World squash champions come out as gay and reveal they are a couple
The former world No.1 and No.2 squash players have come out as gay and revealed they’re actually a couple.
Aussie champ Rachael Grinham and England’s Jenny Duncalf met through the sport, falling in love after competing against each other professionally.
The pair, who between them hold six gold medals and a whopping 44 Tour titles, dominated the sport for years.
This week, the two players become the first openly gay active professional squash players, explaining they want to help others “feel more comfortable in their own skin”.
The two players revealed their romantic relationship to U.S. Squash Magazine, revealing that they have been a couple for several years.
Duncalf, who moved to Brisbane in 2015 to live with her partner, said: “To us our relationship has been public for many years now but we were made to realise that we are in a unique situation where our relationship could make a difference.
“We felt that if by openly ‘coming out in professional sport’ we could help just one person feel more comfortable and encouraged about their own journey, then it would be more than worthwhile doing so.”
Grinham said: “There was a period in the very beginning when Jen was afraid of people finding out, but we’ve not hidden it for a long time now and it’s not going to come as news to most people who know us.
“I think some people in sport, especially high profile sports, feel that they are contracted to have a certain image and are afraid that being gay would lose them fans and endorsements.
“But I also think it is way better today than it has been in the past thanks to all those who have endured tough times and rallied for gay rights.
“20 years ago I would have been afraid of coming out publicly but I’m proud of the way people’s minds have opened in recent years and I can certainly say that I was confident that this news would get more positive feedback today than negative.
“And if we can help others, then it’s worth doing.”
Speaking to the magazine, Duncalf added: “To travel with your best friend and closest companion around the world and share experiences is amazing – we’re very fortunate.”
“For many of my successful squash years I felt like I was almost on a constant holiday and didn’t think life could get much better. Of course when it comes to playing against each other it can be tricky – especially for me if I lost!
“The good news was that at least one of you is always through and I couldn’t take too long to get over a loss as I knew she won’t put up with me sulking for too long!”
Grinham added: “It’s great for us to have each other at events, whether you have a bad loss or a great win, your have your person there to share it with which is great.
“It can be tough though if you’re both playing and one has lost. As the one who has lost you need to be aware that the other is still playing and probably doesn’t need that negative energy – and the same goes for the one still playing, they need to keep up the positive energy but also need to be aware the other probably doesn’t need it all in their face.
“It can be a little complicated, but overall I’d say we are definitely lucky to have each other.”
Earlier this month, a footballer became the first openly gay man to play at Wembley stadium.