Happy Pride Month everybody! June is the time of year where people all around the world marvel at how far we’ve come or make a stand for the equal rights we still need for every citizen. It’s a celebration, it’s a protest, it’s recognition. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, we all deserve the right to love who we want to love. So we’re going to chat about the LGBTQ athletes we absolutely love.
That’s not to say we’re not a fan of some straight athletes too, but to succeed in an often quite restrictive and conservative atmosphere as an LGBTQ person is a real achievement in itself. And to thrive like that is extremely impressive. After you’ve read what they’ve achieved and the work they do now, we’re sure you’re going to be flying the flag for these LGBTQ athletes too.
The first openly gay figure skater in the USA, Adam Rippon is a powerhouse. His amazing career saw him crush competitions domestically and internationally and he even ended up winning an Olympic medal in 2018.
Since then, he hasn’t shied away from attention at all. Even though he’s retired, he became the Dancing with the Stars champion in 2018. And his fame seems to stretch beyond that, with appearances in RuPaul’s Drag Race and a cameo in the unforgettable You Need To Calm Down music video by Taylor Swift.
He also spoke out against US Vice President Mike Pence, questioning how fit he is to represent the nation due to his voting record on anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Billie Jean King is truly a living legend. We could spend hours talking about her prowess on the tennis court, her standout matches, her record breaking feats… And perhaps we will in a future article. In short, if you haven’t heard of this 39 Grand Slam title winning icon, we’re more than a little surprised. She’s possibly done more for the profile of women’s tennis than anyone else in history.
Although she married a man, Billie Jean King eventually divorced and came out in the 1980s. She is in a relationship with her former doubles partner and together they work towards making the world a better place for both women and LGBTQ athletes in sport and beyond.
The next of our LGBTQ athletes is definitely not shy about sharing her life with the world. Caitlyn Jenner might just be the most famous transgender athlete in history. She made waves after announcing that she was trans in an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2015. This act propelled transgender rights and issues into the public eye in a way it never had been before.
But before all that, Jenner was a highly accomplished athlete. After leaving a career in American football due to an injury, Jenner turned her sights to decathalons. Taking to it like a duck to water, she eventually became an Olympic medal winner and a household name.
It’s amazing to think that in this day and age, there are currently no openly LGBTQ players in the NFL, MLB, NBA or the NHL. However, if Ryan Russell has anything to do with it, that should change soon.
Ryan Russell announced he was bisexual at ESPN in August of last year. He was afraid he’d be outed, so took that opportunity to stop living in fear and introduce his boyfriend to the world. He’s been out of action for a few seasons due to an injury. But considering he’s played for big name teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, most recently, the Buffalo Bills, we’re hoping he’ll be back on the roster sooner rather than later.
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