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Outsports’ 25 most-read stories of 2017 were positive and powerful

LGBTQ athletes came out and succeeded in 2017.

Patriots Training Camp
Ryan O’Callaghan opened countless minds with his heart-wrenching story of living in the closet in football.
Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Every year we’re so interested to see what stories were our most-read of the year. We were particularly curious this year, with so much negativity being shared across our community in various media, what the tenor of our most-read stories might be.

At least 80% of our 25 most-read stories were positive. Only two were flat-out negative. It’s a great reminder of the importance of stories that focus on inclusion and success, something Outsports will certainly take with it going into 2018.

Over the next couple of weeks we will count down our 25 most-read stories of 2017. We hope you enjoy reading them all over again and continue to find positivity and strength in what we do here.

1) Former Patriots and Chiefs tackle Ryan O’Callaghan comes out as gay
O’Callaghan had always planned to commit suicide after football, until Kansas City Chiefs staffers stepped in.

2) Transgender boy Mack Beggs wins girls wrestling title as Texas struggles with transphobic laws
State policies must stop defining trans people by their birth certificates.

3) Transgender weightlifter wins international women’s competition, sets national record
Laurel Hubbard competed previously as a man.

4) Kansas State OT Scott Frantz has had ‘nothing but positivity’ since coming out as gay
‘The culture is definitely changing,’ Frantz said.

5) This elite Illinois high school wrestler is proudly gay
Dylan Geick will wrestle for Columbia Univ. next year.

6) NHL names a player on each team as LGBTQ-inclusion ambassador
You Can Play project continues work with NHL.

7) Jim Harbaugh’s gay son says his dad got him hooked on musical theater
James Harbaugh Jr. studies theater at Michigan when he’s not cheering for his dad.

8) This gay college football player found total team acceptance from day one
Wyatt Pertuset was out and All-Ohio in high school, voted prom king.

9) This gay Minnesota sprinter found himself, and love, in the Big Ten
Brad Neumann runs for the Univ. of Minnesota with his boyfriend.

10) Gay college football player says he is risking nothing by coming out
Linebacker Kyle Kurdziolek was inspired by Michael Sam.

11) San Francisco 49ers assistant Katie Sowers is first out LGBT coach in NFL
‘One of the most important things is to be true to who you are,’ she says.

12) These two Univ. of Minnesota teammates are boyfriends in love
Justin Rabon and Brad Neumann have been together for over two years.

13) The rush to proclaim Aaron Hernandez ‘gay’ or ‘bisexual’ is troubling
Some in the media share little evidence and use unhealthy reporting.

14) There have been 11 known gay players in NFL history
Ryan O’Callaghan adds to a list that started 42 years ago.

15) When this Big Ten athlete came out to his boyfriend, he wanted to run away
Justin Rabon transferred to Minnesota to run with his boyfriend.

16) CBS effectively masked gay slurs during Patriots-Raiders game
Fans in Mexico chanted a gay slur during the NFL game.

17) This gay Division 1 college football player came out to his team with a mic on a stage
Xavier Colvin is a force on the Butler football team.

18) World champion and Olympian Shawn Barber comes out as ‘gay and proud’
Barber holds the NCAA indoor pole vault record.

19) Gay Florida State diver finds his niche as an out and successful athlete
Aidan Faminoff felt free after no longer hiding his true self.

20) St. Louis Cardinals denied Outsports a credential for Christian Day, so we bought a ticket
Lance Berkman, an anti-LGBT campaigner, was the featured speaker.

21) Gay Texas high school football player also performed at halftime in makeup with the drill team
Shunned at home, Austin Hodges found love and support at school.

22) Ryan Getzlaf offers the worst non-apology for a slur in sports history
Getzlaf takes no responsibility for the slur.

23) This gay baseball player just came out on live TV
Ryan Jordan Santana’s teammates embraced him.

24) Goofy video with boyfriend spurs bisexual pro wrestler to come out
Positive reaction from a competitor told Anthony Bowens that he would be accepted.

25) Montana high school athlete finds being gay is no big deal to teammates
Football captain told Tyler Joachim, ‘It’s all about love, isn’t it?’