Some are legendary — such as pilot Amelia Earhart and golf champion Babe Didrikson. Others are less familiar — balloonist Alberto Santos-Dumont and javelin thrower Ana Maria Sagi.
Some went public — NFL running back David Kopay and downhill skier Erik Schinegger. Others, such as Wilhelm von Homburg, were known only to sport insiders.
Some, like jockey John Damien, figured in milestone court cases.
Some, like jouster Joan of Arc and racehorse breeder George Villiers, were historical figures. Others, like tennis player Martina Navratilova and figure skater John Curry, competed in modern Olympics.
But they have something in common: they were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. And they stood out extraordinarily in their chosen sport.
Their stories, carefully researched and movingly written by landmark author Patricia Nell Warren for Outsports.com, create a sweeping panorama and a heart-pounding literary experience.