Thomas Hitzlsperger He is the only German footballer to date who has openly revealed that he is gay. The Euro 2008 runner-up will be one of the protagonists of the documentary ‘The Last Taboo’ which will tackle this issue of homosexuality in sport.
The former player, now 41, reviews his experience after coming out of the closet in Build and explains his reasons for making his private life public.
It’s worth remembering hitzelsperger When he finished his career he acknowledged his sexual preference, like few others it was a courageous decision that he took with great anxiety. “I want to make it clear to other people that this kind of experience is not as bad as one might think. At the time I was also worried about how my life would change as a result of the move. But I realized that it was almost completely baseless. That’s why since then I want to encourage others,” he explains.
He reflects on the reasons why he waited until retirement to make his homosexuality public. “I needed time to become confident enough to attract attention. It’s not that I don’t like doing it first. I was curious to see what it would be like to return to the locker room or step on the field for the first time. Who knows if I had followed my first impulse in 2012, nothing would have been lost,” he recalls.
And this was in 2012, when he was a member of wolfsburg, who was close to publicly acknowledging his homosexuality, but was held back by a lawyer’s advice: “Don’t talk about it under any circumstances!” He did this when he went to ask her if he should disclose it and after an hour he left thinking “I won’t say anything more.” A story that ends with a confession: “My lawyer advised me not to come out.”
For hitzelsperger Homosexuality remains a taboo subject in sport: “Yeah, I think so. There is discussion about it, but players do not reveal their identity in this way. It is taboo on the field and in the locker room, as there are no known active gay footballers in Germany.
Although society is more respectful of each person’s sexual orientation, he admits that when “it comes to the lead actors, the players, there is a problem.” There are seven known gay professionals in the entire business. He is a little short. “It’s always said: When will the first active player in one of the five best leagues appear?”
The Germans have missed the Czech player Jacob Junktowho plays in the Italian Serie A Cagliari And he is also the hero of ‘The Last Taboo’.
“He posted a video last year and has rarely commented on the topic since then. The message has already been sent, but he just wants to play football. This is how it works, no one is obliged to provide information all the time. As far as potential concerns are concerned, I can only guess what was on my mind at that time,” he concluded.