Coming Out Stories
Outsports' list of coming out stories from LGBT people in sports.
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 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.
Couper Gunn gained strength on and off the field after deciding to stop hiding.
Therese Pitman used to hide her feelings for other women while also dating men until she decided to just be herself.
Working on a video highlighting LGTBQ sports equality in Kentucky was the catalyst for Justin Mathis to begin his coming out journey.
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.’
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.’
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.
Unique Smith found a home and support on his college volleyball team by being himself.
When SMU’s Bri Tollie tore her ACL, she never thought it would be a catalyst to come out as a bisexual athlete.
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.
Joe Hamilton struggled with his sexuality, but has found acceptance on his college cross-country and track teams.
Wilthalrio Coachman has found himself through semi-pro football, and as a police officer with a career in the military.
Justin Balthazor waited until he had proven himself with points and rebounds to share his true self with everyone in his basketball world.