In a recent interview with ESPN, Seattle’s franchise player Sue Bird shared her family and close friends knew back in 2002 that she was gay. Bird had shared the news with her inner circle not long after she was drafted No. 1 in the 2002 WNBA Draft.
"This has been something I've been on the verge of doing for a long time."
Fast forward to 2017 and that something Bird has been on the verge of doing is publicly letting the world know more about her personal life.
"I'm gay. Megan's my girlfriend. ... These aren't secrets to people who know me," Bird said in the interview. "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 Megan Bird is referring to is Seattle Reign and U.S. national team soccer player, Megan Rapinoe. The two have been an item since last fall.
Bird further elaborated in her interview why now is a good time for her to share more of her personal life:
"It's happening when it's happening 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."
While Bird feels “homophobia hurts the league,” at the same time she knows the WNBA has done a better job in recent years of including the LGBTQ community and adding diversity to the league. That in itself allows players like herself to share their sexual orientation.
"The players have influenced that a ton, especially the younger ones," Bird told ESPN. "Where the league is now is appropriate, I think, in terms of support."