LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RESOURCES

SPORTS
 

2022 Out100 Honorees Changing the Game in Sports
Professional Men's Soccer Players Who Have Come Out
Basketball Icon Sue Bird Plays Her Last Game in the WNBA
Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe: Gay Sports Power Couple
WNBA Great Sue Bird Retires After Emotional Farewell
Brittney Griner Convicted in Russia Over Drug Charges
Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Out WNBA Star Brittney Griner: Imprisoned in Russia and Pleads for Biden's Help
95-year-old ‘A League of Their Own’ Inspiration Maybelle Blair Comes Out as Gay
Lia Thomas: First Transgender Woman to Win NCAA Championship

Olympic Athletes That Identify as LGBTQ
Photos of LGBTQ Olympians Biting and Kissing Their Medals
Stories from Queer Figure Skaters in Their Own Words
Jason Brown's Emotional Free Skate to Schindler's List Score at Beijing Olympics
Video: Jason Brown's Free Skate at Beijing Olympics

LeDuc Becomes 1st Openly Nonbinary US Winter Games Athlete
Olympic Figure Skater Adam Rippon Just Got Married

Carl Nassib Posted Adorable Boyfriend Pic

 

 

Out Gay Dancer: Making History with the Celtics
Charlie Martin: Transgender Auto Racer
NBA’s Charles Barkley: If You’re Gay and Transgender, I Love You!
Spain’s First Trans Footballer Alba Palacios: She’s So Much Happier Since Coming Out
International Rugby League Bans Trans Athletes: FIFA & World Athletics Likely to Follow
Out Former NFL Player Michael Sam to Coach European Team
Why I'm Proud to Support Trans Athletes like Lia Thomas
WNBA Star Candace Parker and Wife Anna Petrakova Welcome Baby Boy
Stylish and Sexy Picks to Look Your Best for Gay Ski Week
WNBA Star Candace Parker Is Married and Expecting a Baby with Wife
Polish Athlete and Her Wife Welcome Child's Birth
Olympic Medal-Winning Boxer Irma Testa Comes Out
NFL Designer of Super Bowl LVI Logo Comes Out as Trans
All-Transgender Hockey Team Takes the Ice in Wisconsin
International Olympic Committee Issues New Guidelines on Transgender Athletes
 

LGBTQ People in Sports


In recent years, the complex intersection of sports culture, homophobia, transphobia, and LGBTQ athletes has become a hot topic among sports fans and in sports media. Anti-LGBTQ comments by athletes and coaches, speculation about athletes' sexual orientations, and the coming out stories of Olympic medalists Tom Daley and Caitlyn Jenner, former NFL player Michael Sam, former NBA player Jason Collins, Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz, soccer player Robbie Rogers, Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, U.S. Olympic soccer player Megan Rapinoe, and others have sparked national dialogue on these issues. Competitors in sports like tennis, diving, and skating, such as Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Greg Louganis, and Johnny Weir, have led the way as LGBTQ athletes have become spokespeople on issues the community faces.

Professional sports are more accepting than ever

 

Many coaches, managers, and players are becoming aware that they probably have people who identify as LGBTQ on their teams, and many are taking steps to educate themselves and create a more welcoming environment for LGBTQ athletes. Outspoken allies in the athletic community like Ben Cohen, Brian Burke, and Hudson Taylor have formed non-profit groups like the StandUp Foundation, the You Can Play Project, and Athlete Ally respectively to show their support for LGBTQ athletes and inclusive professional sports teams. Hundreds of professional athletes have appeared in "You Can Play" or "It Gets Better" PSAs to express public support for LGBTQ teammates and fans.

 



The corporate owners of many teams are following the lead of their business counterparts and showing official support for the LGBTQ community. The professional leagues are actively working to educate and inform their employees and players about LGBTQ issues, including at the rookie symposia for the NHL, NFL, and NBA. In July 2014, MLB appointed Billy Bean, a former player who is now openly gay, as a consultant in guiding the sports community toward full LGBTQ inclusion.

However, some sports professionals still publicly say there are no LGBTQ people on their team, and enforce a negative work environment through locker room jokes and innuendoes, usually directed toward gay men. In women's collegiate sports, negative recruiting – where coaches use anti-LGBTQ messages to deter potential recruits from attending a rival school – is a common problem. As a result, the majority of LGBTQ athletes remain closeted due to a system of institutionalized intimidation and discrimination.

 



Allowing players to play

 

While LGBTQ athletes playing at the professional level is still relatively new and an important step forward in dismantling stereotypes about LGBTQ people – it is also important to acknowledge that any athlete's first and most important role is simply to play and excel at their sport. In an ideal world, an LGBTQ NFL or NBA player will be allowed to play without constantly being asked to comment on LGBTQ issues.

 

Kelly Holmes: Fear of Being Outed
These Male Pro-Sports Cheerleaders Have us Shouting Gooooo Team!
Rugby League Bans Trans Women from International Matches Until Further Research
Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club
Katie Sowers: Expanding LGBTQ Visibility on the Field

Cover of ESPN Body Issue: First Gay Couple

Super Bowl News: First Female and Openly Gay NFL Assistant Coach

Inspiring Message From Gay Athletes

Dennis Rodman: 10-20% of Pro Athletes Are Gay

Kumi Yokoyuma, Japanese Soccer Player, Comes Out as Trans

Coming Out in Sports

Born to Play: Boston Renegades Women's Football Team

Is America Ready for Openly Gay Athletes?

Top WNBA Lesbian Basketball Players

LGBTQ Sports Panel: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe

PBS Video: Non-Binary Inclusion in Sports

Out Sports

 

Highlighting players from every level of sport

 

Typically, there is a strong focus on professional and Olympic athletes, but players at every level of performance are coming out in large numbers. Let's also focus on stories of athletes at the high school and college level who want to share their experiences as LGBTQ people. Stories like bisexual college football kicker Conner Mertens and transgender high school coach Stephen Alexander have the potential to illustrate people in local communities are also accepting LGBTQ players and coaches.

 



Covering all sides of the issues

 

When covering the issue of LGBTQ athletes in sports, we need to expand focus beyond those who claim that team sports are not able to deal with LGBTQ athletes. Sports journalists, coaches, managers, and athletes sometimes claim it would be impossible for an LGBTQ athlete to play openly in team sports. Journalists sometimes contribute to this fallacy by constantly framing their questions around the negative, difficult consequences of a player choosing to come out. When reporting on the topic, journalists should consider seeking out other voices in the sports world who would challenge the merits of this opinion. As more players come out, they will be able to speak about the positive responses they've received, and the benefits of being able to play without the fear of losing their job or feeling ashamed because they are LGBTQ.

News outlets need to treat anti-LGBTQ comments from professional athletes, managers, and coaches as you would similar remarks by other public figures. Just as anti-LGBTQ epithets would receive extensive negative coverage if uttered by an elected official or a Hollywood celebrity, antipathy toward LGBTQ people by sports figures should also be examined and discussed in its larger context of fueling a climate of hate and discrimination.

 



Transgender athletes face uninformed opposition

 

Public and media reaction to a transgender person - particularly a transgender woman - competing in a sport is often extremely negative and uninformed by scientific fact. Commentators often espouse their "gut feelings" about whether or not a transgender person has an "unfair advantage." Gut feelings are not science. Sport governing organizations like the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the National College Athletics Associate (NCAA), as well as the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF), have looked at the actual science associated with medical transition and made clear statements in support of the right of transgender athletes to participate in a way that is fair, equitable, and respectful to all.

