Australian footballer, Josh Cavallo, has taken to Twitter in a moving video to come out as gay.
Cavallo, who is 21 years old, plays as a central midfielder for Adelaide United.
In an emotional video posted on his football team’s account, the star speaks his ‘truth’, making him the only current male professional football player to publicly come out as gay.
The video is accompanied by a written statement and a series of images in which Cavallo opens up about his journey and how he feels ‘ready to speak about something personal that [he is] finally comfortable to talk about’.
After detailing that he had been ‘fighting’ with his sexuality for ‘over six years now’, Cavallo said he is now ‘proud to publicly announce’ that he is gay.
He spoke on Twitter of how ‘ashamed’ he felt growing up, and how he ‘always felt the need to hide’ himself due to fears of being able to do his profession while also being gay.
Being a gay closeted footballer, I’ve had to learn to mask my feelings in order to fit the mould of a professional footballer. Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that hadn’t crossed paths before. I’ve lived my life assuming that this was a topic never to be spoken about.
Despite fears over it negatively impacting his career, Cavallo decided to speak out as he knows ‘there are other players living in silence’.
The post has amassed over 300,000 views, 9,000 likes and 500 comments, with users flooding to the tweet in support of the star. One said: ‘Isn’t it great to see? I have high hopes for future generations if this young man is indicative of those to come behind us.’
Bravo Josh! Thank you for being a brilliant inspiration to all. Not just to kids who are trying to figure out how to live their lives without fear, but to old people like me who once despaired of a safe place for people to emerge into sunshine and warmth.
A third commented: ‘Its a sad fact in this day and age that young individuals still feel pressured to hide who they are from society, well done young man, start living free from the shackles of negativity and prosper into your future.’
Cavallo noted how those around him have met him ‘with love and support every step of the way’ and that he is ‘incredibly thankful’ for his family and friends.
Cavallo hopes that in coming out, and being the only current male professional footballer to do so, he can ‘show that everyone is welcome in the game of football and deserves the right to be their authentic self.’
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
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