Happy LGBTQ+ History Month! Every October is celebrated as LGBTQ+ History Month to recognize and educate about people, places and events that have had an impact on the LGBTQ+ Community. All month we are going to honor some influential athletes, companies, organizations and sports figures who have made a contribution toward LGBTQ+ History.
Did you know that Speedo USA is one of the first sportswear companies to sponsor an openly gay athlete?
In 2018 there are a lot of companies showing their support for the LGBT+ Community. Releasing various lines of Pride merchandise to show their support and even contributing to various charities and non-profits. However this has been only a recent phenomenon that can be traced with the resurgence of the LGBT+ community, acceptance, and increasing awareness and strides toward equality.
Back in the mid-90s this was not the case. In fact most companies did not want any association with the LGBT+ community. When Greg Louganis came out as gay and HIV+ in the mid-90s, it essentially meant the end of his diving career. While he announced his official retirement following the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Louganis continued to dive in exhibition and often made endorsements and appearances. Coming out however all of his sponsors had dropped him. Being associated with an openly gay-man who was HIV+ was too controversial and risked generating to much negative publicity that could potentially alienate their target demographic. None of his sponsors at the time wanted anything to do with that.
Except for Speedo.
Speedo stuck by Louganis and with him despite the controversy and negative publicity generated. He continued to endorse their products all the way up until 2007 when his contract with speedo ended.
Speedo designs and manufactures competitive and recreational swim wear and accessories that are widely used by athletes across the world. Numerous world records and Olympic medals have been won by athletes wearing Speedo as the company continues to lead the industry in creating the most advanced and capable swim wear and accessories for a wide variety of aquatic sports and fitness activities throughout the world.
In 2018, Speedo officially release their “Pride” line, with a series of swimsuits, caps, goggles, t-shirts and other products with a rainbow variation of the Speedo logo.