Candace Parker Is Gay and Gay Married With a Gay Pregnant Wife

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!

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. In no hyperbolic terms, this has changed the entire course of my day which I will now spend on Candace Parker’s Instagram. I think it at least once a day, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE THE WNBA.

  2. OK. I’ll go there.
    Last year during the WNBA playoffs, someone (Holly?) said Candice and Diana Taurasi were really close but had a huge falling out while they were both playing in Russia. This fab news triggered that memory. Inquiring minds…

    • No, I mean gay. She didn’t share the label of her choice and “gay” is kind of a kind of catch-all for LGBQ-ness these days. Lots of bi folks refer to themselves as gay. And lots of women who were married to men refer to themselves as lesbians. So! I went with what felt most inclusive, language being imprecise and constantly evolving and all that. :)

  3. As soon I saw the news on tumblr, I came “straight” to AS for Heather’s article I knew would be here. The headline might be my favorite ever and I’ve been on this site since day one.

  4. hoping someone can clear up something – the ig post says they got married 2 years ago, but the pictures look like a wedding & Mrs. Petrakova looks pregnant, but the post refers to a baby on the way? is this Parker-Petrakova #2?

  5. Randomly learned about this and instantly searched autostraddle (after screaming and checking my eyes). My teenage self is loosing it rn. Gosh everyone already said all my feelings, but there aren’t words.

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