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Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird comes out as gay, says she’s dating soccer star Megan Rapinoe

Sue Bird says she and Megan Rapinoe have been dating since last fall. (AP)

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird gets personal in a new interview with ESPNW, opening up about her life and relationship with soccer star Megan Rapinoe.

“I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend. These aren’t secrets to people who know me,” Bird told ESPNW’s Mechelle Voepel. “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.”

According to Voepel, Bird has been comfortable with her sexual identity since privately coming out while in college at Connecticut, and considered her realization a “non-issue” for both her and those to whom she was closest.

“I was never tormented within myself,” she said.

Bird, 36, considered publicly coming out before the 2016 Rio Games, when she initially included “I’m gay” as a part of a “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Olympians” piece. She ultimately decided against it.

Now, Bird is open about her relationship with Rapinoe, 32, a midfielder with the Seattle Reign FC and the United States women’s national soccer team. The two have been dating since last fall. Rapinoe, who came out as gay in a 2012 Out Magazine interview, is involved in a number of LGBTQ causes and organizations.

“I joke she is my No. 1 go-to-for-advice person,” Bird said of Rapinoe. “She’s just so level-headed.”

A former No. 1-overall pick, Bird has spent her entire 15-year career with Seattle, winning two WNBA championships (in 2004 and 2010). The 10-time WNBA All-Star has also won four Olympic gold medals as part of the US women’s team (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016).

Bird said she chose to come out now because it feels right.

“Even though I understand there are people who think I should have done it sooner, it wasn’t right for me at the time,” she said. “I have to be true to that. It’s my journey.”