Alison Van Uytvanck, a professional women’s tennis player from Belgium, has come out publicly in an interview where she discussed her relationship with Greet Minnen, herself a pro tennis player.
In a segment on a Belgian sports TV show this weekend, Van Uytvanck discussed for the first time that she is in a relationship with Minnen. A reader from Belgium offered us this translation of key parts of the segment:
Alison will finally be herself, therefore she doesn’t hide anymore that she has a girlfriend, something that can still a taboo in 2018.
“I don’t find it’s a taboo, [the relationship] makes me happy,” Van Uytvanck said. “Soon we are going to live together. We do feel super happy together and that’s what we will show to the world.
“Nobody has to justify why they are lesbian or gay, it is not a disease. We are very open about our relationship and my parents are proud about it. That’s important because the support made us feel good.”
Van Uytvanck, 23, talked about being bullied growing up and how she is campaigning against bullying. “Now I go to the kids and say ‘no bullying’ and I confront those who made my life so difficult with my success so they can understand the pain I had to going through,” she said.
She has been ranked as high as No. 41 on the WTA tour and reached the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2016. Two weeks ago, Van Uytvanck won the Budapest Open, her second pro singles win, and is ranked No. 50. Her coach sees her as having Top 20 potential. Minnen, 20, also plays on the WTA tour and has been ranked as high as No. 323 ,
Van Uytvanck and Minnen have been open about their relationship on Instagram, though the TV interview was the first time their relationship was discussed with the media.
Van Uytvanck and Minnen are two of the five Belgian athletes who have come out as LGBTQ recently. The country had three out athletes at the WInter Olympics.