After you won the Women’s World Cup in July, you went on SportsCenter and the one word you chose to describe yourself was “gaaaay.” Why?
I thought partly it was going to be a little humorous and would sort of break the ice. And what better place to do it than SportsCenter? It was a bit of a double meaning because I was very happy at that time and also very gay.
Is that the most defining part of you?
No, it’s a big part of me, but definitely not the defining thing. I think it’s my joy in life and my charisma. I like that about myself, and I enjoy that kind of exchange I can have with people.
Would you have been able to go on SportsCenter three years ago when you first came out and say the same thing?
Right when I came out? I don’t think so. It’s been a journey and a process of becoming totally out and sort of living that truth and having it be a daily thing. I’m at the point now that I want people to know that, and I want to talk about it. We’re coming so far as a society, but we still have so far to go. So until we’re all the way there, I’ll probably die talking about it.
When will we move beyond the coming-out stories?
Not for a long time, unfortunately. For female athletes, probably sooner than everyone else, but there’s Robbie Rogers [who plays for the LA Galaxy] on the men’s side—and that’s it.
He’s the only openly gay male U.S. soccer player.
Yeah, he is the only [active] openly gay athlete across all the major professional [team] sports in the U.S. It’s incredibly sad and mind-blowing at the same time. There are plenty of sports teams that say they’re very open and super accepting in the locker room. But are they really? Is it really a safe environment? Have they preset that environment to make these players feel comfortable for coming out? I don’t think so because there’s none out.
Is it the perception that you can’t be strong and gay at the same time?
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November 9, 2015