Stefanie Dolson Comes Out As LGBT Athlete
The Washington Mystics center came out with an Instagram post
Stefanie Dolson with her partner
Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson has come out during an interview with ESPN The Magazine.
Dolson won the NCAA national championship twice with the University of Connecticut, scoring 1,797 points in 154 career games, shooting 58.8 percent from the field with 254 blocked shots.
She was the defensive player of the year in the American Athletic Conference in 2014, and was a two-time WBCA first team-team All-American, leading to her selection in the first round draft by the Mystics, with whom she’s is about to start her third season.
She is also the first WNBA player to come out publicly in over a year.
“Someone I knew growing up always joked that I'd be gay just because I was into sports. Not wanting to be a stereotype, I blocked that possibility from my mind during college and my first year in the WNBA,” Dolson told ESPN.
“It wasn't until my first WNBA offseason, when a woman came up to me at a coffee shop in Washington, D.C., and introduced herself, that I personally considered dating women.”
Dolson believes her generation has become comfortable with sexuality and being open about it, but doesn’t think it’s necessary for people to announce their sexuality if they’re not comfortable with being out.
“In my current relationship, I made the decision to be publicly out by posting the cutest photo of us from a weekend we spent together,” she said. “Before posting, I thought about what people might say because this photo made it clear that we're together, but then I realized that the reactions of others didn't matter to me. I wanted people who are fans and supporters to know who I really am.”
Dolson credits the WNBA for their support of LGBT athletes. The WNBA dedicates an entire month to celebrating LGBT pride, which Dolson says goes beyond the gear they wear to offering support to LGBT players and fans, and creating an inclusive environment where players can “lead an authentic life in the open” if they choose to.
While Dolson says not everyone in the WNBA needs to be out, she felt called to her authentic life as a message to LGBT players and fans.
“There are a lot of girls who struggle being who they are. We need people who are out so that those girls know it's OK to be themselves, regardless of stereotypes,” she said. “By being open, I give them someone to look up to, and however they identify, I can inspire them to support equality and LGBT issues.”
You can read Stefanie Dolson’s interview with ESPN The Magazine here.