Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo has become the first active Australian A-League male player to come out as gay. The 21-year-old is one of the few male footballers in the world to make the announcement while still playing.
Cavallo’s decision to go out publicly focused on encouraging others to be more open and accepting of themselves and their sexuality.
“Today, I’m ready to talk about something personal that I finally feel comfortable talking about in my life.” Cavallo posted on Twitter. “I am proud to publicly announce that I am gay. It has 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, and I am glad. to be able to put that aside.
“For people who know me personally, they will know that I am a private person. Growing up, I always felt the need to hide because I was ashamed. Ashamed, I could never do what I loved and be gay Hide who I really am, pursue a dream that I always I wished when I was a kid, to play soccer and to be treated the same, it never felt like a reality.
“Being a gay footballer in the closet, I had to learn to mask my feelings to fit the mold of a professional footballer. Growing up gay and playing soccer were just two worlds that hadn’t crossed before. I’ve lived my life assuming that this was a topic that would never be discussed. “
Bringing changes to football
A handful of American male players have come out during or after their playing days, including David Testo, Robbie Rogers, Matt Hatzke, Matt Pacifici and Collin Martin, who currently plays for San Diego Loyal in the USL Second Division Championship. Former Newcastle Jets forward Andy Brennan was one of the first Australian footballers to come out when he did so in 2019 while playing in the National Premier Leagues in Victoria.
Several of these players have gone public to support and encourage other gay players in men’s professional soccer. Cavallo indicated that it was also his intention.
“In soccer, you only have a small window to achieve greatness, and coming out in public can have a negative impact on a career,” he said. “As a gay footballer, I know that there are other players who live in silence. I want to help change this, to show that everyone is welcome in football and deserves the right to be authentic.
“I hope that by sharing who I am, I can show others who identify as LGBTQ + that they are welcome in the soccer community … As soccer continues to expand, I want to help the game evolve even further and let others the players in my situation feel that they are not alone. “
The football community shows its support
Cavallo has quickly received support on social media for coming out with Australian women’s national team star Sam Kerr. tweeting your support of your decision.
Sydney FC veteran Alex Wilkinson also praised Cavallo’s bravery in stepping up.
“It is great that Josh has discovered that our sport and his club are a safe place to share his sexuality,” Wilkinson said through a PFA statement.
“Despite advances in sport and society, it takes a great deal of courage to come out of the closet.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.