Celebrating LGBTQ History Month with a look at our out athletes

Whether you include the “Q” or just use “LGBT,” the 31 days of October are dedicated to honoring the historical achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. GLSEN has a site dedicated to this effort, as do HRC and the Equality Forum.

We here at Outsports want to make sure the amazing contributions of LGBTQ athletes are not forgotten to history.

So every day this month we’ll look back at our pioneers and the mark they left on our community and on the sports world.

If you have a suggestion, comment here or on Facebook or Instagram, tweet at us, message us via any social media, or just plain email us at [email protected] Thanks!

FROM 2011:

In July 2011, Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler wrote:

When we look back years from now at 2011, it will be akin to what 1947 was for black athletes. That was the year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. This year we’ve seen an unprecedented number of gay athletes come out of the closet, and we’ve seen even more straight athletes stand up against homophobia. If there is a tipping point in the long history of gay sports, 2011 is it.

Yet few know the deeply rich history that has led to this groundbreaking year. There are even key moments in gay-sports history that we at Outsports hadn’t heard about or had forgotten.

Our list of the 100 most important moments in gay-sports history focused on specific moments, whether they be a few minutes or a day, that have shaped the course of our history; Many of the faces of those moments will be familiar to our readers.

We focused on what we consider to be the “gay-sports movement.” There were certainly amazing gay and lesbian athletes before the Stonewall riots in 1969, but there wasn’t a push for gay equality in sports until after that fateful day in New York City. Our moments range from July 1, 1969 to July 1, 2011.

We could not have developed the list without the help of several people who dug deep into their archives for many of these moments: Gay wrestling guru Gene Dermody; Longtime gay-sports advocate and current head of the GLSEN Sports Project Pat Griffin; Author and high school soccer coach Dan Woog; and author Patricia Nell Warren, who has written about the history of gay athletes for Outsports for years.

The full list, first published in 2011, is here:

1) Dave Kopay comes out / 1975 / football

2) Martina Navratilova comes out / 1981 / tennis

3) Billie Jean King outed / 1981 / tennis

4) Publication of ‘The Front Runner’ / 1974 / books

5) First Gay Games / 1982 / various sports

6) Corey Johnson’s story is told / 2000 / football

7) Billy Bean comes outt / baseball / 1999

8.) John Rocker spews homophobia to Sports Illustrated / 1999 / baseball

9) First gay softball world series / 1977 / softball

10) Matthew Mitcham wins diving gold / 2008 / diving

11) Ian Roberts comes out / 1995 / rugby

12) Renee Richards wins right to play in U.S. Open / 1977 / tennis

13) Magic Johnson announces he has HIV / 1991 / basketball

14) Greg Louganis comes out / 1994 / diving

15) John Amaechi comes out / 2007 / basketball

16) Esera Tuaolo comes out / 2002 / football

17) Brendan Burke passes away / 2010 / hockey

18) Gareth Thomas comes out / 2009 / rugby

19) ESPN airs ‘World of the gay athlete’’ / 1998 / media

20) NCLR initiates sports project / 2001 / sports

21) Tim Hardaway tells radio host, ‘I hate gay people’’ / 2007 / basketball

22) IOC allows trans athletes to compete / 2004 / Olympics

23) Justin Fashanu commits suicide / 1998 / soccer

24) Out John Curry wins world figure skating title / 1976 / figure skating

25) Mike Piazza announces he’s straight / 2002 / baseball

26) Umpire Dave Pallone fired by MLB / 1988 / baseball

27) Intersex Spanish hurdler banned from track / 1986 / track & field

28) Sheryl Swoopes comes out / 2005 / basketball

29) Majority of pro athletes would welcome gay teammate / 2006 / sports

30) 11 out athletes at Athens Summer Olympics / 2004 / Olympics

31) NBC airs ‘He’s here, he’s Weir’ / 2006 / Olympics

32) Brendan Lemon reveals MLB boyfriend / 2001 / baseball

33) Mark Bingham killed in Sept. 11 attacks / 2001 / rugby

34) Canadian volleyball coach Betty Baxter fired / 1982 / volleyball

35) First gay rodeo / 1976 / rodeo

36) Jeremy Shockey says he doesn’t want gay teammate / 2002 / NFL

37) Eric Anderson’s runner attacked / 1996 / cross-country

38) Gay Games III Vancouver is first outside San Francisco / 1990 / Gay Games

39) ESPN hires LZ Granderson / 2004 / sports media

40) John Damien sues over dismissal / 1975 / horse racing

41) The founding of the International Gay Bowling Org. / 1980 / bowling

42) Lana Lawless wins right to play on LPGA Tour / 2010 / golf

43) Brian Sims tells his story / 2009 / college football

44) Kye Allums comes out / 2010 / college basketball

45) Hudson Taylor openly supports gay rights / 2010 / wrestling

46) NBA fines Kobe Bryant $100k / 2011 / NBA

47) Rene Portland leaves Penn State / 2007 / college basketball

48) Figure skater Andrej Nepela named Slovakia athlete of the century / 2000 / figure skating

