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English women's soccer national team captain Casey Stoney comes out as gay

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Stoney said she felt now was the time to tell who she was and cited Tom Daley as an inspiration.

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Jamie McDonald

Casey Stoney, the captain of England's women's national soccer team, came out today in an interview on the BBC. I was on another BBC program with Stoney to discuss Michael Sam coming out and here is what she said about her decision:

The BBC asked me to do this a year ago and I said no because we had the European Championships coming up and I didn't think it was right for me and the team to have any distractions. They asked me again a couple of weeks ago and I kind of made the decision that now was the time because of everything that has been going on in the media recently and also because now I'm in a relationship where I feel I can face anything.

I feel loved and safe and my partner gives me the courage to say to the public that I'm gay. It's not necessarily about me coming out but trying to help other people who have had struggles.

In football circles [her being gay] was pretty much common knowledge. My family have known for many years, my friends have known for many years. The people that have mattered to me have known.

My partner said to me, "Well, your family knows, your friends know. They all love you and nothing will ever change what they think about you, so why do you care what the outside world thinks? ... I'm comfortable in my own skin now, I know who I am and I can look myself in the mirror every day and know I'm a good person, so if I can do this and it can help somebody else, for me that's the biggest thing. ... The more people that do it, the more it becomes right ad then it stops becoming news and it's accepted by the world.

Stoney said the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and she said diver Tom Daley announcing he was dating a man had a positive influence on her. overwhelming reaction. "I looked at the response that Tom Daley got and the incredible positive response that he got and I thought 'wow, the world is changing' and it's time for me to stand up and tell my side of the story."