Australian midfielder Josh Cavallo has come out as homosexual, making him the first male professional gay footballer.
In a landmark moment for the men’s game, Cavallo made the announcement publicly for the first time on social media.
The 21-year-old released a statement on his official Twitter account and said he was hopeful that by being first, he would encourage others that were ‘hiding’ to come out and be themselves.
Cavallo is a midfielder for the Adelaide Jets and released the statement after stating that he had been living a “double life” and “fighting his sexuality for six years”.
His full statement read;
“Today, I’m ready to speak about something personal that I’m finally comfortable to talk about in my life.
“I am proud to publicly announce that I am gay.
“It’s been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come out. I have been fighting my sexuality for over six years now, and I’m glad I can put that to rest.
“For the people that know me personally, you’ll know I’m a private person. Growing up, I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed. Ashamed I would never be able to do what I loved and be gay. Hiding who I truly am, to pursue a dream I always wished for as a kid, to play football and be treated equally never felt like a reality.
“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.
“In football, you only have a small window to achieve greatness, and coming out publicly may have a negative impact on a career. As a gay footballer, I know there are other players living in silence. I want to help change this, to show that everyone is welcome in the game of football, and deserves the right to be their authentic self.
“It is astonishing to know that there are currently no gay professional footballers who are out and actively playing, not only in Australia, but around the world. Hopefully this will change in the near future. I hope that in sharing who I am, I can show others who identify as LGBTQ+ that they are welcome in the football community. As the game of football keeps expanding, I want to help evolve the game even further, and let other players in my situation feel that they’re not alone.
“Those who already knew this about me have met me with love and support every step of the way. I’m incredibly thankful for this support. To my family and friends – thank you, especially Tommy and David for making it possible for me to proudly and publicly say I’m gay.
“To my Adelaide United family, thank you for greeting me with the utmost respect and acceptance. I’m incredibly grateful.
“Happy Pride and GO UNITED!”
A true landmark moment for the men’s game. Well done Josh!