As celebrities, sportsmen (athletes) often find themselves in the spotlight. Of course, their athletic performances are often a topic of discussion, but many fans also look beyond athletic achievements to take a glimpse at the personal lives of these sportsmen.
What’s one thing that’s also often a topic of discussion? Their love lives, naturally, there are folks who may even dream about them and search for anyone resembling their favourite sportsmen on online dating sites! Privacy isn’t something that sportsmen are usually blessed to receive, so the ups, downs, and in-betweens of their romantic adventures are often followed by the press, with fans right behind to judge them along the way. Let’s take a look at how famous sportsmen deal with this.
How Sportsmen Can Cope With Loneliness
Like most humans, even sportsmen aren’t immune to loneliness from time to time. However, unlike the average person, they’re often surrounded by attractive singles, which makes it easy to solve (or at least temporarily alleviate) any loneliness issues. Those who want to make their lives private close the curtains, never talk about their personal life and select a partner either from their close circle or meet strangers under aliases on online dating sites. That said, the stakes aren’t quite the same for LGBT singles as they are for straight singles.
While the LGBT has made a lot of progress in recent years towards acceptance, there are still many people who haven’t caught up to the times yet. As such, many gay sportsmen do suffer from loneliness since a lack of privacy means they can’t find a partner without fear of judgment. They are among those celebrities who regular folks are most likely to encounter at a local gay dating sites, with a blurred picture and a profile description that says they are engaged in sports.
LGBT Discrimination and Impacts on Sports
Although there were likely tens (if not hundreds) of gay athletes throughout the years, the actual recorded numbers are very low. This is because the public hasn’t proven itself to be very accepting of gay sportsmen; in fact, they have been let go, refused entry, and discriminated against a lot in the past, so it should be no wonder that these men & women kept their sexuality a secret and choose online dating as means to keep their romantic life a secret.
Thankfully, time moves on & we’ve made enough progress to the point where sportsmen these days are starting to be a bit more open about their sexual preferences, but as long as discrimination exists, there will be athletes who refuse to let us peer into their private lives. It’s unfortunate, but revealing one’s sexuality can have a negative impact on one’s sports career (even today to an extent), so it’s no surprise that some things are kept a secret.
Famous LGBT Athletes
As we said, there aren’t many recorded LGBT athletes. Numbers have increased in recent years, mainly because of generally positive public reception, but it’s likely that there are far more LGBT athletes than openly gay athletes. Still, we believe that these athletes deserve a lot of respect, not only for their athletic achievements but also for their willingness to subject themselves to unnecessary scrutiny & discrimination for the advancement of LGBT rights. Here are a few of our favourite famous gay athletes.
- Andy Brennan - Born in Hobart, Australia, Mr. Brennan is currently only 28 years old. Despite his younger age, he’s already made history, coming out as the first openly gay male footballer from Australia! Andy had dated a few women previously, but after a while of contemplating the outcome, he ultimately announced his sexuality to the world via Instagram in 2019. Currently, Mr. Brennan plays as a winger and striker for Hume City Football Club.
- David Testo - Across the world, Mr. Testo made history himself by being the first American footballer to come out as gay in 2011. Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and standing at 5’ 11”, David played soccer in college before making it into the Richmond Kickers, where his impressive performances gained him the title of the A-League’s 2003 Rookie of the Year. He went on to join the MLS & played in multiple teams before his career ended in 2011. David’s sexuality was well-known by his family, friends, and teammates, but he didn’t publicly come out until a radio interview on November 10, 2011.
- Anton Hysen - At 30 years old, Anton Hysen has made LGBT history not once but twice! Despite announcing his sexuality publically in 2011, Hysen has enjoyed a relatively successful football career since 2011. Currently, he plays for the Torslanda IK. If his name seems familiar but not from soccer, you might know him from “Let’s Dance”: he became the first openly gay man (or person) to ever win this competition!
At the end of the day, an athlete is an athlete. Sexuality shouldn’t matter; only performance is important when it comes to sports. Sadly, history has shown us that “coming out” isn’t always an easy decision for athletes; in fact, it’s often the tipping point in their lives (for better or for worse). While the past discrimination faced by openly LGBT sportsmen is truly a travesty, we are hopeful that future years hold a brighter future.
“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.” — Jason Collins