Br{ache the Silence in Women’s Sports

LGBTQ athletes no longer have to suffer in silence, thanks to a an innovative grassroots campaign.


In the not-so-distant past, LGBT athletes chose to stay in the closet because they were afraid of losing fans, sponsorships, money and respect. But those things are not at risk anymore. Today, athletes that choose to come out are treated with acceptance and adoration, and given a lot of support via social media. Sponsors actually jump to work with gay athletes instead of running from them. It’s a whole new ball game, so to speak, and it’s evident in the fact that over the past two years, more and more LGBT athletes—on the professional, amateur and collegiate level—have come out than ever before. 


But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here. Just because times have seemingly changed and there is more acceptance surrounding LGBT athletes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that coming out is any easier. It takes courage to break the silence and step away from the closet, especially for a larger and universal movement that involves inclusion, tolerance and understanding. Sometimes, it can feel as though it’s you against the sporting world. And on the collegiate level, the sense of seclusion can be overbearing. 


Thankfully, there’s an organization available to help facilitate the process of acceptance—at least in women’s sports. Br{ache the Silence (BTS) is a not-for-profit campaign for LGBTQ voices, role models and allies in women’s sports.  

The BTS campaign focuses on three specific goals:


• Building a pipeline of leadership and creating greater visibility of positive role models in women’s sports, which will benefit all people in all levels of competition, not just the LGBTQ community.


• Providing education and training through consulting and programming initiatives designed to support student athletes and address the needs of athletic staff and administration both individually and collectively.


• Giving athletes and allies the tools and resources to become advocates within their respective sporting communities—serving as leaders, mentors and helping peers and youth understand the importance of inclusion.


The latest project for BTS includes a Public Service Announcement (PSA) called, “All In.” According to the website, “the PSA features prominent leaders in the women’s sports community, both LGBTQ and straight ally athletes and coaches, speaking in their own intimate words on challenges, personal experience and necessary steps for an inclusive environment in women’s sports.”


The overall goal of BTS is to shift the tide of homophobia to inclusion, and to give those individuals seeking acceptance in the world of women’s sports, a platform to share their voice. 

To learn more about Br{ache the Silence or to contribute to the campaign, please visit Every dollar donated will be matched by a national foundation grant.

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