Storm's Sue Bird opens up about herself, her sports star girlfriend in ESPNW interview


SEATTLE -- Longtime Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird has let the world into her private life in a wide-ranging interview published Thursday by ESPNW.

Bird, 36, and in her 15th season with the Storm, says she is dating Reign FC star Megan Rapinoe, who is also on the U.S. Women's National Soccer team.

Bird explained in the interview:

"I'm gay. Megan's my girlfriend. ... These aren't secrets to people who know me," Bird says. "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."

And she explained why she is talking about it now.

"It's happening when it's happening because that's what feels right," Bird says. "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."

Bird says she nearly announced her sexuality last summer when she filled out a questionnaire before the Rio Olympics but said she "chickened out."

Seattle fans will also be heartened to hear that the city is Bird's basketball home. She had considered signing with another team, especially one closer to her family on the East Coast. But she signed a contract extension with the Storm last year.

Writes Mechelle Voepel in ESPNW:

Two quintessential Bird qualities kept her in Seattle: loyalty and optimism. She sought advice from those she trusted. If they suggested that her best chance at another title might come elsewhere, "I always found myself defending the Storm," Bird says. "I helped build something here. Kids grow up with a white picket fence idea, right? My white picket fence in basketball was to stay with the same franchise."

Bird will be playing in the WNBA All-Star game Saturday at Seattle's KeyArena.

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