[Source: GLAAD Sports Media Guide]

 

List: LGBTQ People in Sports Who Came Out Publicly

LGBTQ Athletes are Fighting For Equality On and Off the Field
Out Athletes Who Have Made Headlines
List of LGBTQ Athletes

WNBA Star Breanna Stewart and Wife Welcome First Child
Olympic Diver Tom Daley: Trials of Being a Gay Dad
Football Players Who Came Out of the Closet
Gay Athletes Who Are Out And Proud
LGBTQ Out Athletes You Should Know About

Queer People in Sports
Famous Lesbian Athletes
LGBTQ Inclusion in Sports
Major League Baseball Embraces LGBTQ Pride

Mexican Soccer Team Asking Fans to Halt Homophobic Chants at Games

27 Athletes Who Have Come Out of the Closet

Pro Wrestlers Who are Members of the LGBTQ Community

Dieux Du Stade: Gods of the Stadium

Out Gay Athletes

Women's Sports: More Gay Friendly
ESPN's Brief History of Gay Athletes
 

Famous LGBTQ Athletes

 

Martina Navratilova - US Tennis Player

Greg Louganis - US Olympic Swimmer

Billie Jean King - US Tennis Player

Megan Rapinoe - US Women's Soccer Player

Sue Bird - US WNBA Basketball Player

Erica Sullivan - US Olympic Swimmer

Michael Sam - US NFL Football Player

Sheryl Swoopes - US WNBA Basketball Player

Esera Tuaolo - US NFL Football Player

Brian Boitano – US Olympic Skater

Mark Bingham - US Rugby Player, Sept 11 Hero

John Amaechi - US NBA Basketball Player

Jason Collins - US NBA Basketball Player

Gus Kenworthy - US Olympic Skier

Derrick Gordon - US College Basketball Player

Johnny Weir - US Figure Skater

Katie Sowers - US NFL Football Coach

Brittany Griner - US WNBA Basketball Player

 

 

 

Kelly Holmes - British Olympic Runner

Issac Humphries - Australian Basketball Player
Breezy Johnson - US Olympic Skier

Zach Herrin - Race Car Driver
Jack Jablonski - US Hockey Player
Denis Finnegan - USA Track & Field Champ

Carl Nassib - US NFL Football Player

Sonya Deville- WWE Wrestler

Candace Parker - US WNBA Basketball Player

Charlie Martin - US Transgender Auto Racer

Corey Walsh - BMX Ride

Alba Palacios - Soccer Player, Spain

Daria Kasatkina - Russian Tennis Player

Maybelle Blair - All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

Mike Beuttler - British Formula One Racecar Driver

Bryan Ruby - US Baseball Player

Thomas Beattie - International Soccer Player

Martha McCabe - Canadian Olympic Swimmer

Laurel Hubbard - Olympic Weightlifter

Kumi Yokoyuma - Japanese Soccer Player

Nikki Hiltz - US Runner

Glenn Burke - US MLB Baseball Player

Diana Nyad - US Swimmer

 

 

Caitlyn Jenner - US Olympic Decathalon Gold Medalist

Adam Rippon - US Olympic Skater

Ray Saunders - Olympian Shot Put

Pat Patterson- WWE Wrestler
Quinn - Canadian Soccer Player

Clay Davies - British Cyclist
Rolando Perez (Miami Ice) - US Pro Wrestler

Josh Cavallo - Australian Soccer Player

Sazzy Boatright - US Pro Wrestler

Irma Testa - Italian Olympic Boxer

Ryan Deluca - US College Football Player

Jolanta Ogar-Hill - Polish Olympic Sailor

Chris Dickerson - US Body Builder

Dave Marshall - Australian Wrestler

Lia Thomas - US Transgender Swimmer

Jason Brown - Olympic Skater

Max Zero - WWE Wrestler

Solomon Bates - US Baseball Player

Ron Kearney - Strongman

Jake Daniels - British Soccer Player
Jack Dunne - Irish Soccer Player

Luke Prokop - US Hockey Player

Iker Casillas - Spanish Soccer Player

Byron Perkins - First Out Gay HBCU Football Player

 

 

Hig Roberts - World Cup Alpine Skier

Billy Bean - MLB Sr VP of Diversity
Glenn Burke - US Baseball Player

Kaitlyn Weaver - US Olympic Dancer

Ian Roberts - US Rugby Player

Orlando Cruz - Puerto Rican Boxer

Elena Delle Donne - US WNBA Basketball Player

Tom Daily - British Olympic Diver

Abby Wambach – US Olympic Soccer Player

Ryan Russell - US NFL Football Player

Justin Fashanu - US Soccer Player

Belle Brockhoff - US Olympic Snowboarder

Jeff Rohrer - US NFL Football Player

Will Sheridan - US College Basketball Player

Elena Delle Donne – US Olympic Basketball Player

Jackie Walker - All-American Football Linebacker

Tom Waddell – US Olympic Decathlete, Founder of Gay Games

Rick Welts - Former President of Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors
 

 

LGBTQ Sports News

 

Erica Sullivan: Witty, Charming, and Gay

LGBTQ Boxer Nesthy Petecio Wins Olympic Medal

Spain’s First Trans Footballer Alba Palacios: She’s So Much Happier Since Coming Out

Brief History of LGBTQ Olympians

Olympic Athletes: Out and Proud

Flaming Gay Ray Saunders Wins Silver Medal for Shot Put

Carl Nassib: First Active NFL Player to Come Out as Gay

Proud to Play

Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club

Stylish and Sexy Picks to Look Your Best for Gay Ski Week
WNBA Star Candace Parker Is Married and Expecting a Baby with Wife
Polish Athlete and Her Wife Welcome Child's Birth
Olympic Medal-Winning Boxer Irma Testa Comes Out
NFL Designer of Super Bowl LVI Logo Comes Out as Trans
All-Transgender Hockey Team Takes the Ice in Wisconsin
International Olympic Committee Issues New Guidelines on Transgender Athletes
WNBA Star Breanna Stewart and Wife Welcome First Child
Olympic Diver Tom Daley: Trials of Being a Gay Dad
Football Players Who Came Out of the Closet
Dieux Du Stade: Gods of the Stadium

Major League Baseball Embraces LGBTQ Pride

Mexican Soccer Team Asking Fans to Halt Homophobic Chants at Games

Gay Race Car Driver Zach Herrin Makes NASCAR Debut
 

Kelly Holmes: Fear of Being Outed

Olympic gold medalist reveals fears of court martial in army and toll on her mental health as she lifts 34-year public silence
 

British runner Kelly Holmes has spoken about the struggle of dating in the closet, both throughout her military career and as a high-profile Olympian. The 52-year-old athlete opened up in a recent interview, explaining how she would convince herself a potential partner wasn’t right for her, because she feared they would want to be public with the relationship.

She shared: “I would circumstantially meet people through friends and convince myself they’re right as I didn’t want to be lonely. And then I would think: Nah, no way. I would think if I got too attached they would want us to go public."  The medal winner came out as a lesbian in June 2022, and has spoken since about how she feels “free” since coming out, and “embracing the gay”.

 


She said, “This journey has been the hardest part of life. Living with any kind of fear is debilitating. Being here everyday but not fully living every day.  I have lived in fear for 34 years and I am exhausted and don’t want to anymore."  She now has a long term partner, but prefers to keep her relationship out of the spotlight.  She has made a documentary, titled ‘Kelly Holmes: Being Me’, exploring her experiences as a closeted gay woman.

Before her Olympic career, Kelly was in the military. During the documentary’s making, she spoke to a number of LGBTQ servicepeople, and said she was “gobsmacked” about how attitudes in the institution have changed since she left to pursue athletics full-time. Pre-2000, LGBTQ people serving in British Military were not allowed to be open about their sexuality or transgender identity. They would be discharged and subject to court martial if discovered.

She described the fear she had about her sexuality being found out, especially with Royal Military Police raiding barracks.  “They pulled everything out of your cupboard, turned out the beds and drawers, read letters – everything – trying to catch us out,” she said. Kelly continued: “It’s humiliating, it’s degrading – it feels disrespectful when you’re serving your country and you’re doing a good job. You feel violated, treated like you’re some massive villain.”

 



During her Olympic career, she struggled with her mental health, and still didn’t feel able to come out.  “I’d think, ‘No one talks about it in the sport, how do I suddenly say I’m gay? I can’t because I’m admitting that I broke the law in the Army’,” she stated.

She has since taken part in a campaign encouraging LGBTQ military veterans to give evidence in a Parliamentary review of homophobia in the armed forces prior to 2000.

[Source: Dean McColl, Gay Times, 2022]
 

Kelly Holmes: Biographical Notes
Kelly Holmes: Comes Out as Gay After 34 Years
Kelly Holmes Comes Out as Gay
TV Interview: Who is Dame Kelly Holmes?
 

Lesbian Love in the Athletic Arena


We are all familiar with the sports star couple of Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe.  And US soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris. And lately we've learned a lot about Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson. There are actually several such couples, especially among WNBA athletes.

 

Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe
Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson
Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris
Jasmine Thomas and Natisha Hiedeman
Andrea Mingo and Danielle Robinson
Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner
Aerial Powers and AzuréRae Turner
Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley
Breanna Stewart and Marta Xargay
Chelsea Gray and Tipesa Mercedes
Elena Delle Donne and Amanda Clifton

 

 

Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson

 

The Russian government has wrongfully detained Brittany Griner and she and her wife are currently apart from each other. Brittany Griner, the 6-foot-8 center for the Phoenix Mercury, is one of the most decorated female college basketball players in history. She is the league’s top shot blocker and averaged 15.6 points last season, leading the Mercury to their third WNBA championship. Ms. Johnson, a 6-foot-3 forward for the Tulsa Shock, is a two-time WNBA All-Star and the league’s third-ranked rebounder, averaging 14.7 points last season. Ms. Griner said she has admired Ms. Johnson since they were college rivals (Ms. Griner at Baylor and Ms. Johnson at Tennessee) but “didn’t have the nerve to flirt with her.” When they both attended a 2013 USA Basketball training camp together in Las Vegas, Ms. Griner flirted like crazy.

Andrea Mingo and Danielle Robinson

Women’s basketball stars Andrea Mingo and Danielle Robinson (of the Indiana Fever) got married.  Stunning photos of the women in suits were posted. Syd Colson of the Las Vegas Aces officiated the ceremony in a sparkly tux, and is now, of course, calling herself “Reverend.”

 

Julie Shaw and Erica Ferguson

Dr. Julie Shaw and Erica Ferguson went viral when they posted a photo from their wedding of the two of them playing basketball on the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s an incredible photo, and their love story is just as incredible. Both former basketball coaches, Julie now has a Southern California-based photo booth business, Champion Photo Booths, and is working to launch the Soul of Sport. Erica is an executive coach (Julie describes her as a “dream coach” who works to help people reach their goals).

Chelsea Gray and Tipesa Moorer

When many WNBA players were playing overseas following the end of the basketball season, the Los Angeles Sparks’ Chelsea Gray stayed home. And not just to spend the off-season with USA Basketball’s college tour, but for her all-star wedding. Her wife, Tipesa Mercedes Moorer, is also a native Californian and basketball player, who played forward on the women’s basketball team at California State University Long Beach. Moorer said of Gray’s WNBA career, "I admire her drive to be better, her accountability in every failure, and her desire to prove why she’s one of the best. So when you see me acting crazy on the sidelines and cussing out the refs (rightfully so) understand that I’ll always be an advocate for her goals (and fouls), a fan in all her success, and passionate about her passions."

 

WNBA Players Who Are Married to Each Other
Our Favorite WNBA Couples
Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson: Complicated Match Made on the Hardwood
WNBA Player Chelsea Gray Marries Girlfriend

This Lesbian Basketball Wedding Is the Love Story You Need Today
Brooklyn Bridge Basketball Wedding

 

Lia Thomas: First Transgender Woman to Win NCAA Championship

 

Lia Thomas became the first out transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title after finishing first place in the women's 500-yard freestyle swim event. She took control in the final 100 yards to make history as the first trans woman to win an NCAA swimming championship.

Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania senior who entered the NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships as the top seed, had a season-best time of 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds. “I didn’t have a whole lot of expectation for this meet,” said Thomas, a former male swimmer for Penn State. “I was just happy to be here and race and compete the best I could.” 

 

 

Virginia’s Emma Weyant was second at 4:34.99.  The race was close until the final 100 yards, with Weyant and Erica Sullivan of Texas pushing Thomas for the lead. The three swam in lanes three through five, adding to the drama, with Thomas in the middle.

Thomas has followed NCAA and Ivy League rules since she began her transition in 2019 by starting hormone replacement therapy. The inclusion of the transgender swimmer created controversy, even within the sport. There were fewer than 10 protesters outside the Georgia Tech facility, and some carried banners which read “Save Women’s Sports” in the stands.  “I try to ignore it as much as I can,” Thomas said. “I try to focus on my swimming .. and just try to block out everything else.”

Thomas spoke with ESPN immediately after the race but would not participate in the official news conference, as required by the NCAA. Since participation is required, possible action could come following evaluation by the NCAA’s swimming and diving championships committee.

[Source: Associated Press, March 2022]

 

Lia Thomas: First Transgender Woman to Win NCAA Championship

Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas Competes For NCAA Championship
Swimmer Lia Thomas Becomes First Out Trans Athlete to Win Division I National Championship
Lia Thomas, Penn Swimmer, Becomes First Out Trans Athlete to Win Division I National Title
Swimmer Lia Thomas Becomes First Transgender Athlete to Win NCAA D-I Title
Penn Swimmer Lia Thomas Becomes First Trans Athlete to Win Division I National Title
 

LGBTQ Olympic Athletes at 2022 Bejing Winter Games
 

Beijing is hosting the XXIV Olympic Winter Games, February 2022, and it’s not just COVID complicating China’s plans for a seamless event. Numerous countries, including the United States, have announced a diplomatic boycott of the games (a move that keeps those countries’ government officials from attending), mainly because of China’s alleged abuses against the Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the northwest part of the nation. Additionally, the Chinese government continues to vilify its LGBTQ citizens, going so far as to ban “sissy men” from TV last year. Even if most Chinese athletes are forced to compete in the closet, numerous queer athletes from around the world will represent their countries (and the LGBTQ community) at the Games.

There are at least 35 openly LGBTQ athletes competing at the Beijing 2022 Games, more than double the number at PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018 (15) and five times the number at Sochi, Russia, in 2014 (7).

The athletes (representing 15 countries) will compete in nine different sports, including ice hockey (12), figure skating (10), skeleton (3), skiing (3) and snowboarding (2).

With at least seven out players, Canada’s women’s ice hockey team is sending more openly LGBTQ athletes to Beijing than any other country is for its total delegation (it is also sending two out figure skaters and one biathlete), with the US (6) and Great Britain (4) sending the second and third most, respectively.

 

 

Figure Skating


Filippo Ambrosini (Italy)
Kevin Aymoz (France)
Jason Brown (USA)
Guillaume Cizeron (France)
Lewis Gibson (Great Britain)
Amber Glenn (USA, reserve)
Timothy LeDuc (USA)
Paul Poirier (Canada)
Simon Proulx Sénécal (Armenia)
Eric Radford (Canada)

Ice Hockey


Brianne Jenner (Canada)
Erin Ambrose (Canada)
Ebba Berglund (Sweden)
Alex Carpenter (USA)
Emily Clark (Canada)
Mélodie Daoust (Canada)
Anna Kjellbin (Sweden)
Aneta Lédlová (Czech Republic)
Jamie Lee Rattray (Canada)
Jill Saulnier (Canada)
Ronja Savolainen (Finland)
Micah Zandee-Hart (Canada)

Biathlon
Megan Bankes (Canada)

Curling
Bruce Mouat (Great Britain)

 

Skeleton
Andrew Blaser (USA)
Kim Meylemans (Belgium)
Nicole Silveira (Brazil)

Ski Jumping
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (Austria)

Skiing
Makayla Gerken Schofield (Great Britain)
Gus Kenworthy (Great Britain)
Sandra Naeslund (Sweden)

Snowboarding
Belle Brockhoff (Australia)
Sarka Pancochova (Czech Republic)

Speedskating
Brittany Bowe (USA)
Ireen Wüst (Netherlands)

Olympic Athletes That Identify as LGBTQ

These LGBTQ Athletes and Coaches Are Heating Up the Games in Beijing
Record Numbers Of Openly LGBTQ Athletes Compete At Beijing 2022
At least 35 Out LGBTQ athletes in Beijing Winter Olympics
Notable LGBTQ Olympians Competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics
LeDuc to Become 1st Openly Nonbinary US Winter Games Athlete
Olympic Figure Skater Adam Rippon Just Got Married

 

Olympic Figure Skater Adam Rippon Just Got Married

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon finally got his gold.

Rippon secretly tied the knot with fiancé Jussi-Pekka Kajaala on New Year's Eve in Los Angeles, and the couple are now opening up about their special day. "I think everybody knew that we were going to do it, and I think nobody knew if we were going to give them a heads up or not. And I guess we didn't even know if we were giving ourselves a heads up," said Rippon. Adding, "Listen, we're unpredictable."

Unpredictable, indeed! Since appearing on "Dancing with the Stars," Rippon has turned into somewhat of a TV personality, while his Finnish fiancé Kajaala is a real estate broker.

 

 

As for the ceremony, Rippon and Kajaala agreed that they wanted logical and cheap.  "We always wanted to do something simple, and just the two of us," says Rippon. "And so we were looking at different options of what we could do, and so obviously when you do that, the next best thing that you can do is you reach out to California marriage officiant Maria and you ask Maria: 'When is her next availability for a wedding?' And she goes, 'I have availability this week, but I also have something today.' And so then I said, 'Listen, Maria, we're on our way. We're going to be there for the one o'clock appointment in Encino, California, the happiest place on earth.'"

The athlete also took to Instagram to share the news, posting a photo of himself and his new husband along with their dog Tony. He captioned the picture: "Surprise! We are Married! One afternoon JP and I looked at each other and said the very classic romantic phrase of
let's just go do it now. So we did."

Kajaala, sharing the same pic on his account, added: "We are married!! the video is from the actual wedding day. It was just the three of us and a simple ceremony. Exactly what we wanted. Tony has two happy dads."

[Source: by Emell Adolphus, Edge Media Network, January 2022]

 

Olympic Figure Skater Adam Rippon Just Got Married

Carl Nassib Posted Adorable Boyfriend Pic
List: Record Number of Out LGBTQ Athletes at Tokyo Summer Olympics
LGBTQ Athletes Won 57 Medals at Tokyo Olympics
Over 30 LGBTQ Athletes Win Medals at Tokyo Olympics

Erica Sullivan: Witty, Charming, and Gay

LGBTQ Boxer Nesthy Petecio Wins Olympic Medal
Brief History of LGBTQ Olympians

Olympic Athletes: Out and Proud

Flaming Gay Ray Saunders Wins Silver Medal for Shot Put

Carl Nassib: First Active NFL Player to Come Out as Gay

Proud to Play

 

Record Number of Out LGBTQ Athletes at Tokyo Summer Olympics

At least 168 publicly out gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and nonbinary athletes are headed to Tokyo for the Summer Olympic Games, more than triple the number who participated at the 2016 Rio Games.

The number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes in Tokyo is also greater than the number athletes who have participated in all of the previous Olympic Games (Summer and Winter) combined while publicly out. The massive increase in the number of out athletes reflects the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people in sports and society. The rise of social media, especially Instagram, has given athletes a forum where they can live their lives openly and identify directly with their followers.

 



In contrast, Outsports counted 23 publicly out Olympians in 2012 and 56 in 2016 at those Summer Games. “Competing at the Olympics as an openly gay athlete is pretty amazing,” Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer told Outsports. Thormeyer was not out when he competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and came out publicly as gay in a 2020 essay for Outsports. “Being able to compete with the best in the world as my most authentic self at the biggest international multi-sport games shows how far we’ve come on inclusion in sport. I’m hoping that by competing at these Games I can show the LGBTQ community that we do belong and we can achieve anything we put our minds to.”

His comments were echoed by Elissa Alarie, a Canadian rugby player. We originally did not have Alarie on our list, but she contacted us and told us she was LGBTQ (she also gave us the names of three out teammates whom we also added). “Growing up in a small French town in Quebec, I didn’t know or even know of a single LGBTQ person or athlete until I was older,” Alarie said. “I hope the increased visibility can give young people a sentiment of belonging and encourage communities to be inclusive and welcoming.”

 



This year at least 27 different countries will be represented by at least one publicly out athlete in 30 sports, including the first trans Olympians. The United States has the most out athletes at these Olympics, with the more than 30 out athletes we know of about a fifth of all the attendees on the list. Team USA is currently followed in the number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes by Canada (17), Britain (16), Netherlands (16), Brazil (14), Australia (12) and New Zealand (10). We will update the numbers as we learn more about the current Olympic athletes. These numbers include reserve athletes who have been practicing with the team and are traveling to Tokyo with the team.

Women on the list outnumber men by about a 8-1 margin, with women’s soccer having more than 40 out players. This continues a trend seen at past Olympics and is reflective of out athletes in elite non-Olympic sports where women also proliferate.

[Source: Outsports, July 2021]

 

Outsports: Record Number of Out LGBTQ Athletes at Tokyo Summer Olympics

BuzzFeed: Tokyo Olympics is Gayest Games Ever

List: Record Number of Out LGBTQ Athletes at Tokyo Summer Olympics
LGBTQ Athletes Won 57 Medals at Tokyo Olympics
Over 30 LGBTQ Athletes Win Medals at Tokyo Olympics

NBC News: Over 160 LGBTQ Athletes Competing in Tokyo Olympics

Olympic Athletes: Out and Proud

ESPN: Tokyo Olympics is Most Inclusive Event for LGBTQ Athletes

Reuters: More LGBTQ Athletes Than Ever at Tokyo Olympics

Time: Record Number of LGBTQ Athletes Competing in Tokyo Games

 

Carl Nassib: NFL Football Player Comes Out as Gay

 

Las Vegas Raiders lineman Carl Nassib just made sports history by becoming the first active player in the National Football League to come out as gay (or anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum, for that matter).

Nassib made the announcement on Instagram and quickly put his money where his mouth is, announcing a donation to and partnership with the Trevor Project, which aids LGBTQ youth in crisis.

“What’s up, people?” Nassib said in a video post. “I’m at my house in West Chester, Pa. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends, and job a guy can ask for.

 



“I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America and they’re truly doing incredible things. I’m very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can, and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”

Nassib, 28, has played with the Raiders for two years and has been in the NFL six years overall, including stints with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nassib played college football at the University of Pennsylvania.

While other NFL players have come out after retiring, Nassib is the first active out player in the league. Michael Sam famously came out after finishing his college career at the University of Missouri and was drafted into the NFL but never made a team roster.

Nassib is getting support. “The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told Outsports in a statement. “Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis issued this statement: “Carl Nassib’s powerful coming out is a historic reflection of the growing state of LGBTQ visibility and inclusion in the world of professional sports, which has been driven by a long list of brave LGBTQ athletes who came before him. As an accomplished athlete who is now the first out gay active player in the NFL, Carl Nassib’s story will not only have a profound impact on the future of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance in sports, but sends a strong message to so many LGBTQ people, especially youth, that they too can one day grow up to be and succeed as a professional athlete like him.”

[Source: Neal Broverman, Advocate Magazine, June 2021]

 

Advocate: First Active NFL Player Has Come Out

NBC: Carl Nassib Comes Out Publicly as Gay

LGBTQ Nation: Raiders' Carl Nassib Comes Out

CBS: Carl Nassib Comes Out as Openly Gay NFL Player

OutSports: NFL World Supports Carl Nassib

CNN: Carl Nassib is First Active NFL Player to Come Out as Gay

NFL News: Raiders DL Carl Nassib Becomes First Active NFL Player to Come Out as Gay

Time: Carl Nassib is First Active NFL Athlete to Come Out as Gay

USA Today: Who is Carl Nassib?

Bio: Carl Nassib

 

Women's Soccer: USA Wins World Cup Title

 

The US Women's Soccer Team's World Cup championship isn't just a sports victory. It's resonating across the country as a symbolic victory for feminism, LGBTQ pride, and progressive politics. The team, especially openly lesbian co-captain Megan Rapinoe, has been boldly political, standing up for both women's rights and LGBTQ rights and against Donald Trump, who so clearly works against both.

 


 

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup was the eighth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the quadrennial international football championship contested by 24 women's national teams representing member associations of FIFA. It took place between in June and July 2019, with 52 matches staged in nine cities in France, which hosted the event, the first time the country hosted the tournament.

The United States entered the competition as defending champions after winning the 2015 edition in Canada and successfully defended their title with a 2–0 victory over the Netherlands in the final. In doing so, they secured their record fourth title and became the second nation, after Germany, to have successfully retained the title.

If one person could embody all the pride, excitement, and swagger, it was US co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who battled the President of the United States even as she became the unparalleled star of the World Cup. Her boundless energy came across the Atlantic with her and was on display for all to see from the cable talk shows to the steps of New York’s City Hall.

 



Megan Rapinoe said, “There is nothing, nothing, that can faze this group. We’re chillin’. We got tea-sippin’. We got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We got white girls and black girls and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls. It’s my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field. There’s no other place that I would rather be.”

