There are certain expectations one has to live up to when playing sports professionally. Beyond appearing to be fit, sportsmen are expected to fit into the convention of the “jock-type.” There is a degree of ostracization one may attract in the line of sports if they do not fit that idea. That ostracization is a reality the LGBT+ community is far too familiar with. Take for example Justin Fashanu, who became the first male pro footballer to come out in the 1990s, and then eight years later, he ended up taking his own life. It is understandable, then why players choose to lead double lives so they can keep their dream.

However, the tide seems to be changing. Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo has publicly announced he is gay, becoming the first footballer to open up about their sexuality while playing in the A-League Men competition.

“I am proud to publicly announce that I am gay,” Cavallo said in a video released by the A-League club. “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’m tired of trying to perform at the best of your ability and to live this double-life, it’s exhausting,” reasoned the 21-year-old

“I naturally isolated myself away from my peers to avoid any type of questioning in the spotlight. I experienced a type of sadness and depression I don’t wish on anyone,” Josh Cavallo told a media representative.

“I thought that people would think of me differently when they found out. They would start treating me differently,” he continued. “They would start saying bad things about me or making fun out of me. That’s not the case. If anything, you would earn more respect from people.”

He hopes this step of immense courage would encourage others; “I know there are other players living in silence,” he wrote on Twitter. “I want to help change this, to show that everyone … deserves the right to be their authentic self.”

The A-League club said it stood alongside Cavallo for being true to himself and would continue to love and support him as a member of its diverse family.

In 2019, former Newcastle Jets player Andy Brennan publicly came out as gay after his A-League Men career was over.

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