Professional sports can be a particularly world in which to be openly gay. A lot of homophobia remains today in many major sports, but several athletes have become LGBT trail blazers. Gay athletes have had successful careers in basketball, tennis, and football. and several Olympians have also become gay icons. This list features the greatest gay icons in sports.
Who is the most famous gay icon in sports? David Beckham, while not gay himself, has stated that he is proud to be a gay icon. WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes announced that she was gay in 2005 and multiple NBA stars and professional soccer players are seen as gay icons as well.
There is a growing list of Olympians who are also gay athletic icons. Olympic diver Greg Louganis, figure skater Johnny Weir, soccer player Megan Rapinoe, and German track and field star Balian Buschbaum are all openly gay.Who do you think are the greatest gay icons in sports? Cast your votes below.
Volleyball player and "Survivor" contestant J.P. Calderon is openly gay. He and his partner Julz Heaney got engaged in 2013.
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, USA
Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham publicly came out in 2008. He has stated, "I don’t see sexuality as influencing my beliefs or opinions or perceptions of anybody, whether they’re gay, straight, bi, trans, experimental, I don’t care. I see it as a very uninfluential factor in people."
Birthplace: Coopers Plains, Australia
MLB player Billy Bean came out as gay in 1999, after he retired. He is now a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.
Birthplace: Santa Ana, California, United States of America
Rugby player Gareth Thomas announced that he was gay in 2009. He has stated, "I don't know if my life is going to be easier because I'm out, but if it helps someone else... then it will have been worth it."
Birthplace: Sarn, Bridgend, United Kingdom