The 36-year old told ESPNW that she's been out to her family and friends for years and feels that now is the right time to come out publicly.
Seattle Storm star Sue Bird came out publicly as gay and said she is dating U.S. women's national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe in a wide-ranging interview with ESPNW.
"I'm gay. Megan's my girlfriend. ... These aren't secrets to people who know me," Bird told ESPNW. "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."
At 36, Bird is in her 15th WNBA season and is the oldest player in the league. The 10-time All-Star said she has been out to her family and friends since the beginning stages of her WNBA career but did not go public with the news until now. Bird said she was close to coming out before the 2016 Rio Olympics, but ultimately decided not to.
Bird told ESPNW she was comforted when she heard teammate Elena Delle Donne speak in casual terms with a reporter about recently coming out and knew she too would eventually come out publicly.
Rapinoe told ESPNW that she and Bird have similar principles.
"Sue has the same convictions about her life and the things she believes in as I do but, I think, does it in a different way," said Rapinoe, who famously kneeled during the national anthem in 2016 to support Colin Kaepernick's protest. "It's important to create space for athletes—and people in general who are in the spotlight and don't want all the attention on them—to be who they are in a way that's comfortable for them."