Openly gay athletes

Updated 4:25 PM ET, Sun August 16, 2015
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David Denson, a first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers' rookie affiliate in Helena, Montana, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in August 2015 that he is gay. The news makes him the first active player affiliated with a Major League organization to come out publicly. Click through to see other openly gay athletes. Larry Goren/AP
American soccer legend Abby Wambach's sexuality was an open secret for years before she married fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman in 2013. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Swimmer Ian Thorpe, seen here in 2004 with one of his five Olympic gold medals, told an Australian news outlet that he is gay in an interview that aired on Sunday, July 13. Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam told ESPN and The New York Times that he is gay on February 9. Sam later became the first openly gay player to be drafted by a NFL team when he was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round. G.M. Andrews/AP
Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay male athlete to play in a professional American sporting match when he took the field for Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy during a match against the Seattle Sounders on May 26. Jeff Gross/Getty Images
"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation," NBA player Jason Collins said in a Sports Illustrated article. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Sheryl Swoopes, a retired WNBA star and coach of the Loyola University Chicago's women's basketball team, came out in 2005. Kellie Landis/Allsport/Getty Images/File
Brittney Griner, selected No. 1 in the 2013 WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury, is openly gay. Christian Petersen/Getty Images
In an exclusive interview with CNN, former San Francisco 49ers player Kwame Harris came out as gay after rumors circulated in the media. Greg Trott/Getty Images
Rugby player Gareth Thomas of Wales spoke about being gay to a British news channel in 2009. Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Justin Fashanu became the first openly gay soccer player in Europe when he came out in 1990. Eight years later, he took his own life. Allsport/Allsport
Tennis great Martina Navratilova came out in 1981. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
After his retirement in 2007, basketball player John Amaechi announced he was gay. Jamie McDonald /Allsport
After retiring from professional football in 1972, David Kopay acknowledged to the Washington Star that he was gay. Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Advocate
Villanova University's Will Sheridan came out to his teammates in 2003. Elsa/Getty Images
In 2012, U.S. women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe confirmed in Out magazine that she was a lesbian. Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Champion figure skater Johnny Weir confirmed in his 2011 memoir, "Welcome to My World," that he was gay. YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images
Australia's Matthew Mitcham came out in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in 2008. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages
In 2012, Orlando Cruz became the first active professional fighter to publicly announce that he was gay. J. Meric/Getty Images
Openly gay British dressage rider Carl Hester helped his team win gold at the 2012 Olympics. Alex Livesey/Getty Images
English cricketer Steven Davies announced he was gay in 2011. Harry Engels/Getty Images
Germany's Judith Arndt won the silver medal in cycling at the 2012 Olympics. Marty Melville/Getty Images
Billy Bean, a former Major League Baseball player, discussed being gay in a 1999 New York Times article. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Tennis legend Billie Jean King was outed by a former female partner in 1981. Central Press/Getty Images
In 2002, professional football player Esera Tuaolo came out on HBO's "Real Sports." Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
French tennis player Amelie Mauresmo came out in 1999. Lucas Dawson/Getty Image
Greg Louganis, who won four Olympic golds for the United States during his diving career, has been openly gay since 1995. Pascal Rondeau/Allsport/Getty Images