Pro soccer player Lori Lindsey of Washington Spirit has been playing soccer for about 30 years (13 professionally).
On one hand she had an advantage — her dad was a coach and her older brother Chris played.
“I was good at it from an early age and as I got older I excelled,” she says. “But being from Indiana, which is not considered a soccer hotbed, I knew that if I wanted to move up and play on a higher level, I would have to work harder. … From the get go, I was willing to put a lot of time and effort in.”
Lindsey is in her second season with Washington Spirit, a renamed team in a new league that was formerly known as Washington Freedom. She played in the Women’s United Soccer Association pro league and was traded from San Diego Spirit to Washington Freedom in 2003. She also spent stints playing in Los Angeles and Philadelphia and even spent the off season last year in Canberra, Australia, where she met her girlfriend, Sally Shipard, who joined Athlete Ally last month and talked about her sexual orientation for the first time.
Lindsey will be at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) Friday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for Athlete Ally’s “D.C. Allies: Drink for a Cause” event to benefit the organization, which works to end homophobia and trans phobia in sports. Rowing champ and Olympic gold medalist Esther Lofgren will also be there. There’s a $35 suggested donation. Visit athleteally.org or find the group on Facebook for details.
Lindsey and Shipard live together on Capitol Hill. When not traveling for soccer, Lindsey enjoys reading, strength training and coffee shops.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I have been out for the last 13 years. I was very lucky as it wasn’t necessary for me to tell many people. The hardest person was my dad. Thankfully, in the end he was highly supportive.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
My mom is a lesbian and she has been a wonderful role model. My hero is my mom.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Ladies night on Wednesdays at Chaos.
Describe your dream wedding.
I’ve never been one to dream about my wedding. I envisage a courthouse gathering and having a party somewhere afterward. Perhaps here then back in Australia, presuming all goes to plan.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Promoting health and wellness within the community.
What historical outcome would you change?
How can I pinpoint one historical moment in time? I hope that as we continue forward we can learn from our past and be more mindful about the way we treat each other. As Ellen says, “Be kind to one another.”
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
The most memorable meaningful event that I have been a part of is the election of our first African-American president. We still have a long ways to achieve full equality but this was a wonderful start.
On what do you insist?
An active lifestyle and love in my life with those I hold dear.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I don’t really post on Facebook (primarily stalk, ha ha). My last Tweet would have been football related — promoting a Spirit home game.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Perseverance: the Life of Lori Lindsey”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I would always choose gay.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I do believe there is something greater, what it is I can’t be sure. I really strive to focus on the present moment, living a full life in the here and now.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
I wouldn’t give any advice. They’re doing a great job, so I would just thank them for all their hard work.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Within a lesbian relationship, a question commonly posed: which is the girl and which is the boy?
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Gia” or “Bound”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Apologizing. People saying sorry for the sake of sorry.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
My silver medal from the 2011 Women’s World Cup. It was difficult to lose in the final but such an honor to be a part of the team. And years of hard work to get there.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
Probably nothing more than I already did. I’m sure it was nice for me to be sorta naive then.
I love this city. It’s a very manageable city plus it’s where my occupation is.