WNBA Basketball Star Brittney Griner Talks Coming Out and Bullying | Not in Our Town

WNBA Basketball Star Brittney Griner Talks Coming Out and Bullying

NBA player Jason Collins received a whirlwind of attention since becoming the first openly gay athlete on a major U.S. sports team. Although most people have heard of him, they are probably unaware of Brittney Griner, a lesbian recently drafted into the WNBA. Griner came out publicly last month, but has received little media attention compared to Collins. In an essay written for The New York Times, she opens up about that experience, letting the world know her decision was not about fame, but being true to herself despite the racial and homophobic obstacles faced in the process.

Brittner Griner, via New York TimesPeople 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.
But that doesn’t mean life was easy growing up. I was bullied in every way imaginable, but the worst was the verbal abuse. (I was always a strong, tough and tall girl, so nobody wanted to mess with me from a physical standpoint.) It hit rock bottom when I was in seventh grade. I was in a new school with people I didn’t know, and the teasing about my height, appearance and sexuality went on nonstop, every day... 
Brittney Griner, a senior at Baylor University, was the top selection in the W.N.B.A. draft. She won the Naismith Trophy as the outstanding women’s basketball player in 2012 and 2013. You can read Griner’s full article here on the New York Times website. 
Also, check out Griner’s PSA her PSA for the It Get’s Better Project.


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