LGBTQ+ Players at the World Cup: A Country-by-Country Analysis

The 2023 Women’s World Cup has the most openly gay players of any previous World Cup tournament. But, which country at the World Cup has the most gay players?

Australia has the most gay players in the Women’s World Cup, with 10 members of their squad being part of the LGTBQ community. They are followed by Brazil and Ireland (with 9), and Norway with 8.

Remember, this stat only includes the publicly out players. Almost all of the known gay players are playing for teams where it is much more accepted to be gay. Chances are that there are more gay players playing for Asian and African countries, but they don’t feel comfortable sharing their sexuality. 

On this page, we’re going to look at some of the gay players in the Women’s World Cup 2023, plus give you a breakdown of how many gay players are known to be playing in the tournament.

Which Country at the World Cup Has The Most Gay Players?

For the 2023 Women’s World Cup, there were 96 ‘out’ players out of all the teams competing. This meant at least 13% of the players in the tournament were openly gay. However, it is likely that there were a lot more gay players competing. Obviously, not everybody is ‘out’. There’ll likely be far more gay players competing in the tournament.

These are the top four teams for gay players in the 2023 World Cup. We’ll talk a little bit more about some of the top players shortly:

Australia – 10 Players 

Brazil – 9 Players

Ireland – 9 Players

Sweden – 8 Players

At least 60% of the teams have at least one gay person playing for them. Around 30% of the team has a gay captain. 

As near as we can tell, this is the most ‘out’ players the Women’s World Cup has ever had. Some teams have seen the number of gay players playing for them fall. For example, the United States went from 5 players in the last tournament to just 3 this time. However, most of the other teams saw a ‘rise’.

Over the next few sections, we’re going to take a look at some of the more prominent gay players for the top 4 teams. We really wish we could have included everybody competing in the tournament, and we urge you to pay them some respect. However, we feel the players that we list here are the ones leading the charge in the World Cup 2023.

Gay Players for Australia

These are the currently known gay players for Australia:

Ellie Carpenter

Sam Kerr

Teagan Micah

Kyah Simon

Mackenzie Arnold

Alex Chidiac

Emily Van Egmond

Cortnee Vine

Tameka Yallop

Let’s tell you about some of the more prominent ones.

Sam Kerr

Sam Kerr is a forward that currently plays for both Australia and Chelsea. She is probably one of the more prominent gay players in the tournament. She is currently in a relationship with Kristie Mewis, who plays on the US National Team. 

She is well-known outside of the women’s soccer leagues. Even male soccer fans know her. She was the very first female player to ever be included on the front of the FIFA game (in 2023), and she was among the first batch of female players to ever be included in the game just a few years earlier. 

While she is a successful soccer player, she has had a wealth of success away from the sport too. She has written a children’s book, has multiple endorsements with big brands, and graced the front cover of some of the biggest magazines in the world.

While we hope that Sam Kerr still has a long history ahead of her when it comes to soccer, we can’t help but feel that when she does retire from the sport, she is going to become one of the biggest advocates for LGBTQ causes in the sport. She’ll probably work with Kristie Mewis, who is another one of the major advocates.

Kyah Simon

Kyah Simon is a striker that plays for both Australia and Tottenham Hotspur. She is an interesting case because not only is she one of the most prominent gay players to play for the national Australian side, but she was the very first indigenous Australian to score for the national team, which means that she is breaking ground on multiple fronts! 

Kyah Simon has been interviewed multiple times about coming out. She credits the acceptance in women’s sport as creating a great environment for ‘coming out’ to the world. She believes that the women’s soccer community is far more accepting than the male soccer community, and she believes that it will be a long while before male soccer stars start to come out. Currently, just 2 male players in Australia are openly gay, and there are less than a dozen professional players worldwide! 

Gay Players for Brazil

These are the gay players that lined up for Brazil in 2023:

Debinha

Kathellen Susa

Marta

Tamires

Leticia Izidoro

Adriana Silva

Andressa Alves

Barbara Barosa

Lauren Leal

Adriana Silva

Adriana Silva (sometimes known as Maga) plays for both Orlando Pride and the Brazilian Women’s National Team. She plays as a forward.

While she has had several appearances for Brazil, she has been plagued by injuries. In fact, the 2023 World Cup shouldn’t have been her first World Cup. She was meant to compete in 2019, but she had to pull out due to an injury at the last minute.

Not much is known about her life. She is immensely private, although it is known that she does date women (although, there is a chance that she could be a bisexual). 

Lauren Leal

Lauren Leal, sometimes known simply as Lauren, is a Brazilian footballer. In addition to playing for the national team, she plays as a center-back for Kansas City Current. She is still fairly new to the Brazilian team, having only received 6 caps. This means that she is likely to be a big name in the future and, hopefully, a driving force for LGTBQ causes.

