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Outsports' 100 most important moments in LGBT-sports history

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In 2011, Outsports listed 100 important moments in LGBT sports history.

Atlanta United FC v Orlando City SC Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

When we look back years from now at 2011, it will be akin to what 1947 was for black athletes. That was the year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. This year we’ve seen an unprecedented number of gay athletes come out of the closet, and we’ve seen even more straight athletes stand up against homophobia. If there is a tipping point in the long history of gay sports, 2011 is it.

Yet few know the deeply rich history that has led to this groundbreaking year. There are even key moments in gay-sports history that we at Outsports hadn’t heard about or had forgotten.

Over the rest of the summer we will release our list of the 100 most important moments in gay-sports history. We have focused on specific moments, whether they be a few minutes or a day, that have shaped the course of our history; Many of the faces of those moments will be familiar to our readers.

We focused on what we consider to be the "gay-sports movement." There were certainly amazing gay and lesbian athletes before the Stonewall riots in 1969, but there wasn’t a push for gay equality in sports until after that fateful day in New York City. Our moments range from July 1, 1969 to July 1, 2011.

We could not have developed the list without the help of several people who dug deep into their archives for many of these moments: Gay wrestling guru Gene Dermody; Longtime gay-sports advocate and current head of the GLSEN Sports Project Pat Griffin; Author and high school soccer coach Dan Woog; and author Patricia Nell Warren, who has written about the history of gay athletes for Outsports for years. Over the course of the next two months we will highlight their personal lists of key moments.

We'll track the full list here:

