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Coming Out Stories

Outsports' list of coming out stories from LGBT people in sports.

For gay Texas Rangers writer, life has turned sweet after he hit rock bottom

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.

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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.

Gay college gymnast came out with confidence and assist from teammates

When Collin Lillie decided to come out, ‘my teammates lifted me up, gave me space to figure it out and celebrated me above all.’

Gay runner at Coast Guard Academy finds being authentic allows him to thrive

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."

Soccer has been guiding light for lesbian college soccer player turned business coach

After struggling with being gay growing up, Kim Brady found her niche on Cal’s soccer team in college and never looked back.

Gay Texas high school athlete comes out to team and starts a Gay Straight Alliance

‘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.

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Gay slur from a fan and game of Hangman with teammates inspired college athlete to come out

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."

Out college basketball player finds her activist side off the court

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.

For nonbinary high school swimmer, ‘dumbest thing I’ve ever done’ turned out to be the best

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.

Gay volleyball player’s self-acceptance led to deeper bond with college teammates

‘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.

Gay college diver finds friends, support and sense of family with new team

‘After coming out to my teammates at St. Bonaventure, along with friends and family, the sense of relief is unfathomable,’ say diver Austin Campbell.

A torn ACL inspired gay college soccer player to love and accept himself

In recovering from a major injury, Andrew Bucur reflected on his need to confront being gay, with inspiration from Robbie Rogers.

Indiana University swimmer finds peace and a purpose after coming out

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

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

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

Harley-riding, nail-painting pansexual lacrosse referee finally finds his niche

Lacrosse referee Kyle Kennery battled addiction and self-doubt in his unconventional journey of acceptance.

Lesbian college tennis coach finds her voice coming out during pandemic

Maria Lopez found strength to share her sexual identity spurred by the demands for racial justice and equality. 

A hug made all the difference to pansexual champion college fencer

Schooled in a stifling Catholic environment, Abram Gregory found an invaluable coping mechanism in fencing.

Why his wedding day was extra special for gay umpire and official

When Bryan Pinto saw his fellow officials celebrate his special day, he realized he was just one of the guys.

Gay MMA coach and a champion wrestler wins toughest battle by coming out

Chris McLeod fought his sexuality for years in an unforgiving sport, but now is determined to help others reach their potential.

Gay pro rugby player inspired to come out by love of his boyfriend

‘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.

Wearing a Pride shirt inspired gay college soccer captain to come out

Couper Gunn gained strength on and off the field after deciding to stop hiding.

Bi college lacrosse player thrives after finding her identity

Therese Pitman used to hide her feelings for other women while also dating men until she decided to just be herself.

A gay Christian from Oklahoma finds identity and niche as athletics administrator at Stanford

Working on a video highlighting LGTBQ sports equality in Kentucky was the catalyst for Justin Mathis to begin his coming out journey.

Gay golf pro comes out to change perceptions in conservative sport

Golf ‘at its core is a conservative white straight cis-male dominated industry,’ says Kyle Winn. ‘It has gotten better, but we have a long way to go.’

Trans long-distance runner finds freedom as she lives her life fearlessly

Lauren Harrigian spent years struggling with her transition, but she can now say she is ‘both a competitive marathon runner and also an amazing trans woman.’

He’s gay, a Coast Guard officer and a rower with Olympic dreams

John Olbrys discovered his sports passion on the water and his career in the Coast Guard, and after coming out has found it progressively easier to be himself.

College volleyball player finds his Christian faith strengthen after coming out

Unique Smith found a home and support on his college volleyball team by being himself.

College basketball player comes out and feels a sense of liberation and pride

When SMU’s Bri Tollie tore her ACL, she never thought it would be a catalyst to come out as a bisexual athlete.

Harvard lacrosse player to teammates: ‘Guys, I’m gay’

The sport has often been a hostile space for LGBTQ players, but when Noah Knopf came out, he felt liberated and says it’s been ‘sunshine, rainbows and lacrosse’ ever since.

Track athlete’s best friend came out to him. They’re now boyfriends

Joe Hamilton struggled with his sexuality, but has found acceptance on his college cross-country and track teams.

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This athlete has navigated being queer and Black in football, the Army and the DC police department

Wilthalrio Coachman has found himself through semi-pro football, and as a police officer with a career in the military.

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This gay athlete came out to his high school at an awards banquet in the South

Justin Balthazor waited until he had proven himself with points and rebounds to share his true self with everyone in his basketball world.