Once again, not much is known about when Lauren Leal came out, nor her current relationship status. We believe that this shows how accepting Brazilian culture is when it comes to this sort of thing. There is no big song and dance about it. People just accept if you are gay, and this is something that we love.

Gay Players For Ireland

Honestly, Ireland being one of the top teams for gay players in the 2023 World Cup surprised us. This is because Ireland is an incredibly religious country. As you may know, it is very heavily Catholic (although, those that live in Northern Ireland can also qualify to play for Ireland, and they are very Protestant). So, it is a wonderful source of pride for the women’s team to have so many gay players.

Here are the ones competing in the 2023 World Cup:

Lucy Quinn

Louise Quinn

Sinead Farrelly

Ruesha Littlejohn

Katie McCabe

Diane Caldwell

Isibeal Atkinson

Grace Moloney

Aine O’Gorman

Lucy Quinn

Lucy Quinn plays for both the Republic of Ireland national team and Birmingham City. She plays as a forward.

Interestingly, she started her national career playing for England. When that didn’t pan out, she decided to get an Irish passport instead and received approval to play there instead. You’ll actually find that this happens a lot with the countries of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Lucy Quinn hasn’t really talked about being ‘out’ in the press. It is just known that she is. So, we don’t really think she is trying to become a person that really pushes the cause and, instead, wants to just sit back and do her job. There is a good chance that this may end up changing in the future, though! 

Grace Moloney

Grace Moloney plays as the goalkeeper for Ireland and Reading. She has only just recently taken the Number 1 shirt, even though she has been attempting to do so since 2017. So, we didn’t really expect her to feature all that much during the World Cup.

Like many of the other people that we have mentioned on this list of gay players, Grace Moloney hasn’t really spoken that much about being ‘out’, it is just part of her life (as it should be), and she has dedicated almost all of her soccer career to ensuring that she manages to take the number 1 shirt for Ireland. 

Gay Players for Sweden

Sweden (along with the other Scandinavian countries) is known for being one of the most accepting countries on the planet, so it is no surprise that Sweden managed to bring several openly gay players along for the trip to Australia:

Nathalie Björn

Filippa Angeldahl

Hanna Bennison

Magdalena Eriksson

Jennifer Falk

Lina Hurtig

Caroline Seger

Linda Sembrant 

Caroline Seger

Caroline Seger plays for the Swedish national team and FC Rosengård in Denmark. She is a midfielder and is currently the captain of both teams.

Recently, in the Swedish media, Caroline Seger has really been trying to push the idea of LGTBQ acceptance. She talked about how she had to constantly lie about her sexuality when she was younger, and she says that this hurt her a lot and caused some serious mental health issues. She now wants to help other people that are in the position that she was in ‘come out’. When she retires from soccer, we hope that this is work that she continues to carry out.

We have no doubt that the prominence of Caroline Seger in Sweden is really going to help younger boys and girls accept who they are.

Not much is known about Caroline’s personal life, but she does claim that she is in love and in a relationship! 

Nathalie Björn

Nathalie Björn plays as a defender for both Sweden and Everton. She has been one of the better defenders for Sweden, managing to score a goal in around 10% of her games, which is a massive achievement for somebody that is normally going to be closer to her goal than her opponents! 

Again, Nathalie hasn’t really spoken too much about being gay, possibly because it is so accepted in Sweden. What we do know is that she is in a relationship with Aurora Galli who plays for Everton. They both live together in Liverpool. 

Will More People Be ‘Out’ For The Next World Cup?

It is impossible to know. We would like to believe so.

One of the great things about the 2023 World Cup is the sheer number of praise the open gay players are getting in the tournament. It is clear that people are starting to become far more accepting of LGTBQ, and this is marvelous.

Obviously, we cannot expect the culture of certain countries to change overnight. It isn’t going to happen in the next four years, so there will still be a good number of gay soccer stars in the closet. However, we feel that those teams that have a good supportive network in place will start to have more openly ‘out’ players.

It is no surprise that the four countries we listed have the most out players in the World Cup. They have some of the most accepting laws and cultures in the world, so people feel confident being out in front of their teammates and their fans. We hope this is something that continues long into the future.

Final Thoughts 

Australia has the most openly gay players in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, although plenty of other countries have numbers close to Australia’s figures. You’ll be pleased to know that more people have decided to show off who they truly are at this tournament than any other previous Women’s World Cup and, based on the acceptance that we have seen this year, we have absolutely no doubt that this is something that is going to continue well into the future. We wouldn’t be surprised if by the next World Cup, we see another record! 

Gay Worlley

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