Thu, Dec

Soccer Player Quinn Becomes First Out Trans Athlete to Win a Medal at the Olympics


LGBTQ NATION - Quinn, a non-binary Canadian soccer player, has become the first out transgender person to win a medal at the Olympics. Quinn uses they/them pronouns.

Quinn, a soccer star for the Canadian women’s national team, came out as transgender in September. Last week, they became the first openly trans athlete to participate in Olympic competition.

Related: Tom Daley gets first Olympic gold medal & has a message for LGBTQ people

Canada beat the United States to capture at least the silver medal. The team will face off against Sweden on Friday to determine which country brings home the gold.

Acknowledging the history behind the moment they took the field, Quinn said in a post on Instagram that they “don’t know how to feel.”

Quinn said they “feel proud seeing ‘Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation,” but they “feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world.”

“I feel optimistic for change,” they said.

“Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets. Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over… and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”

Quinn won a bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics but wasn’t out at the time. Quinn also plays in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), currently for the OL Reign in Seattle, making them a teammate of out American soccer star Megan Rapinoe.

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard from New Zealand, the first trans woman to participate in the Olympics, also competed today but failed to win a medal. She largely avoided the press and social media.

“I am who I am. I’m not here to change the world,” adding, “I just want to be me and just do what I do.”


(Bil Browning is the Editor-in-Chief of LGBTQ Nation where this was first published. His personal papers and LGBT activism memorabilia are included in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History archives.)