Olympic gold medallist comes out as a lesbian – and she’s dating a fellow sports star
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.
During the piece, Bird stated that she came out to her family and friends near the start of the millennium.
But the star – who is the oldest player in the league, but with no plans to retire – has never come out publicly before.
“I’m gay,” she said. “Megan’s my girlfriend.
“These aren’t secrets to people who know me,” she continued.
“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.
“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.”
She started dating Rapinoe, a US national team winger who won the World Cup in 2015, last year, in autumn.
“We have a lot in common and just sort of clicked,” Rapinoe said.
“I joke she is my number one go-to-for-advice person. She’s just so level-headed.”
The Seattle Reign star added: “She just has this way of expressing her opinion: She doesn’t shut anybody off when she speaks.
“I could probably work on that a little.”
But Bird said her decision to come out was not influenced by her girlfriend.
“This actually has nothing to do with Megan, in terms of how free I feel to talk about it.
“This has been something I’ve been on the verge of doing for a long time.”
Bird revealed that last summer, before she going out with Rapinoe, she almost came out in a magazine questionnaire called 25 things you don’t know about Olympians.
“I literally had at No. 25: ‘I’m gay,’ ” she said.
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“And then I just didn’t do it. I chickened out.”
Later, she heard a reporter casually chatting with one of her teammates, Elena Delle Donne, about her choice to come out.
“I almost said: ‘Yeah, it’s no big deal. I’m gay, who cares?'” Bird said.
“There’s another moment it was right there, but I didn’t say anything.”
We’re glad she’s decided to do it now, in her own time.