Out Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes slams Daily Mail for misquote, clarifies: “I totally support my trans siblings”

Olympic legend offers a correction and comes out swinging for trans rights 

Dame Kelly Holmes, who came out as a gay woman in 2022, took to Instagram today (January 16) to highlight a Daily Mail article titled “Government looking at crackdown on Trans athletes taking part in female sports”.


The sporting icon, who has been an advocate for the wider LGBTQ+ community since revealing she is gay, shared that the publication had requested a quote from her for the piece on trans inclusion in sport.

Showing a recording of the Daily Mail article, Dame Kelly revealed that she had sent in a quote to the publication a day earlier, but rather than use it, the outlet instead ran an outdated quote from 2019 – before she came out.

She then added, in text slides displayed with a rainbow background:

“As an former international athlete, a gay women and now openly a member of the LGBTQIA community, I want to firstly say I totally support my Trans Siblings”, she says. Then admitting: “I have been ignorant in the past about the fight of the Trans community and I now want to see fair and conclusive outcome for those whose gender differs from that assigned at birth, in all walks of life, including sport.”

“Firstly I do not believe in a blanket approach. A more nuanced approach of looking at the individual person, sport and level is much better way of keeping sport fair.”

“For example, there are many sports in which skill, practice and experience pay much more than physical ability. Equally, the vast majority of sport is played on a local playing field where taking part and inclusion, as well as physical and mental health benefits are perhaps more important than winning.”

“There is definitely a discussion to be had as the matter is so complex, but saying that all Trans athletes shouldn’t compete in elite sport isn’t right.”

“It is important everyone in society is treated fairly and for sport, a scientific approach on this matter is taken, like in other countries were scientific reviews have already happened.”

Dame Kelly Holmes
Dame Kelly Holmes

When the two-time gold medal winning Olympic champion came out last year, she opened up about being “petrified” of announcing her sexuality, adding that she now felt “finally free to be me”.

“I have lived in fear for 34 years and I am exhausted and don’t want to anymore,” she wrote on Instagram.

“I hope those that read my story will help me through this next scary phase but also be there for others.”

Dame Kelly also revealed that she struggled with her mental health because of having to hide her sexuality, adding that she had to keep several same-sex relationships she had during her time in the Women’s Royal Army Corps secret, for fear of being court marshalled.

Until 2000, it was illegal for gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve in the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF – and Dame Kelly feared she would still face repercussions for breaking that law during her time in the forces.

Although her family and close friends already knew about her sexuality, she stressed the importance of her being open publicly, saying: “I needed to do this now, for me. It was my decision. I’m nervous about saying it. I feel like I’m going to explode with excitement.

“Sometimes I cry with relief. The moment this comes out, I’m essentially getting rid of that fear.”

Support us

As a new and independent LGBTQ+ publication, we rely on support to keep the lights on. We really appreciate anything you can afford - it helps keep us active, afloat and free to all. If you got something from the site today, why not buy us a coffee?


You might be intersted in...