49) IOC ends mandatory gender testing / 1999 / Olympics

50) Rick Welts comes out / 2011 / NBA

51) Amelie Mauresmo wins Wimbledon / 2006 / tennis

52) Roger Brigham comes out to general manager / 1982 / sports reporting

53) Kirk Walker becomes only male D.1 head coach / 2007 / softball

54) Glenn Burke comes out / 1993 / baseball

55) ‘Ball Four’ TV show includes gay ballplayer / 1976 / baseball

56) Supreme Court rules against ‘Gay Olympic Games’ / 1987 / various sports

57) Bodybuilder Bob Paris comes out / 1989 / Bodybuilding

58) Christine Daniels comes out as transgendered sportswriter / 2007 / media

59) Diana Nyad swims from Bimini to Florida / 1979 / swimming

60) Stanley Cup part of Chicago’s gay pride parade / 2010 / NHL

61) Terrell Owens implies Jeff Garcia is gay / 2004 / NFL

62) CBC airs “The Last Closet”/ 1993/media

63) NCAA workshop on sexual orientation / 2003 / various sports

64) Bill Konigsberg comes out at ESPN / 2001 / media

65) Caster Semenya asked to undergo gender test / 2009 / track & field

66) Formation of Penn’s Athletes & Allies PATH / 2003 / various sports

67) Homophobic chants at Brazil volleyball match / 2011 / volleyball

68) NCAA chief encourages embrace of sexual orientation

69) Ed Gallagher survives suicide attempt / 1985 / football

70) World Outgames splits from Gay Games / 2003 / various sports

71) Anton Hysen comes out/ 2011 / soccer

72) Sean Avery leads New York gay marriage charge / 2011 / hockey

73) Steven Davis is first international cricketer to come out / 2011 / cricket

74) Irish hurling star Donal Óg Cusack comes out / 2009 / hurling

75) ‘Take Me Out’ hits Broadway / 2003 / baseball

76) San Francisco Giants say ‘It Gets Better’ / 2011 / baseball

77) First Trans Student-Athlete think tank / 2009 / various sports

78) NAGAAA sued over straight-athlete limit / 2010 / softball

79) Canadian Olympian Mark Tewksbury comes out / 1998 / swimming

80) Sherri Murrell is first out Div. 1 basketball coach / 2009 / basketball

81) Brendan Burke comes out / 2009 / hockey

82) Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation conference / 2003 / various sports

83) Greg Congdon outed / 1998 / football

84) Lesbian couple ejected from Dodgers Stadium for kissing / 2000 / baseball

85) First EuroGames held / 1992 / various sports

86) Former NFL player Roy Simmons comes out on ‘Donahue’ / 1992 / football

87) Jen Harris sues Penn State / 2005 / basketball

88) Nong Toom wins first competitive match / 1998 / kickboxing

89) Washington becomes first state to adopt trans high school athlete policy / 2008 / various sports

90) Mike Muska named athletic director at Oberlin College / 1998 / various sports

91) Robert Dover elected captain of U.S. equestrian team / 2000 / equestrian

92) Pat Griffin publishes ‘Strong Women, Deep Closets’ / 1998 / various sports

93) David Pichler, Patrick Jeffrey are out divers at ‘96 Olympics / 1996 / diving

94) Openly gay Rudy Galindo wins U.S. figure skating title / 1996 / figure skating

95) Muffin Spencer-Devlin becomes first pro golfer to come out / 1996 / golf

96) Savoy Howe becomes first out lesbian in women’s boxing / 1993 / boxing

97) Mountain biking world champion Missy Giove comes out / 1995 / mountain bike racing

98) Martina Navratilova speaks at the March on Washington / 1993 / tennis

99) Dan Woog publishes ‘Jocks’ / 1997 / various sports

100) University of Florida settles lawsuit with Andrea Zimbardi / 2004 / softball


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