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What Happened to the Gay Footballer Who Was Going to Come Out?

What Happened to the Gay Footballer Who Was Going to Come Out?

What Happened to the Gay Footballer Who Was Going to Come Out?

A Twitter account claimed a gay UK player would come out on July 24. 

rachelkiley

A Twitter account run by someone who claimed to be a gay footballer in the UK on the verge of publicly coming out was deleted last week, the day before he stated he would reveal his identity.

“I thought I was stronger. I was wrong,” the mystery man known only as “@FootballerGay” wrote before the account disappeared. (It later returned, but is locked and has only allowed 210 followers at the time of this posting.)

The account had only been active since July 5, at which point the anonymous user said he had only just come out to his family that day.

Subsequent tweets followed the player’s journey through coming out to his manager and club, who he said supported him, along with vague plans to come out “soon” publicly. He also tweeted many words of encouragement for other LGBTQ people who may be struggling with how to balance their identities with their love of sports.

“I have heard from numerous people who have stated that their sexuality stopped them from being involved in football, as they didn’t believe the two could co-exist,” he wrote at one point. “I don’t want anybody in the future to feel that way, and with the work being done throughout the sport, I hope this can be the catalyst for change.”

There were always questions as to whether the person tweeting was truly a soccer player on the cusp of announcing his sexuality to the world or if it was just some kind of hoax, but the intent and desire to dismantle homophobia in the sport seemed genuine either way.

Not much was known about the man’s potential identity other than that he claimed to be a player for a club in the English Football League Championship and was younger than 23 when the tweets began.

While his tweets received loads of support from sports stars, the LGBTQ community, and the general public, but there was also a lot of homophobic hate directed his way. Men’s football in the UK is still an overwhelmingly heterosexual sport, with only one professional player having come out publicly while still playing.

"The Gay Footballer" would have been the first active player to come out since 1990. But now, we may never know who he was.

“Call me all the names under the sun, belittle me and ridicule me, a lot will, and I can’t change that, but I’m not strong enough to do this,” one of his final tweets read.

“Just remember that I’ve got feelings, without coming out I can’t convince anybody otherwise, but this isn’t a hoax. I wouldn’t do that.”

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.