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Footballer Zander Murray Is 'Happy & Content' After Coming Out

Footballer Zander Murray Is 'Happy & Content' After Coming Out

(L) Zander Murray at a Pride parade and (R) Zandar Murray playing football

The Scottish striker has managed to find success in a sport that has historically been homophobic.

A year after making the difficult decision to come out in a sport with a hypermasculine culture, gay Scottish footballer Zander Murray says he’s “happy and content.”

In Sept. 2022 Murray finally told his family and friends that he is gay via a Facebook post, but the rest of the world didn't find out until his team at the time, the Gala Fairydean Rovers, published a story about him coming out.

The article propelled him into the public eye alongside the six other male professional soccer players who are publicly out as gay or bi and are actively playing the sport, according to Outsports.

Earlier this year, Murray was a presenter in a BBC documentary called Out on the Pitch that explored the effect homophobia has on Scottish football, a fact that kept the striker from coming out of the closet until he was 30 years old.

“When I got the offer of the documentary, I sat down and thought, ‘Why do I want to do this? What do I want out of it?’” he said in an interview with Outsports.

“I wrote down that I wanted to empower a young Zander Murray and help them to say, ‘I’m not going to give up just because I‘m different to everyone else in my changing room,’” Murray continued. “I wanted them to know they should keep doing it. And I wanted them to try to be their true authentic self from the get-go, because I know how instrumental that can be for a fruitful football career.”

Luckily, the documentary had the kind of impact Murray was hoping for. “After it went out, a friend I used to play with sent me this text message. It’s about one of the young boys he coaches who watched the documentary and who had come out to all his teammates before telling my mate as well,” he said. “I just think it’s amazing. The coach said to me that this boy is so much more confident now. I’m like, ‘Bingo — that’s why I did it.’ It was the most awesome, powerful moment.”

Murray, who is currently playing for the Edinburgh-based Bonnyrigg Rose F.C., has continued to be a leader in his community in the hopes of inspiring more young LGBTQ+ people. In June he led the Edinburgh Pride parade, making him the first male footballer in Britain to ever have the honor.

Since coming out he’s become much more confident and happy and now he’s getting ready to speak at Football Pride, an event celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and allies in his sport.

“I’m aligned in my own self and I’m happy and content,” Murray told the outlet. “I still get stressed with generic stuff like everyone does but other than that, life is ridiculously better and I would encourage anyone going through anything similar to myself to do what I’ve done.”

But Murray also cautions that you need to make sure you know what you’re getting into before rushing to come out, “Of course, it depends on where they are in their journey,” he said. “But if you’re comfortable with your teammates, you’ve got the personality for it and you know what you want to achieve, you’re probably ready.”

He continued, saying, “If you’re not ready for that, just being in a position where you feel you can be honest with your teammates about what you’re doing at the weekend — for me, that’s enough.”

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