Delle Donne’s low-key announcement is still a game-changer

Some has been written since Elena Delle Donne came out in a Vogue magazine article yesterday, which also revealed she is engaged.

One writer pointed out that Delle Donne was sitting next to Brittney Griner three years ago when she came out, implying Griner made it easier for Delle Donne to do the same thing.

For many, Delle Donne’s revelation is not a big deal.

But it is.

Delle Donne and her partner have been more open about their relationship in recent months, whereas in the past, the popular star forward has shied away from questions about her love life. This piece explains why Delle Donne’s coming out, ironically in its relative insignificance, is a game-changer:

What makes Delle Donne different is that she hews to the establishment’s idea of what a star woman athlete should like — classically feminine and media-friendly enough to get prime placement alongside men’s basketball stars in Nike ad campaigns. (It obviously doesn’t hurt her that she’s blonde and white, either.) If nothing else, Delle Donne can show that there is no set template for a professional athlete, gay or otherwise. As one of her sport’s most visible stars, she can lead the fight for acceptance by example.


Delle Donne has been touted as the face of the WNBA; has been lauded for her charity work; is known as a kind soul and a great person. She undoubtedly surprised many with her announcement because she’s an attractive woman, as the general public doesn’t tend to put lesbians in the “beautiful” or “feminine” boxes.

A homophobe can’t even get mad at Delle Donne because she’s such a sweetheart. It would be like kicking puppies or being mean to Tamika Catchings.

Several WNBA players have cracked the closet door this year. I’m very impressed – especially when I note that numerous others have chosen not to come out (who can blame them?). It takes a lot of courage, and now that bravery extends to the league’s gorgeous MVP.

In her honesty, Delle Donne may have expanded some minds.