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Numb1075 10-26-2005 03:33 PM

High Profile Sports Star Comes Out of Closet
 
From CNN.com


NEW YORK (AP) -- Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes is opening up about being a lesbian, telling a magazine that she's "tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about."

Swoopes, honored last month as the WNBA's Most Valuable Player, told ESPN The Magazine for a story on newsstands Wednesday that she didn't always know she was gay and fears that coming out could jeopardize her status as a role model.

"Do I think I was born this way? No," Swoopes said. "And that's probably confusing to some, because I know a lot of people believe that you are."

Swoopes, who was married and has an 8-year-old son, said her 1999 divorce "wasn't because I'm gay."

She said her reason for coming out now is merely because she wants to be honest.

"It's not something that I want to throw in people's faces. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm tired of having to pretend to be somebody I'm not," the 34-year-old Swoopes said. "I'm tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about. About the person I love."

A release from ESPN The Magazine about the story did not disclose the identity of Swoopes' partner.

A five-time All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist, Swoopes is the WNBA's only three-time MVP. She played for the Comets during their run of four championships from 1997-2000, but missed the 2001 season with a knee injury.

She said her biggest worry about her revelation is that people will be afraid to look up to her.

"I don't want that to happen," she said. "Being gay has nothing to do with the three gold medals or the three MVPs or the four championships I've won. I'm still the same person. I'm Sheryl."

She said it "irritates" her that no one talks about gays playing in men's sports, but that it's become an issue in the WNBA.

"Sexuality and gender don't change anyone's performance on the court," she said. "Women play just as hard as guys do. We're just as competitive."

Chizip 10-26-2005 05:40 PM

Women athletes have come out before, so this isn't really a huge deal. When a male athlete, is a major professional sport comes out, now that will be a big deal.

Though hopefully someday soon people coming out to say they're gay won't be newsworthy at all. Hopefully people won't think twice about it at some point.

Numb1075 10-27-2005 09:22 AM

well said

neutral 10-31-2005 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Chizip

Though hopefully someday soon people coming out to say they're gay won't be newsworthy at all. Hopefully people won't think twice about it at some point.

:up:


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