LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field

Striving for Equality

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

In 2015, the world watched as soccer star Abby Wambach kissed her wife after the US women’s World Cup victory. Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league first baseman David Denson came out as gay. And Caitlyn Jenner, an Olympic decathlete, came out as transgender.

It hasn’t always been this way. Many great athletes have stayed in the closet their whole lives, or at least until retirement. Social attitudes, institutional policies, and laws are slow to change, but they are catching up. Together, athletes, families, educators, allies, and fans are pushing for competitive equity so that every athlete, regardless of identity, can have the opportunity to play at their very best.

Format Your Price
Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Young Adult
Category Diversity, Social Studies
Copyright 2017
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 104
Publication Date 2016-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 11.7
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN053000, YAN051180, YAN032000
Dewey 796.086/64
Dimensions 7 x 9
Lexile 1230
ATOS Reading Level 8.6
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 182908
Accelerated Reader® Points 4.0
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Foreword, Glossary, Index, Primary source quotations/images, Reviewed, Source notes, Starred Reviews, Table of contents, and Timeline


  • Minnesota Book Award Finalist, Short-listed, 2017
  • Booklist Top 10 Diverse Nonfiction for Youth, Winner, 2017
  • ALA Rainbow List, Winner, 2016



“[A] valuable survey of the status of LGBTQ+ athletes. . . . Happily, [Cronn-Mills] humanizes these issues. . . . [H]ers is an important contribution to the blossoming field of LGBTQ literature.”—starred, Booklist

School Library Journal

“This brief and up-to-date overview . . . reinforce[s] the message that athletics are for everyone. . . . For libraries with strong interest in sports history or LGBTQIA topics.”—School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“The positive tone and multitude of examples create the optimistic belief that LGBTQ athletes will be able to be true to themselves while competing in their chosen sport. High appeal for both athletes and those who support LGBTQ rights.”—Kirkus Reviews

Author: Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Kirstin Cronn-Mills, PhD, teaches writing, literature, and critical thinking at South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota. She writes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction books and articles. Her first young adult novel, The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don’t Mind, was a Minnesota Book Award finalist. Her second—Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, a coming-of-age story about Gabe, a trans* music geek—was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and the 2014 Stonewall Book Award winner for best children's and young adult book about the gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender experience.