards inclusion and diversity. During the 2023 World Cup, she shared pictures with her girlfriend Cristina Monleón, a university professor and physical trainer. In January of 2024 she ranked 61st on the Guardian´s 2023 list of the 100 Best Female Footballers in the World.

Liam Davis

Liam David is a semi-pro soccer player from England. In 2014, he became Britain's highest-profile out, gay player, and on May 21, 2017, he became the first openly gay male footballer to play at Wembley. Despite the potential challenges of coming out, David has never regretted his choice, stating “My sexual orientation has never been tough when I'm playing football. It's just football. Ball, goal, game”.

Magdalena Eriksson

(come out in 2019)

Magdalena Lilly Eriksson is a Swedish professional footballer who plays for Bayern Munich in the Frauen-Bundesliga and the Sweden national team. Chelsea recruited her, and a couple of years later, she became the captain of Chelsea FC Woman, where she met her teammate, Pernille Harder. When they became a couple, the team already knew, but when they kissed each other at the World Cup, they came out to the whole world. She states in an interview, “We are role models, not only as individual football players, but also as us, as a couple”.

Marcus Urban

(come out in November 2007)

Marcus Urban became the first German professional footballer to come out. He played professionally in the 1980s and 1990s but ended his career with RW Erfurt in 1993 to avoid living in denial. Urban has since been an advocate against homophobia in sports, working as a speaker and coach. He co-founded the organization Sports Free, an initiative that advocates for greater visibility and acceptance of queer athletes in professional sports, which was started by Diversero, a global community that promotes diversity and fights against bullying.

The journey toward inclusion and acceptance in football and society at large has been challenging, but the stories of these LGBTQIA+ players show us that the courage to be authentic can change the world. They have not only achieved great feats in their careers but have also paved the way for future generations, inspiring us to be ourselves and to fight for a fairer, more equal world. Their journeys remind us that the true victory lies in living with pride and integrity, both on and off the field.

In a world where being gay is still a crime and treated as a disease in some places, we want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you, the problem lies with societal prejudices. At BYMS, we believe in every human being and accept you as you are. We believe in love in all its forms and shapes. Just know that you are not alone, and together we are stronger.

Above all, just be you and have a wonderful Pride Month!

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