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Aylssa Wykes
(? - living) U.S.A.

Aylssa Wykes

Football athlete, coach

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Alyssa is a running back for the Philadelphia Liberty Belles in the National Women's Football League. She came out as a lesbian in the December/January 2002 edition of Sports Illustrated for Women.

"Of course I am a lesbian," Alyssa said in the article. "I've had a partner for the last six years, and it's been awesome. I guess you can call this my coming out party."

Alyssa's honesty did not sit well with Catherine Masters, owner of the league. "It really hurt us," Masters told the Washington Blade.

"Everyone knows that gay people are in every professional sports league. But you don't see them coming out."

Marie Olsen, owner of the Liberty Belles, flatly contradicted Masters, telling the Blade she has received nothing but positive feedback, and adding:

"I found the article very informative, amusing, funny, and fantastic. And the pictures were great. I didn't perceive it the same way that [Masters] did. ... What shocked me is that they printed [Wykes's] weight. Every women in America is going to laugh at that -- that's more sacred than anything else."

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