Earlier this offseason, the San Francisco 49ers made Katie Sowers the second female full-time coach in NFL history. Kathryn Smith, who spent the 2016 season as a special teams quality control coach for the Buffalo Bills, was the first.

On Tuesday, Sowers herself made history, when she opened up to OutSports and become the first openly LGBT coach in the NFL, male or female. 

"No matter what you do in life, one of the most important things is to be true to who you are," Sowers said. "There are so many people who identify as LGBT in the NFL, as in any business, that do not feel comfortable being public about their sexual orientation. The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day."

Sowers, who played pro football in the Women's Football Alliance, developed a relationship with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan while working as an intern in the Atlanta Falcons' scouting department. She served as a coaching intern with the 49ers over the summer and will work as an offensive assistant coach in 2017. Sowers noted that Falcons general manager Scott Pioli knew about her orientation when he hired her as a scouting intern. 

"My orientation first came up with Scott Pioli who is the assistant GM for the Atlanta falcons prior to my internship," she said. "At first, I was nervous to tell him as many are in new environments, but it came up in an everyday conversation about my family and life back home in Kansas City. I could not have asked for a more open-minded and accepting group of people to work with. I never once felt judged and I was treated just like anyone would want to be treated: as a typical person working to build a career."

Sowers also stated that she believes an openly gay male coach could succeed and be accepted in the NFL, just as she has been accepted with the Falcons and 49ers. 

"I do believe that an openly gay male coach would be accepted just like anyone else," Sowers said. "What most people need to remember is that the NFL is a place of work for these players and it is a job that provides for their families. They are professionals and what you will find is they act like professionals in everything they do.

"One thing that you need to do in any team sport is adapt to people who might be different than you and respect them as your family. Who a coach loves has no impact on the way they coach football and if they are unable to make that adjustment, they will have a hard time in any job or team they are a part of."