“'I don’t need that shit,' she says without rancor"

In a world in which the female body is always up for critique, Griner stands as very tall testament to how much we’ve changed in our attitudes toward difference, but also to the distance we have yet to travel. Hers is the story of how a 22-year-old physical anomaly with the energy of the goofy skater kid she is during her off-hours—leaving the arena, Griner worked her long torso through an open car window and sat on the door’s edge, hollering to a teammate behind us—is challenging norms of both sexuality and gender. “Gender is who you go to bed as,” says one specialist in gender identity issues. “Sexuality is who you go to bed with.”

The latter subject is in some ways more straightforward, easier for sports reporters and cultural observers to address—and celebrate. In April, during a video interview on SportsIllustrated.com, Griner offhandedly acknowledged that she’s a lesbian. The low-key disclosure came in a spring and early summer marked by watershed moments in gay rights, including the Supreme Court’s striking down of a federal ban on gay marriage and NBA backup center Jason Collins becoming the first male pro-athlete to out himself while still an active player.

Read More |  "How Slam-Dunking, Gender-Bending WNBA Rookie Brittney Griner is Changing the World of Sports" | Laurie Abraham | ELLE