Gay hockey players: 5 notable names

Gay hockey players – When we think of professional sports, we tend to envision a world of hyper-masculinity and heteronormativity. However, there are many athletes who break the mold and challenge societal norms. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the list of gay hockey players and their experiences. Despite progress towards inclusivity in sports, homophobia remains prevalent in the hockey world. By highlighting the journeys of notable gay hockey players and examining the challenges they face, we hope to shed light on the importance of creating a safe and accepting space for all athletes, regardless of their sexual orientation.

List of famous gay hockey players in the world

There are several notable gay hockey players who have made history and inspired others by coming out publicly.

Brock McGillis

Brock McGillis - first openly gay hockey player

Brock McGillis is a former professional hockey player who made history by becoming the first openly gay pro hockey player. He played for several teams across the world, including the Huntsville Havoc and the Iserlohn Roosters in Germany. After struggling with depression and hiding his sexuality, McGillis publicly came out in 2016, becoming an advocate for LGBTQ+ athletes in hockey. He has since become a sought-after speaker, sharing his story and advocating for inclusivity in sports.

Gus Johnston

Gus Johnston is an Australian field hockey player who came out as gay in 2010 while still competing at the elite level. He has since become a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports, speaking at conferences and events around the world. Johnston has played for both the Australian national team and several club teams in Europe.

Brendan Burke

Brendan Burke was a young ice hockey player who tragically passed away in a car accident in 2010. He had come out as gay to his family and teammates a year earlier and was an advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in hockey. Burke’s legacy lives on through the Burke Family Foundation, which provides scholarships to LGBTQ+ student-athletes and supports LGBTQ+ youth in sports.

Peter Karlsson

Peter Karlsson is a former Swedish ice hockey player who came out as gay in 1995. Karlsson played for various Swedish hockey teams, including AIK and Leksands IF, during his career. After coming out, he faced discrimination and homophobia from teammates and fans, which prompted him to become an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in sports. He now works with organizations like the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL) to promote inclusivity and acceptance in sports.

Luke Prokop

Luke Prokop Gay hockey players

Luke Prokop is a young ice hockey player who made history in 2021 by becoming the first active player under an NHL contract to publicly come out as gay. Prokop plays defense for the Nashville Predators and was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. His decision to come out publicly was met with widespread support and admiration from the hockey community and beyond. Prokop has stated that he hopes his story will inspire other LGBTQ+ athletes to feel comfortable being themselves in sports.

While these players have faced unique challenges due to their sexuality, they have also found strength and support in their communities. By sharing their stories and advocating for inclusion in sports, they are paving the way for future generations of LGBTQ+ athletes to feel accepted and valued on and off the ice.

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Homophobia in hockey

Homophobia in hockey is unfortunately still prevalent today. There have been numerous examples of homophobic incidents in the sport, ranging from slurs and insults to physical altercations. One high-profile example occurred in 2011, when then-Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson used a homophobic slur in reference to one of his players during a team meeting. In another incident, NHL player Andrew Shaw was suspended for using a homophobic slur during a playoff game in 2016.

These incidents can have a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of openly gay hockey players. The fear of being targeted or ostracized can be incredibly isolating and can even lead some players to leave the sport altogether. Additionally, the pressure to hide their sexuality can have negative effects on their ability to perform on the ice, as they are forced to constantly conceal a part of themselves.

It’s important for hockey teams and organizations to take a stand against homophobia and create a safe and inclusive environment for all players. This includes implementing policies and training to prevent homophobic behavior and supporting gay hockey players who choose to come out as LGBTQ+. By working together to create a more accepting and supportive culture, we can help ensure that all hockey players, regardless of their sexual orientation, can thrive both on and off the ice.


In conclusion, this article highlighted the list of famous gay hockey players and the challenges they face in a predominantly straight sport. It also discussed the prevalence of homophobia in hockey and its impact on LGBTQ+ players. Creating a safe and inclusive space for gay hockey players is crucial, and we must all work together to promote acceptance and inclusion in sports.

As readers, we can support these efforts by advocating for policies and training to prevent homophobic behavior, educating ourselves and others on LGBTQ+ issues in sports, and showing support for gay hockey players who choose to come out. Let’s celebrate the diversity of hockey and work towards a future where all players feel safe, supported, and empowered to be their authentic selves on and off the ice.

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