Jason Collins has gotten a ton of press in the last week for being gay, but Brittney Griner has gotten decidedly less. She’s the recently drafted WNBA player who’s openly gay, and she wrote a great piece for the New York Times about what it’s like.
Brittney’s “coming out,” if you could call it that, seems to have been very different from Jason’s, and she explains at length how that has made her career and general life trajectory different from his. Forgive the huge chunk of copied text here, but it’s too good not to include:
I first came out to my mom in the ninth grade. Even though the story is kind of boring (comparatively), I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was leaning against a wall in our house at the time, not doing anything in particular. For whatever reason, at that moment I let my mom know I was gay. It wasn’t planned. It just popped out. She gave me a hug, smiled and told me she loved me, and I went back upstairs to my room. Simple as that.
I knew then that it didn’t matter what my sexuality was; my mom and family would always love me for who I am. For me, the simplicity behind coming out was both powerful and beautiful. No drama, just acceptance and love.
That’s why I never felt the need to publicly announce I was “out.” People have asked me if I’m at all bothered that my “announcement” after the W.N.B.A. draft last month didn’t receive as much attention as Jason’s. Frankly, it didn’t matter at all to me. I simply answered a question honestly and am just happy to tell my truth and to be in a position to encourage others to do the same. It’s all about living an honest life and being comfortable in your own skin. It strengthens me to know that Jason and I (along with so many other out pioneers and allies) are united in a mission to inspire others who may be struggling. I want everyone to feel at peace and O.K. with being who he or she is.
Just as basketball doesn’t define who I am, neither does being gay.
This woman is absolutely inspiring. I can’t wait to see what she does next.