LGBTQ Presence in Ice Hockey

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Professional sports has historically not be a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community. Fortunately, this has been changing over the past few years. The sport of ice hockey has been a leader in making changes to accommodate diversity. A lot of this momentum has been created at the local community hockey level and is now transitioning to the professional level of the game.

As a winter sport, it is no coincidence that LGBTQ presence in ice hockey is centered on countries in the northern hemisphere.

There are a few notable LGBTQ individuals in the ice hockey world. Canadian Angela James has been described as the Wayne Gretzky of women's hockey, being the first woman to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation's Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010 for her spectacular accomplishments. The suicide of Brendan Burke, son of hockey coach Brian Burke, led to the creation of the You Can Play initiative in the sport. Many of the individuals in the list have been key players in national teams that have won Olympic medals and World Championships.

The transgender presence in the sport has been in the news over the past few years. The first all-transgender team was formed in the United States in 2020. Players such as Harrison Browne and Jessica Platt, and managers such as Stephanie Shostak, have led the way. Similarly, the presence of accomplished lesbians in women's hockey has been quite remarkable.

Challenges remain in terms of homophobic behaviour and language on the ice and in the change rooms. There remains few active out LGBTQ players, especially in men's ice hockey.

This list of prominent LGBTQ participants in the ice hockey world includes players, coaches, referees, management, sportscasters, and journalists. To read their fascinating stories, simply click on their name.




Great Britain


United States

Further Reading/Research

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