Out on the Fields: The first international study on homophobia in sport

Erik Denison and Alistair Kitchen

Out on the Fields was the largest and the first international study conducted into homophobia in sport and the experiences of gay, lesbian and bisexual people, including athletes, in sporting culture. The research captures both the experiences (e.g., rates of participation, discrimination) as well as the perceptions (e.g., safety, acceptance).

The study provides insight into the experiences of LGB athletes, such as how many remain in the closet, but it also looks at the experiences of LGB people, generally, around sport such as their experiences as spectators. It also includes the experiences and perspectives of nearly 2500 heterosexual/straight participants who make up more than 25% of the participants. By including people with a wide range of sexualities, the study provides the opportunity to conduct a range of comparisons between these sexualities. The international nature of the study also provides the opportunity for insightful comparisons between the English-speaking countries. This kind of international comparison provides the opportunity to identify areas where individual countries are doing a better job at addressing homophobia, so their approach can be studied and potentially replicated.

While the final report contains international data, the study focuses on the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. The final results were released in May, 2015.

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