GLAAD RESPONDS TO HISTORIC EVENTS FEATURING OUT TRANS OLYMPIANS LAUREL HUBBARD AND QUINN AT THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES

OUT TEAM USA SHOT PUT SILVER MEDALIST RAVEN SAUNDERS SPEAKS UP FOR LGBTQ COMMUNITY
August 2, 2021

 

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the historic Olympic events featuring the first out transgender athletes to qualify and compete at an Olympic Games in the 17 years since the Olympics and Paralympics have had policies welcoming transgender participation.

Quinn and Team Canada advanced to the finals in women’s soccer today, defeating Team USA 1-0. Quinn will become the first out trans and nonbinary soccer player to medal in the Olympics as Team Canada competes against Sweden for gold or silver on Friday.

Out Team USA shot putter Raven Saunders, who won silver on Saturday, is being investigated by the International Olympic Committee for a gesture she made on the medal podium. Saunders raised and crossed her arms over her head in an X, later explaining, “It's the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet." After her win, Saunders said, “I’m not just fighting for myself, I’m fighting for a lot more people. I want to give a shout out to all the LGBTQ community, everybody who is dealing with mental health issues, everybody who is Black. I’m giving a shout out to everybody.”

Hubbard, 43, competed in the 87 kilo weightlifting category. Last Friday, representatives from the International Weightlifting Federation, as well as the New Zealand Olympic Committee, reaffirmed Hubbard met regulations established for transgender athletes to qualify and participate.

On Monday, Hubbard failed to successfully complete any of her three lifts, ending her Olympic run. After her last lift, she made a hands-heart gesture to the crowd, acknowledged the extraordinary attention and media pressure from her historic participation, and thanked the International Olympic Committee for “affirming their commitment to the principles of Olympism, and establishing that sport is something for all people. It is inclusive. It is accessible.”

Statement From Barbara Simon, Head Of News And Campaigns, GLAAD:
“Laurel Hubbard’s participation today is a milestone to celebrate for transgender people everywhere, and a testament to Laurel’s personal determination to live and compete as her authentic self. Her performance today again proved that transgender people are not dominating sports, despite inaccurate and harmful headlines claiming otherwise. Laurel, Quinn, Raven and other out Olympians are not just making Olympic history, they are using their platforms and spotlights to speak up for inclusion, to support LGBTQ people and lift up LGBTQ youth. They are showing how LGBTQ people can be themselves and achieve their dreams with pride and dignity.”

GLAAD, Athlete Ally and Pride House Tokyo released a “Guide to Covering LGBTQ Athletes at the Olympics” as a resource for journalists and media professionals, including guidance on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, sex characteristics, pronouns, and the history of LGBTQ participation at the Olympics.

Outsports has reported at least 180 athletes are out at the Tokyo 2020 Games and that LGBTQ athletes have won at least 19 medals so far.

The International Olympic Committee is investigating the gesture Team USA's Raven Saunders made on the medal podium as a potential breach of medal podium protocol. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has spoken up to support Saunders, calling her gesture a “peaceful expression in support of racial and social justice that happened at the conclusion of the ceremony... (which) was respectful of her competitors and did not violate our rules related to demonstration.”