The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has seen 32 teams whittled down to just three ahead of the second semi-final between England and Australia on Wednesday (16 August), and one of the teams with the most out LGBTQ players – Australia’s Matildas – remain firmly in contention.
The Matildas, who take their nickname from the Australian folk song “Waltzing Matilda” and are currently ranked 10th in the world, made their first World Cup semi-final with a nail-biting victory over France last Saturday (12 August), which was won 7-6 on penalties.
The home squad will look to secure a place in the final against Spain in Sunday’s (20 August) World Cup Final when they take on England’s Lionesses on Wednesday (16 August), with kick-off set for 8pm local time (11:00 BST) and and the match available to watch on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website in the UK.
Women’s professional football has long bested the men’s game when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation and the 2023 Women’s World Cup has been no exception, with a record number of out LGBTQ+ footballers taking to the pitch in Australia and New Zealand, and Canada’s Quinn bringing some joyful trans and non-binary visibility to proceedings.
Australia’s national football team, the Matildas. (Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside/Getty)
Which players in Australia’s Matildas World Cup team are out as LGBTQ+?
While England’s Lionesses boast several LGBTQ+ stars, Australia stand alongside Brazil as the 2023 World Cup team with the most confirmed out and proud LGBTQ+ players, at a total of nine (plus three reserves), meaning that Wednesday’s semi-final will mark a win for queer representation in sport, regardless of the final score.
Here’s a handy guide to all the out LGBTQ+ Australian Matildas, as well as who they’re currently in relationships with…
Mackenzie Arnold, 29, is a goalkeeper for Australia’s Matildas and for West Ham United.
In early 2023, she made her relationship with her West Ham United teammate Kirsty Smith public for the first time.
Matildas defender and Lyon player Ellie Carpenter made her national team debut in 2015 at the age of 15, and the following year became the youngest ever footballer to compete in the Olympic Games.
Now 23, Carpenter is currently in a relationship with Dutch footballer and her Lyon teammate, Daniëlle van de Donk.
Alex Chidiac, 24, plays as a midfielder for the Matildas and for US club Racing Louisville.
Since 2019 she has been in a relationship with Erin Clout, a player relations manager for Professional Footballers Australia.
When she’s not playing for the Australian national team, 31-year-old Katrina Gorry plays as a midfielder for Swedish club Vittsjö GIK.
Gorry gave birth to her daughter, Harper, in 2021 and is engaged to her Vittsjö GIK teammate Clara Markstedt.
Markstedt’s father sadly passed away during the World Cup, with Gorry and the rest of her Matildas teammates wearing black armbands during Australia’s quarter-final win over France in tribute.
Sam Kerr has captained Australia’s Matildas since 2019 and also plays as a forward for Chelsea.
Kerr, 29, is in a relationship with US national team member Kirstie Mewis, who also plays for US club Gotham FC.
Kerr is one of the Matildas’ most high-profile LGBTQ+ players and a celebrated star in Australia. Discussing their status as a visible same-sex couple in sport earlier this year, Mewis told Gaffer: “I think just being out and being two girls in love, I think if we can change one or two people’s lives and the way that they feel about each other and how comfortable they feel, then that means a lot to me.
“I love to share my relationship on social media. So I think if we can change the way one or two people feel about themselves, they can look at us and see that we’re happy and we’re trying to be as successful as we can and we’re an out gay couple. I think that that’s so important.”
Matildas striker Kyah Simon plays for Tottenham Hotspur and made history in 2011 as the first Indigenous Australian footballer to score a goal in a FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Simon, 32, is currently in a relationship with footballer and Reading FC defender Faye Bryson and has previously reflected on how the Matildas acted as a support network for her after coming out.
“I did have like-minded teammates who had similar or the same experiences as I did, whether it was parents who were, you know, welcoming with that news or that experience, or whether it was the opposite,” Kyah told Elle Australia earlier this year.
“So, I think I probably found people who were going through the same thing, which gave me a little bit of comfort with that, even though it didn’t go down as smoothly as I would hope in my own home life.”
Emily Van Egmond
Emily Van Egmond, 30, plays as a midfielder for US club San Diego Wave.
She announcement her engagement to her partner Kat Thompson in June 2023 just weeks before the World Cup, sharing a series of loved-up snaps of the couple on Instagram along with the caption: “Forever yes”.
Cortnee Vine plays as a defender and winger for Australia’s Matildas and Sydney FC.
The 25-year-old is currently in a relationship with her Sydney FC teammate, Charlotte Mclean.
Australian midfielder Tameka Yallop, 32, has previously played for West Ham United and currently plays for top-flight Norwegian club Brann.
In 2019, she married fellow footballer Kirsty Yallop, who was her teammate at Norwegian club Klepp IL from 2017-2018. The pair welcomed a daughter, Harley Rose, in 2020.
Larissa Crummer (reserve)
Larissa Crummer plays as a forward for Norwegian club Brann alongside fellow out LGBTQ+ Matilda Tameka Yallop.
Crummer publicly announced her marriage to her wife, Jodie, in August 2023 during the World Cup, revealing that the pair had “eloped” the previous month.
“It’s something we were always going to do and there is nothing better then a cheeky surprise for everyone..”, the 27-year-old wrote, adding: “I love you jods, forever won’t be long enough”
Emily Gielnik (reserve)
Emily Gielnik is another of Australia’s LGBTQ+ Matildas and also plays as a forward for Aston Villa.
The 31-year-old opened about her struggle to come out to her family in the Disney+ documentary Matildas: The World At Our Feet earlier this year.
“I tried everything to live this lie for years”, she recalled during one episode. “There were a lot of dark times. To be honest, if I didn’t have football, I don’t really know what other outlet I would have had.
“The Matildas is a support system around everyone being equal and open, and I finally realised: you love who you love.”
Gielnik is engaged to her partner, Temica Sayer, who she has been with for eight years.
Chloe Logarzo (reserve)
Chloe Logarzo, 28, plays as a midfielder for the Matildas and Australian club Western United.
She announced her engagement to her former Washington Spirit teammate McKenzie Berryhil in 2021.
Reflecting on her platform as queer sports star in an interview with ABC earlier this year, Logarzo said: “What I want to do is normalise being gay. Because it is; it’s normal. I don’t think about being with woman any differently to a heterosexual relationship. Love is love to me.
“This shouldn’t be about how you look or how you act. I want to break down the stereotypes of that. Do you have to look a certain way? Do you need a shaved head and flying the rainbow flag? Is that what’s necessary to be part of the community? No. I don’t want people to put us in boxes; that’s not what it’s about.”