top of page


28-year-old Canadian professional footballer Quinn came out as non-binary in 2020 and requested to only be known by a mononym – a name only consisting of one word. They made history twice, once by being the first transgender and non-binary person to win gold in the Olympics and once by becoming the first ever transgender and non-binary person to perform in the FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC).

Inevitably after Canada’s first game in the 2023 WWC, there was a huge amount of press attention, which has a clear divide. One half being unquestionably and knowingly transphobic (including the likes of Piers Morgan), and the other half being overwhelmingly supportive, even going so far as to call them ‘inspiring’.

Their prominence on the world stage is a massive part of why they are so ‘inspiring’, because it has certainly ignited dreams in young transgender or non-binary youth, and shown them that their gender identity does not stop them from playing professional sport, even at a national level. Quinn has said that they yearn to be a ‘visible figure for young trans folk’.

However, influential bodies such as FIFA and news publications, including LGBTQ+ press have demonstrated that the world is still perplexed by non-binary identification, and have repeatedly used Quinn’s deadname when referencing them, despite their good intentions. As Quinn says themself, ‘the news matters, and it’s crucial to write about trans people using their (preferred) name and pronouns’.

Their prevalence has once again sparked many conversations about the lack of opportunity for LGBTQ+ people to play sport, and the controversy surrounding the topic of transgender people being involved in cisgender sports teams.

Sport has forever been an inherently binary subject – the ‘men’s team’ and the ‘women’s team’. This can quell the dreams of countless young people, including myself, who have a passion for sport, but don’t fit into society’s gender norms.

In spite of the growing number of openly transgender athletes like Quinn, sport has a long way to go in terms of accepting and embracing the LGBTQ+ community. However, there are more and more allies and LGBTQ+ athletes every day who are coming forward with their support to help the cause.

Written by SYP member, Will M.


Recent Posts

See All