Arsenal player Casey Stoney: My sexuality is not a ‘lifestyle choice’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Arsenal footballer Casey Stoney has appeared with her wife partner and young children for the first time – and hit out at people who call her sexuality a “lifestyle choice”.

The former England captain came out as gay last year, becoming one of the highest-profile women in football to come out.

Stoney later welcomed twins Teddy and Tilly via IVF with her partner Megan Harris late last year, and the family appeared together publicly for the first time this week, on the Victoria Derbyshire Show.

Explaining their decision to appear as a family, Stoney said: “I think it’s really important. I think families are very different now – single parents, same-sex couples. For me it’s all about the environment you create.

“If you create a loving environment, it shouldn’t matter if you’ve got one parent, two parents, whether they’re the same sex or not. It’s about looking out for your children and loving them, making sure they’ve got a bright future.”

Her partner Megan added: “I think it’s important for people to see and to have the exposure – that there are gay parents in the world.

“Especially for [the kids] growing up, it’s important they’re not the odd ones out. I think it’s important for children to see it as well as adults.”

The pair described their journey of IVF treatment as “emotional”, with Ms Harris, who carried the twins, adding: “There’s lots of ups and downs… it took us three attempts”.

Stoney also spoke about the reaction after she came out as gay – hitting out at people who call homosexuality a “lifestyle choice”.

She said: “You’re always going to get the 5 percent who have their own opinion and don’t agree with what you’re doing. It amazes me, they call it lifestyle choices.

“Being gay isn’t a choice and it’s never been a choice and it’s been a struggle for 33 years for me.

“I’m now happy, comfortable in my own skin and I’ve got a beautiful family that I’m very very proud of.”

There are currently no openly gay male footballers in the UK.

Watch the clip below: