Closeted throughout his professional basketball career, John Amaechi is the first player from the National Basketball Association to acknowledge that he is gay; since coming out, he has become an eloquent spokesman for glbtq rights.
Former baseball player and current television personality, Billy Bean was closeted throughout his major league career but has since become a proud advocate for glbtq rights.
Mark Bingham, San Francisco businessman and rugby enthusiast, is believed to have helped avert the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 into a populated landmark on September 11, 2001.
Figure skater Brian Boitano, who won a gold medal in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, came out publicly soon after he was named to the American delegation for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
The first major league baseball player to acknowledge his homosexuality publicly, Glenn Burke believed that homophobia impeded his chances for a more successful career.
Marion Joe Carstairs, a colorful gender-bending figure of the twentieth century, first gained fame as a speedboat racer in the 1920s.
Canadian skater and painter Toller Cranston combined artistry and athleticism to help revolutionize figure skating.
World and Olympic figure skating champion John Curry was one of the first athletes to speak candidly about his sexual orientation while competing.
Despite all her triumphs, Mildred "Babe" Didrikson, one of the greatest women athletes in history, was taunted by charges of "mannishness" and "unnaturalness."
The first openly gay man and the first Mexican-American to win the United States figure skating championship, Rudy Galindo, himself HIV-positive, has worked hard to increase awareness of AIDS, especially in minority communities.
Golfer Rosie Jones enjoyed great success both as an amateur and a professional; since her public coming out in 2004 she has helped increase glbtq visibility in sports.
Having helped transform the world of professional tennis, Billie Jean King denied her lesbianism in the 1980s, but in 2000 became the first openly lesbian coach of an Olympic team.
The first American professional athlete to acknowledge his homosexuality publicly, former National Football League player David Kopay stands near the head of the short list of openly gay and lesbian elite athletes.
Australian Olympic medalist Daniel Kowalski remained closeted during his competitive swimming career but found the courage to come out publicly in 2010.
Widely regarded as the greatest diver in history, Olympic champion Greg Louganis has acknowledged both his homosexuality and his status as a person living with AIDS.
One of the few elite glbtq athletes to come out publicly while still competing, Amélie Mauresmo has held the number one ranking of the Women's Tennis Association.
Out gold medal diver Matthew Mitcham earned the highest score in the history of the sport on his final dive in the ten-meter platform event at the 2008 Olympic Games.
One of the greatest tennis players in history, Martina Navratilova has become an outspoken supporter of gay and lesbian rights.
Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Gay equestrians are among the most successful and respected athletes in their sport, and a number of them have participated in the Olympic Games.
Olympian Brian Orser, known for both his athleticism and artistry, led a resurgence of Canada as a force to be reckoned with in men's figure skating; after being outed in a palimony suit, he has become an advocate for glbtq rights.
The first world Outgames, held in Montreal in the summer of 2006, inaugurated what promises to be a quadrennial athletic and cultural event that combines the pursuit of athletic excellence with the joyous celebration of community.
Major league umpire Dave Pallone was outed and forced out of professional baseball; since leaving the game he has become an advocate for glbtq rights.
Transsexual tennis player Renee Richards successfully sued the United States Tennis Association when it barred her from competing in the U.S. Women's Open, establishing an important precedent for the rights of transsexual athletes.
At the height of his athletic career, Australian rugby superstar Ian Roberts made the courageous decision to come out as a gay man.