Australian footballer Josh Cavallo has reflected on his coming out anniversary in a heartfelt social media post.
On 27 October 2021, the Adelaide United player made LGBTQ+ history after he came out as gay in an emotional open letter.
“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 six years now, and I’m glad I can put that to rest,” he wrote.
“Growing up, I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed – ashamed I would never be able to do what I loved and be gay.
“Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that hadn’t crossed paths before. I want to help change this.”
Cavallo’s landmark announcement made him the world’s first openly gay male top-flight professional footballer.
Since that fateful day, the 22-year-old has lived unapologetically while also keeping fans updated on his inspirational journey.
To celebrate his coming out anniversary, Cavallo took to Instagram with another inspiring and heartfelt statement.
“Today marks one year since I stood in front of a camera not knowing if there will ever be a future for me in sport,” he wrote.
“Taking that step in my life was not only for myself but for the people in this world that believe there is no place for them in sport.”
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He went on to thank his fans for not only helping him in his “personal journey” but other athletes who have recently come out as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
“During this past year, there are many bridges that have been built for the next generation, and I’m wanting to continue to help build these with my platform,” he added.
In response to his heartfelt post, fans flooded Cavallo’s comment section with kind and encouraging messages.
One fan wrote: “You saved my life. Thank you, Josh.”
Another follower commented: “Thank you for your honesty and standing in your truth! You’ve helped save more lives then you will ever know.”
Since Cavallo’s history-making coming out announcement, an array of footballers and football professionals have followed suit.
On 16 May, Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels made LGBTQ+ history as Britain’s first active openly gay male professional footballer since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
A month later, Scottish referees Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson came out as gay in an effort to create more LGBTQ+ visibility.
Lastly, Gala Fairydean Rover’s Zander Murray made history in September when he became the first Scottish senior football player to come out as gay.
Congratulations are in order for Josh Cavallo and his heartwarming milestone.