In all my time of writing professionally about gay things on the gay internet — 14 years in April — I have never had a piece of news affect me like this: CANDACE PARKER IS GAY! SHE’S GAY MARRIED! AND HER GAY WIFE’S GOT A BABY ON THE WAY! She announced it on Instagram exactly 35 minutes ago, and those two loud thuds you heard, back-to-back, that sounded like thunder that shook the entire earth, were me and Autostraddle Editor in Chief, Carmen Phillips, passing out.
Rumors have been swirling about Parker and former teammate Anna Petrakova for years now, especially after Petrakova went with her into the WNBA wubble last year, and then photos surfaced later of what seemed like a family photo shoot with Parker, Petrakova, and Parker’s daughter Lailaa. But this is the WNBA, so everyone is rumored to be gay at one point or another.
This has been a nearly unbelievable year for Parker, who left the Los Angeles Sparks and returned to her hometown of Chicago to bring home a WNBA championship with her married lesbian teammates, Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley. She also became the first woman baller on the cover of NBA2K. And she was a WNBA all-star. And she finally started speaking her full mind about USA Basketball and her, um, rivalries with former college and Team USA coaches.
I am what we in the business call A Lady Vol For Life. I am wearing a Lady Vols National Championship shirt and Candace Parker jersey shorts right this very second, in fact. One day I’ll have the words for what this coming out means to me. Right now, though, I’m just picking up my inner closeted teenage self and twirling her around.
Congratulations, Candace and Anna and Lailaa! Thank you for everything, Candace! Truly, for everything!