The WNBA’s Brittney Griner is rising up against her past bullies for being gay and becoming a role model in today’s society for the next generation.
Brittney Griner remembers a day in seventh grade as if it were yesterday. Class had just let out and the hallway was flooded with students. As Griner made her way through the crowd, a boy stopped her. “You’re a dude,” he said.
“I just stood there and took it. I was humiliated. The whole school was laughing at me,” Griner recalled. “I was always taller, my feet were always bigger and my voice was deeper,” said Griner, who is 6 feet 8 and has a wingspan of 88 inches.
During her years in college, Griner was considered a rockstar in Baylor. She finished as the NCAA’s second-leading women’s scorer of all time and created a buzz with her dunks and athleticism, twice winning player-of-the-year awards.
It wasn’t until after she graduated college that Griner decided to be completely open about her sexual orientation. “I didn’t have a real role model that I could look up to that was out openly,” she said. “I knew there were a lot of younger girls that needed someone.”
Before the WNBA draft in April, Griner revealed she was a lesbian.The Phoenix Mercury selected Griner as the top overall pick in the draft and she has made an impact on the court, averaging 14.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots a game.
In her short time in the league, Griner has become a celebrity. The first openly gay athlete to sign with Nike, she can’t go anywhere without being approached by fans seeking her autograph, she said.
Brittney Griner has risen about the grade school taunts to become a legend and role model in the WNBA and for this generation of people ‘coming out’. She even has a tattoo on her right rib cage of skulls with the words ‘laugh now, cry later.’