NBC News: USA Wins Third Women's World Cup Title

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

USA Today: Megan Rapinoe and the US Women's Soccer Team

Sports Illustrated: Megan Rapinoe's Pride Shines

Washington Post: Rapinoe Delivers Rousing Victory Speech

Video: Megan Rapinoe's Speech at US Women's World Cup Champion's Parade

Salon: Women's World Cup is a Triumph

Wikipedia: 2019 FIFA Women's Soccer World Cup

Megan Rapinoe on Cover of ESPN Body Issue

Ten Openly Gay World Soccer Players

 

 

LGBTQ Sports News

 

Cover of ESPN Body Issue: First Gay Couple

Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club

Michael Sam: Gay Players in the NFL

Leyna Bloom: Makes History on Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition

Rob Kearney: Openly Gay Strongman Gets Married

Denis Finnegan: Track & Field Champion Comes Out as Gay

Kaitlyn Weaver: Olympic Dancer Comes Out as Queer

University of Minnesota Track Stars Talk About Coming Out

Derrick Gordon: Out College Basketball Player

Star High School Football Player Comes Out

Rick Welts: Gay NBA Team President Marries Longtime Boyfriend

Pro Wrestlers Who Are Proud Members Of The LGBTQ Community
Figure Skater Amber Glenn: Coming Out as Bi/Pan

Dutee Chand: India's First Openly Gay Athlete

Sports Couple: Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger

Hurley Haywood: Racing Legend Comes Out as Gay

LGBTQ Sports Panel: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe

Dieux Du Stade: Gods of the Stadium

 

 

Billie Jean King: Battle of the Sexes

 

The 2017 film, “Battle of the Sexes,” is the true story of the 1973 tennis match between the world number one tennis player Billie Jean King and ex-champ Bobby Riggs. Included in the story is Billie Jean King’s affair with Marilyn Barnett.  The movie stars Emma Stone as Billie Jean King, Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs, and Andrea Riseborough as Marilyn Barnett.

 

IMDB: Battle of the Sexes

Out Magazine Interview: Battle of the Sexes

 

Jason Collins: Gay NBA Superstar and Hero

 

Jason Paul Collins (born 1978) is a gay American former professional basketball player who played 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A center, Collins played college basketball for Stanford University, where he was an All-American in 2000–01. Collins was selected by the Houston Rockets as the 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft. He went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets.

 

 

After the 2012–13 NBA season concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay. He became a free agent and did not play again until February 2014, when he signed with the Nets and became the first openly gay athlete to play in any of four major North American pro sports leagues. In April 2014, Collins was featured on the cover of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."

 

Collins was born in Northridge, California, along with his twin bother Jarron, who also became an NBA player. They graduated from Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles. He and Jarron won two California Interscholastic Federation state titles during their four-year careers with a combined record of 123–10. Collins broke the California career rebounding record with 1,500. Collins played with brother Jarron for the Stanford Cardinals in the Pacific 10 Conference (Pac 10). In 2001, Collins was named to All-Pac 10 first team, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) voted him to their third-team All-American team. He finished his college career ranked first in Stanford history for field goal percentage (.608) and third in blocked shots (89). 

 

 

In the cover story of the May 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, Collins came out as gay, becoming the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so. Collins also said the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 led him to choose "98" for his jersey number, in Shepard's honor. Following his announcement, Collins received high praise and support for deciding to publicly reveal that he is gay. Fellow NBA star Kobe Bryant praised his decision, as did others from around the league, including NBA commissioner David Stern. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and Collins' corporate sponsor Nike were also among those offering their praise and support for Collins. Former tennis player Martina Navratilova, who came out as a lesbian in 1981, called Collins a "game-changer" for team sports, which she referred to as one of the last areas where homophobia remained. In addition to being an acclaimed athlete, Collins has the distinction of simultaneously identifying as gay, black, and Christian. As of June 2014, Collins was in a relationship with producer Brunson Green.

 

Biographical Notes: Jason Collins

CNN Sports: Jason Collins Comes Out as Gay

ABC News: First Gay Professional Athlete to Come Out

Players Tribune: Jason Collins Says "I'm Out"

Sports Illustrated: Why Jason Collins Came Out

 

 

LGBTQ Crossfitters and Fitness Gurus

 

Jillian Michaels
Patricia Moreno
Richard Simmons
Nuno Costa
Shaun T
Brittany Freese
Isaac Calpito
Branden Hayward
Holly Rilinger
Cameron Burke

Rachel Robinson

Reshad Asgarali
Courtney Paul
Elliot Musgrave
Kenta Seki
Jessee Diamond
Dave Marshall
Michelle Kinney
Shawn Stinson
Dan Weldon

Danni Pomplun

Keyne Quiroga-Anania
Seth Browning
Ilya Parker
Stephen Wang
Chloie Jönsson
Dillon King
Emilia Richeson
Todd Brandon
Paul McNulty

Crossfitters Helping Make the Sport LGBTQ Inclusive
Gay Trainers to Follow for In-Home Fitness Goals
Gay Trainers to Follow for New and Improved Fitness Goals
 

 

Elena Delle Donne: WNBA Star Gets Married

 

WNBA basketball star Elena Delle Donne married her longtime girlfriend, Amanda Clifton, in November 2017 and the ceremony and festivities at Hempstead House on Long Island, NY were breathtaking.

The couple both donned elegant white wedding gowns and fed one another from a gigantic 6'4" cake (Elena is 6'5"), and shared the floor for the father-daughter dances.

 

Delle Donne came out publicly right before the 2016 Summer Olympics, sharing the story of her relationship with her girlfriend, now wife.

 

LGBTQ Nation: See Elena Delle Donne's Wedding Photos

Out Sports: Elena Delle Donne Marries Her Girlfriend

Logo:Elena Delle Donne's Dream Wedding

WNBA Video: Best of Elena Delle Donne

 

 

LGBTQ Athletes in 2018 Winter Olympics

 

Two Olympic Hockey Rivals Married Each Other

LGBTQ Athletes Competing in Winter Games

Out Sports: LGBTQ Winter Olympians

Gus Kenworthy: Openly Gay US Olympic Skier

LGBTQ Athletes Winning Medals at 2018 Winter Olympics

Eric Radford: Openly Gay Canadian Olympic Skater

LGBTQ Women at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Historic Olympic Moment: Gus Kenworthy Publicly Kisses Boyfriend

 

Rio Olympics and LGBTQ Athletes

 

Unlike the Sochi Olympic Games (2014), where gay rights were called into question over anti-gay laws enacted by Russia’s government, the Rio Olympic Games (2016) were a lot more tolerant by comparison. It wasn’t flawless in that regard. For example, homophobic slurs were shouted by some in the stands at a US women’s soccer match as the games opened. But, overall, there were encouraging signs of progress on the inclusion front.

 

Top Ten LGBTQ Moments From Rio Olympics

Rio Games: Queerest Olympics Ever

Out at the Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics Shows Support for LGBTQ Rights & LGBTQ Athletes

LGBTQ Athletes Competing at Rio Olympics

Advocate: Olympic Spirit Includes LGBTQ People This Time

Meet the LGBTQ Athletes at the Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics: Most Open LGBTQ Athletes Ever

Former Captains of US and Canadian Women's Hockey Teams Celebrate Their Baby

 

“That’s what I hope for and I feel like our society is going in the right direction,” said US women’s basketball star Elena Delle Donne, who came out and announced her engagement last week. “That’s not a story. It’s normal.”  The new normal, perhaps.

 

Gay marriage is legal in Brazil, though tolerance seems far from universal. One gay rights group says that on average since 2013, about one LGBTQ person each day has been killed in Brazil. The organization called Grupo Gay da Bahia calls Brazil “the world champion of crimes motivated by homophobia and transphobia.”

 

 

 “I know all the prejudice that exists in society against homosexuals,” said 2012 Olympic beach volleyball bronze medalist Larissa Franca of Brazil, who competed again in Rio. “We don’t choose our feelings, let alone control them.”  At these Olympics, there seems to be far more cheering than prejudice.”

 

Whether it was a transgender model appearing in the athletes’ parade at the opening ceremony, two men kissing during their leg of the torch relay along Copacabana Beach or the British women’s field hockey team including two teammates who are married (an Olympic first) it was an Olympic event unlike any other for the LGBTQ community.

