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Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo, 21, has come out as gay in a brave video posted on the club’s social media channels. The Aussie star says he’s become “tired of this double life” and hopes his actions will see him treated equally within the game and encourage others to follow in his footsteps.
Cavallo, who also plays at left-back, started his career at Melbourne Victory before moving to rivals Melbourne City.
After featuring for the youth team, he headed to Western United where he made nine appearances before being snapped up by Adelaide.
His impressive form was rewarded with a two-year contract extension back in May amid reported interest from Europe.
As Cavallo continues to catch the eye Down Under, the young star has now decided the time is right to come out as gay after confessing he grew up “ashamed”.
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“I thought that people would think of me differently when they found out, they would start treating me differently, they would start saying bad things about me or making fun out of me,” said Cavallo.
“But that’s not the case, if anything you earn more respect from people.”
Cavallo also admitted that he’d considered coming out for as long as six years but the reaction to the news has been so positive, he’s wondered why he’s waited this long.
He added: “The response and support I have received is immense, it’s starting to make me think, why have I been holding this burden for so long?”
The personal message was also accompanied by a statement on Cavallo’s own social media profile.
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“I am proud to publicly announce that I am gay,” Cavallo said, as he highlighted his ambition to create a safe space for fellow gay athletes.
“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.”
Cavallo is now optimistic that his bravery could help provide support for fellow gay footballers currently suffering in silence.
He added: “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.”
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Andy Brennan became the first openly gay Australian male footballer back in May 2019 when playing in a lower tier.
Former Aston Villa, West Ham, Everton and Germany international Thomas Hitzlsperger also came out as gay after retiring from the sport.
Wolves captain and England international Conor Coady has offered his support to any fellow professional who is LGBT+ after recently winning the Football Ally award that highlights the lack of visible representation of gay or bisexual professional footballers within the men’s game.
“As I’ve said before, and I will say again, I am always there for any footballer who wants the support of a senior professional, and an ally, if they want to take the next step on their personal journey to come out as LGBT+,” Coady said.
“I want to reiterate that every single person, no matter their gender or sexuality, deserves to be themselves no matter what path in life they choose to take.
“I hope we can soon get to a day when a football player feels supported enough to be their true selves on the football field, but until that day, we all have some work to do.”
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