Sue Bird is gay.
Sue Bird is dating soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
These potential two statements have been swimming in the minds of the Seattle Storm guard’s fans for nearly a decade and now, according to the Seattle Times July 20, 2017 edition, they have become a reality.
Here’s what we know:
Bird realized she was gay in college
Diana Taurasi, also gay and now married, was her teammate and friend in college, but they never talked about Bird’s realization until they were in Russia in the 2000s
She never felt the need to “come out” because she always lived her life openly, she says
Bird and Rapinoe began dating in the fall of 2016
The Seattle Storm guard doesn’t want to be the center of attention or gossip
Bird and Rapinoe attended UCONN’s 100th consecutive victory game together last February
Rapinoe says Bird is her number one “go-to-for advice person” because she’s so level-headed
She was drafted to the Seattle Storm as the No. 1 overall pick in 2002
This is now her 15th season with the Seattle Storm
Her career has averaged 12.3 points and 5.5 assists
The private star has regularly spent the Seattle Storm’s off-seasons playing basketball in Russia, a country where being openly homosexual can be extremely dangerous. This led fans to surmise that the star was protecting herself from backlash if she chose to come out, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Bird told ESPNW’s Mechelle Voepel, “I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend…These aren’t secrets to people who know me. 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.”
Coming out is a personal journey and Bird has felt the weight of that decision throughout her career. The Olympic medalist is embarking on her 10th WNBA All-Star appearance on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
“It’s happening when it’s happening because that’s what feels right,” Bird said in the interview. “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.”
At 36 years old, Bird is currently the oldest player in the WNBA, but she says she has no plans to stop anytime soon. The Long Island native has four Olympic gold medals with Team USA; two WNBA championships with the Seattle Storm; four EuroLeague titles while competing in Russia; and two NCAA titles from her college days at UCONN.
Bird is ultra-cautious and appears to have it together at all times, something she’s worked for her entire life.
“You’re probably never going to know if something bad is happening in my life,” she says. “I think I was just made that way.”
For her part, Seattle Reign soccer champion Rapinoe is a U.S. National Team legend in her own right. The midfielder says she could learn a thing or two from her relatively new girlfriend.
“She doesn’t shut anybody off when she speaks. I could probably work on that a little,” Rapinoe told Voepel.
Speaking is something Bird is now ready to do – and it has nothing to do with Rapinoe.
“This actually has nothing to do with Megan, in terms of how free I feel to talk about it,” Bird says. “This has been something I’ve been on the verge of doing for a long time.”
That time is apparently now.