Australian pro baller Melissa Marsh comes out as straight


When big LGBT news happens over a holiday weekend, we want to make sure you don’t miss it — even if the news is worth missing.

That brings us to Australian basketball player Melissa Marsh, captain of the West Coast Waves (Tully Bevilaqua‘s team).

Photo courtesy

Marsh wrote a column for PerthNow, website of The Sunday Times, to make a huge announcement about her sexual orientation: She’s not gay.

“Hi, my name is Melissa Marsh,” she wrote. “I am 27 and I’m an elite female athlete. And, no, I’m not a lesbian.”

Lest you think she is homophobic, she clearly states her reason for making this fascinating news public.

Photo courtesy ten news

It is a sad reality that for some people, the first thing that pops into their head about female athletes is their sexual orientation.

Oh my. That is sad.

While Marsh acknowledges that yes, some sports pros are gay, “very few athletes come out, and the media tends to shy away from reporting innuendo and rumors.”

Of course they do. No innuendo and rumors about who’s LGBT. Ever.

And, believe it or not, Marsh has actually “played with or against” gay/bisexual women. In 11 years as a pro baller, Marsh estimates that she has “played with 15 teammates who would identify as gay, and 20 who were bisexual or experimented with their sexuality at some point.”

Marsh did not give the details of her research.

Honestly, the column is so elegantly written and inspiring that I am tempted to quote every sentence. I encourage you to read it and share your feelings with her. Marsh obviously is heartsick, feeling the “sheer disappointment of people’s perception of the female athlete.” Think about it. The many hours of “pain, sweat, blood and tears” required for athletes to be in top form only lead to despair.

When a female athlete is at their best physically, they can often be labelled ‘too muscly’ or ‘butch’ looking but in fact they are doing everything in their power to be the best athlete they can to ensure that they perform at their best in their sport.

I hear ya’, girl. No wonder you’re sad. All that training — and people think you’re a lesbian or bisexual or someone who experimented with sexuality at some point. We understand your firm stance against being objectified.

We’re also happy to report that Marsh starts a regular Sunday column for PerthNow this week. I’m sure she’d love to hear your ideas for topics; perhaps next week will be “I have light hair, but I am not actually blonde.”

Meanwhile, let us know how Melissa’s thoughtful column affected you.

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