Orlando Cruz, Gay Boxer, To Wear Rainbow Shorts And Pink Gloves For World Title Fight

History was made in October 2012 when active professional featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz of Puerto Rico came out. He said in a USA Today article, "I've been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself. I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career."He continued, "I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man."Jason Collins made history in April of 2013 by coming out, making him the first openly-gay professional male athlete in a major sport. Collins is a free agent who has played for the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics. "I never set out to be the first," Collins told ABC's George Stephanopoulos during an interview that first aired during "Good Morning America". "You're sort of waiting around for somebody else to, you know, raise their hand. I'm ready to raise my hand but, you know, you still look around like, 'OK, come on, guys.'"The Australian hockey champ, who retired this year, came out earlier this week in an emotional YouTube video, The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting. "I regret immensely that I wasn't strong enough as a leader, that I didn't step up when I was playing and share this about myself,'' he is quoted as saying in the video.

Chris Tina Bruce became the first transgender bodybuilding contestant to participate in a competition in San Diego in 2011. Bruce doesn't necessarily identify as male or female, rather as someone who sits in the middle of the gender spectrum. As a motivational speaker, fitness trainer and LGBT-rights activist, Bruce works to increase awareness of gender fluidity and was featured on National Geographic Channel's "Taboo: Changing Genders" in September 2012. Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Chris Bruce. Originally from Quebec, the Canadian hockey champ decided to stop hiding her sexual orientation while still a freshman at Harvard University. "If they weren't going to accept me on the team," she told The Seattle Times, "I wasn't going to stay."
Formerly of the San Diego Padres, baseball player Billy Bean came out in 1999, five years after he retired. Now, however, he says he has regrets about ending his baseball career after just six seasons. "If I had only told my parents, I probably would have played two or three more years and understood that I could come out a step at a time, not have to do it in front of a microphone," he is quoted by Outsports as saying. "And I was completely misguided. I had no mentor. I think that's where the responsibility comes in for people who have lived that experience, and we take for granted that everybody's adjusted and gets it."Former NFL player Wade Davis came out in 2012 after leaving the sport. When San Francisco 49er Chris Culliver spewed anti-gay remarks about gay players in the NFL just before taking the stage of Super Bowl XLVII, Davis spoke up against Culliver and said: "I thought, Wow, this is going to help us have this conversation during the biggest game of the year, but then I also thought, Wow, theres a lot of players who are closeted in the NFL that are going to go deeper into the closet because of these comments.The pro-golfer, who won 13 events during her 21 years, came out in a 2004 New York Times editorial. "You see, my sponsor, Olivia, is one of the world's largest and most respected companies catering to lesbian travelers, and this represents the first time a company like this has sponsored a professional athlete -- a gay professional athlete," Jones wrote. "Inherent in this sponsorship is my coming out. It's a bit of a curiosity, because I've never been in the closet. For more than 25 years, I've been very comfortable with the fact that I'm gay...I have never, until now, felt the need to discuss it in the news media."The champion rider, who competed in six consecutive Olympics, says he's never had much of a problem with being open about his sexual orientation in the equestrian world. Still, as he he told Outsports, "I did not connect my social life to my work life for many years, and while I never ran away from the issue of my homosexuality, I must admit that I had no real interest in bringing attention to it, especially with the press...what changed everything was a combination of meeting my soul-mate Robert Ross, whom I was so proud to be with that I wanted everyone to know, and the AIDS epidemic which affected so many people dear to me."

The South African-born commissioner of World Team Tennis has also been the partner of Billie Jean King for more than 20 years. She also credits King with encouraging her to pursue her career. "I had an opportunity to hit tennis balls with Billie Jean King when she was in South Africa when I was 11," she said. "She encouraged me to pursue my dream, and I did."Former World No. 1 tennis player, Amelie Mauresmo, was the first openly lesbian on the WTA tour since Martina Navratilova. At only 19, the frenchwoman surged into the 1999 Australian Open finals and with much speculation about her sexuality, Mauresmo also took the opportunity to come out to the national press after she jumped into her girlfriend's arms for making the grand slam final down under. Mauresmo is a two-time grand slam singles champion, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006. She also holds an Olympic silver medal from the 2004 Athens summer games. Kye Allums is the first openly transgender athlete to play NCAA Division I college basketball. He was a shooting guard on the George Washington University women's basketball team until he decided to no longer play.Allums is now busy speaking about his life around the country.Esera Tuaolo, former NFL player, came out in 2002 in an interview on HBO's "Real Sports." The 6 foot 3 inch, 300 pound athlete became the third former football player to acknowledge his homosexuality after David Kopay and Roy Simmons in 1975 and 1992, respectively. Ian Roberts is an Australian actor and former professional rugby league footballer. Roberts came out in 1995, making him the first professional Australian athlete and rugby footballer to publicly come out and continue to play in the league.