Despite extensive changes in social attitudes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Australians over the last decade, research shows they still experience significant levels of discrimination and abuse. There is very little direct empirical research on the sport experience of LGBT Australians. Whilst other disadvantaged groups in the Australian sport context have been recognised in the research and policy agenda, the existence, experiences and needs of LGBT peoples within sport have largely been ignored. Both implicit discrimination that results from ‘heteronormative’ attitudes and explicit discrimination that causes LGBT sports-people to remain in the closet, become isolated and essentially silenced, have shaped a circle of silence on this topic.
Sport plays a significant role in Australian society; however, it is a place where LGBT Australians are largely silent and invisible. Come Out To Play is the first comprehensive survey of the LGBT sport experience in Australia and provides rich insight through closed and open ended responses into the sporting lives, passions, rewards and challenges of these sports participants, supporters, volunteers and workers.