As prominent and openly gay athletes Alex Walker and Liv Bird are acutely aware of the impact homophobia can have in sport and how important it is to build on recent progress to ensure it trickles down to the grassroots arena.
Both said their experiences have been positive, but that doesn't negate the need for continued support and visibility to promote inclusivity and eradicate stereotyping and marginalisation at all levels.
Ms Walker was proudly open about her sexuality before she joined Orange Emus Rugby Club and Mrs Bird said her Blayney Bears Rugby League Club teammates didn't bat an eyelid when she and now-wife Jess came out to them.
Hopefully progressive changes and stances do trickle down because I do think grassroots clubs could do with being more vocal.Alex Walker
"I can't speak for anyone else but I can vouch for my experience and I feel very safe within my team and my club," Ms Walker said.
"Given my late start to rugby I had the privilege of coming into the sport self-aware and confident in who I am. Even though my sexuality is widely known ... to everyone in my team I'm just another player and their teammate."
"[Mine and Jess'] experience telling our teammates and clubmates was completely uneventful - which is a good thing," Mrs Bird said.
"We've definitely never faced any sort of discrimination or bias in our club, or the wider community for that matter. We actually felt more comfortable after everyone knew, because they felt more comfortable talking about it.
"Our teammates happen to be our best mates outside of footy too, which I think made it easier because they pretty much all knew, they just hadn't heard it from Jess and I.
"It shows how far we've come, but I cannot express enough how much it needs to be normalised."
Ms Walker also gave a nod to that final sentiment and applauded sporting organisations' alignment with Pride groups in recent years, with most of the country's predominant bodies now members of the Pride In Sport movement.
But, she made a point of saying that support and visibility shouldn't stop at the elite level, nor should it only come periodically.
"Despite my positive experience you do hear the lesbian sporting stereotypes, particularly playing a sport that is generally male dominated," she said.
"For those younger females looking to potentially get into perceived male sport that may be a deterrent, regardless of their orientation, and there can always be more support for minorities.
"It's pleasing to see Rugby Australia taking great steps to align themselves with Pride groups and taking that alliance very seriously, as proved by their swift and direct response to (the) Israel Folau (controversy).
"Hopefully those progressive changes and stances do trickle down because I do think grassroots clubs could do with being more vocal in their support. It shouldn't just be seen and heard in the annual week of celebrating, it needs to be visible throughout the entire year."
Ms Walker went on to say she hopes her experience might encourage others who are concerned about joining a sporting club or, in the bigger picture, struggling with their sexuality.
She and Mrs Bird also both encouraged anyone who is struggling to seek help, and lean on the support that is available.
"I hope that being open can help ... a person's sexuality should not and does not dictate who they are, or how they perform on the field," Ms Walker said.
"Coming out to your teammates is a massive decision though and one that only an individual can make, but I would say I'd find it helpful to seek out allies before doing so.
"Pick up the phone, reach out, don't suffer in silence because there's always people willing to listen and help."
"I'd encourage people in same-sex relationships to not bottle it up and feel free to express their feelings, whatever they may be, I see a lot of teenagers coming through that are so open and it's like a breath of fresh air," Mrs Bird said.
"I've never felt like I needed to use [what support is available] but I feel like if anyone needed it, they [could go] to people within the club. I certainly know I would be there for anything they needed to speak about in terms of feeling comfortable with their sexuality."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
HAVE YOUR SAY
Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...