Perris Benega is a twenty-six-year-old BMX rider from Raleigh, North Carolina. Perris made the cut and went on to represent America at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, placing fourth overall in the BMX freestyle event.
A few weeks before the Olympics, Perris wrote an emotional post on her private Instagram announcing her coming out. Perris mentioned that the thought of coming out gave her insomnia. She was worried about how this would affect her family. She ended up receiving incredible support.
Emma Wiggs, a British para canoeist gold medallist, was a late bloomer when it came to understanding her sexual identity. Wiggs only came to understand that she was gay at the age of 30.
She believes speaking about her identity openly will provide the opportunity for other LGBT+ people to do the same. Wiggs has taken gold twice in the Paralympics, first in 2012 and then at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Wiggs is happily married and jokingly said it’s up to her wife if she retires or not.
Ann Wauters, a Belgium native playing for the WNBA in America, got her first taste of Olympic running the Belgian squad in 2021 at the age of forty. She recalled her journey of coming out, for her it happened much later in life.
She realized she never felt right when dating men but felt immense joy being with her first girlfriend. Ann mentioned the challenges of playing in countries that are not gay-friendly but she still tries to respect the culture of the country.
Thirty-four-year-old Edênia Garcia is a highly acclaimed swimmer from Brazil. She has scored two silvers and a bronze for her country in the Paralympics. For most of her life, Edênia knew she was gay but coming from a small town in the far reaches of northeastern Brazil she admits to having had difficulty embracing this.
She finally gathered the strength to publically come out at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games during an interview.
Twenty-eight-year-old Sam Kerr is an Australian professional soccer player. Kerr currently holds the record for being the all-time leading scorer in the United States and was only recently dethroned from the title in the Australian Women’s League.
Kerr represented Australia at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. After a very public display of affection on the soccer pitch with fellow soccer player Kristie Mews, Kerr confirmed the two are officially a couple.