Former Newcastle Jets player Andy Brennan has revealed he is gay. He is thought to be the first Australian professional footballer to come out.
In a lengthy post published on the Professional Footballers Australia’s (PFA) website Tuesday, 26-year-old former A-league player Andy Brennan said he had thought about coming out for years.
“I can finally come out and say it,” he wrote. “I’m gay.”
Brennan signed with the A-league’s Newcastle Jets for two seasons in 2015. He now plays for lower league Melbourne club Green Gully Cavaliers.
The PFA confirmed to CNN that Brennan is the first professional male footballer to publicly come out.
🗣 “For people wondering why it is important for me to share this – the reality is, is that no straight person has to ever question how those around them might respond to their sexuality.”
— The PFA (@thepfa) May 14, 2019
Why did he decide to come out
He said it was not a call for other gay players to come out. But it was the right decision for him.
“You’ve got to realise that’s who you are and you’ve just got to be who you are – whether you’re gay or whatever, whoever you are,” Brennan told the Herald Sun.
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It’s taken me years to get comfortable saying this – I’m gay. I was scared it would affect my friendships, my teammates, and my family. But the support of the people around me has been so great and helped me get to the final step; being completely open. Being open is the best way for me to feel most comfortable and be myself. So… carry on! 🌈 #owlyagoing
“There will be people out there thinking, ‘why has he got to voice his own personal whatever to the world?’ The reason I wanted to do this in the first place was to make me feel comfortable.”
“It’s been a big lift off my shoulders and I can just focus on playing football.”
“This isn’t a call for those people to come out and tell everyone who they are. They shouldn’t have to, shouldn’t need to.”
Brennan spoke to the Herald-Sun about how hiding his sexuality had become an unbearable burden that he could no longer carry.
“Six months ago I thought about it a lot, tried to hide it and push it aside because of the way I thought it would be perceived by many,’’ Brennan said.
“It got to the point where I couldn’t waste any more time being in relationships that I wasn’t comfortable in and wouldn’t come to anything.”
Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) chief executive John Didulica said: “It is really encouraging that football has provided Andy a safe and inclusive environment to share his story and to feel comfortable to come out publicly.”
Source – theguardian.com, thehindu.com, edition.cnn.com, talksport.com, news.com.au