Out tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King are some of the first inductees to the newly opened National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame, based in Chicago, reports Gay News Network. Navratilova and King will be formally inducted, along with Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis, in a ceremony on August 3 in Chicago.
To be nominated for inclusion in the Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame, an athlete — amateur or professional — must identify as LGBT, or as a straight ally with a dedicated commitment to the LGBT community, and have demonstrated athletic prowess "beyond compare," reports GNN. Any corporation or company that has demonstrated support for the LGBT community is also eligible for a nomination.
The inaugural list of inductees includes Navratilova and her fellow out tennis star King, as well as Louganis, newly out NBA center Jason Collins, Gay Games founder Tom Waddell, LGBT media site OutSports.com, and the International Gay Rodeo Association.
In addition to recognizing outstanding achievement in athletics, creator Bill Grubud told GNN the museum will also "provide outreach and education programs to the sporting world so that gay and lesbian youth all across the nation feel welcome and safe to participate in any and all athletic activities."