This last year was a banner year for Outsports, with more comings out and significantly more readers than we've ever had. Just as we have in the past, we count down our most popular stories of the year throughout the month of December.

1) Troy Aikman: I’ve chosen to not date men
Troy Aikman says that being gay is “a lifestyle people choose.” By his own words, he has simply chosen another lifestyle.

2) Gay Kentucky basketball player comes out at a game, gets chased by opposing team
Kentucky high school basketball player Dalton Maldonado came out at a game after being called a gay slur. When the opposing team chased him in a car, his team rallied to his defense. Now he wants to help other young athletes in Indiana, Kentucky and the world.

3) The three gayest logos in NFL history
Pat Patriot can’t top the winking Bucco Bruce.

4) 18 out LGBT participants in Women’s World Cup
With various out players and a head coach, the Swedish and American women’s soccer teams were the most publicly out of any in the Women’s World Cup in Canada. All told, 18 participants were out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or otherwise.

5) We get it, Aaron Rodgers, you’re not gay
The Packers quarterback does not have to keep reminding us he’s dating a woman.

6) Villanova swim team takes gay teammate to Chipotle for his coming out party
Ryan Murtha was a Boy Scout when he was younger. Now that he’s come out as gay to his Villanova swim team, he knows he’ll never be welcome back to help the Boy Scouts ever again.

7) The gay version of SI’s Swimsuit Issue
The 2015 Outsports alternative to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue features nothing but dudes.

8) With the drafting of Shane Ray, NFL confirms Michael Sam is target of homophobia
The similarities between Michael Sam and Shane Ray – former teammates and defensive ends at Missouri – are striking. Distractions? Ray has a drug charge and Sam is gay. Ray was a first-round pick while Sam went in the last round. 1 + 1 = 2.

9) Kentucky high school omits gay basketball player from yearbook page, school says was innocent mistake
Gay basketball player Dalton Maldonado was left out of the Betsy Layne yearbook tribute to the boys basketball team. The school says it was an innocent mistake.

10) South Carolina college with two out gay athletes bans homosexuality in the name of God
After two volleyball players came out as gay, Erskine College, its Board of Trustees and its athletic department were pressured to make the school an inhospitable place for gay athletes.

11) One year later, has Michael Sam been frozen out of the NFL?
A year ago today Michael Sam came out publicly to a tsunami of support. Yet comments from NFL executives foretold his next 12 months as he struggled to latch onto a team as an openly gay man. Now he’s fighting harder than ever to get into the league.

12) Two gay West Virginia high school athletes attend senior prom as couple
Michael Martin and Logan Westrope danced to ‘Stay With Me’ on a night to remember. ‘When the slow songs played, we would just stare into each other’s eyes.’

13) Parents of gay teen athlete won’t let him come out
After finding strength by reading Outsports stories on gay athletes, this high school athlete wants to share his story. Sadly we have had to remove his anonymous story out of fear that his parents, who are against him being gay, might see it.

14) For Abby Wambach, passion for soccer changed after she married Sarah Huffman
The U.S. soccer star wants to add one title that has eluded her — World Cup.

15) Cowardly Christian business owner proudly denies service to gay people in Indiana
An anonymous Christian business owner told a radio station that he will proudly deny gay people service now that it is legal. In fact, he’s already been doing so.

16) Chris Burns: Why it’s finally time for me to come out as a gay D1 basketball coach
Chris Burns has held the secret that he’s gay from everyone in college basketball. In an Outsports exclusive, the Bryant Univ. basketball coach writes about relationships, fear, community and finding his truth.

17) ESPN commentator Israel Gutierrez announces marriage in heartfelt coming-out message
Israel Gutierrez has labored for a long time on how and when to come out as gay. A week before he gets married, he has decided now is the time.

18) Gay athlete heard teammate say ‘I saw your boyfriend during the race!’ and his heart dropped
College freshman runner Ian Davies was nervous about how he would be accepted in college, but he needn’t have worried.

19) Gay wrestler at Don Bosco in Iowa wrote his dad & coach a letter. The response was great.
Cole Fox, a devout Catholic and a wrestler for Don Bosco High School, has been awarded a Matthew Shepard Scholarship. He wants to bridge the gaps between the Catholic Church and wrestling world & the LGBT community.

20) ‘Sorry girls, I’m gay.’ A high school football player’s unique coming out.
Sean Warren was sick of hiding and decided to use social media to tell the world he’s gay. Once bullied, the Phoenix player is proud of who he is.

21) Texas College football player allegedly murdered trans girlfriend Ty Underwood
Carlton Ray Champion allegedly dated Ty Underwood before killing her.

22) All four Men’s Final Four coaches release joint statement on Indiana’s anti-LGBT law
Men’s Final Four coaches: “Each of us strongly supports the positions of the NCAA and our respective institutions on this matter – that discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated.”

23) Aaron Rodgers’ ex-roommate trolls him on Twitter after Packers loss
The Packers quarterback is mocked for his “R-E-L-A-X” quote following loss to Seahawks.

24) The NFL must move the 2017 Super Bowl out of Houston
Houston voters legalized discrimination with 61% of the vote. Now the NFL must choose whether it stands for or against blatant discrimination against LGBT people.

25) One of the guys
Mason Darrow has been embraced by the Princeton football team since he told them he’s gay. Now he comes out publicly days before kickoff.

26) Oakland pitcher Sean Doolittle and girlfriend buy tickets to fill stadium on LGBT Night
Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend, Eireann, promise to buy empty seats for LGBT Night in Oakland this June.

27) Hillsdale College asks gay athlete to pray for destruction of “evil” same-sex marriage
Hillsdale College’s chaplain is asking members of the school’s community, including athletes, coaches, students, faculty and alumni, to pray against “evil” same-sex marriage rights being considered by the Supreme Court.

28) Fighter who said Fallon Fox should be banned from MMA is banned for cheating
Ashlee Evans-Smith said Fallon Fox shouldn’t be allowed to fight due to perceived unfair advantages. Then Evans-Smith cheated trying to gain…an actual unfair advantage.

29) Texas college bans gay athletes from dating or supporting same-sex marriage
LeTourneau Univ., an NCAA Division III school in Texas, has a new policy forbidding gay student-athletes from dating. Any support for same-sex marriage can result in an athlete’s dismissal.

30) Gay New Jersey high school wrestling state champ comes out on college recruiting trip
Gay high school wrestling champion Alec Donovan wants colleges recruiting him to know he’s gay. He hopes sharing his story will help other LGBT athletes struggling with who they are.

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