U.K. sports stars and newlywed couple Anita Asante and Beth Fisher have announced they’re expecting a baby.
Fisher shared an ultrasound image of the child-to-be Wednesday on Twitter, saying, “Transfer deadline day news. New signing arriving in June! She can use either foot but known to stress the manager out.” She didn’t say which of the women was carrying the pregnancy.
Asante played soccer for Chelsea, Arsenal, Aston Villa, and the U.K.’s national team for 20 years, retiring last April, Pink News notes. Fisher was a hockey player in Wales for 15 years, has served on governing bodies for various sports, and joined ITV Cymru Wales as an on-air sports reporter in 2019. Also that year, working for BBC Wales, she became the service’s first woman commentator on men’s soccer.
The women married January 20. “Got married at 3, in bed by 10!” Fisher shared on Twitter that day.
Both have been activists for LGBTQ+ people in sports, with Fisher serving as an ambassador for LGBTQ+ rights group Stonewall. They gave their first interview as a couple to the U.K.’s Sky Sports for Lesbian Visibility Week in April 2020.
“Being gay or lesbian in women’s football was taboo for such a long time,” Asante told Sky Sports. There was a period between two generations where this negative bubble sat, and players were distancing themselves from the ‘label’ and the stereotypes. It was not seen as beneficial to the growth of the game and there were people in positions of power saying ‘Don’t brandish your sexuality’ or things like that.
“It influenced our generation, making players feel they couldn’t be fully open with the audience. Now we are starting to see the shift again into this modern period where there’s more freedom to express yourself. Megan Rapinoe, Ashlyn Harris, and other U.S. players have been at the forefront of that and have shown that who they are as people and their relationships can be a positive way to interact with the sport.”
Fisher added, “Growing up, even into your early 20s, you worry so much about what other people think of you. When I was able to push that all away, it was such a release. The older you get, you know who the most important people are in your life and that’s all that matters.
“For LGBT people and anyone in a minority, really, it’s about accepting yourself and being proud of who you are. My mum would say ‘Don’t be afraid to be different, be afraid to be the same’ — and it’s true. When I go into schools and talk to kids, about social media and all these things, I can see they’re so desperate to be liked and to be the same. We have to let them know that being different will take them so much further in life.”