Awareness days

International Day against Queerphobia

17. May 2024

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IDAHOT, IDAHIT, IDAHOBIT, IDAHOBITA… Today has many abbreviations, but only one meaning:

17 May is the International Day against Homophobia, Biophobia, Inter- and Transphobia or simply Queerphobia of any kind. It dates back to 17 May 1990, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from its catalogue of diseases. Incidentally, this only happened for transgender people in 2018.

Every year on this day, people all over the world commemorate and demonstrate for equality, diversity and respect. Because queer rights are human rights!

To mark this year’s 17 May, we would like to take a look at the world of sport. The European Men’s Football Championship will soon be starting here in Leipzig and queerness in sport is unfortunately still a big taboo subject in 2024.

At the end of last year, a mass coming out in professional football was announced for today, i.e. a joint coming out of numerous professional footballers in Europe.

The campaign was launched under the name “Sports Free” by Marcus Urban and his organisation Diversero. He was once a professional footballer himself until he had to end his career because he could no longer reconcile it with his homosexuality.

It remains to be seen whether active professional footballers will actually come out publicly today and what impact this will have on queerness in (professional) sport. There are also doubts and criticism of the project.

What is certain, however, is that LGBTQIA* and sport are in a field of tension. Particularly in the big, media-effective team sports, this topic is often still taboo – especially in men’s football.

There is currently not a single active male professional footballer in Germany who has come out as queer.

Yet footballers are often great social role models and a glance at the statistics is enough to recognise this: There are queer people here too and it should be important to us all to make them visible and give them a voice.

Other sports and classes are leading the way. Lesbian women in football, for example, are already much more visible than gay men or even trans people. But of course, not everything is perfect here either.

You can find out more about this topic at Diversero.

Photo: Mim Schneider


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