Wales internationals Lily Woodham and Cerys Hale both insist they have had positive experiences in their sports since coming out – but say more still needs to be done.
Reading footballer Woodham and Gloucester-Hartpury rugby player Hale are both full-time, professional athletes who pull on a red shirt for their country and wear it with pride.
But they also take pride in another sense – proud of who they are, their openness around their sexual orientation and the roles they can play in making their sports feel fully welcoming to all.
Woodham, 22, has been in the Wales squad for three years but it was two years before that when she came out – first to her mum and then to her teammates at the time.
“I was 17 and my experience was that everyone close to me was so supportive,” she says.
“I think the women’s game is still different to the men’s game. In men’s football you still don’t get that many players coming out and it still makes massive headlines when they do.
“Perhaps there is still fear there because there are fans involved who might throw abuse at you with chants.
“Our game is different. I can say that no-one has ever said anything abusive to me at a game, or on social media, or anywhere else.
“I’ve never been made to feel uncomfortable. Within our women’s football community, thankfully, it feels normal and it’s accepted and hopefully, it will become like that in men’s football, too.”
For Hale, now a highly experienced 29-year-old who has won over 40 caps for Wales, her journey also began as a teenage player when she was 15.
“I got into a relationship with another girl and people on my team were aware of it, because the girl was someone else on the team,” she recalls.
“I don’t really think it was any more uncomfortable than if I’d been in a relationship with a boy. My teammates were really supportive and so were my parents.
“I felt more uncomfortable telling my friends in school. I was actually on a school trip to Barcelona and in a dorm late at night. When the lights went out, I said, “girls, you know that boyfriend you think I’ve got. She’s actually a girl!’
“Within women’s rugby, there are a lot of players in same sex relationships, whereas most of my schoolfriends aren’t.
“But they ask me questions and I like that. I welcome questions because it shows respect that people want to learn.”
For Hale, the issues most sports should consider are the same as any other organisation.
She believes they need to ask themselves a simple question: Does my sport do everything it can to make everyone feel comfortable?
“I remember when I moved to university, there were a lot of girls on my block and one of the first questions asked was, ‘do you have a boyfriend?’
“So, answering that question is much more uncomfortable than asking, ‘do you have a partner? Or, are you with anyone?’
“It’s the same for sports as it is for other organisations. I’m getting married to my partner soon and we’re planning our wedding.
“We turn up at possible venues and they are still asking who’s the bride? Well, we both are!”