Baylor University graduate Brittney Griner – who stands at 6-feet, 8-inches – was out to her friends and family in her hometown Houston, Texas, since the age of 15. She was also out to her teammates and coaches on the basketball team.
“I definitely wasn’t hiding who I was at Baylor,” Griner, 23, said to People Magazine. “It was never an issue to feel rejected by my teammates. They were definitely understanding and welcoming with me being who I am. The coaches were, too.”
However, when Griner learned the school’s official stance on homosexuality, it caused some tension. One coach even called Griner into her office when she sent out a tweet to her girlfriend at the time.
“Other players, they can go out on Valentine’s Day with their boyfriends and it’d be no problem,” she said. “I go out with my girlfriend, and I’m getting a phone call, ‘Brittney, what were you doing on Valentine’s Day?’ I had to take my tweet down. I was like, why do I have to take my tweet down when my teammates don’t have to take theirs down? It definitely felt like there was a double standard.”
Griner, the No. 1 pick for the Phoenix Mercury in the 2013 WNBA draft, said she is done hiding.
“People tell me I’m going to break the barrier and trail blaze,” she said. “I just kind of look at it like, I’m just trying to help out, I’m just trying to make it where it’s not as tough for the next generation.”
She is also hoping to distinguish the Baylor policy against gay athletes.
“To break something, we have to bring it up, we have to get it out there, and eventually the topic will start to become more of a conversation,” she said.
Her new memoir, In My Skin, is now available.