Brittney Griner on bullying, being a role model and learning to love herself

brittney-griner-bullied-gay-role-model.jpgIn a new profile with the Los Angeles Times, WNBA star Brittney Griner opens up about being taunted and bullied as a child and how she had to learn to get past it, plus how it feels being open about her sexuality, which she came out about publicly in April.

"I didn't have a real role model that I could look up to that was out openly. I knew there were a lot of younger girls that needed someone," says Griner, who told her mother she was gay when she was a freshman in high school.

"I felt a release, I felt better," says Griner, of the day she told her mom. "She was so cool about it. She was like, 'I kinda already know, and I love you."

Being gay did not go over as well with her father, or with opposing teams in high school. Griner would be taunted by the opposing crowds, who didn't even know for sure if she was gay.

"When I was younger, it really bothered me to the point where I was like 'I don't even want to be alive; why am I getting treated like that?' But as I got older, I started caring less. When I got to college, honestly, I was like, I really need to get to the point where this stuff doesn't bother me," says Griner. "End of sophomore year, I kind of got to the point where I'd just block it out."

And now, she has become a role model for young people who don't know exactly how to deal with being gay, telling the Times that she gets about 10 tweets a day from young people -- "How did you come out to your mom? How did you deal with people judging you?"

"I've learned to love myself," Griner finishes.
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