Currently, cities around the globe have been filled with rainbow colors and marches. Yes, it’s Pride Month! However, it’s heart-wrenching to know that still in some corner of the world, LGBTQ communities face certain backlash and inferiority.
Indeed, it’s sad when one courageously puts themselves forward as unique but gets labeled as ‘shameless.’ One should be wary that no human is ever similar; it’s as if they shine with their own vibrant colors.
Keeping it in mind, anyone from anywhere in the world can join these marches and be a proud family of them.
Here, we will discuss eight legendary athletes who broke all the social stereotypes to put forward their open views.
Eight Strong Advocates of LGBTQ Community in Sports
Before we put forward the LGBTQ athlete advocates present in sports, we portray Brenda Howard initially, who is also highly recognized as the “Mother of Pride.”
As a matter of fact, Howard is the first person to commence pride month and the marches to showcase equality and uniqueness.
Now, to fuel yourself up, let me portray an inspirational saying from a South African activist and artist, Zanele Muholi.
“If I wait for someone else to validate my existence, it will mean that I’m shortchanging myself.” – Zanele Muholi.
Back here, we present you with the eight strong advocates of the LGBTQ community in sports.
1) Adam Rippon
(Fully named: Adam Rippon, Nickname: America’s Sweetheart)
Rippon is a former figure skater with numerous accolades and achievements tagged under his name. Also, his sense of humor and wit is undeniably incredible.
No wonder people adore him! Also, he has nicknamed himself ‘America’s Sweetheart.’ Adam Rippon is the proud display of the LGBTQ community, and he first came out as a gay back on October 2, 2015.
Today, he is also the leading advocate and voice for the LGBTQ community and his generation in sports.
Not to mention, he has been a part of numerous projects on the line. Rippon has helped raise $40,000 for GLAAD’s LGBTQ youth programs and a certain amount as a donation to the Okra Project.
In the meantime, he also stood as the ambassador for the When We All Vote campaign. Likewise, he had co-hosted the Trevor Project’s TrevorLive gala and helped raise $2 million.
Rippon is also part of the movie The Laramie Project, which depicts a murder of a gay boy, Matthew Shephard, back during a hate crime in 1998.
Of course, all these notable works have bagged him the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award.
2) Megan Rapinoe
(Fully named: Megan Anna Rapinoe, Nickname: Gumby)
Repinoe is the professional soccer player of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). She is the foremost player to score a goal directly from a corner at the Olympic Games.
Not to mention, she is the bold captain of the U.S. women’s soccer team and an outspoken LGBTQ advocate.
Also, she is one of the biggest names in the industry, who uses her platform and name to create equality for racism, gender, and sexuality.
Today, she advocates several LGBTQ organizations, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally.
Back in 2019, Megan also co-founded the gender-neutral lifestyle brand alongside athletes Christen Press, Tobin Heath, and Meghan Klingenberg.
Altogether, she claimed the board of directors Award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in 2013 for her works.
Besides LGBTQ concern, she is also the one who stood up against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the women team’s equal pay.
3) Jason Collins
(Fully named: Jason Paul Collins, Nickname: Set Shot Willy Twin)
Collins is a retired basketball player who devoted thirteen years of his life to the National Basketball Association (NBA). On April 29, 2013, Collins stood out as a gay through the website of Sports Illustrated, as a first-person story by Collins.
Back then, Collins was the first active male player in any of the four major men’s pro sports leagues to publicly come out as gay.
Right then, he also stated that his jersey number 98 was to indicate the anti-gay hate murder crime in 1998.
Indeed, he did gain immense support back then from his friends and family; however, he didn’t disclose much about his private life. Also, he has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ equality and chose to speak his opinions.
Back in the days, Collins had also featured on the cover of Time Magazine‘s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
“The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in. I’m much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy.” –Jason Collins
4) Chris Mosier
Chris Mosier is an American professional triathlete and the first known out trans to join the men’s U.S National team. Additionally, he is a huge advocate of transgender rights.
Back in the days, Chris proved his eligibility to compete in the Duathlon Age Group World Championship Race as a transgender. Herewith, he is widely recognized as a catalyst for change for the transgender.
Initially, he came out back in 2010 through The Advocate, an American LGBTQ+ magazine.
Furthermore, he is also the first transgender athlete to star in the “Body Issue” of ESPN The Magazine.
Overall, Chris is the founder of transathlete.com, and the vice president of You Can Play. As of 2019, he is also part of the Board of Directors of Point of Pride.
Likewise, Mosier is also the Executive Director of GO! Athletes. Altogether, he has worked in numerous causes for education, rights, sports, and more. He is undoubtedly, one of the strongest advocates in sports when it comes to the LGBTQ community.
5) Joanna Lohman
(Fully named: Joanna Christie Lohman)
Lohman is a professional soccer player of the American National Women’s Soccer League. She was also the general manager of the Washington Freedom Futures.
likewise, she has also written a book titled “Raising Tomorrow’s Champions: What the Women’s National Soccer Team Teaches Us About Grit, Authenticity, and Winning.”
Back in 2010, Lohman, alongside her ex-partner, Lianne Sanderson, founded the JiLo Academy. She has also helped launch an organization called GO! Athletes.
In the meantime, she had also run a U. S. State Department program called “Girl Power,” which aimed for gender equality. Currently, she is also the Vice President of Tenant Consulting, LLC.
6) Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is the legendary former #1 tennis player who came out as a lesbian in 1981. During her career, King also stood as a victorious United States team member in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups.
Not to mention, she also features as the United States’ Team captain in the Federation Cup.
Since her early days, King has been the pioneer for equality and social justice and has spoken up her thoughts numerous times.
At present, King is also the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Altogether, King is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.
Moreover, she is one of the known advocates of the LGBTQ community, especially in sports.
7) Kye Allums
(Fully named: Kye Allums, Nickname: Kay-Kay)
Allums is a former college basketball player and the first openly transgender NCAA Division I college athlete back in 2010. Kye portrays himself as an athlete, transgender advocate, public speaker, mentor, and artist.
Throughout his days, he has stood as the mentor and the leader to teach transgender youths. Not to mention, he is also the one to voice transgender rights, and the founder of I Am Enough.
This foundation has helped several transgender youths to come forward and talk about their personal life experiences.
Apart from it, Kye is also a supporter of HRC’s work. Also, he is an inductee for the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.
8) Michael Sam
(Fully named: Michael Alan Sam Jr., Nickname: Mike)
Sam is the professional football player of the National Football League (NFL). Sam first publicly came out as gay right after his college days and hence, the first gay player (publicly) to be drafted in the NFL.
Even since his early childhood days, Sam has faced several obstacles regarding his family and his sexuality. As a fun fact, he is the first person in his family to attend college.
However, it is good news that he has numerous people backing him up with support.
Today, Sam has been a huge part and one of the many advocates regarding the LGBTQ community, especially in sports. Additionally, he has also appeared in the cover model for gay magazine Attitude’s “All American.”
We live in a society with given “standards” that have already been set. In other words, if anyone is seen slightly different, people gossips and criticize them for who they are.
It’s not a sorrowful idea but a bitter truth! Again, shading light in it, we have good news that not everyone is the same.
Among us, we consist of unique people, people who voice everyone, and even the ones who stand up for everyone.
With these combinations, it’s not an alien thing to be able to stand out as “different.” And when people talk about it, it’s simply the cause that they pity themselves for not being able to stand out as courageously as you.