An open letter of love: to the WNBA’s Sophia Young

Dear Sophia,

I hope you are able to read my letter with the openness and sincerity in which it was written. I admire your ability to express what you believe, to live out loud, in truth and conviction. It takes courage to do so. You have opened a door for discussion which is often buried and silenced, deep in the underbelly of women’s sports. Your stand on marriage equality and anti-discrimination is a powerful testament to the climate of the women’s sports community – and we can all do better in sharing our truth and educating those on both sides of the issue.

Nev_ourchivesSometimes, it’s difficult to understand the relevance of a few words, until they become a part of our reality, our identity, our experience. As a Black, lesbian, Christian woman in a predominantly closeted women’s sports community, I struggled to find my existence–a space in which my purpose was valued. I craved likeness, equality, voice and freedom, a community to embrace my understanding. Instead, my truth was met with conflict, resistance and failure to see beyond belief. From the Black community: why go back into oppression when our ancestors fought so hard to free us from such fate; from the Christian community: homosexuality is a sin; from the LGBT community: in the words of Ghandi, “Christians are so unlike your Christ”; and from the women’s sports community: silence.

For years, my truth was muddied with doubt, discrimination, hopelessness and silence. Once I disassociated myself from the communities in which I sought my existence, I found my likeness in God.

Today I thrive, as the community in which I exist is whole. Some of my most supportive allies are Christians; and without the influence of these extraordinary folks, I would not be here. That’s my truth. I’m no longer judged by my outline, but rather my spirit and my convictions. I break the silence because my love is everything, in the purest, most simplest form; no more or less than yours. I stand for equality, anti-discrimination, and the freedom of religion and individual conscience to marry, to live, to love, to exist. And just like you, I live my life every day, because I’m the only one who can.

Sophia, your voice matters. And standing up for your right to marry doesn’t have to mean standing against others rights to do the same; or be protected equally under the law. I extend an invitation to discuss the power of love and acceptance in creating an environment inclusive and respectful of all of God’s children, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

I hope you will consider my invite, as I respect your journey, as my heart remains open.

In truth and conviction,

Nevin Caple
Br{ache the Silence Campaign

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