Sam Kerr: A Beacon Of LGBTQ+ Pride And Excellence On The World Cup Stage

There are some massive LGTBQ+ names playing in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. In fact, over 90 openly gay players will be gracing the World Cup stage in 2023, more than ever. Some of the names you may have heard of already e.g. Megan Rapinoe. We want to talk about the name that is likely to be the biggest name this year, Sam Kerr. She is an Australian player and is regarded as one of the best female forwards in the world.

Sam has had quite the career, much of it has revolved around her story of ‘coming out’ (she never felt comfortable with it when she was younger). On this page, we want to tell you her story. We want to talk about Sam Kerr from her humble beginnings in another sport, all the way through to her LGTBQ+ support and the 2023 World Cup.

We’re going to break this ‘story’ up until her earliest days, her club career, and her international career. We’ll then round off by telling you more of her story in the LGBTQ+ community and why she has become a symbol of pride and excellence on the World Cup stage and beyond. We’re not going to be making this entire page about Sam Kerr being gay, because that would be a massive disservice to her. She is one of the top soccer stars in the world, and you deserve to hear her whole story. Being gay isn’t the only thing that she is, after all. 

Early Life and Family Legacy 

Sam Kerr was born in Perth on 10th September 1993. At the time, her father was one of the most prominent players in Australian Rules Football, and his sporting success shaped her early life.

For those that are unsure what Australian Rules Football is, all you really need to know is that it is a blend between soccer and rugby. As the name suggests, it is rarely played outside of Australia. We suppose it is very similar to football in the US, with just a few rule differences.

It wasn’t just Sam’s dad that was a sports star at the time. Her grandfather was a boxer, and her relatives were soccer players and jockeys. Basically, she had some great genes. She was always destined to be great at sports. The problem? Well, unlike her successful relatives, she was female. There wasn’t that much opportunity for her to succeed, at least at the time. 

Now, we wish we could tell you that the woman who went on to become one of the greatest forwards ever in the women’s sport was a great lover of soccer. A woman that always dreamed of gracing the World Cup stage but, honestly, she wasn’t. She didn’t love soccer at all. In fact, she hated it.

Due to the success of her father, Sam Kerr’s early sporting life was 100% focused on Australian Rules Football, and this is where she always saw herself succeeding. At least until she was 12 years old, then something happened.

Sam Kerr’s Unexpected Turn In Her Sporting Journey

Unfortunately, Australian Rules Football doesn’t really have a lot of women’s teams in Australia, let alone teams for 12-year-old girls. While she was fine playing with boys when she was younger (she even pretended to be a boy to stop people bullying her for playing the sport as a female), as everybody reached puberty, it became an issue. She wasn’t quite able to keep up with the boys, despite her displaying vast amounts of talent. Unfortunately, Australian Rules Football is a very physical sport.

Now, normally, this would have drawn her Australian Rules Football career to a close. She would have continued with her education and got a job away from the sport altogether. It would have been a huge shame since Sam was displaying immense talent. Then Mano Psanoudakis stumbled across her. At the time, he was a coach in Perth. He wanted her to give soccer a go, at least for a while. Just to see if she liked it.

By this point, Sam still wasn’t that enamored with playing soccer, but she gave it a go. She wanted to play sports and from the very first day, she was running rings around the other players for Western Knights in Perth. From that moment on, Mano Psanoudakis knew that he had a fantastic player on his hands. The problem? She hated soccer, and she didn’t really understand the rules. Thankfully, he had something to work with.

Embracing Soccer And Carving A Niche

Luckily, Sam Kerr understood that her future was in soccer, and while she was initially opposed to playing a sport that she didn’t really like, she grew to love it. Much of this was probably down to the fact that she could use her Australian Rules Football knowledge to succeed. In fact, Mano believed that she wouldn’t have succeeded without that. She was moving and scoring in unexpected ways, which really knocked up her score tally. Even today, you can see her moving in different ways from other soccer players, and many of the defenders she faces have no idea how she is going to act. It has probably heavily contributed to her goal tally. 

Success at Club Football

She spent three years at Western Knights in Perth, but she decided that she had to move on, and she did. Her next stop was Perth Glory and, guess what? She was a rousing success there too. 

Playing for Perth Glory 

Sam started to play for Perth Glory when she was 15, and she stayed there for three years (she did return later on in her career). Since she was young, she wasn’t getting many games. In those three years, she managed to make just 22 appearances (mostly as a sub) but scored 5 goals. The other players in the league loved her, though. Despite these few appearances, she was voted Player’s Player of the Year at just 16. People already knew that she was going on to become a massive hit. 

Move to the US

So, where to next? Well, by 2013, it was clear that while Australian soccer was accepting of women, it wasn’t really the place to be if you were a great player. There was just one place for you; the United States. This led to her playing for a season at Western New York Flash where she became one of the top scorers. Although, for some reason, it didn’t quite work out and she found herself back playing for Perth Glory the following year.

After a couple of stints at various clubs in the US and Australia, Sam Kerr started courting herself throughout Europe. Obviously, Europe is the main continent to be on if you want to be successful in sports (and make a lot of money). She didn’t mind where she went. She just wanted to be in Europe. In 2020, she ended up at Chelsea in England.

Sam’s Chelsea Days

While at Chelsea, Sam Kerr has blossomed into one of the top forwards in history. In three years, she has made 67 appearances and scored a whopping 54 goals. She still has years of life left in her soccer career too. There are men that haven’t reached the same conversion rate that she has. 

She’s likely to be sticking around at Chelsea for the foreseeable future, so let’s move on to her international career.

