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Countdown: Outsports’ 30 most-read stories of 2019

The year was dominated by stories about trans athletes, athletes coming out, love and women’s soccer.

JayCee Cooper
JayCee Cooper

Every year we at Outsports look back at our most-read stories of the year. It’s a great way to remember the year and see what issues are on readers’ minds as we continue to dive into the spectrum of topics across the LGBTQ sports landscape.

This year we noticed there were four topics that appeared multiple times on the list, which reflected some of the big sports stories of the year:

  • Trans athletes and the inclusion of trans women in sports
  • Coming out stories of people in sports
  • People getting married or being in love
  • Women’s soccer and the Women’s World Cup

Throughout the month of December we’ll count down our 30 most-read stories of 2019, and we’ll track the list here. Check out the list and be sure to read the ones you may have missed:

1) USA Powerlifting bans all trans women from competing as women
JayCee Cooper won a state women’s title after being barred from competing as a woman at USA Powerlifting events.

2) 40 out LGBTQ participants in the 2019 Women’s World Cup
40 players, one coach and a trainer are among the out participants at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

3) Astros’ George Springer punished by MLB for anti-gay slur directed at umpire
Major League Baseball has punished Astros slugger George Springer for what he said about umpire Angel Hernandez last month

4) Former MLS player Matt Pacifici comes out as gay by introducing his boyfriend to the world
Pacifici played with the Columbus Crew in 2016. Now he hopes coming out can help other gay athletes be their true selves.

5) Two gay high school athletes attend their prom together in rural Tennessee
Pedro Reyes and Evan McKenna met on the cross country team and hope their relationship is a sign of a changing South.

6) The two World Cup teams with the most out athletes are in the final
The U.S. and Netherlands women’s teams each have five out lesbian and bisexual players apiece.

7) Olympic champion Kerron Clement comes out on National Coming Out Day
Kerron Clement was celebrating Nike’s contribution to a new rainbow track in L.A. when he talked publicly for the first time about being gay.

8) Megan Rapinoe shatters stereotypes as first out gay Sports Illustrated swimsuit model
Girls who like girls can play, too: USWNT soccer star Megan Rapinoe is the first out LGBTQ athlete to pose in Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue.

9) Christian soccer player who refused to wear pride jersey not on U.S. World Cup roster
The USWNT announced their 23-player roster for the 2019 World Cup and Jaelene Hinkle’s name isn’t on it

10) Trans wrestler Nyla Rose made history at AEW’s Double or Nothing
AEW’s Nyla Rose made history as the first out trans woman ever signed to a full-time contract with a major wrestling promotion.

11) Openly gay pro strongman Rob Kearney marries his boyfriend
Rob Kearney won a pro strongman contest and then married his boyfriend on a beach.

12) Megan Rapinoe: I won’t sing the national anthem ever again
Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Women’s National Team hasn’t sung the national anthem during the Women’s World Cup, and says she probably won’t ever again.

13) Martina Navratilova on trans athletes: ‘Letting men compete as women is unfair’
The tennis legend says transgender inclusion in sports is “insane and it’s cheating.”

14) Mack Beggs’ birth certificate finally affirms his gender
As a boy, Beggs won back-to-back Texas high school state titles. Now he’s on a men’s wrestling team in college.

15) NCAA champion CeCé Telfer says ‘I have no benefit’ by being trans
The Franklin Pierce University graduate breaks her silence to respond to detractors who claim she has a physical advantage over other women.

16) Fellowship of Christian Athletes targets LGBTQ community with Statement of Faith
Many FCA members have no idea the organization stands firmly against the dignity and respect of LGBTQ student-athletes and their relationships.

17) Gay college football player found biggest barrier to happiness was his own insecurity
Christian Zeitvogel feared the worst when he came out as a gay football player, but he was met with love and acceptance.

18) A runner’s story: ‘I am the only out LGBTQ athlete at BYU’
For Emma Gee, a bisexual BYU runner, ‘coming out has proven difficult, confusing, awful, heartbreaking and wonderfully liberating.’

19) Inspired by his twin brother, gay college swimmer finds motivation to come out
Any anxiety Jacob Upton had about coming out as gay on his college swim team was quickly alleviated by their warm acceptance.

20) Martina Navratilova asks: ‘where did I go wrong’ on ‘the transgender problem’? Umm...
The tennis legend says she’s sorry for calling trans athletes “cheats” in an update to her controversial essay

21) Ryan Russell, NFL free agent, comes out as bisexual
Ryan Russell wants to land back in the NFL. Being his true self is now paramount for his life’s next chapter.

22) The re-education of coach Russell Turner
Since the UC-Irvine basketball coach called a player ‘queen’ in the NCAA tournament, Russell Turner has educated himself and become a better person.

23) WNBA player Chelsea Gray marries her girlfriend
The Los Angeles Sparks guard tied the knot with her girlfriend Tipesa Moorer on Saturday.

24) Two Texas Rangers have been grabbing each other’s crotch at games. Now they say they’ll stop.
Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara show, with their little gesture, that the barriers of homophobia in sports are fading away.

25) Being Out: Army vet and rugby player Chris Kelley finds niche as a gay athlete
Chris Kelley is an Ohio State Buckeye through and through and thrives being an out rugby player.

26) Kurtis Gabriel will keep Pride Tape on his hockey stick for his entire career
Kurtis Gabriel will use his hockey stick to support the LGBTQ community as long as he’s skating.

27) Are Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris the first engaged couple on the same US National Team?
Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris are engaged to marry. They’ll be playing together for the U.S. in the Women’s World Cup.

28) Gay Australian rugby player Simon Dunn claps back against internet hate
When an anonymous bigot used Simon Dunn’s image as part of a hate meme, he messed with the wrong athlete.

29) For gay college football player, acceptance of coaches, teammates came from Day 1
Cy Hicks, a gay college football player in Idaho, learns a lesson about empowerment through the game.

30) CeCé Telfer is a trans athlete who doesn’t win every time
The college senior wins some, loses some, but is always a champion.