1994: Greg Louganis Comes Out
Greg Louganis earned four gold medals in diving as a member of the U.S. teams at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. His other achievements include his first Olympic appearance in 1976 and at multiple world championships, elevating his reputation to that of the greatest athlete in the modern history of his sport. His success on the world stage led to opportunities as a product endorser and public figure.
In 1994, during the opening ceremonies of the Gay Games, Louganis appeared in a pre taped announcement in which he revealed that he was gay and living his life openly.
In the following months, he appeared on a prime-time TV interview to promote a new autobiography during which he revealed he had contracted HIV and was receiving treatment. The announcement came at a point in time when the impacts of HIV and AIDS were still being understood by the public.
Louganis has since dedicated himself to advocating for causes including dyslexia, domestic violence, and the status of LGBTQ people.
One of the first openly gay athletes, Louganis became a role model for athletes and others “coming out of the closet” and going public about living an openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer life.