English former professional footballer Thomas Beattie comes out as gay

Thomas Beattie has come out as gay. The former professional English footballer penned a powerful essay for ESPN, in which he detailed the difficulties in being openly gay in a sport that is notorious for their lack of LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

Beattie recalled when his club, Warriors FC in Singapore, won the Asian Champions League in 2015. They subsequently flew to Singapore and explored the island, but Beattie told his teammates that he was going to “do my own thing”.

“I couldn’t lie like this forever. I’m usually super social, but I was becoming antisocial to avoid scenarios that might expose me. This was a pattern that had also taken me all over the world,” he revealed.

“I lay in my bed and stared at the ceiling, feeling like the loneliest lad in the world. Tears welled; a paralyzing flood of emotions engulfed me. My whole body was burning; my arms tingled and my heart raced, like a thousand beats per minute. I prayed that I would wake up and this would all disappear although deep down I knew I was praying for the wrong thing. I needed to ask for the strength to accept myself.”

Five years later, Beattie said he’s “never been more comfortable” with who he is and is ready to reveal his true self to the world: “My name is Thomas Beattie. I’m a brother, son, friend, former professional footballer, entrepreneur and annoyingly competitive lad. I’m a lot of things, and one of them is gay.”

Beattie said he never felt like being gay and having a career in football was an “option” because society has continuously told him that “my masculinity was linked to my sexuality – something we of course know is a false assumption.”

You can read Thomas Beattie’s full coming out post for ESPN here.

Via GayTimes

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