In Jason Collins’ Wake, Out Athlete Brittney Griner Writes About Making History

The basketball star writes in The New York Times about her personal coming out story, as well as the abuse she has endured over the years.

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Brittney Griner recently became the WNBA’s #1 draft pick, and she also became the first openly gay athlete to sign with Nike. But after NBA star Jason Collins came out publicly and was heralded by many as the first “major out athlete,” Griner’s moment in the spotlight was, at least temporarily, eclipsed. In a powerful essay written for the Sunday New York Times, Brittney finally got the chance to share her story.

She discusses her coming out process, her thoughts on Jason Collins coming out, and the role she would like to play in the LGBT community:

2. On coming out to her mother in the 9th grade:

Sue Ogrocki / AP

3. On the fact her coming out last month didn’t receive very much media attention:

Tony Gutierrez / AP

4. On being an openly out basketball player:

Tony Gutierrez / AP

5. On the bullying she endured from an early age:

Tony Gutierrez / AP
LM Otero, File / AP

7. On her future:

Griner wrote, “Countless people have come up to me and thanked me for being proud of who I am.”

Tony Gutierrez / AP

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Sarah Karlan is the associate LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at


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