Liz Johnson’s bowling win on last Saturday wasn’t just another victory for her.
The lesbian bowler won the Professional Bowling Association’s Chameleon Championship, becoming only the second woman to do so according to OutSports. Johnson beat out Anthony Pepe, an openly gay bowler, in the finals of the tournament.
She joins Kelly Kulick, who became the first woman to win a PBA event in 2010. Johnson had the previous high finish in the men’s division, finishing second at 2005 Banquet Open according to ESPN.
Johnson said her sexuality was never really talked about before her win, and that the victory gave her an opportunity to speak.
"My family and friends know,” Johnson said to Outsports. “I have some close friends I've known for a long time, and any of my close friends have known for 20 years."
Johnson has bowled on the men’s tour since the women’s tour folded in 2003. Despite the beginning of the professional Women’s Bowling Association in 2015, Johnson has continued to bowl on both tours.
“If you’re a great person, you’re great person,” Johnson said. “Same thing with the guys. The guys have always treated me well because of my ability and my personality. They don’t care who I'm with. Everyone respects one another.”
Johnson has won the U.S. Women’s Open for the past three years. She will soon marry her fiance, Kasia Kaufman.