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18 LGBT Role Models in Sports That We Need to Talk About

18 LGBT Role Models in Sports That We Need to Talk About

18 LGBT Role Models in Sports That We Need to Talk About

These 18 current and former sports figures are wonderful role models for all LGBT people to look up to. They drive home the point that when you're committed and talented, your sexuality isn't a barrier to your dreams. 


1. Dale Scott, gay Major League Baseball umpire 

This badass has not only taken baseballs to the head, groin, and gut, but he's also taken the plunge and become the first openly gay umpire in Major League Baseball. Getty Images


2. Michael Sam, the first football player to come out before being drafted by the NFL

Who could forget the kiss he shared with his partner when he found out he had been drafted by the Rams? Getty Images


3. Chris Moiser, the transgender triathlete who's competed professionally as both genders

Chris spoke to The Advocate about his triumphs and how he wants more trans people to play openly in the sports they love.

4. Jason Collins, the first out NBA player 

Collins retired last year from basketball as a Brooklyn Nets player, and despite not being in the game anymore, he has paved the way for LGBT players to come out in major American sports leagues. 


5. Megan Rapinoe, midfielder for U.S. Women's soccer team and the Seattle Reign

Easily one of the best (and hottest) women's soccer players, Megan assisted in the U.S.'s winning goal in the 2012 Olympics, helping the team score a gold medal.


6. Billy Bean, former Major League Baseball outfielder, who came out after retiring

Billy Bean came out as gay in 1999, which made him only the second professional baseball player to do so.


7. Stephen Alexander, America's first openly trans high school sports coach

Outsports did a mini-doc on Stephen, which tells of Stephen's courage in coming out to his family and community, and brought his story to a wide audience.


8. Abby Wambach, forward for the U.S. soccer team and Western New York Flash

Not only is she out and proud, she's won two Olympic gold medals and was named the FIFA World Player of the year in 2012. Image via Twitter

9. Wade Davis, former NFL player

Davis came out nine years after retiring from football. He told People magazine he was inspired by out youth.

10.  Curt Miller, assistant coach for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks

Miller previously coached women's basketball at Indiana University and Bowling Green State University. Image via Indiana Public Media

11. Kye Allums, the first openly transgender NCAA Division I athlete

Although he played on the women's team his entire time at George Washington University, Kye has paved the way for transgender people in college athletics. You can learn more of his story in Laverne Cox's documentary The T Word. Photo courtesy of Colgate University 

12. Brendan Burke, former student manager of Miami University's hockey team

The son of NHL executive Brian Burke, Brendan came out in 2009 and became an advocate, speaking out against homophobia and pioneering the conversation within the hockey world. After he died in a car accident in 2010, an internship, a documentary, and the influential You Can Play project, were created in his memory.

13. Seimone Augustus, player for the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, Dynama Kurst (in Russia), and the U.S. national team

 After coming out in 2011 in a Minneapolis newspaper, Seimone has been able to live a free, open life. The video of her kissing fellow WNBA player Diana Taurasi on court went viral last year and has stayed totally hilarious. Seimone married LaTaya Varner in March. Image courtesy of NBAE

14. Rick Welts, president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors

Welts came out in 2011, when he was the president and COO of the Phoenix Suns, but soon resigned and relocated to the Bay Area so he could be close to his partner, and took his current position with the Warriors. Image via

15. Johnny Weir, Olympic figure skater

After years of speculation, Weir came out in 2011. He won the bronze medal in 2008 and since then has continued to skate, appeared on a variety of reality TV shows (most notably RuPaul's Drag Race), and become an advocate for LGBT people in the sport.

16. Lana Lawless, transgender pro golfer

Lawless, the 2009 Long Drivers of America champion, made headlines in 2010 by suing the LPGA for barring her from competing. The attention pushed the LPGA to remove the "female at birth" requirement from its by-laws. She continues to golf and advocate for transgender rights.

17. Matthew Mitcham, champion Olympic diver

The only openly gay man to compete in the 2008 Olympic games, Mitcham won gold in diving for Australia and was awarded the highest single-dive score in Olympic history. Mitcham competed again in the 2012 Olympics and has served as a judge for Australia's reality TV show Celebrity Splash! Image via Facebook

18. Amélie Mauresmo, pro tennis player

Mauresmo came out as lesbian at age 19 in 1999 at the Australian Open by jumping into the arms of her then-girlfriend after winning a match against Lindsay Davenport. She was notable for coming out at the beginning of her career rather than at the end or during retirement. She's famously quoted as saying that being out about her sexuality improved her game. Image via Wikipedia


30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Briana Gonzalez

<p>A proud, queer, Latina, identical twin with a penchant for brash humans and things that make me cough laugh.</p>

<p>A proud, queer, Latina, identical twin with a penchant for brash humans and things that make me cough laugh.</p>