Douglas Souza, from volleyball, gives details about a case of homophobia at an Amsterdam airport: “The face and treatment changed at the same time”; watch

Regrettable… On Wednesday (8), volleyball player Douglas Souza reported a situation of homophobia he suffered with his boyfriend, Gabriel, at the airport in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. The two were trying to board a flight to Italy, where the athlete will show up to play for the Vibo Valentia team.

Douglas said they spent 15 hours at the airport, on a connection that was supposed to last just three hours. He said that he was being treated very well by the employees, until they discovered their sexual orientation. “When I told him he was my boyfriend, his face immediately changed and so did the treatment. He asked what Gabriel was going to do there, I showed him the document of stable union, I said he would accompany me, work there“he stated.

He called a guy on the phone and said he’d take care of us. They took us to another place on the side of the line, where there were about 20 people, they left us there for about 5 hours without any kind of explanation. After about five, six hours, they called me into a small room and did an interview to ask what I was going to do there. Until then I thought it was normal, calm. But then they hit the key of who Gabriel was again, and I tried to explain that it was my boyfriend“, said Douglas. He said he asked several times what the problem was, but got no answers.

According to the athlete, officials found it difficult to understand that the boys live in a loving relationship. “I started to see a pattern in their treatment, because we were placed there with 20 other people. Of those, 18 were black or Latina, and me and Gab. People arrived after us, they solved everyone’s problem and they didn’t solve ours“, he described. One of the passengers forced to wait even rebelled and raised the issue of employee discrimination.

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We literally stayed there all day waiting. When it was 11 pm, the airport was already closed, there was no longer a flight to Rome, so they released us and the young man who was angry. We had to sleep at the airport because we had already gone through immigration, there was no way to go to a hotel. We stayed on the ground until 7am, which was the next flight to Rome“, he reported.

It was a very strange situation, very difficult, because we feel fragile in this situation, because we can’t do anything. It was against the police, so if we said something, if we got excited, it could have been a problem for us. If I hadn’t come for work, if it was tourism, I certainly wouldn’t be here, I would have come home“, lamented the athlete.

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Douglas said he even tried to get his passport back during the process, but was stopped. “I spent 15h at the airport which was supposed to be 3 hours maximum. Unfortunately that’s what happened, I didn’t think this situation was normal. It’s something that happens all over the world… I lived that, I know what I lived, I know the look, the way they treated me and my boyfriend in front of everyone and it was a very embarrassing situation“, said.

I don’t want to prolong this subject, but it’s important for us to talk about it and show that it exists. I’m just talking about it because it’s important for us to have a voice, to expose this type of situation, because it’s real. People try to throw it under the rug, say it’s in our minds, but there were more people there who noticed this different treatment pattern“, finished.

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On Tuesday (7), the player had already spoken briefly about the subject. “Today is one of the worst days of my life. It was horrible. It’s been horrible. Pure prejudice, homophobia, you have no idea. I will, yes, explain it, because I don’t deserve it, no one deserves ithe complained while still at the airport.