'I'm gay and I'm a footballer': Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo comes out in emotional video

The Young Socceroo is believed to be the only current, openly gay male professional footballer in the world after he revealed his sexuality in an emotional social media video.

josh cavallo

Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo revealed he was gay in a Twitter post on Wednesday. Source: Twitter/Adelaide United

Support has poured in for football player Josh Cavallo after he "came out" as gay in a video posted on Adelaide United's social media channels.

Speaking from his home in Adelaide, Cavallo said in the video captioned "Josh's Truth" that there was something "personal" he needed to share with everyone: "I'm a footballer and I'm gay," he said.

The Young Socceroo is believed to be the only current male professional footballer in the world to be openly gay.

In the candid video, Cavallo said growing up he felt the need to hide his sexuality, fearing being gay would get in the way of his dreams to play professional football.

"I was ashamed. Ashamed that I'd never be able to do what I love and be gay. Hiding who I truly am to pursue a dream I always wished for as a kid," Cavallo said. 

"All I want to do is play football and be treated equally."

The 21-year-old midfielder said he was tired of living "a double life" and that it was "exhausting" trying to hide who he "truly is".

"The response and support I've received is immense. It's starting to make me think 'why have I been trying to hide this burden for so long?'"

In a statement posted on Twitter, Cavallo said he had been "fighting his sexuality" for six years and was "glad" to finally "put that to rest".

Cavallo said he wanted to inspire people and show it's okay to be gay and play football.

 "I know there are other football players living in silence. I want to change this, to show everyone is welcome in the game of football and deserves the right to be their authentic self," Cavallo wrote.

A-League player Andy Brennan was the last Australian football player to come out as gay in 2019, becoming the first openly gay male football player in the country.

There are few openly gay male sports players in Australia. No known players in the men's AFL competition openly identify as gay, despite a number of players in the women's league coming out publicly. 

In 1995, Ian Roberts became Australia’s first openly gay NRL player, , he regrets not “coming out sooner”.

“I realised after I came out how powerful it was, how much it changed people's lives and people's perspectives,” Roberts told The Feed.

“It gave some of the kids in the suburbs who’d been struggling a bit of a voice.”

A growing chorus of sports stars have applauded Cavallo on social media for coming out.

"Good for you @JoshuaCavallo," Matildas star Sam Kerr tweeted.

“It’s fantastic that Josh has found our sport and his club to be a safe place to share his sexuality," football player Alex Wilkinson said in a statement tweeted by Professional Footballers Australia.

"Despite progress made in sport and society, it takes a huge amount of courage to come out."

Cavallo hopes his message will help others in similar situations feel less alone.

"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," he said in a statement.

"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.

4 min read
Published 27 October 2021 at 2:28pm
By Eden Gillespie
Source: SBS News