A-League player Josh Cavallo has come out in an emotional video posted to social media making him the world’s only known gay professional footballer actively playing.
In the clip, the Adelaide United central midfielder and Young Socceroos player, 21, said he has been ‘hiding who he is and ‘living a double life’.
‘There is something personal that I need to share with everyone. I am a footballer and I am gay,’ he said.
‘Growing up I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed – ashamed I would never be able to do what I love and be gay.’
Adelaide united star Josh Cavallo (pictured) has come out as gay in an emotional video posted on his club’s official Twitter page
Cavallo said he spent his life ‘hiding who I truly am’ to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a football player.
The sporting young gun said all he wants to do is play soccer and be ‘treated equally’ while he is exhausted of ‘living this double life’.
Cavallo said he expected people would think and treat him differently when they found out about his sexuality – but that hasn’t been the case.
‘Coming out to my loved ones, my peers, friends, team mates, and coaches has been incredible. The support I have received has been immense,’ he said.
The athlete said he hopes his story will inspire others who are struggling to not be afraid of coming out and he can’t wait to show everyone the ‘true Josh Cavallo’ going forward.
‘I want to show people it is ok to be yourself and play football,’ he said.
‘If anything, you will earn more respect from people [by coming out].’
Cavallo said he was ‘exhausted’ from ‘living a double life’ and is excited to show the world his true self
‘I want to show all the other people who are struggling and scared that they do not need to act like something you’re not.
‘You were meant to be yourself – not someone else.’
The video racked up almost 2000 likes shortly after it was posted on his club’s official Twitter page on Wednesday, with many praising the young footballer for his courage.
‘So proud of your courage and honesty Josh. A proud day to be a Reds fan,’ one man wrote.
‘Incredibly powerful. Massive respect for you, Josh,’ another fan Tweeted.
‘This video shows the epitome of healthy masculinity. Thankyou Josh!’ someone else said.
Cavallo also made the public announcement in a statement on his personal social media page, alongside a photo of him on the field.
‘It’s been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision,’ he Tweeted.
‘It is astonishing to know that there are currently no gay professional footballers who are out and actively playing, not only in Australia but around the world.
‘Hopefully this will change in the near future.’
Cavallo represented Australia’s under-20s national team in 2018 and enjoyed a brief stint with Melbourne Victory’s youth squad before signing with Western United.
The announcement makes him the only known gay professional footballer currently playing in the world
The talented midfielder spent 18 months with Western United as they found their feet in the A-League before signing with Adelaide.
He commented on the brutal nature of football in Australia in an interview with ESPN earlier this year.
‘I think everyone would rather just be at one club for their whole career but there are different circumstances, different things happen, coaches change,’ Cavallo said.
‘Unfortunately, this is Australian football, that’s how it happens. In Europe, you might move to another league or country but in Australia, you can’t do that, you have to move to another club or state.’
Cavallo also revealed his ambition to play international football for Australia or Malta where his parents were born.
‘I really want to look at pushing for the Olympics or the Maltese national team. I’ve had a few talks going forward with the Maltese national team so I want to look at taking a step into their first team or look at going to the Olympics with Australia,’ he told ESPN.
‘[Malta is] a different world. It opens the window for all the European teams. A couple of months ago they played Croatia. It’s a huge opportunity over there.’