8 Strong Advocates of LGBTQ Community in Sports
Rainbow-colored marches can be seen in cities all over the world. Indeed, it is Pride Month. The knowledge that LGBTQ communities still experience discrimination and backlash in some parts of the world, however, is heartbreaking.
It is sad when someone bravely presents themselves as unique and is characterized as “shameless.
One should be cautious because no two people are ever alike; it’s as if they each shine with their own vibrant colors.
Keeping that in mind, anyone from anywhere in the world is welcome to join these marches and be a proud member of their family.
We’ll talk about eight illustrious athletes in this section who defied social norms by expressing their unfiltered opinions.
Eight vociferous supporters of the LGBTQ community in sports
Brenda Howard, who is regarded as the “Mother of Pride” and is also a well-known LGBTQ athlete advocate, is first portrayed before we highlight LGBTQ athletes who are active in sports.
Actually, Howard is the one who started Pride Month and the marches to celebrate diversity and equality.
To give you some inspiration, allow me to illustrate a quote by South African activist and artist Zanele Muholi.
“I’m going to be shortchanging myself if I wait for someone else to affirm my existence.” — Zanele Muholi.
We now present to you the eight ardent supporters of the LGBTQ community in sports.
1) Adam Rippon, also known as “America’s Sweetheart”
Rippon, a former figure skater, has a long list of honors and achievements to his credit.
Additionally, he has an undeniably incredible sense of humor and wit.
It makes sense why people adore him. He has also dubbed himself “America’s Sweetheart.”
Adam Rippon, who first came out as gay on October 2, 2015, represents the LGBTQ community with pride.
He is currently the most prominent spokesperson for his generation in sports as well as the LGBTQ community.
Not to mention that he has contributed to many high-profile projects.
Rippon has helped fund $40,000 for GLAAD’s LGBTQ youth initiatives and a set amount as a donation to the Okra Project.
In the interim, he also stood as the ambassador for the When We All Vote campaign.
Likewise, he co-hosted the Trevor Project’s TrevorLive event and helped fund $2 million.
Rippon is also part of the movie The Laramie Project, which chronicles a murder of a gay boy, Matthew Shephard, back during a hate crime in 1998.
Of course, all these remarkable works have landed him the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award.
2) Megan Rapinoe (Fully named: Megan Anna Rapinoe, Nickname: Gumby)
Repine is a professional soccer player in 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 add, she is the courageous captain of the U.S. women’s soccer team and an outspoken LGBTQ champion.
Also, she is one of the top names in the industry, who uses her platform and reputation to establish equality for racism, gender, and sexuality.
Today, she advocates for various LGBTQ groups, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally.
Back in 2019, Megan also co-founded the gender-neutral lifestyle company alongside athletes Christen Press, Tobin Heath, and Meghan Klingenberg.
Similarly, in 2018, Megan and her girlfriend, Sue Bird, were featured on the cover of ESPN’s The Body Issue.
Well, they were the first same-sex pair to feature in it.
Altogether, she received the board of directors Award from the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center in 2013 for her services.
Besides LGBTQ sensitivity, she is also the one who stood up against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the women’s team’s equal pay.
3) Jason Collins (Fully named: Jason Paul Collins, Nickname: Set Shot Willy Twin)
Collins is a retired basketball player who committed 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 athlete in any of the four major men’s pro sports leagues to openly come out as gay.
Right then, he also revealed that his jersey number 98 was intended to indicate the anti-gay hate murder atrocity of 1998.
Indeed, he did have enormous support back then from his friends and family; yet, he didn’t divulge much about his private life.
Also, he has been a loud champion for LGBTQ equality and opted to share his ideas.
Back in the days, Collins had been 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 happier after coming out to my friends and family. Being sincere and honest makes me happy.” –Jason Collins
4) Chris Mosier
Chris Mosier is an American professional triathlete and the first known trans to join the men’s U.S National team. Additionally, he is a major promoter of transgender rights.
Back in the day, Chris proved his eligibility to compete in the Duathlon Age Group World Championship Race as a transsexual.
Herewith, he is widely known 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 on several causes including education, rights, sports, and more.
He is unquestionably, one of the strongest supporters in sports when it comes to the LGBTQ community.
5) Joanna Lohman (Fully named: Joanna Christie Lohman)
Lohman is a professional soccer player in the American National Women’s Soccer League.
She was also the general manager of the Washington Freedom Futures.
likewise, she has also published a book named “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 a mentor and a 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 of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.
8) Michael Sam(Fully named: Michael Alan Sam Jr., Nickname: Mike)
Sam is a professional football player in 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 into 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 as the cover model for gay magazine Attitude’s “All American.”