 

Openly LGBTQ Athletes Who Won Gold Medals at Rio 2016

Rachelle Bruni Gay Swim Star from Italy

First Trans Man on US Olympic Team

Openly Gay Male Olympians at Rio 2016

Marriage Proposal at Rio Olympics

US Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Talks About Being a Gay Athlete

Openly Lesbian Olympians at Rio 2016

Chris Mosier: US Trans Olympic Swimmer

Isadore Cerullo: Rugby Player Gets Engaged to Her Girlfriend at Rio Olympics

Johnny Weir at Rio Olympics

 

 

 

The Washington Blade list of openly gay and lesbian 2016 Olympic athletes:

 

Nicola Adams (Great Britain, boxing)

Tom Bosworth (Great Britain, race walk)

Dutee Chand (India, track & field)

Lisa Dahlkvist (Sweden, soccer)

Katie Duncan (New Zealand, soccer)

Nilla Fisher (Sweden, soccer)

Larissa França (Brazil, beach volleyball)

Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian)

Brittney Griner (US, basketball)

Carl Hester (Great Britain, equestrian)

Michelle Heyman (Australia, soccer)

Stephanie Labbe  (Canada, soccer)

Alexandra Lacrabère (France, handball)

Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden, soccer)

Carolina Seger (Sweden, soccer)

Melissa Tancredi (Canada, soccer)

Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (Finland, swimming)

Hans Peter Minderhoud (Netherlands, equestrian)

Ian Matos (Brazil, diving)

Angel McCoughtry (US, basketball)

Nadine Müller (Germany, discus)

Caster Semenya (South Africa, track & field)

Marie-Eve Nault (Canada, soccer)

Ashley Nee (US, kayak whitewater slalom)

Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey

Mayssa Pessoa (Brazil, handball)

Megan Rapinoe (US, soccer)

Susannah Townsend (Great Britian, field hockey)

Sunette Stella Viljoen (South Africa, javelin)

Marieke van der Wal (Netherlands, handball)

Spencer Wilton (Great Britain, equestrian)

Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (Netherlands, field hockey)

 

LGBTQ Sports Notes

 

Former Dallas Cowboy Comes Out as Gay and Gets Married

Top WNBA Lesbian Basketball Players

Krieger and Harris: US Soccer Teammates Engaged

Cover of ESPN Body Issue: First Gay Couple

Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club

Track Team Mates: Coming Out and Dating

Tadd Fujikawa: First Gay Pro Golfer to Come Out

NIC Athlete Breaks Barriers: Comes Out as Gay

Tom Dailey: British Olympic Diver is Gay

Dieux Du Stade: Gods of the Stadium

Sports Couple: Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger

PBS Video: Non-Binary Inclusion in Sports

Jeff Rohrer: NFL Player Comes Out and Marries Partner

Kealy Kennelly: First Openly Gay World Surfing Camp

Soccer Superstar Abby Wambach Comes Out & Gets Married
Pro Wrestlers Who Are Proud Members Of The LGBTQ Community

Dinah Shore Weekend: Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

NBA Star Dwayne Wade Supports His Gay Son

ESPN's Brief History of Gay Athletes
Robbie Rogers: Openly Gay Soccer Player

Pro Wrestlers Who are Members of the LGBTQ Community

 

Caitlyn Jenner Honored

 

Caitlyn Jenner (the former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner) was presented with the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPN Awards event.  Presented by US women's soccer player Abby Wambach, who first introduced a touching montage of Caitlyn's journey, Jenner walked onto the stage and was greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd as the entire Kardashian and Jenner brood supported in the audience.

 

 

 

Caitlyn revealed she had never met another transgender person before the last few months, and expressed the importance in accepting and respecting everyone for who they are. "My plea to you tonight is to join me in making this one of your issues as well. Learn as much as you can about another person."  She continued, "I trained hard. I competed hard. And for this, people respected me. But this transition was harder on me than anything I could have imagined. And that's the case for so many others besides me. For that reason alone, trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect." 

 

The 65-year-old thanked fellow transgender people in the industry and in the spotlight, like Laverne Cox and Chaz Bono.  "It is an honor to have the word ‘courage' associated with my life, but on this night, another word comes to mind, and that is ‘fortunate.' I owe a lot to sports. It showed me the world. It's given me an identity.  If you wanna call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead. Because the reality is I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn't have to take it.  So for the people out there wondering what this is all about, whether its about courage or controversy or publicity, it's about what happens from here. It's not just about one person. It's about thousands of people. It's not just about me. It's about all of us accepting one another. We're all different. It's not a bad thing. It's a good thing."

 

Caitlyn Jenner Honored at 2015 ESPY Event

Bio: Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner: Trans Rights Advocate

 

Lesbian Tennis Superstar Martina Navratilova Honored

 

Tennis legend and LGBTQ icon Martina Navratilova was honored in September 2010 during the opening ceremonies of the US Tennis Open in New York. The honor, for “those who dream, succeed and inspire,” according to organizers, is fitting for Navratilova who has battled "nasty curveballs" in her personal and professional life but always come out a winner. “It’s the positive attitude that gets you through life and it is a choice,” she said. “I’ve always been too much of an optimist where I sort of ignore bad stuff until it sits right there in front of me. I’m saying nothing is going to go wrong and, when it does, that’s when I deal with it. That’s how I’ve gotten through life. I think it’s done me pretty well.” 

 

      

 

The 53-year-old Czech native knows something about grit and attitude. Early in 2010, she was diagnosed with noninvasive breast cancer and underwent surgery and radiation only to win the Wimbledon ladies' invitation doubles in June 2010.  Martina also spoke to the crowd about publicly coming out of the closet as a lesbian the year she made it to her first US Open final. “In 1981, I came out as a gay woman. That was not a good thing to do back then. There were a lot of doors that were shut in my face because of that, but you know what, I could still play tennis, no matter what.”

 

On December 15, 2014, Martina married her longtime partner Julia Lemigova at the Peninsula Hotel in New York City. Their marriage was seen very much as a public statement. During that time, Martina was 58, and Julia was 42. At the US Open, Martina proposed to her longtime girlfriend Julia for the wedding by going down on one knee while on camera. Their wedding was attended by Julia’s two daughters Victoria Lemigova and Emma Lemigova.

 

Martina Navratilova Marries Julia Lemigova

Tennis Icon Martina Navratilova Gets Married

People Magazine: Martina Navatilova Wedding

 

Michael Sam is First Openly Gay NFL Athlete

 

Michael Sam made history on May 10, 2014 as the St. Louis Rams made him the 249th overall choice in the 2014 NFL draft.  The Missouri defensive end became the first openly gay football player to be drafted in league history and seeks to be the first openly gay athlete ever to play in the NFL. The Rams used the 249th overall selection on Michael Sam, giving the first openly gay player the opportunity to begin his NFL career in surroundings that should be comfortable. Shortly after learning of his selection by phone, surrounded by friends and family, a visibly emotional Sam turned to his boyfriend and kissed him.

 

 

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri, announced in February 2014 that he is gay. Sam stated publicly what his teammates and coaches have known since August 2013: "I am an openly, proud gay man." 

 

ESPN: Michael Sam Overwhelmed by Pick

Huff Post: Michael Sam and the Great Facebook Kiss-In

NY Daily News: Michael Sam and His Boyfriend

CNN: Michael Sam, NFL Draft, and Kissing Boyfriend on TV

Huff Post: Michael Sam Kisses Boyfriend on Network TV

 

Billie Jean King: Tennis Icon

 

Billie Jean King (born November 22, 1943) is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women's doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. King won the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships. King often represented the United States in the Federation Cup and the Wightman Cup. She was a member of the victorious US team in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups. For three years, King was the US captain in the Federation Cup.

 

 

 

King is an advocate for gender equality and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice. In 1973, at age 29, she won the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match against 55-year-old Bobby Riggs, and was the founder of the Women's Tennis Association and the Women's Sports Foundation.

 

Regarded by many in the sport as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, King was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. The Fed Cup Award of Excellence was bestowed on King in 2010. King has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year lifetime achievement award. King was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 2006, the USTA National Tennis Center in New York City was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

 

Billie Jean and Larry King were engaged in fall of 1964 and married in Long Beach, California, on September 17, 1965. Billie Jean credited Larry with introducing her to feminism and for pushing her to pursue tennis as a career. Billie Jean later said she "was totally in love with Larry" when they married.

 

 

 

By 1968, King realized that she was attracted to women, and in 1971, began an intimate relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett. King acknowledged the relationship when it became public in a May 1981 'palimony' lawsuit filed by Barnett, making King the first prominent professional female athlete to come out as a lesbian. Feeling she could not admit to the extent of the relationship, King publicly called it a fling and a mistake. She remained married to Larry. The lawsuit caused King to lose an estimated $2 million in endorsements and forced her to prolong her tennis career to pay attorneys.

 

Concerning the personal cost of concealing her sexuality for so many years, King said: I wanted to tell the truth but my parents were homophobic and I was in the closet. People told me that if I talked about what I was going through, it would be the end of the women's tour. I couldn't get a closet deep enough. One of my big goals was always to be honest with my parents and I couldn't be for a long time. I tried to bring up the subject but felt I couldn't. My mother would say, "We're not talking about things like that", and I was pretty easily stopped because I was reluctant anyway. I ended up with an eating disorder that came from trying to numb myself from my feelings. I needed to surrender far sooner than I did. At the age of 51, I was finally able to talk about it properly with my parents and no longer did I have to measure my words with them. That was a turning point for me as it meant I didn't have regrets any more.

