Men’s soccer midfielder Elias Rieland, women’s softball infielder Tiffany Moore and women’s basketball guard Emily Easom all had different reasons for coming out as gay at Sacramento State University, but all three say one reason is to fight stereotypes and to be happy.

“When I came to Sac State, I realized that being closeted affected my sports more than anything because I was more worried about that than actually performing,” Rieland said in a profile of the three athletes in the school newspaper The State Hornet. “The minute I let that go, I started doing much better.”

Moore was inspired by the number of open lesbians on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team at the 2015 World Cup. “That’s my No. 1 team,” Moore said. “I just love how many gay players there (were on) that team.”

Easom said there is still a stereotype that all female players are lesbians. “There are people out there that may say, ‘Oh, she’s practically a dude,’ ” Easom said. “I think that female athletes, in general, are looked at as less feminine (and) gay.”

Despite being out and accepted on their teams, these three athletes still deal with ignorant or irksome questions, yet by being themselves they hope to set an example for other athletes thinking about coming out.

The whole story is well worth your while.