Experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals in sports in Germany

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There is growing international evidence that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and sexually/gender diverse (LGBTQ+) people regularly experience discrimination in sports. However, there is a lack of empirical research with regard to the sports situation in Germany. Based on a quantitative survey of 858 self-identifying LGBTQ+ individuals, the present research is the first to provide a comprehensive picture of the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in sports in Germany. To add distinctive knowledge to the international research, this analysis considers differences within the group of LGBTQ+ people and between various sports settings (i.e., organizational framework, team vs individual sports, and performance level. Two research questions are addressed: (1) What micro- and meso-level factors affect the witnessing of homo-/transnegative language and the prevalence of homo-/ transnegative incidents in respondents’ sports activities? (2) What micro- and mesolevel factors affect respondents’ feelings of being offended by homo-/transnegative language and what behavioral consequences (i.e., refraining from specific sports and reactions to homo-/transnegative episodes) can be observed among different LGBTQ+ subgroups? The data reveal the impact of the sports context on the perception of homo-/ transnegative language but not on negative experiences. Moreover, there is a higher prevalence of gay compared to lesbian athletes with regard to the perception of homo-/transnegative language in their sports and a higher prevalence of gay athletes and non-cisgender (transgender) athletes with regard to homo-/transnegative experiences in sport compared to lesbian and cisgender athletes. The empirical evidence confirms and deepens international findings. Moreover, the data assist the Sport Ministers Conference’s goal of increasing initiatives to tackle the exclusion and discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people in sports.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGerman Journal of Exercise and Sport Research
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 07.11.2021

ID: 6210201

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