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Valentine’s Weekend winners and losers in LGBTQ sports

Each and every Saturday, our managing editor reviews the top Outsports stories of the past 7 days and decides who won, and who lost. And this week’s list is heartwarming.

Shelby Weldon/PNGio.com

Here’s this week’s at the winners and losers of the week in LGBTQ sports for your Valentine’s Day weekend enjoyment. Winners are Cupids, losers get broken arrows.

Cupid: Indiana University swimmer finds peace and a purpose after coming out

Thomas Vanderbrook wrapped in a rainbow flag.
Thomas Vanderbrook.
Photo provided by Thomas Vanderbrook.

Thomas Vanderbrook struggled for years with his sexuality and felt like he was drowning. Opening up to those around him about being bisexual showed him a new path.


Broken Arrow: Hey, David Beckham: You can’t be a ‘gay icon’ and face of Qatar

Beckham is reportedly close to becoming an ambassador for Qatar in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup.


Cupid: ‘Trans women are women and that is that:’ JayCee Cooper plays offense in transgender athlete debate

Trans powerlifter JayCee Cooper notes sport is a human right in a TV interview.


Broken Arrow: Catalans Dragons player welcomes Israel Folau to team with gay porn

After infamous homophobe Folau signed with the French rugby club last year, one teammate introduced himself online by spamming him with gay porn videos.


Cupid: Out pro wrestler Don’t Die Miles evolved out of a need for self-definition

Don’t Die Miles stands shirtless with a thumbs-up.
Don’t Die Miles.
Robert Bellamy

Pro wrestling’s beacon of positivity took hold of his narrative last year by dropping a persona the made him ‘miserable’ and coming out publicly as pansexual.


Cupid: Non-binary rock climber Lor Sabourin reaches historic new summit

Lor Sabourin climbs a rockface.
Lor Sabourin.
Photo provided by Lor Sabourin.

In conquering the East Coast Fist Bump pinnacle, Sabourin charts a new path for non-binary climbers.


Cupid:Adam Rippon announces engagement to longtime boyfriend

Three years after a right swipe on Tinder, Rippon and his partner are tying the knot.


Cupid: Gay gymnast finds new sports passion as a college cheerleader at UConn

Ben Duncan cheering.
Ben Duncan.
Photo provided by Ben Duncan.

Ben Duncan learned the value of discipline and perseverance as a gymnast growing up and found a community as a UConn cheerleader.


Cupid: Ring of Honor’s Ian Riccaboni uses his voice for LGBTQ charity and awareness

ROH’s lead announcer is raising money for Allentown, PA’s Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center via Cameo.


Cupid: Longtime Cincinnati Bengals PR director Jack Brennan comes out as queer

Jack Brennan in his favorite outfit.
Jack Brennan
Photo provided by Jack Brennan

‘I feel like I want to become more genuine to people around me and not hide anymore.’


Cupid: Frank Rossi is a face of D3 football. Oh, and he happens to be gay, too

Rossi has been committed for 25 years to elevating the voices of people in football who don’t get the attention they deserve.

Cupid: This gay race car driver is out and proud, and chasing his motorsports dream

Devon Rouse sits in the drivers seat of his race car.
Devon Rouse competed in ARCA Menards Series Test at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Fla. last month.
Submitted photo

Planted in Midwestern dirt, Devon Rouse seeks to bloom on pavement in 2021.


Cupid: Gay former NFL player Esera Tuaolo says league is ready for openly gay player

When Tuaolo came out in 2002, he didn’t believe the NFL was ready for an openly gay player. But his thinking has changed.


Cupid: Kordell Stewart’s story is why we’ve avoided spreading gay athlete rumors

Outsports has received gay rumors about athletes for years. Though that trend is declining.


Cupid: Out In The Ring extends We Speak Out fundraiser

The minds behind the LGBTQ pro wrestling documentary will continue raising money for the film and the Matthew Shepard Foundation through Feb. 13.


Cupids: These 4 LGBTQ-inclusive ads aired in the Super Bowl

Billie Jean King, RuPaul, Lil Nas X and Dan Levy appear in commercials that ran on CBS during Super Bowl LV.


Cupid: Super Bowl star Rob Gronkowski would be ‘cool’ with a gay teammate

The NFL superstar would have no issue with a gay player on his team.


Cupid: Here are 55 LGBT-inclusive things the NFL, its teams and players have done

The league, its teams, coaches and players have done more for LGBT inclusion than you think.


That’s all for this week! I’ll bring you another list of winners and losers next Saturday. Got a name I missed, or want to challenge my choices? Comment here or on Facebook or Instagram, tweet at us, message me via any social media, or just plain email me at outsports@gmail.com Thanks!