Australian footballer Josh Cavallo announced on social media that he's gay.
Cavallo, who plays midfield for Adelaide United, becomes the world's only openly gay active professional soccer player.
In a video and written statement, Cavallo, 21, talks about coming out to friends and family and concerns he has about how his sexuality will affect his career.
"I am proud to publicly announce that I am gay," Cavallo said in his statement.
"It's been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn't be happier with my decision to come out. I have been fighting my sexuality for over 6 years now, and I'm glad I can put that to rest."
"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. Hiding who I truly am, to pursue a dream I always wished for as a kid, to play football and be treated equally never felt like a reality."
"In football, you only have a small window to achieve greatness, and coming out publicly may have a negative impact on a career. As a gay footballer, I know there are other players living in silence."
"I hope that in sharing who I am, I can show others who identify as LGBTQ+ that they are welcome in the football community."
Cavallo added that he's received support from friends and family.
"Those who already knew this about me have met me with love and support every step of the way. I'm incredibly thankful for this support. To my family and friends – thank you," he said.
This article appeared at On Top Magazine and has been published here with permission.