Cruising for Olivia: Lesbian self-invention and the cultural politics of coming out in sport

Megan Chawansky, Jessica Francombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores issues of sport, sponsorship, and consumption by critically interrogating the mass-mediated “coming out” narratives of professional golfer, Rosie Jones, and professional basketball player, Sheryl Swoopes. Both athletes came out publicly as gay in light of endorsements received by Olivia Cruises and Resorts—a company that serves lesbian travelers—thus marking a significant shift in the relationship between lesbian subjectivity, sport, and sponsorship. A concern with a neoliberal-infused GLBT politics underscores our analysis, and a close reading of these narratives raises complex questions about the corporatization of coming out and the existence of lesbian celebrity in sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-477
Number of pages17
JournalSociology of Sport Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


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