British pro golfer Mel Reid has publicly come out as gay.
Reid, who has been appointed as an ambassador for Athlete Ally, said: “I protected my sexuality for a long time because I thought I had to in order to help my career and to get more sponsors.
“But then I started to wonder why these companies would want to sponsor me and have me represent them if I can’t be my authentic self.
“There is only one of you in the world and you have one life, so be the best version of yourself and be proud of who you are. That’s when you attract the right people around you to make you better, and ultimately, happier.”
Mel Reid: “Be proud of who you are”
Reid also discussed being an openly gay player in the Ladies European tour, but added that there are certain countries she has played in where being gay is still against the law.
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“There is only one of you in the world and you have one life, so be the best version of yourself and be proud of who you are.”
“The Tour is a very welcoming community and it’s rare that anyone has an issue with sexuality or openly express any issues,” she said.
“The only problem we run into is that being gay is still illegal or frowned upon in certain countries we play in.
“I have always had good friends around me and supporting me, so I have never run into any huge issues with it during my career.”
Reid posted a link to the Athlete Ally article on Twitter.
“Sharing my story in hopes it will help someone else share theirs. I’ve always believed in fighting for equality & I’m beyond excited to join the @AthleteAlly team,” she tweeted.
Billie Jean King praises Mel Reid for living her “authentic life”
Former World No. 1 US tennis player Billie Jean King, who is a lesbian, took to Twitter to praise Reid for coming out publicly.
She wrote: “Cheers to @melreidgolf, an incredible athlete and now a courageous champion for living an authentic life, and encouraging others to do the same. 🏳️🌈 #equalityforall.”
In September, American sportsman Tadd Fujikawa became the first male professional golfer to come out as gay, saying he hoped his story will help others in the LGBT+ community.