“I am Marco Lehmann, 3×3 Basketball player and gay”
Swiss basketball player, Marco Lehmann has beautifully come out in new heartfelt piece from FIBA3x3.
Partnering up with the International Basketball Federation, the talented shooter opened up about his coming out process and the challenges he faced along the way.
“This is for all the people who don’t want to live a double life anymore, those who live in a system where they don’t exist
“This is for the future generations so they can live a free sporting life without hiding. Not gonna lie, this is also for me so I can live free of this burden,” he says.
Lehmann first started playing basketball professionally in 2012.
He has gone on to play seven seasons and has represented Switzerland by playing on the Swiss national 3×3 basketball team.
The 27-year-old athlete also discussed how living a double life affected his mental health, stating: “I had been switching personalities for so long now, that it was affecting my mental health.
“Every week the same old thing: my boyfriend would drive me to the airport and the minute I would go through security, the happy gay man in a relationship turned into the emotionless pro athlete, who didn’t want to talk about his personal life,” he continued.
Lehmann described the end of 2019 his breaking point which led to him having a series of panic attacks and breakdowns.
But even with his desire to come out steadily building the fear of being shunned loomed within his mind, preventing him from taking that next step.
“It’s like in team sports, there are no gay men. Being gay in that setting is taboo. People don’t talk about it and don’t stand behind it and this has to stop NOW.
“Because frankly, this is why a lot of young guys quit playing team sports when they discover they’re gay.”
The 63rd-ranked 3×3 player concluded his piece on a high note, embracing himself and his identity to the fullest.
“All these situations. All the sleepless nights. All the moments of fear and self-doubt let to this. the time has come for me to enjoy the rest of my career without having to live a double life of hide my true self.
“[…] I am Marco Lehmann, 3×3 Basketball player and gay. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m trying to win a World Tour and bring Switzerland to the 2024 Olympics,” he says.
Since coming out Lehmann has received an onslaught of support from fans, peers and sports fans alike.
Marco Lehmann joins fellow professional basketball players Jason Collins, Uri Kokia and Derrick Gordon as out and proud athletes in the sports world.
Check out his full interview with FIBA3x3 below.
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