Duncalf and Grinham: Squash superstar lesbian couple
Professional squash superstars Duncalf and Grinham recently came out as gay and revealed that they are in a romantic relationship with each other.
Australia’s Rachael Grinham (former World No. 1) and England’s Jenny Duncalf (former World No. 2) met through the sport, falling in love after competing against each other professionally.
The pair dominated the world of squash for years. They hold six gold medals and 44 tour titles between them.
Duncalf and Grinham: Coming out
With their decision to publicly come out, the two women have become the first openly gay active professional squash players. The couple discussed their relationship with US Squash Magazine.
“There was a period in the very beginning when Jen was afraid of people finding out, but we’ve not hidden it for a long time now and it’s not going to come as news to most people who know us,” Grinham said.
“We felt that if by openly ‘coming out in professional sport’ we could help just one person feel more comfortable and encouraged about their own journey, then it would be more than worthwhile doing so,” said Duncalf who moved to Brisbane, Australia in 2015 to live with her partner.
Professional squash community supports Duncalf and Grinham
The response of the professional squash community to Duncalf and Grinham’s coming out has been largely positive.
“I appreciate all those before me that fought for their rights and those today who live their lives freely. Way to go, Jenny and Rachael,” said Alicia McConnell, director of training sites and partnerships at the United States Olympic Committee. McConnell herself is a former world No. 14 in professional squash.
Kevin Klipstein, president and CEO of US Squash, has also chimed in: “These days with the pace of news and change in the world, the narrative of personal stories are ‘mainstreamed’ very quickly, making them less personal in some ways and obscuring the fact that they are so often individually courageous.”
“Jenny and Rachael’s journeys and their story together may help us all take a step back and recognize that courage and leadership come in many shapes and forms, and even in simply being yourself,” he said.
Duncalf and Grinham: Love, loss, and the good news
The relationship makes life on tour more difficult than normal- but rewarding as a whole- according to the couple.
Duncalf explained: “Of course when it comes to playing against each other it can be tricky – especially for me if I lost! The good news was that at least one of you is always through and I couldn’t take too long to get over a loss as I knew she won’t put up with me sulking for too long!”
“It can be a little complicated, but overall I’d say we are definitely lucky to have each other,” Grinham echoed.