|How has music been an outlet for you for you through the years?
Music has always provided me with a very necessary escape from the high pressures of professional football (soccer). From when I started playing the guitar at 13 years old, it has always been a really cathartic activity. I have found it particularly therapeutic when I’ve been forced off the field due to injury – it always positively filled in the hours of time spent resting and recovering.
What do you see as the impact of having out, visible LGBTQ pro athletes?
Visibility normalizes and celebrates the fluidity of identity, and promotes a ‘be proud of who you are’ message. It is crucial that messages like these are being spread to younger generations, particularly those struggling with identity at a tender age. These are the ones who are in dire need of role models like LGBTQ pro athletes to step up and help them to understand that they are not alone and that it will be ok.
How do you think coming out has made you a stronger player? Were there any reactions from friends, family or fans that surprised you?
Coming out has definitely made me a stronger player, because it has boosted my self-esteem and confidence. The liberation of coming out allowed me to completely accept myself and be proud of my identity. There is something exceptionally powerful about embracing who you are and that undoubtedly translates to athletic performance, specifically with regard to self–belief and recognizing what you are capable of. There was not a single negative reaction from anyone close to me – everyone showed me nothing but love and acceptance.