The Community of LGBTQ Boxers

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Boxing is a gruelling and tough sport. Though stereotyped as being hyper-masculine, it is in fact often considered the most tolerant, racially integrated and phobia-free of all sports. There is nary a shortage of race, gender, or sexual identity in the world of boxing – the full spectrum is widely represented.

The boxing community is both supportive and openly accepting of diversity. Boxers of all sexual orientation have been applauded by the community.

The first out boxer in the world is considered to have been Charles ‘The Pink Pounder’ Jones of Great Britain. Transgender boxer/manager Kellie Maloney made headlines around the world when she transitioned in 2014. Many male and female LGBTQ boxers are national champions, world champions, or Olympic champions in their weight categories.

Ironically, the argument that it is challenging for an athlete to come out as LGBTQ is difficult in the macho world of sports does not seem to hold in the world of boxing – one of the most macho of all sports there is. Perhaps it is because the boxer is subject to such physical punishment in the ring, they are not afraid of public or competitor verbal backlash on their sexual orientation. Indeed, verbal abuse is a standard part of the culture of boxing. As well, many successful boxers come from marginalized groups racially or economically, so the risk to their standing from homophobic abuse simply has no impact on them.

There is yet to be an openly LGBTQ professional boxing champion in the world. However, several are Olympic champions or national amateur champions. The most recent is Nicola Adams of the United Kingdom, and Olympic gold medal winner in both the 2012 and 2016 games. In 2016, she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire as a result of her accomplishments.

The first transgender professional boxer to compete was American Patricio Manuel, who competed in a super featherweight match in 2018. Great Britain's Kellie Maloney is the first notable transgender boxing coach.

We have identified LGBTQ boxers from Puerto Rico, France, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and the United States. To read their fascinating biographies, simply click on their name:




Great Britain

Puerto Rico

United States

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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