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Mystics center Stefanie Dolson comes out, feels call to lead public 'authentic life'

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Stefanie Dolson didn't consider dating women until she entered the WNBA just two years ago. She's now the first WNBA player to come out publicly in over a year.

Stefanie Dolson #31 of the Washington Mystics hi fives Ivory Latta #12 of the Washington Mystics during a game against the Phoenix Mercury on August 25, 2015 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Copyright 2015
Stefanie Dolson #31 of the Washington Mystics hi fives Ivory Latta #12 of the Washington Mystics during a game against the Phoenix Mercury on August 25, 2015 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Copyright 2015
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson has decided to come out in a very public way, talking with ESPN The Magazine about living life openly and her conclusion that she just doesn't care what people think of her. It's a must-read first-person account and gives a lot of insight into the lives of WNBA players, so many of whom are LGBT and still publicly closeted.

Not everyone in the WNBA needs to be out, but I feel called to lead an authentic life in the open. I know who I am and I don't care if people judge me. I am 6-5, and I dye my hair purple and experiment a lot with fashion. My motto is: If they're going to stare, they might as well stare at something fun. There are a lot of girls who struggle being who they are. We need people who are out so that those girls know it's OK to be themselves, regardless of stereotypes. By being open, I give them someone to look up to, and however they identify, I can inspire them to support equality and LGBT issues.

Dolson won the NCAA national championship twice with the Univ. of Connecticut and was a WNBA All-Star selection last season. She is also the first WNBA player to come out publicly in over a year.

Take a look at the piece, and also have a listen to the ESPN podcast in which former Outsports contributor Katie Barnes and Dolson talk about her coming-out story.