Belgian tennis player Alison van Uytvanck came out publicly as gay in March, disclosing her relationship with fellow player Greet Minnen. She just completed her best performance at Wimbledon, defeating the defending champion and finishing in the round of 16. The events are linked.
“I’m happy that I could hopefully get younger people to have confidence to just come out,” Van Uytvanck said at Wimbledon. “But I didn’t come out because I wanted to be a role model. I came out because I’m feeling good. I’m really happy with her [Minnen]. That’s the thing what it should be.
“I mean, clearly everybody sees that we are happy, we’re a good team. She understands it. She’s also a tennis player. So it’s really good she understands the game. She’s warming me up in the morning. So it’s really nice. We have a really good connection.”
Vam Uytvanck said she has not received one negative comment since coming out and was so liberated that she kissed Minnen after her match this weekend.
#Wimbledon | Alyson Van Uytvanck se mete en octavos de final y así lo celebra. Con su pareja, con normalidad, de manera natural. Y que digan lo que quieran pic.twitter.com/yx1GXAIyRG— Fernando Murciego (@fermurciego) July 7, 2018
She was matter of face about how happy coming out has made her and dismissed any idea that her story is in any way controversial.
“I just feel that it’s something we shouldn’t be ashamed about and that does make me feel more free,” Van Uytvanck said. “I’m not ill; I don’t have any kind of disease. I just think it’s a good thing because I have been able to come out as a gay person.”
Her sexuality became more of a story after she defeated defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza and the media started paying more attention to her. Her answers were clear and direct and full of hope, something every LGBT athlete can aspire to.
You can follow Van Uytvanck on Instagram.