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WNBA’s Curt Miller is a gay dad and a coach making a difference

Curt Miller has had an inspiring journey as an openly gay coach and legal guardian of twins.

Curt Miller coaches the Connecticut Sun.
AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Connecticut Sun coach Curt Miller will be totally focused today on his team’s WNBA single-elimination playoff game with the Phoenix Mercury. But away from the court, Miller is both a proud gay man and dad.

Miller’s journey of acceptance as gay man in sports and his role as legal guardian for the past 18 years for twin boys are chronicled in the New York Times. Miller came out publicly as gay in Outsports in 2015.

“I missed out for decades on taking advantage to be a role model or inspiration, especially to a young male coach who might be struggling as I did, wondering if I could chase my dreams,” Miller said in the New York Times article.

“I have always wanted to be known as the successful basketball coach that happens to be gay as opposed to the gay coach who people felt was a pretty good coach.”

Miller, 49, is a basketball lifer, a successful college coach and the WNBA’s coach of the year in 2017. But he also takes his parenting as seriously as his coaching.

Miller and his former partner Jamie Broadwell became legal guardians of Brian and Shawn Seymour when they were 5. They were born to Broadwell’s sister. Brian was a model student who studied journalism at the University of Indiana. Shawn became addicted to drugs and is in prison after being convicted of armed robbery.

After Shawn Seymour was incarcerated, particularly during the months Miller was convalescing in Indiana and without a job, Miller communicated with him as often as possible, through emails and phone calls, reminding him to be accountable and responsible, trying to cheer him with inspirational song lyrics.

“I want him to know that I am thinking about him,” Miller said. “I can’t wait for him to have his second chance.”

The story is a perfect reflection of how important LGBT visibility is in sports. One of the selling points to the Sun was Miller being open about being gay. It reflects an authenticity that can only make a team better.