Anyone who has come out of the closet can tell you it's no easy thing. But it's even harder to be truthful about your homosexuality when you are a professional athlete. There are set standards about who and what you are supposed to be. Indeed, in a recent Harris Poll, 31% of Americans voted the NFL the sports organization in which it would be the most difficult for players to come out. But some athletes, like English diver Tom Daley, are coming out of the closet, and representing the LGBT community with pride. Check out these 15 other LGBT athletes from around the world.
Nicola Adams is an English boxer who has been awarded many honors, including the Olympic Gold Medal in boxing. Adams' down to earth personality definitely makes her a hit amongst her audience.
American basketball player Jason Collins came out in April 2013, becoming the first openly gay professional athlete in the U.S. With that brilliant smile, it's no surprise why he is a fan favorite!
Goalkeeper and captain of the German national team, Nadine Angerer came out in December 2010 after stressing that sexual orientation should not define who you are to the world. Right on!
Donal Óg Cusack is an Irish hurler/goalkeeper who came out in 2009; as the first openly gay Irish sports star, it's easy to see why he is known as one of the most influential players.
Michael dos Santos of the Brazilian volleyball scene came out in April 2011, becoming the first openly gay player in volleyball. His popularity, along with his fan base, shows that being happy with who you are is all it takes.
Marilyn Agliotti plays on the Dutch national field hockey team. From what we hear from fans, she is a great example of how being yourself can take you to new heights.
Jeffrey Buttle is a Canadian figure skater who was the first male skater from Canada to gain the title of World Champion in 2008. His talent alone proves that he definitely has the skills to pay the bills.
Puerto Rican pro boxer Orlando Cruz came out in October 2012. Cruz has said that he wants to be a role model that people can look up to. From where we're standing, he's already got his wish!
Ylva Lindberg, an ice hockey player from Sweden, came out in 2006. The amount of supportive fans that she has clearly shows that she is a force to be reckoned with.
Matthew Mitcham, an Australian diver, was the champion of the Olympics in 2008. When it comes to standing up for himself, he's not afraid to dive right in and put critics in their place.
Amini Fonua is a Tongan swimmer who came out to the media in 2013. When it comes to confidence, he has no equal!
Norwegian footballer Bente Nordby came out in 2005. She is one of the only female players to be featured in the FIFA Women's World Cup five times. Could she get any more awesome?
Nigel Owens is a Welsh rugby union referee who came out publicly in May 2007. His sweet nature even earned him the title "Gay Sports Personality of the Year".
English basketballer John Amaechi acknowledged his sexuality in February 2007 after discussing his orientation in his book entitled Man in the Middle.
Liz Carmouche is an American mixed martial arts fighter who became the first openly gay person in the history of the UFC. She is always fighting to show how much of an impact being true to yourself can have.
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