By: Bianca Sierra and Stephany Mayor
We are an engaged lesbian couple playing soccer professionally in Iceland, and who also play for the Women’s Mexican National Team.
We met in 2009, but we didn’t dating until 2014. We both grew up in the youth national team system, only seeing each other when called into camp. But we always had a sort of special connection. Me (Bianca) being from USA and Stephany from Mexico, we grew up in different countries, but had the same love and passion for being on the Mexican National Team. We would keep in touch when we weren’t in camp, and always had great conversations when we were together. It wasn’t until 2014 until something sparked. Our connection was so real, so easy, and felt so normal. I think this has a lot to do with why we weren’t afraid to be open about our relationship.
I had never been in a gay relationship before, but I never felt the need to hide what I felt for Stephany once I realized my feelings. We are both very lucky that we come from families who are so open and accepting. I honestly didn’t care what people were going to think of me. I never really looked at it as “having to come out.” I am who I am, and people were either going to like it or not. We both realize now that we are so lucky to have had it that easy.
It wasn’t until 2015 that I tweeted a normal picture of Stephany and I, and things went crazy. I still don’t know why people decided to attack this specific tweet of mine, but they did and it really opened our eyes. We received a lot of hateful messages, and it was painful at first to read what people were saying. But it made us realize that this is the reality we live in — that there are people who are going to dislike us for simply being ourselves. We knew that something had to change. We wanted to do whatever we could to be role models, to help people feel safe and to stand up for what’s right.
A lot of people don’t know this, but in 2016 after our article came out in the New York Times, we were told that we were the first openly gay athletes in the history of Mexico. It was a huge shock to us. We looked at it as an honor, but at the same time, it made us more sensitive to the fact that it is very hard to come out in Mexico and be openly gay. When we decided to do the article, we knew that a big responsibility would come with it, but we were ready for it. We were ready to be role models and to use this platform to help inspire and change the way LGBTQ people are looked at in Mexico.
We have even started our own Instagram page called @her_and_ella. We receive tons of messages from people saying that our story has helped them come to terms with who they are or has given them the confidence to come out. We even receive messages from people seeking help and advice. This has been so heartwarming because this is exactly what we want to do: be there for people, in the hopes that one day all LGBTQ athletes will feel empowered to be themselves. We are so excited to be a part of the Athlete Ally family and to work together with them to accomplish this.
Follow Bianca and Stephany on Instagram here.
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