US soccer star Lori Lindsey sent this message out to her nearly 24,000 Twitter followers this week: 'You're going to need to sit down for this one! It's going to come as a real shock.'
A midfielder for the US National Team who plays for the Western New York Flash of Women's Premiere Soccer League Elite League,Lindsey was referring to a candid interview published Wednesday (5 September) during which she publicly states that she is a lesbian and shares other details of her life.
'Well, being a gay woman, I think it's important,' she said of coming out and of being supportive of LGBT causes. 'My mom is also a lesbian. My parents got divorced at a really young age. I don't remember them together, I only remember my mom with a woman, with her partner of 25 years - or I should say, wife. So it's always been a huge part of my family, and of me. I eventually came out when I was 20 or so.'
'I've always thought it was important to be proud of who I am, my mom taught me that,' she adds. 'She's my role model and my hero. And so is my dad and the rest of my family.'
Even though the interview marked the first time she has discussed being a lesbian publicly, the 32-year-old Lindsey said she's 'always lived an open life.'
'I definitely don't want to lose that and I want younger LGBTQ girls and boys to see that,' she said.
Lindsey said coming out to her dad more than a decade ago was the hardest - particularly since it took place at an Applebee's.
'I mean, nothing against Applebee's, but I would just never eat there,' she admitted. 'I wish it was more like, 'I was at a local coffee shop sitting with my dad having this great conversation.' But no, we were at Applebee's drinking beer. Great.'
'I was probably 21 or 22 when I told my dad,' she recalled. 'He came to visit, I was playing with the Washington Freedom. I'm not pro-Applebee's, so I hate putting this part of the story in there - but we're from Indiana and my dad's like, 'Let's got to Applebee's and get a beer!' And I'm like, 'Ok fine...' and so we're at Applebee's and he's shooting the shit with me, and all of a sudden he says, 'Do you like guys or girls?' And I'm like, 'Girls...' and I just started crying. But it was such a relief, because I was a little bit.... not worried, because my dad's been wonderful and a huge supporter of mine in more ways than just soccer, but I was worried a little bit about his reaction. You never want to deliberately hurt your parents or cause them stress.'