Welsh sporting legend Non Evans has enjoyed one of the most accomplished athletic careers in U.K. history. The Rugby legend was the first woman to compete in three sports at the Commonwealth Games, and won silver medals at both the 1992 and 1996 Commonwealth Judo Championships. But this week, she experienced one of her biggest landmarks yet: coming out of the closet.
On Tuesday, Evans announced she is gay.
“Please don’t judge me, I am gay,” she tweeted. “Sorry, taken me 30 years to say that.”
Please don’t judge me I am Gay. Sorry taken me 30 years to say that x— Non Evans MBE (@NonEvans) July 14, 2020
In a follow-up tweet, Evans, who’s 46 years old, explained she kept her sexuality private, because she was afraid of upsetting her parents.
I have always wanted to tell the World that I’m gay. But I didn’t want to upset my parents x— Non Evans MBE (@NonEvans) July 14, 2020
Evans’ announcement has been met with broad support in the U.K., with several out LGBT figures congratulating her, according to PinkNews. She debuted playing rugby for Wales in 1996 and played 84 games before announcing her retirement in 2010. In addition to rugby, Evans has competed as a weightlifter and freestyle wrestler.
With British tabloids still participating in faceless gay fear-mongering, prominent out figures like Evans are important when it comes to combating homophobic stereotypes. She was even honored as part of the Queen’s birthday celebration in 2011 for her services to sport, meaning she’s reached the highest levels of societal appreciation.
And now, Evans gets to bask in the glow of being her true self. It’s never too late.