Success at International Football

We don’t know how much international football you watch, but you’ll probably notice that many younger players will work their way up through the various age groups e.g. the under 15s, under 17s, under 21s, etc. It allows them to cut their teeth on the international stage without too much pressure. Sam Kerr was too good for that.

While she did appear a few times for the Under 17s and Under 20s, she was already a soccer prodigy at 15, so she was given an invite to the senior team in 2009. She made her debut at just 15, one of the youngest ever players to play senior international football in Australia. Her first goal came when she was 16. It wasn’t just any goal, though. Oh no. This goal leads to her and Australia winning the Asian Cup, cementing Sam Kerr as one of the top names in the sport. Not bad for somebody who hated soccer just 4 years previously, right? 

Since then, Sam Kerr has competed in multiple Asian Cups, friendlies, and World Cups. Outside of an Asian Cup win, Australia hasn’t really had a huge amount of success on the international stage. Well, not until 2023.

The 2023 World Cup

In 2023, Australia hosted the World Cup, pushing Sam onto the greatest stage for international women’s soccer. Unfortunately, she was injured. She missed the first 3 games and only appeared in the Round of 16, which is a shame really. Sam would easily have set the group stage alight. Thankfully, her recovery meant that she could guide her team to a clash against England in the Semis, the furthest an Australian international team has managed to get in any World Cup (including the male side of things). At the time of writing, it is unknown how that clash will end up. There is a chance that Australia, and Sam Kerr, will be walking away with the trophy at the end of it, especially since many of the bigger, stronger teams (Japan & United States) have been knocked out. They just need to get past England.

At the time of writing, she has played 122 times for the Australian national team, scoring 63 goals. Once again, this is a tremendous conversion rate, and the best part is that her career still has a lot of life in it!

Sam Kerr & LGTBQ+

So, let’s move on to the reason why you are here; Sam Kerr’s LGBTQ+ life and her activism. As you may know, she is in a relationship with Kristie Mewis, an international player for the United States team. Prior to this, she was in a relationship with Nikki Stanton.

Sam Kerr doesn’t talk too much about her sexuality, although she claims that she did know that she was gay from a very young age. Although, she tried to hide it. Not through a lack of acceptance of who she is, but the fact that she was already fighting a pretty hefty battle trying to succeed among boys while playing Australian Rules Football. She claims that she had to keep her hair short and pretend to be a boy (many assumed she was) to be accepted as a player, and she didn’t really quite have the drive beyond this to tackle her sexuality.

As time went on, Sam did become more and more comfortable with who she was. She eventually came out, although she doesn’t explicitly state when. However, she has said that her parents have been incredibly supportive of her sexuality, and she maintains a close relationship with all of her family members, which is fantastic!

While she hasn’t been a massive advocate for LGBTQ+ causes (because she is focusing on her soccer), she has become much more prominent in the media over the last few years, and many people believe that this is helping to push forward LGBTQ in women’s sports. 

2023 World Cup and LGBTQ+ Acceptance

The first time she really spoke about LGTBQ+ causes was prior to the 2023 World Cup when it was announced that the rainbow flag couldn’t be worn on female soccer shirts (a substitute flag was made). Sam heavily criticized this idea, believing that it would set back women’s soccer. She claimed that while she would love to wear the rainbow flag, it likely would have resulted in her being fined during the tournament, or perhaps banned. She didn’t really want to risk the Australian team’s attempt at the World Cup on home turf, which is fair enough. 

Prior to the World Cup (while she was still injured), she started to push toward becoming more prominent in the media. She has been snapped several times kissing her partner, Kristie Mewis, at least once after winning a game in the tournament. Each picture helps to promote LGTBQ+ and make it more acceptable to the world. As we said at the start, LGTBQ+ players are featuring very heavily in the tournament, and many of them are pushing toward greater acceptance.

Of course, while she isn’t a huge advocate, she is playing a prominent role in LGBTQ+ pride and excellence. As we said several times now, she is one of the best forwards in history. No other active player can match her talent, and it doesn’t seem if any will in the near future. This is a big deal. It means that Sam Kerr is getting mentioned all over the world for her talent.

She has rapidly become one of the most prominent gay sports stars in the world, and this is really, really helping to push people even further toward acceptance. She’s been featured on TV shows, newspaper articles, countless magazines, and more. Each time, showing off the pride that she has for being part of the LGBTQ+ community, and showing off just how accepting the women’s soccer community is towards gay people. We love this.

We can’t help but feel that Sam and her success on the World Cup Stage is pushing those who may have previously been uncomfortable with who they are to become much more accepting of who they are. Many gay people are told that being gay is a bad thing. That it will limit your options in life. Sam Kerr has proven otherwise. She has proven that you can be at the top of a sport. You can win the respect of people around the world, and maybe, just maybe, you may walk away with a World Cup.

While she is likely not going to retire from the sport anytime soon, we can’t help but feel that when she does, Sam, along with Krtisie Mewis, will work together to push LGTBQ+ causes…and we love them for that!

Final Thoughts

Sam Kerr is one of the most successful forwards in the history of female soccer, and she shows no sign of slowing down. This isn’t too bad considering she hated soccer until she was 12. She has fast become one of the top LGBTQ+ players on the international stage, and her success on the world stage has led to the increased prominence of LGBTQ+ causes. In fact, we would go as far as to say that she has been a real beacon for the community. She is showing that you can be successful no matter your sexuality. It is showing that Australia is accepting of various sexualities. It shows that women’s soccer is accepting. People like Sam Kerr are paving the way for future generations, and we can’t help but feel that Sam Kerr’s success is going to make it so much easier for those she inspires to feel much more comfortable in their own skin.

Gay Worlley

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