Josh Cavallo has declared himself a trans ally after making history as the only openly gay male top-flight professional footballer.
In an open letter and video posted on 27 October, the Adelaide United player shared that he is gay.
“There’s something personal that I need to share with everyone. I am a footballer and I am gay,” he explained in the clip shared to the team’s social media.
The 21-year-old added that he has been trying to live a “double life” but that enough is enough.
In a letter to fans, Cavallo shared that he “couldn’t be happier” to come out.
“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,” he wrote.
“I have been fighting my sexuality for six 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 loved and be gay.”
The LGB Alliance, which is technically a registered charity, has continuously used its platform to “assert the rights of lesbians, bisexuals and gay men to define themselves as same-sex attracted” – all the while excluding trans individuals.
After Cavallo came out, the group took to social media to “applaud the courage” of the footballer.
He simply responded with the “#lgbwiththet” hashtag, showing his solidarity with the trans community.
Cavallo’s tweet was met with widespread support, reaching over 23,000 likes just over a day after it was posted.
— Josh Cavallo (@JoshuaCavallo) November 7, 2021
Wes Streeting, Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty, simply said: “Hero.”
Another person wrote: “I don’t know you, but I love you. #LGBWithTheT.”
“This is the best tweet I have ever seen,” said someone else.
A fourth person added: “Thanks, Josh. I know that you’ve made so many of my trans friends smile today. It’s been a hard week, especially in the UK. You’re a deadset legend for bringing them joy.”
In an interview with the Herald Sun on 5 November, Cavallo shared that Thomas Beattie, an English footballer who came out after retiring, helped him when he was deciding whether or not to come out.
Cavallo said: “He has worked closely with me, and he said to me: ‘Josh, you can have both, you can change the world, you can do this’ and he opened my eyes to doing this.”
The idea that there could be “someone on the opposite side of the world dealing with the exact same pain as what me and Tommy went through” was motivation to share his story.
“It could lead to suicide or take them to dark places,” the footballer explained. “But I want to share the positive side of that and look at the reaction I’ve gotten and how happy everyone is from that.”