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WNBA's Sue Bird Comes Out, Is Dating Megan Rapinoe

Sue Bird
Sue Bird

Bird said she has been out to friends and family for years, but now felt like the right time to go public.

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WNBA All-Star Sue Bird has opened up about being gay and dating soccer star Megan Rapinoe in an ESPN interview.

"I'm gay. Megan's my girlfriend. ... These aren't secrets to people who know me," Bird said in the interview, published online today. "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."

Bird, a point guard who is in her 15th season with the Seattle Storm, said she has been out to family and friends for years. She and Rapinoe, a midfielder and winger for Seattle Reign, have been dating since last fall.

"We have a lot in common and just sort of clicked," Rapinoe told ESPN. "I joke she is my No. 1 go-to-for-advice person. She's just so level-headed." Rapinoe was previously in a relationship with musician Sera Cahoone.

Bird said she realized she was gay while she was a student at the University of Connecticut, where she was a major basketball star. Once she figured it out, it became a "nonissue," she said.

"Of course, I have a whole journey -- everybody does in life," she said. "I think the hard part is being public about it. I don't like to be, not necessarily 'gossiped' about but the topic of conversations."

Bird's relationship with Rapinoe, who has long been out and an activist, was not the reason she came out now, she said. "It's happening when it's happening because that's what feels right," Bird said. "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 had been "on the verge" of coming out publicly for some time, she added.

At 36, Bird is the oldest player in the WNBA, but she has no plans to retire any time soon. "She has never been in better shape," ESPN reports. She is also "a revered teammate" and "a fan favorite from coast to coast," the article notes.

Bird will be a starter in the WNBA All-Star Game Saturday in Seattle. This is the 10th time she's been an All-Star, tying a league record. This is just one among many career accomplishments, which include "two NCAA titles at UConn when the Huskies were establishing their dynasty in the early 2000s; two WNBA championships with the Storm; four Olympic gold medals with Team USA; three world championship golds; and four EuroLeague titles while competing in Russia," according to ESPN.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.