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I could probably work on that a little," says Seattle Reign and U. national team soccer player Megan Rapinoe, who has been dating Bird since last fall. She has been out to her family and friends for many years -- telling them soon after her pro career began in Seattle after she was the WNBA's No. That was never the case for me." So why talk about it now?
1 pick in 2002 out of UConn -- but she hadn't publicly confirmed it before. "It's happening when it's happening because that's what feels right," Bird says. women's soccer team and the Seattle Reign, and Sue Bird have been dating since last fall.
She has thoroughly and thoughtfully answered countless questions from reporters since she was a teenager, but Bird usually demonstrated a default mode: cautious.
As former teammate Swin Cash says, "Sue and 'controversy' never mixed.
"We have a lot in common and just sort of clicked," Rapinoe says. And Rapinoe has been very vocal in her belief that being out is important because it can help young people with their self-esteem.
"Megan feels really passionately about things," Bird says.
Brad and Sue were born 13 days apart in October 1980, and their older sisters were sports teammates. (Barnett concedes that Bird won when she sent a singing telegram to his house.) As teens, they once had a game of one-on-one that got so heated that it came to a 20-minute standstill when both refused to get the basketball after it rolled to the other end of the gym.
The "adventures of Brad and Sue" soon commenced -- except for a brief hurdle when they were 4 or 5 years old: Barnett was so startled to see his usually jeans-clad, short-haired buddy wearing a dress for the first time that he burst into tears. Bird finally retrieved it with a flourish of profanity on her way out the door. ' And he says, 'Suzy, you looked like you were going to bite her.' "He said then she was going to be something special.
And if someone had castigated her, "I would have been like, 'Fine, goodbye.' I never was tormented within myself. "There's another moment it was right there, but I didn't say anything." Yet she knew she would eventually.
"I just never felt that calling, if that's the right word.
I was living my life, just not necessarily leading the charge.
It's a gorgeous summer day in Seattle, with the afternoon sun shining on Sue Bird as she sips organic coffee outside a shop in her Queen Anne neighborhood.
She wears a "Femme Forever" T-shirt, jeans and white Chucks.