It’s no secret that I’m a huge Brittney Griner fan. And she continues to impress with this lovely piece in Cosmo – an excerpt from her new memoir – about her “big, long process” of coming out and growing into her own identity.
It seems like an odd thing to say, but being who you are can take practice, especially when who you are doesn’t fit neatly into the vision that society has for how you should act, what you should wear, who you should love. I haven’t always embraced the parts of me that are different, because when you’re young, it’s scary to voluntarily step away from the mainstream. But I eventually realized that faking it is draining, and that the more people who raise their hands and say, “This is me,” the more they help empower other people to do the same.
Griner reflects, with great insight and empathy, on her middle school years when she denied her sexuality and her early clumsy attempts at piecing together a style that felt right in high school. Through it all, she says, “I knew someday I would be able to become a complete person, with who I am on the inside matching how I expressed myself on the outside.”
Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.