Every day in October we’re looking back at the athletes, coaches and events that made LGBTQ sports history. Today, we look back at the almost 21-years of Outsports with its co-founders, who spoke with LZ Granderson at the virtual convention of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists on Saturday night. After Jim Buzinski and Cyd Zeigler were inducted into the LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame, they reflected on the history they have told through Outsports.

Jim and Cyd’s favorite stories:

Two gay West Virginia high school athletes attend senior prom as couple

By Jim Buzinski Apr 27, 2015

Michael Martin, left, and Logan Westrope

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.’

Click here to read the full story

Gay Kentucky basketball player comes out at a game, gets chased by opposing team

By Cyd Zeigler Apr 1, 2015

Dalton Maldonado found freedom when he came out to his Kentucky high school basketball team this season.

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.

Click here to read the full story

‘The eagle has landed’

By Cyd Zeigler Feb 9, 2014

Michael Sam

The exclusive behind-the-scenes story of how NFL prospect Michael Sam came out.

Click here to read the full story

Former Patriots and Chiefs tackle Ryan O’Callaghan comes out as gay

By Cyd Zeigler Jun 20, 2017

Ryan O’Callaghan

O’Callaghan had always planned to commit suicide after football, until Kansas City Chiefs staffers stepped in.

Click here to read the full story

Anthony Castro, R.I.P.

A tribute to a friend and an athlete

By Jim Buzinski Jan 24, 2007

It’s hard to write about a friend who has just died, but people need to know about Anthony Castro, killed in a crash in the Southern California mountains on Jan. 21. He was 19.

Anthony was that rarest of people – an athlete out to his team. In Anthony’s case, he was out in high school to his football and wrestling teams, our two most macho team sports. It took guts to take such a step but Anthony never thought too much about it – he was not ashamed of who he was and if you were uncomfortable, that was your problem.

Click here to read this moving obituary

The story Jim cited as raising public awareness of Outsports

Mike Piazza announces, ‘I’m not gay. I’m heterosexual.’

By Cyd Zeigler

New York Mets’ catcher Mike Piazza talks to media at Shea Stadium.

New York Met catcher Mike Piazza held a press conference to declare, “I’m not gay. I’m heterosexual.” And in doing so made many think he is in fact gay.

Click here to read the full story

Two stories that made an indelible impact on Cyd Zeigler

Tim Hardaway tells radio host, ‘I hate gay people’

By Cyd Zeigler

Tim Hardaway

Of all the homophobic actions by sportspeople in recent years, this may have been the stupidest. Just days after former NBA player John Amaechi came out of the closet, former NBA star Tim Hardaway told radio host Dan Le Batard he would not welcome a gay teammate.

Click here to read the full story

Tony Dungy Raised Money For Anti-gay Organization

By Cyd Zeigler Jan 31, 2006

Tony Dungy

Indianapolis Colts coach in bed with Indiana Family Institute.

Click here to read the full story

Stories that Jim recalls proudly as unique to Outsports

Why NFL Said No To Brokeback Mountain

By Cyd Zeigler Mar 2, 2006

Actors Heath Ledger, left, and Jake Gyllenhaal at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, talking with reporters about their film, Brokeback Mountain.

It Wasn’t the Gay Theme, League Memo Says.

Click here to read the full story

‘Gay’ Not Allowed On NFL Jerseys

Online NFL shop bans many words, including ‘gay,’ on their customized jerseys.

By Jim Buzinski Mar 1, 2005

Click here to read the full story

The video of LZ Granderson’s interview of Jim and Cyd is restricted to attendees of the Virtual Convention held by NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. But as one of those who did get to watch, I can share that Granderson complimented the co-founders for telling the stories of “those guys who are not household names,” he said. “You also write about high school kids. You write about college kids in Division III, people who will never be superstars in their sport. But their stories still have a home on your website.”

“At the end of the day, LZ, what are there? Five-, maybe six-thousand professional athletes in North America? There are millions of high school athletes,” Zeigler said. “We understand that the impact that we can have is much greater on those high school and college students. And they’re impacted when they read stories about them.”

“The visibility is so important,” added Buzinski. “To me, the visibility among high school and college, I find those stories much more revealing than just a pro athlete story.”

You can read more memories from Jim and Cyd by clicking here for a 2019 story celebrating the 20th anniversary of Outsports as well as LGBTQ History Month.

If you are out in sports in any capacity as openly LGBTQ and want to be featured in Outsports, drop Jim an email ([email protected]).

If you’re an LGBTQ person in sports looking to connect with others in the community, head over to GO! Space to meet and interact with other LGBTQ athletes, or to Equality Coaching Alliance to find other coaches, administrators and other non-athletes in sports.

Look for another story celebrating LGBTQ sports history tomorrow and every day this month.