Jason Collins and Michael Sam have both been applauded for coming out about their sexuality and helping change homophobic sports culture, but in 1976 a less celebrated athlete was paving the way. Glenn Burke was the first openly gay person in major league sports, and came out while he was a player for the Oakland A’s in the late ’70s. According to friends and teammates, he was ostracized for his sexuality and pushed out of baseball.
Following the 2010 documentary “Out: The Glenn Burke Story,” it was announced that Jamie Lee Curtis is producing a biopic about his life. The film will be called “Out at Home: The Glenn Burke Story,” based on the memoir Burke wrote with Erik Sherman. In addition to his contributions to sports and LGBTQ communities, he is also credited with inventing the high-five. Burke died of complications from AIDS in 1995.