Casey Stoney Comes Out, Becomes UK’s Most Famousest Gay Soccer Player

In what might be the gayest thing in British women’s soccer/football since Bend It Like Beckham, 2012 British women’s soccer captain and Arsenal Ladies defensive player Casey Stoney has come out as a lesbian. It’s a big gay day in all kinds of football, folks.

Stoney after scoring an Olympic goal via BBC Sport

Stoney after scoring an Olympic goal via BBC Sport

Though Stoney has been open about her sexuality within the soccer world, she hesitated to go public, telling BBC Sport, “For the last 10 years… I was frightened of the stereotypes, frightened of being judged, frightened of what other people might say, especially the abuse you can get through social media.” But she continued, “I think I’m in a place where I feel so comfortable in my own skin, I feel so loved by the person I’m with, that I feel I can face anything.”

Stoney said she sees homophobia embedded in the culture of soccer around the world, denouncing the upcoming World Cups in Russia and Qatar for taking place in countries with homophobic policies and laws. Not that we’ve ever seen an international sporting events in a country with anti-gay laws… like Russia… oh wait

I toast this Powerade to all the gays who wanted Jess and Jules to get together! via

I toast this Powerade to all the gays who wanted Jess and Jules to get together! via The Independent

Stoney’s points to the warm reception given to British diver Tom Daley, who came out in December, as motivation to come out. “I looked at the response that Tom Daley got. It was incredibly positive, and I thought ‘wow the world is changing and it’s time for me to stand up and tell my side of the story.’” Stoney is speaking out about the impact that internalized homophobia has on the individual and the effect that has on the team, positioning herself to be an outspoken advocate against homophobia in the soccer world.

“Can you really be happy, can you really be yourself? If you are not comfortable in yourself and you are not comfortable in social settings or your surroundings, how can you go into a team environment and be yourself and train hard and feel relaxed with your teammates if you don’t know who you are?”

We’ll be waiting to see what more comes as Stoney steps up to be the most visible gay soccer player in Britain. I’m rooting for another gay soccer-themed romcom classic, but more girls and women being down to come out on their soccer teams would be cool, too.

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Maddie cooks without recipes and writes without outlines, generally with good results. Maddie graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Women’s Studies and a strong friendship with the Geography department. Read her thoughts on border politics and trains, among other things, on her blog.

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    This is really great, Casey Stoney seems like a good leader both on and off the pitch (like getting a spot on the PFA and campaigning for the women’s England team to get a living wage).

    I’m kind of surprised that the BBC are touting this as a “coming out” though, seeing as the Observer had an interview the end of last year where she talked about gay stuff. Plus wikipedia has tagged her as LGBT for like two years. Maybe this will filter through to more of the public who for some reason don’t regularly check the lesbians by occupation wiki category.

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    For some reason I could’ve sworn she came out a month or two ago, I distinctly remember an article where she talked about her role on some committee and how retirement for female footballers is different than for the guys and how she wasn’t going to hide her girlfriend.

    But either way, YAY! Also, I need to watch Bend It Like Beckham again and make sure I can still quote the entire movie.

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