Coming Out Stories
Outsports' list of coming out stories from LGBT people in sports.
Growing up in small-town Nebraska as gay wasn’t easy, but Trevor Kosch found the strength to come out to his college golf team and his parents.
‘I’ve realized that marrying my love of drag performance with a passion for sports is likely my truest form,’ Shanda Leer says.
Luke Klipp embraced a new MLS team until the homophobic chanting started. The aftermath restored his faith in his fellow fans.
He avoided slapshots on the ice and was an umpire at Wimbledon. Coming out as gay was more difficult
Bryan Hicks had a successful career as an umpire in tennis and referee in hockey. But keeping his sexuality a secret eventually became too much.
Josh Sorbe was the homecoming king and student body president at the University of South Dakota where he was able to reach his potential as an openly gay student-athlete.
‘Swimming, biking, running and lifting took away the anxiety caused by being in the closet,’ says Matthew Helmerichs.
Richard Coffey battled isolation and his sexual identity by embracing hockey, but he now realizes he had to be honest with himself to be truly happy.
JR Jaquay remembers the isolation as boy growing up in Texas and feeling different. That led him to stressing inclusiveness in his coaching and training.
‘Horses don’t understand concepts such as sexual orientation, or gender identity,’ says college equestrian rider Jay Robinson. ‘The only thing that a horse really cares about is how the person in the tack makes them feel.’
Jonathan Kliment decided to be himself as he pursues his dream of broadcasting one day in the NHL.
The Big Bad Kaiju long struggled with his sexual identity but has found love, acceptance and liberation since unveiling his truth in and out of the ring.
Stephen Finkel used a teammate’s gay slur as a catalyst to come out, including support from four NHL players.
Joshua Lindsey never dreamed he’d go from Kentucky to New York’s Madison Square Garden, but seeing another out person in sports management changed his life.
Chris Kinney never fit in a neat box as a multiracial man who is attracted to both men and women. After enduring horrific bullying while living in Japan, he came back to the U.S. and found a new sport and a new confidence in being himself.
Seeking to inspire those closeted in the sports industry, Theo Rabinowitz tells of his experience coming out to his CBS Sports co-workers in 2015 and the acceptance he’s found since.
Ross Furbush was able to be his authentic self with the help of his mentor, whose acceptance of LGBTQ people mirrored that of his church.
Gordie Mitchard wrestled with the hyper-masculinity of hockey but learned to broaden the definition with the help of a popular gay fellow referee.
Any fears Mitchell Thomas had about coming out melted away when he was embraced by his teammates.
When Caitlin McQuilkin-Bell decided to open up to a trusted University of Florida coach about her girlfriend, it gave her the strength to come out.
Adam Fyrer has been able to be his authentic self and also play a sport he loves by being honest as he gained self-confidence in his identity.
A chance meeting helped Mark Turnipseed start to turn his life around and embrace who he is.
Benjamin Fredell was playing in an elite youth league, but years of homophobia in the sport and self-hatred led him to quit to find happiness.
Jeremy Sonkin has longed battled racism and homophobia in tennis. But a renewed love of the sport has led him to strive for success in the 35 and over professional circuit.
Out volleyball player and coach Brett Thompson tells a parent that ‘whom I choose to love has no effect on my abilities to coach.’
Erik Limpitlaw had great success in rowing even as he struggled with his sexuality. Years later, he is happy and fulfilled.
This gay hockey player was sick of hearing slurs from his team. So he came out to them with this speech
Brock Weston knew it was time to come out to his hockey team. ‘I didn’t choose this, and I hope you won’t turn on me.’
In a first-person essay for SkySports, Akanni attributes his newfound confidence on the track to coming out publicly.
With a newfound sense of confidence as a gay man, Kevin Pereira pursues his athletic passion.
Greg Nelson struggled with coming out until he finally found a helping hand and the strength to be himself.
After 10 years and in a period of great uncertainty, Matt Lynch decides he could hide no more and strives to be a role model for other LGBTQ coaches.
Brett Lysohir’s senior season ended abruptly, but not until after he showed his teammates the real him.
Mike Del Moro swam better after coming out at Tufts University, and a decade later realizes one never stops coming out.