 

Billie Jean and Larry remained married through the palimony suit fallout. The marriage ended in 1987 after Billie Jean fell in love with her doubles partner, Ilana Kloss. Billie Jean and Larry remained on good terms, with Billie Jean serving as godmother to Larry's son from his subsequent marriage. King has residences in New York City and Chicago with Kloss, her life partner.

 

ESPN: Billie Jean King

Wikipedia: Billie Jean King

IMDB: Battle of the Sexes

Out Magazine Interview: Battle of the Sexes

 

 

LGBTQ Sports News

 

LGBTQ Athletes are Fighting For Equality On and Off the Field
Former Dallas Cowboy Comes Out as Gay and Gets Married

Krieger and Harris: US Soccer Teammates Engaged

Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club

Tadd Fujikawa: First Gay Pro Golfer to Come Out

Jeff Rohrer: NFL Player Comes Out and Marries Partner

Pro Wrestlers Who are Members of the LGBTQ Community

Keala Kennelly: Lesbian Surfing Champion

NFL Veteran Comes Out as Bisexual

LGBTQ Sports Panel: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe

Derrick Gordon: Black LGBTQ College Basketball Player

Dinah Shore Weekend: Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

NBA Legend Dwayne Wade Supports His Kid

LGBTQ Athletes Talk About Coming Out

MLB First: San Francisco Giants Wear Pride Colors

Katie Sowers: Out Super Bowl Coach Opposes Trans Ban in Youth Sports

Dieux Du Stade: Gods of the Stadium

Leyna Bloom: Sports Illustrated's First Black, Asian, Trans Swimsuit Model

LGBTQ America: Sports and Leisure
Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, 174 Females Athletes Support Trans Women in Sports

Tommy Lasorda: Silence Over HIV and His Gay Son

First Active Hockey Player to Come Out as Gay

Justin Laevens: Pro Cyclist Comes Out as Gay

 

Gus Kenworthy: Call Me the Gay Skier

Gus Kenworthy was terrified about the consequences of coming out as gay in 2015 but the American skier says that his decision prompted a huge outpouring of unexpected support and has allowed him to compete without the weight of the world on his shoulders. Kenworthy, an Olympic silver medal winner in the ski slopestyle at Sochi, came out in a cover story for ESPN The Magazine to become the first openly gay action sports athlete.

“I had set myself up for the worst case scenario,” he said. “I thought I was going to be turned against and become this pariah.” Kenworthy had already told his close family and friends, who were all very supportive. Their support, along with a desire to be an inspiration for other young men and women scared to come out as homosexual, drove Kenworthy to make the decision. “I knew I would feel so much better because I was being authentic and maybe it would help kids going through the same transition as me,” said Kenworthy.

 

"I thought it would maybe help other people, either in professional sports or amateur sports or even just in communities where they felt isolated and scared to be themselves.” Within minutes of the news breaking, Kenworthy’s telephone was blowing up. “I had so much support coming in and so my phone just couldn’t handle it and I couldn’t handle it either,” he said. “I was crying and it is quite a weird sensation to set yourself up for one outcome and then get the total opposite.”

 

Kenworthy says his decision has led to a change in what he calls his “headspace” going into competitions. Instead of compartmentalizing his life he is able to be himself and this has contributed to a greater sense of freedom and confidence. The change means Kenworthy is more confident than ever heading into the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February 2018. “I am more open with everyone in my life and I think it just translates into me being able to ski a little bit more freely and not have so much to focus on and worry about,” he added.

Despite his achievements on the slopes, Kenworthy is known by many as the "gay skier." Instead of shying away from the tag, Kenworthy has embraced it and hopes to serve as an inspiration for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (LGBTQ) around the world. If, as Kenworthy says, he can be a gay man at the top of the world, an Olympic gold medallist, then it would prove a lot of people wrong.

”The Olympics is a cool opportunity to represent our country, which is amazing, but I have another community I am competing for and that is the LGBTQ community. There are all these stereotypes and stigmas that people have associated in their mind over time but nothing breaks barriers down more than visibility or representation.

”Having someone at the Olympics, the pinnacle event in sports, competing against the best in the world and being out and proud and gay and getting a medal, it would be amazing. There is pressure that comes with this responsibility and I feel I have a responsibility to the LGBTQ community now. I want to lead by example and I want to be a positive example and an inspiration for any kids that I can.”

[Source: Huffington Post, Queer Voices, January 2018]

 

Former Dallas Cowboy Comes Out as Gay and Gets Married

Top WNBA Lesbian Basketball Players

Krieger and Harris: US Soccer Teammates Engaged

Cover of ESPN Body Issue: First Gay Couple

Track Team Mates: Coming Out and Dating

Tadd Fujikawa: First Gay Pro Golfer to Come Out

NIC Athlete Breaks Barriers: Comes Out as Gay

Tom Dailey: British Olympic Diver is Gay

Sports Couple: Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger

PBS Video: Non-Binary Inclusion in Sports

Jeff Rohrer: NFL Player Comes Out and Marries Partner

Kealy Kennelly: First Openly Gay World Surfing Camp

Soccer Superstar Abby Wambach Comes Out & Gets Married
Dinah Shore Weekend: Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

NBA Star Dwayne Wade Supports His Gay Son

ESPN's Brief History of Gay Athletes
Robbie Rogers: Openly Gay Soccer Player


Olympian Brian Boitano Comes Out

 

In December 2013, at the start of the Sochi Olympic Games, US gold-medal-winning figure skater Brian Boitano came out as gay. His announcement came amidst great public dissatisfaction with the Russian government, who had recently been very outspoken in its opposition to LGBTQ rights and very aggressive with its anti-gay laws. Many protests and boycotts have been staged to express outrage at Russia, the host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.  Brian Boitano, a member of the US delegation to the Sochi Winter Olympics, in announcing he is gay, made him the third gay member of the delegation that traveled to Russia.

 

 

 The 50-year-old Boitano, who has deflected questions about his sexuality in the past, said that “being gay is just one part of who I am.”  President Obama named Boitano to the delegation along with Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow, two openly lesbian star athletes.  “I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am,” Boitano said in a statement published by USA Today.

 

“First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance. As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations.”  The very makeup of the delegation appeared to send a clear message about the administration's dissatisfaction with the Russian government on a range of foreign policy and human rights issues, including the treatment of gays.

 

Proud to Play

Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club

LGBTQ Athletes Talk About Coming Out

Cover of ESPN Body Issue: First Gay Couple

Inspiring Message From Gay Athletes

Dinah Shore Weekend: Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

Coming Out in Sports

Top WNBA Lesbian Basketball Players

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

Athletes Who Have Come Out of the Closet

Out Gay Athletes

Is America Ready for Openly Gay Athletes?

List of LGBTQ Athletes

Out Sports

 

Basketball Athlete Jason Collins Comes Out

 

In May 2013, Sports Illustrated featured a front cover story about Jason Collins' public coming out story.  Jason Collins, center for the Washington Wizards states, "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, I'm different. If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand. My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons."

 

 

Jason Collins is an 11-year NBA veteran basketball star. He has played for 6 professional teams and appeared in two NBA Finals. Currently he plays for the Washington Wizards. Just before that, he played for the Boston Celtics. For more than a decade as a professional athlete, he had remained silent about his sexuality, worried about what teammates, opponents, fans (the world, really) might think. So after having "endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie," Collins became the first active player in one of the four major US pro sports leagues to come out as gay.

 

“I don’t know what to tell you," he explains. "You get so used to wearing a mask. You get used to telling half-truths, telling lies, telling stories about making up fictitious girlfriends or whatever it is. In the end, it’s all about making this step forward in my life and being completely honest and up front and genuine. It just goes back to anybody who tries to keep some secret. The weight just gets heavier and heavier and heavier. It starts taking its toll on you mentally and physically to the point where you just don’t sleep well.”

 

Jason Collins: NBA Athlete Comes Out

Yahoo News: NBA Player Jason Collins Breaks Barrier
Washington Post: Response to Jason Collins' Coming Out Has Been Positive
Chicago Tribune: Collins' Coming Out and Gay Acceptance

Jason Collins' Coming Out is Opening Doors for People

 

LGBTQ Ally Brendon Ayanbedejo 

 

Brendon Ayanbadejo is an African-American football linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He is also the first straight football player to come out as a strong, outspoken LGBTQ ally and supporter.

