Russia’s highest-ranked female tennis player Daria Kasatkina has stated that she took “the right step” in deciding to come out as gay.
The 25-year-old bravely came out in July and shared that she is dating Russian Olympic figure skater Natalia Zabiiako.
“Living in the closet is impossible,” the star told blogger Vitya Kravchenko.
“I believe it is important that influential people from sports, or any other sphere really, speak about it,” she continued. “It is important for young people who have a hard time with society and need support.”
Kasatkina also spoke out against attitudes in Russia.
“So many subjects are taboo in Russia,” she explained. “This notion of someone wanting to be gay or becoming [gay] is ridiculous. I think there is nothing easier in this world than being straight.”
“Seriously, if there is a choice, no one would choose being gay. Why make your life harder, especially in Russia? What’s the point?” she also asked.
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Passed in 2013, Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law bans the promotion of all “non-traditional” sexual relationships among minors.
It has been used as justification to stop Pride marches, prevent minors from watching content with LGBTQ+ themes and to detain activists.
During her interview, Kasatkina also condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it a “complete nightmare” and stating that what she wants most in life is “for the war to end.”
She also expressed fears that she may not be able to return to Russia because of the interview.
The athlete has since emphasised that coming out has made her “feel freer and happier.”
“I think I have taken the right step. With the situation in the world all this stuff is tough, when if not now? It was only good for me, but I also helped other people,” she told reporters at the WTA in San Jose, as reported by TennisWorld.
“It’s great and I feel great. I’m not 18 anymore, I’m 25. I have to show everything I have in these years. I think this is already the time to give more than to take.”