Abby Wambach was the subject of headlines when it was revealed that she married longtime girlfriend and current teammate Sarah Huffman in Hawaii earlier this month. Wambach and Huffman didn’t publicize their wedding, but they didn’t shy away from the attention once the story became news.
In an interview with ESPNW, Wambach revealed that she found the attention amusing because she has been comfortably “out” for a while and all her friends knew about her relationship with Huffman. She also explained why she never has made a big deal of her sexuality.
“I can’t speak for other people, but for me, I feel like gone are the days that you need to come out of a closet. I never felt like I was in a closet. I never did. I always felt comfortable with who I am and the decisions I made,” Wambach told ESPNW.
Wambach joined Athlete Ally over the summer, which is a group supporting gay athletes. Aside from that, she says she never felt the need to make huge statements about her sexual preference.
“I’ve never been asked a question in my soccer world about my relationship, rightfully so because it shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t have anything to do with soccer,” she added. “But I realize I’m a public figure and people are curious about my private life. I’m honestly not the kind of person who wants to step up to a podium, test the microphone and be like, ‘Hey, I’m homosexual and this is who I am, hear me roar.’ That’s not who I am.”
I think there are two aspects of her comments. One, Wambach isn’t out to make huge statements, which is fine. And two, this says a lot about the overall attitude and acceptance of gay athletes. Whether an athlete is gay or not shouldn’t be a big deal, just like it hasn’t been for Wambach, who was the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. We should be at a point where whether an athlete is gay or not is inconsequential. It seems like Wambach has long felt that way, which has probably made her life very comfortable.