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Openly lesbian team sport athletes in an era of decreasing homohysteria

Sociologists who have examined the issue of lesbians in American sport in the 1980s and 1990s normally found overt and covert mechanisms of social discrimination. However, homophobia has been on a rapid decline over previous decades, and studies show attitudes toward female homosexuality in sport have improved since the research conducted on lesbian athletes in the mid-1990s. This article uses data collected between that epoch and current studies to analyze athletic narratives of openly lesbian team sport athletes in 2002. We find no universal pattern for the treatment of openly lesbian athletes existed in this era of decreasing homohysteria. However, as with gay men in sport at the time, athletic capital influenced who came out, and heterosexism was prominent.