‘I think the biggest lesson I learned as a queer athlete was to never be ashamed of who you are and where you come from,’ Devan Kirk writes.
‘I am literally more comfortable in my skin, Lindsay Imber — an organist, basketball referee and baseball rules analyst — writes about her transition.
‘When I came to Arizona State, I began to discover a newfound connection with my queer self,’ says gymnast Jackson Harrison.
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Dominic Clarke had a ‘gay old time’ being himself at the Olympics once he embraced who he was.
Christopher Caluza struggled for years with his sexuality but slowly he realized that embracing who he was made him a better skater and person.
Coming Out Stories
Outsports' list of coming out stories from LGBT people in sports.
When an exhausted Michael Lalli crossed the finish line in Hawaii, the triathlete felt a major sense of accomplishment and a realization of where his coming out journey led him.
"Seeing for the first time in my life successful queer individuals being not just tolerated, but celebrated by those around them, was life changing," says Duke diver Nathaniel Hernandez.
‘Being out ... has allowed me to truly find a community within the game of tennis,’ Scott Strough says.
Any reservations Anh Nguyen had attending a Catholic university as an openly gay athlete were quickly dispelled.
‘Sports have always given me the chance to express myself and be passionate without the fear of what others will think of me,’ Alec Pena says.
‘The impact of coming out in college athletics has made my job and career so much more enjoyable,’ Keith Anderson says.
Matthew Kinney persevered through some dark times as he was coming out, but that is all well behind him now.
‘College has been my escape, somewhere I can be truly and unapologetically myself,’ Emma Hoffart says.
‘The most challenging part of being gay has actually been encouraging myself to be more open with others,’ MacJilton Lewis writes.
Candace and Tig Archer started dating while runners at West Virginia University. It was only fitting that their close-knit team was an integral part of their wedding.
"I think it’s important to increase the representation so that people at the upper levels of the sport will be able to come out and feel supported," says John Speicher, who struggled with his own coming out at Dartmouth.
Alex Plinck thought he had nothing to live for, but he was wrong. Now openly gay, Plinck is thriving and doing the thing he loves most — covering sports.
Gay rower, now at University of Alabama, watched ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and came out to parents next day
Jack Lombardo took one of his lowest moments as an athlete and used it as a catalyst to come out. He has never regretted it.
When Collin Lillie decided to come out, ‘my teammates lifted me up, gave me space to figure it out and celebrated me above all.’
After shedding internal doubts, Josiah Davis says that "by coming out of the closet, I’ve allowed myself to have deeper friendships with my peers as well as shift my priorities."
After struggling with being gay growing up, Kim Brady found her niche on Cal’s soccer team in college and never looked back.
‘The realization hit me that I was the first gay person any of my teammates had ever met,’ Britton Majure says after he came out as gay.
After coming out at her Maryland college, Lindsey Farrell "felt more connected to not only the sports community, but now my community as an LGBTQ+ member."
Grace Dzindolet has always loved basketball, but in college she co-founded a support group for LGBTQIA+ student-athletes as she continues to push inclusion.
Swimmer Jordan Fixsen took the plunge by coming out as nonbinary to their team. Anxiety and fear of rejection were replaced by support and acceptance.
‘I wish I had come out sooner.... but I also realize that my story happened this way for a reason,’ volleyball player and coach Shaughn McDonald says.
‘After coming out to my teammates at St. Bonaventure, along with friends and family, the sense of relief is unfathomable,’ say diver Austin Campbell.
In recovering from a major injury, Andrew Bucur reflected on his need to confront being gay, with inspiration from Robbie Rogers.
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.
Ben Duncan learned the value of discipline and perseverance as a gymnast growing up and found a community as a UConn cheerleader.
Lacrosse referee Kyle Kennery battled addiction and self-doubt in his unconventional journey of acceptance.
Maria Lopez found strength to share her sexual identity spurred by the demands for racial justice and equality.
Schooled in a stifling Catholic environment, Abram Gregory found an invaluable coping mechanism in fencing.
When Bryan Pinto saw his fellow officials celebrate his special day, he realized he was just one of the guys.
Chris McLeod fought his sexuality for years in an unforgiving sport, but now is determined to help others reach their potential.
‘I have no doubt that without Fergus I never would have had the resolve to put myself out there in this way,’ writes pro rugby player Devin Ibanez.