1) Dave Kopay comes out / 1975 / football
2) Martina Navratilova comes out / 1981 / tennis
3) Billie Jean King outed / 1981 / tennis
4) Publication of 'The Front Runner' / 1974 / books
5) First Gay Games / 1982 / various sports
6) Corey Johnson's story is told / 2000 / football
7) Billy Bean comes outt / baseball / 1999
8.) John Rocker spews homophobia to Sports Illustrated / 1999 / baseball
9) First gay softball world series / 1977 / softball
10) Matthew Mitcham wins diving gold / 2008 / diving
11) Ian Roberts comes out / 1995 / rugby
12) Renee Richards wins right to play in U.S. Open / 1977 / tennis
13) Magic Johnson announces he has HIV / 1991 / basketball
14) Greg Louganis comes out / 1994 / diving
15) John Amaechi comes out / 2007 / basketball
16) Esera Tuaolo comes out / 2002 / football
17) Brendan Burke passes away / 2010 / hockey
18) Gareth Thomas comes out / 2009 / rugby
19) ESPN airs 'World of the gay athlete'' / 1998 / media
20) NCLR initiates sports project / 2001 / sports
21) Tim Hardaway tells radio host, 'I hate gay people'' / 2007 / basketball
22) IOC allows trans athletes to compete / 2004 / Olympics
23) Justin Fashanu commits suicide / 1998 / soccer
24) Out John Curry wins world figure skating title / 1976 / figure skating
25) Mike Piazza announces he's straight / 2002 / baseball
26) Umpire Dave Pallone fired by MLB / 1988 / baseball
27) Intersex Spanish hurdler banned from track / 1986 / track & field
28) Sheryl Swoopes comes out / 2005 / basketball
29) Majority of pro athletes would welcome gay teammate / 2006 / sports
30) 11 out athletes at Athens Summer Olympics / 2004 / Olympics
31) NBC airs 'He's here, he's Weir' / 2006 / Olympics
32) Brendan Lemon reveals MLB boyfriend / 2001 / baseball
33) Mark Bingham killed in Sept. 11 attacks / 2001 / rugby
34) Canadian volleyball coach Betty Baxter fired / 1982 / volleyball
35) First gay rodeo / 1976 / rodeo
36) Jeremy Shockey says he doesn't want gay teammate / 2002 / NFL
37) Eric Anderson's runner attacked / 1996 / cross-country
38) Gay Games III Vancouver is first outside San Francisco / 1990 / Gay Games
39) ESPN hires LZ Granderson / 2004 / sports media
40) John Damien sues over dismissal / 1975 / horse racing
41) The founding of the International Gay Bowling Org. / 1980 / bowling
42) Lana Lawless wins right to play on LPGA Tour / 2010 / golf
43) Brian Sims tells his story / 2009 / college football
44) Kye Allums comes out / 2010 / college basketball
45) Hudson Taylor openly supports gay rights / 2010 / wrestling
46) NBA fines Kobe Bryant $100k / 2011 / NBA
47) Rene Portland leaves Penn State / 2007 / college basketball
48) Figure skater Andrej Nepela named Slovakia athlete of the century / 2000 / figure skating
49) IOC ends mandatory gender testing / 1999 / Olympics
50) Rick Welts comes out / 2011 / NBA
51) Amelie Mauresmo wins Wimbledon / 2006 / tennis
52) Roger Brigham comes out to general manager / 1982 / sports reporting
53) Kirk Walker becomes only male D.1 head coach / 2007 / softball
54) Glenn Burke comes out / 1993 / baseball
55) 'Ball Four' TV show includes gay ballplayer / 1976 / baseball
56) Supreme Court rules against 'Gay Olympic Games' / 1987 / various sports
57) Bodybuilder Bob Paris comes out / 1989 / Bodybuilding
58) Christine Daniels comes out as transgendered sportswriter / 2007 / media
59) Diana Nyad swims from Bimini to Florida / 1979 / swimming
60) Stanley Cup part of Chicago's gay pride parade / 2010 / NHL
61) Terrell Owens implies Jeff Garcia is gay / 2004 / NFL
62) CBC airs "The Last Closet"/ 1993/media
63) NCAA workshop on sexual orientation / 2003 / various sports
64) Bill Konigsberg comes out at ESPN / 2001 / media
65) Caster Semenya asked to undergo gender test / 2009 / track & field
66) Formation of Penn's Athletes & Allies PATH / 2003 / various sports
67) Homophobic chants at Brazil volleyball match / 2011 / volleyball
68) NCAA chief encourages embrace of sexual orientation
69) Ed Gallagher survives suicide attempt / 1985 / football
70) World Outgames splits from Gay Games / 2003 / various sports
71) Anton Hysen comes out/ 2011 / soccer
72) Sean Avery leads New York gay marriage charge / 2011 / hockey
73) Steven Davis is first international cricketer to come out / 2011 / cricket
74) Irish hurling star Donal Óg Cusack comes out / 2009 / hurling
75) 'Take Me Out' hits Broadway / 2003 / baseball
76) San Francisco Giants say 'It Gets Better' / 2011 / baseball
77) First Trans Student-Athlete think tank / 2009 / various sports
78) NAGAAA sued over straight-athlete limit / 2010 / softball
79) Canadian Olympian Mark Tewksbury comes out / 1998 / swimming
80) Sherri Murrell is first out Div. 1 basketball coach / 2009 / basketball
81) Brendan Burke comes out / 2009 / hockey
82) Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation conference / 2003 / various sports
83) Greg Congdon outed / 1998 / football
84) Lesbian couple ejected from Dodgers Stadium for kissing / 2000 / baseball
85) First EuroGames held / 1992 / various sports
86) Former NFL player Roy Simmons comes out on 'Donahue' / 1992 / football
87) Jen Harris sues Penn State / 2005 / basketball
88) Nong Toom wins first competitive match / 1998 / kickboxing
89) Washington becomes first state to adopt trans high school athlete policy / 2008 / various sports
90) Mike Muska named athletic director at Oberlin College / 1998 / various sports
91) Robert Dover elected captain of U.S. equestrian team / 2000 / equestrian
92) Pat Griffin publishes 'Strong Women, Deep Closets' / 1998 / various sports
93) David Pichler, Patrick Jeffrey are out divers at '96 Olympics / 1996 / diving
94) Openly gay Rudy Galindo wins U.S. figure skating title / 1996 / figure skating
95) Muffin Spencer-Devlin becomes first pro golfer to come out / 1996 / golf
96) Savoy Howe becomes first out lesbian in women’s boxing / 1993 / boxing
97) Mountain biking world champion Missy Giove comes out / 1995 / mountain bike racing
98) Martina Navratilova speaks at the March on Washington / 1993 / tennis
99) Dan Woog publishes 'Jocks' / 1997 / various sports
100) University of Florida settles lawsuit with Andrea Zimbardi / 2004 / softball