20 professional athletes who identify as LGBTQ – INSIDER

  • Throughout history, professional athletes in many different sports have identified as LGBTQ.
  • Michael Sam, Ryan Russell, and Ryan O’Callaghan are all former NFL athletes who have come out as LGBTQ. 
  • Sheryl Swoopes, Megan Rapinoe, and Billie Jean King are athletes who identify as lesbians. 
  • Caitlyn Jenner, Patricio Manuel, Fallon Fox, and Renée Richards are all transgender athletes. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

While Hollywood has slowly become more accepting of the LGBTQ community, some people believe the world of sport still has work to do.

According to a Human Rights Campaign report from 2019, 70% of LGBTQ people do not come out to their teammates and coaches while playing a sport. Additionally, 82% of athletes have witnessed homophobic or transphobic language in their sport, according to the OutSport Survey. 

Throughout history, however, there have been athletes who have proudly stood up for who they are — and who have been supported by their teammates and fans.

From the NBA to the NFL, here are 20 past and present athletes who have come out as LGBTQ.

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