 

When expressing his views on gay marriage and LGBTQ rights, he says, "It's a matter of fairness. Maybe I am a man ahead of my time. However, looking at the former restrictions on human rights in our country starting with slavery, women not being able to vote, blacks being counted as two thirds of a human, segregation, no gays in the military all have gone by the wayside.”

 

 

In 2009, as he questioned the prohibition on same sex marriage, he said, “I think we will look back in 10, 20, 30 years and be amazed that gays and lesbians did not have the same rights as everyone else. How did this ever happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave? Discrimination against any group of people is barbaric." 

 

He has voiced his opinions regarding LGBTQ rights in several magazine interviews, including ESPN Magazine and Men's Journal. His video in support of same-sex marriage has been heavily circulated, especially in his home state of Maryland.  Others have said of Brendon, "This is newsworthy in the sense that pro athletes normally do not even discuss issues relating to gay or lesbians, especially in the world of pro football. Right or wrong, it simply doesn't fit the macho image of tough, rugged football players. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his stance on the issue, you have to admire Ayanbadejo's courage for speaking out."

 

Proud to Play

Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club

LGBTQ Athletes Talk About Coming Out

Cover of ESPN Body Issue: First Gay Couple

Inspiring Message From Gay Athletes

Dinah Shore Weekend: Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

Coming Out in Sports

Top WNBA Lesbian Basketball Players

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

Athletes Who Have Come Out of the Closet

Out Gay Athletes

Is America Ready for Openly Gay Athletes?

List of LGBTQ Athletes

Out Sports

 

Trans Basketball Player Gabrielle Lugwig

 

In December 2012, the women's basketball team at Mission College expected the bleachers to be full and the hecklers ready when its newest player made her home court debut.  In the days leading up to the game, people had plenty to say about 6-foot-6-inch tall, 220-pound Gabrielle Ludwig, who joined the Lady Saints as a mid-season walk-on and became, according to advocates, the first transsexual to play college hoops as both a man and a woman.  Coach Corey Cafferata worried the outside noise was getting to his players, particularly the 50-year-old Ludwig.

 

 

A pair of ESPN radio hosts had laughed at her looks, referring to her as "it." And online threats and anonymous calls prompted the two-year college to assign the Navy veteran of Operation Desert Storm a safer parking space next to the gym and two police guards.  Last week, Ludwig gathered her 10 teammates at practice and offered to quit. This was their time to shine, she told the group of 18-20-year-olds. She didn't want to be a distraction for the team. The other women said if Ludwig, whom they nicknamed "Big Sexy" and "Princess," didn't play, they wouldn't either.  Didn't she know she was the glue holding the team together?  "Then let's just play basketball," she replied solemnly, looking each teammate in the eye.  A lifelong basketball lover, Ludwig has been helping coach and working out with the Saints since the beginning of the school year, but she only received conference clearance to compete in November 2012. She took the court as No. 42, scoring three points on four free throws in about seven minutes of play. During her first home game, she scored eight points in 11 minutes, and not a single heckle.  "I got exactly what I always wanted, just to fit in and be normal like everyone else," Ludwig said.

 

 

Openly Gay Olympic Athletes at Summer Games

 

The number of openly gay and lesbian athletes at the 2012 London Summer Olympics surpassed the totals for Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. There were 21 openly gay and lesbian London Olympians, two coaches and two gay Paralympians. This compares with 11 in Athens and 10 in Beijing, showing some progress in athletes being public about their sexual orientation, but still a low number.

 

I Found Love at the Sochi Olympics

Brian Boitano Talks About Olympic Games in Sochi

Sochi Olympics: Reading the Pictures

Gay Propaganda Laws: Olympians Fight Back

Gay Rights Activists at Sochi Olympics

How Sochi Became the Gay Olympics

 

 

The Outsports list of openly gay and lesbian 2012 Olympic athletes:

 

Marilyn Agliotti  (Netherlands, field hockey)

Judith Arndt (Germany, cycling)

Seimone Augustus (US, basketball)

Natalie Cook (Australia, beach volleyball)

Lisa Dahlkvist (Sweden, soccer)

Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (Netherlands, field hockey)

Imke Duplitzer  (Germany, fencing) 

Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian)

Jessica Harrison (France, triathlon)

Carl Hester (Britain, equestrian)

Alexandra Lacrabère (France, handball)

Jessica Landström (Sweden, soccer)

Hedvig Lindahl  (Sweden, soccer)

Matthew Mitcham (Australia, diving)

Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey)

Carole Péon (France, triathlon)

Mayssa Pessoa (Brazil, handball)

Megan Rapinoe (US, soccer)

Lisa Raymond (US, doubles tennis)

Rikke Skov (Denmark, handball)

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany, cycling)

 

Péon and Harrison are a couple. In addition, Pia Sundhage, US women’s soccer head coach, is openly gay, as is Hope Powell, Great Britain's women’s soccer coach. The gay Paralympians are Lee Pearson, a male British equestrian athlete, and Claire Harvey, a member of Britain’s women’s volleyball team.

 

Proud to Play

Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club

LGBTQ Athletes Talk About Coming Out

Cover of ESPN Body Issue: First Gay Couple

Inspiring Message From Gay Athletes

Dinah Shore Weekend: Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

Coming Out in Sports

Top WNBA Lesbian Basketball Players

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

Athletes Who Have Come Out of the Closet

Out Gay Athletes

Is America Ready for Openly Gay Athletes?

List of LGBTQ Athletes

Out Sports

 

WNBA Star Sheryl Swoopes Comes Out

 

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese made the following statement as three-time WNBA MVP player and Olympic gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes came out in October 2005, in an interview with ESPN's The Magazine:

 

"Sheryl Swoopes is a real hero on and off the court. Being open and honest about your life is an act of bravery.  This MVP player and Olympic gold medalist is helping to start real conversations about openness, honesty and authenticity.  We commend her for this brave step that will mean so much to her gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight supportive fans and peers."

 

 

 

In an interview with The Magazine, Swoopes said, "Some people might say my coming out after just winning the MVP award is heroic, and I understand that. And I know there are going to be some negative things said, too. But it doesn't change who I am. I can't help who I fall in love with. No one can."

 

Kye Allums Transgender Basketball Player

 

George Washington University 21-year old junior Kye Allums is transgender and originally played women's basketball as a woman. But he now plays the role of a brother, not a sister, to his teammates.  Everything is the same when he takes to the court, except that Allums is now identified as a man, becoming the first openly transgender player in NCAA Division I basketball. "This means a lot," Allums said in a statement. "I didn't choose to be born in this body and feel the way I do."

 

The 5 foot 11 inch guard from Hugo, Minnesota, said the university has been supportive of his decision. But he will not be permitted to undergo testosterone therapy as long as he is competing.  A report last month from the National Center on Lesbian Rights and the Women's Sports Foundation provided guidance on the matter, saying that transgender student athletes "should be allowed to participate in any gender-segregated sports activity so long as that athlete's use of hormone therapy, if any, is consistent with the national governing body's existing policies on banned medications." 

 

 

Robert Chernak, senior vice provost at George Washington, said the university is fully accepting of Allums decision to live as a male student.  "Kye has informed the university that he will not begin any medical or drug protocols while a student-athlete," Chernak said. "Kye will continue to be a member of the women's basketball team. 

 

Allums grew up as a tomboy and later tried behaving and dressing the way teenage girls do, according to an interview with OutSports, an online gay sports site.  "I decided to transition, that is change my name and pronouns because it bothered me to hide who I am, and I am trying to help myself and others to be who they are," Allums said in his statement. In his sophomore year, he began telling people he was a man trapped in a woman's body. "I told my teammates first, and they, including my coaches, have supported me," he said. "My teammates have embraced me as the big brother of the team. They have been my family, and I love them all."

 

Proud to Play

Steelers: World's First Gay Rugby Club

LGBTQ Athletes Talk About Coming Out

Cover of ESPN Body Issue: First Gay Couple

Inspiring Message From Gay Athletes

Dinah Shore Weekend: Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

Coming Out in Sports

Top WNBA Lesbian Basketball Players

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

27 Athletes Who Have Come Out of the Closet

Dieux Du Stade: Gods of the Stadium
Out Gay Athletes

Is America Ready for Openly Gay Athletes?

List of LGBTQ Athletes

Out Sports

 

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