WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist Angel McCoughtry has come out via Instagram, posting a photo of herself and her fianceé, actress Brande Elise, along with tales of discrimination by her overseas team, the Georgia Voice reports.
McCoughtry, a forward for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream since 2009, had also played in the off-season for Istanbul’s Fenerbahce team from 2011 until February of this year, the Voice reports. When she left the team, she cited contractual violations. Tuesday on Instagram, along with the picture, she posted that she had been discriminated against, saying, “My last overseas team threatened my job if I didn’t write a fake letter on social media saying my relationship was a lie.”
She also said she and Elise have lost some friends and received criticism from family members. “They said I disgraced my religion!” she wrote. But she added that “love is a great feeling and GOD is Love.”
McCoughtry and Elise had celebrated their engagement with the players’s teammates in Turkey, documented in a YouTube video posted in November and reported on by Turkish media, the Voice notes. Turkey does not criminalize same-sex relationships, but LGBT people often face discrimination there.
In addition to her pro career, McCoughtry played on gold medal–winning U.S. teams in the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville.
The Dream will open its season June 5 as the visiting team in a game with the New York Liberty.