LGBT+ community welcomes Women’s World Cup

New Zealand striker Hannah Wilkinson has achieved two milestones in the Women’s World Cup.

With a goal in the 48th minute of the tournament’s opener against Norway, she gave New Zealand their first win at six World Cups and was also one of 95 members of the LGBTQ+ community participating in this year’s tournament, according to Outsports, a website dedicated to LGBT+ community issues in sports.

At their next meeting in Wellington, fans put up a The Ferns welcome banner that read “Gay for football, gay for Wilkie”.

The 95 LGBT+ participants make up 13% of the 736 players participating in this Women’s World Cup, more than double the 40 players and coaches that Outsports counted in 2019.

In this edition, the first trans or non-binary player also competes in the men’s or women’s tournament, Quinn from Canada.

“The last World Cup was great, especially because Team USA won and (Megan Rapino) faced (Donald) Trump. It’s been a great year for LGBT+ people,” said Lindsey Freeman, professor of sociology and anthropology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

“It’s the specific culture of women’s football that you see at the World Cup,” added Freeman, who is based in New Zealand and is doing research on the subject.

Jim Businski, co-founder of Outsports, agrees. “In the Western world, this is not a problem, and it is hardly talked about,” he warned. “And I think it’s good.


Before the start of the tournament, FIFA assigned eight bracelets to the captains with messages of social conscience. They made the decision after men were not allowed to wear “One Love” bracelets at the World Cup in Qatar.

The bracelets allowed for this year include anti-discrimination phrases and several colors, but Germany was not allowed to wear the rainbow version. None of the authorized versions explicitly mention LGBT+ rights.

This decision resulted in several players expressing their support in different ways.

New Zealand midfielder Ali Riley was spotted in a TV interview after the victory over Norway with painted nails. The left hand is in the colors of the gay pride flag, and the right hand is in the trans flag.


Kristen Parisot and her wife organized a cheerleading squad for Team USA ahead of their trip to the World Cup this year. With the exception of some users who had to be banned due to hate messages, this has been an enjoyable experience for the LGBT+ community.

“Wherever you turn your head, you will see: “My wife, my girlfriend.” It was very sweet and open, ”admitted Parisot. “It’s amazing to be in a place where there are so many people like you.”


While this year’s tournament highlighted the achievements of women’s football in the LGBTQ+ community, promoters believe there is still a lot of work to be done.

There were at least 186 LGBT+ athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, Buzynski said. There are more women than men, 9:1, and there was not a single player at the 2022 World Cup.

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