Billie Jean King
Legendary tennis player Billie Jean King was outed in 1981 when her partner, Marilyn Barnett, filed a "galimony" lawsuit against her. "It was a tough time," she's since said of her coming out. "You know, I lost all my endorsements in 24 hours . . . When gay rights becomes a nonissue, the LGBT community can exhale."
More than three decades later, King continues to speak out for LGBT rights, and she praised Jason Collins when he came out this past year. "It's very, very difficult to come out when you're still actively participating in a sport," she said. "It's starting to get better, and it depends on the sport, too. In tennis we've been pretty lucky, but we still don't have a gay guy coming out."