Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sue Bird has come out as a lesbian – and revealed that she’s dating US soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
The 36-year-old basketball player, who has also won two WNBA championships with Seattle Storm, made the revelations during a feature with ESPN.
“I’m gay and Megan’s my girlfriend. These aren’t secrets to people who know me” she said. “I don’t feel like I’ve not lived my life. I think people have this assumption that if you’re not talking about it, you must be hiding it, like it’s this secret but that was never the case for me.”
The absurdly decorated sportswoman, who has also won three world championships, said she wanted to come out now “because that’s what feels right.
“So even though I understand there are people who think I should have done it sooner, it wasn’t right for me at the time.
“I have to be true to that. It’s my journey.”
The 27-year-old U.S. Olympic soccer player spoke frankly about her sexuality in an interview with Out magazine, saying she is a lesbian and in a committed relationship with a woman. While her statement may seem bold, the 27-year-old Rapinoe told Out’s Jerry Portwood that she’d just never been asked directly. “I think they were trying to be respectful and that it’s my job to say, ‘I’m gay,’ she said. “Which I am. For the record: I am gay.” Rapinoe, who’s been dating her girlfriend — Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sue Bird — for three years, also took time to chat about homophobia in sports and, more specifically, female athletes’ perspective on the subject. “I feel like sports, in general, are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” she said. Still, she added, “In female sports, if you’re gay, most likely your team knows it pretty quickly. It’s very open and widely supported. For males, it’s not that way at all. It’s sad.”