Two-time Olympian Caitlin Cahow came out in an interview with Go! Athletes. Cahow, who is retired from competitive hockey, spoke to the organization, which focuses on empowering LGBTQ athletes and their allies, about women’s sports, whether the U.S. should boycott the Sochi Olympics, and why she didn’t come out earlier. Here are a few highlights from the interview.
Cahow, who is on the Board of Directors of the CWHL, spoke about the climate in women’s hockey.
It’s sad that a climate I certainly experienced as a player is still just as prevalent. We’re much more used to seeing the men’s sports lag behind women but Cahow notes, that the NHL had no trouble finding allies to speak up for the “You Can Play” project. In terms of acceptance, this is one place where women could stand to learn something from the men.
When asked why she didn’t come out sooner, she says it’s simply because no one ever asked. I interviewed Cahow in 2012 and am one of those interviewers who simply didn’t ask. I thought this point in her interview with Go! Athletes was interesting when contrasted with her take on how the media focused too much on Brittney Griner’s sexuality and gender identity when after she came out. Cahow said:
The question, again, becomes one of when should an interviewer ask an athlete about his or her sexuality. We’ve seen a number of female athletes recently cite the fact that they were never asked as the reason they didn’t come out earlier. She had an interesting point that the real shift will come when LGBT athletes feel comfortable dropping casual references to their girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/wife/husband into questions the way straight athletes do. She argues that when gay athletes feel more comfortable, their answers to questions about the support they receive or how they are able to push themselves hard will mirror their straight counterparts. I certainly look forward to the day when that is the norm.
What are your thoughts on Cahow’s coming out and the rest of her interview?