WNBA star Brittney Griner has released a new memoir titled “In My Skin.” As an openly gay professional athlete, Griner opens up about her path to the WNBA as well as how anti-gay policies at Baylor University affected her as an individual. According to Slate on April 15, Griner exposes some homophobic hypocrisy she encountered at her former school in the memoir.
The former Baylor Lady Bears’ star says in the memoir that she was already out as a lesbian in high school, but wondered what her Baylor head coach, Kim Mulkey, would have a problem with her sexuality. She recalls Mulkey saying, “Big Girl, I don’t care what you are.” But, Griner felt it was more her athletic skills and what she added to the team that Mulkey was referring to as the Baptist-affiliated school had anti-gay polices in its handbook that basically sent Griner back into hiding who she is.
Although Brittney Griner proclaims her love for the university, as she “would love to be an ambassador,” she also mentions why she simply can’t as well as her discomfort as the student handbook denounces all forms of sexuality outside of heterosexual marriage. Griner felt she couldn’t display any type of public affection with her girlfriend without Mulkey being notified. As one of the most dominating players in the NCAA women’s Division I basketball history, Griner soon got tired of being told she shouldn’t express her sexuality in public and keep it “her business.”
In the memoir she writes, “The more I think about it, the more I feel like the people who run the school want it both ways: they want to keep the policy, so they can keep selling themselves as a Christian university, but they are more than happy to benefit from the success of their gay athletes. That is, as long as those gay athletes don’t talk about being gay.”
The current star of the Phoenix Mercury tells her story in the memoir with the hopes of inspiring others who may be in the same situation. Brittney Griner has molded herself into a very visible, successful individual in the world of athletics. The 23-year-old recently came in at no. 31 on Out Magazine’s Power 50 list. Her openness in publicly discussing her sexual orientation like she does in “In My Skin” is a major reason why she continues to be an inspiration for young women and gay athletes everywhere.