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Sports Then and Now

3 of the Top Lesbian Sports Stars

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Sudhir Singh
Brittney Griner is one of the biggest stars of the WNBA.

Brittney Griner is one of the biggest stars of the WNBA.

It takes a strong female to rise to the top of a male-dominated sport. In many traditionally male-centric sports, the glass ceiling is being shattered by talented women who are proud of their athleticism and who they are as individuals.

Here are three stars that happen to be lesbians who bring pride to their sport and the LGBQT community.

Megan Rapinoe

The U.S. women’s soccer team star, Megan Rapinoe, has been in the national spotlight for over a decade. She helped her team secure Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012 and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. One of Rapinoe’s most memorable career highs is when she became the first and only player, male or female, to score a Goal Olimpico at the 2012 Olympic Games. After opening up about her sexuality in 2012, she has continued to advocate for LGBQT rights. Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem like NFL player Colin Kaepernick in protest of racial injustices across the nation.

Brittney Griner

American professional basketball player Brittney Griner has some impressive stats. While playing at Baylor University, she became the only NCAA player to score a whopping 2,000 points and block 500 shots.  The 6’8 ball player who boasts a wing-span of 86 inches has also made the U.S. Olympic team twice and helped bring the gold medal home in 2016.  Griner was named The Associated Press’ 2012 Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. In her 2014 memoir, “In My Skin: My Life On And Off The Basketball Court,” the reserved Griner talks about being bullied during her adolescent years and how it affected her confidence. She also reveals how she was unaware of Baylor University’s policy on homosexuality when she joined their team (Griner came out in high school but during her years at Baylor, was asked by officials to keep her sexual orientation concealed). Griner held true to herself and lives her life with integrity today.

Vanessa Selbst

Professional poker player Vanessa Selbst never wears sunglasses during a match. It may be her style but more than likely it’s a symbol of her “be yourself” mantra. The Brooklyn-born lesbian is the highest earning professional female player of all time with over $11.6 million in winnings. She has secured three World Series of Poker bracelets, the North American Poker Tour Stop, and the Partouche Poker Tour.  With each accolade she’s collected she’s always open about her sexual orientation. In fact, she requested to have her girlfriend on the screen during broadcasted tournaments just like the wives and girlfriends of her male counterparts.  Selbst is aware of the growing number of female poker players joining the ranks and hopes that the game will keep evolving into a more inclusive sport. Selbst established a foundation which funds projects that fight for economic equality and racial justice. She works closely with the Urban Justice Center, The Innocence Project, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Through hard work and perseverance, these lesbian superstars have achieved tremendous accolades. They have brought pride to their sports and to their LGBQT community.  Here’s to them and to future generations of women in sports that choose to be true to themselves.

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