Douglas Braga, Who Came Out After Retiring, Thrives In Gay-Centric Soccer
At a time where the new president of Brazil is hostile towards LGBTQ people, an athlete being openly gay is incredibly risky and incredibly important.
According to the BBC, Douglas Braga is doing well after returning to football. Specifically, the former professional athlete joined a gay amateur club called BeesCats in Rio de Janeiro.
The club was founded by André Machado, a gay footballer and former teammate to Braga. Machado also started an LGBTQ tournament called Champions LiGay last year.
Hearing of this, the BBC Radio 4 and journalist David Baker rushed to interview Braga. Now, they are releasing The Brazilian Footballer Who Never Was. The audio program focuses on the life and career of Deouglas Braga so far. If you are too anxious to wait for Braga's story, we have some info for you down below.
Braga first moved to Rio de Janeiro when he was 12 in order to pursue football. He played for the third division club Madureira for six years before signing onto top football club Rotafogo at the age of 18.
Eventually though, Braga started to realize his sexually and that scared him.
“I started discovering my sexuality,” he told the BBC. “I started seeing that I had desires and that it was for men.”
“It was a choice that either you’re yourself, or you’re a footballer. It just wasn’t possible to be both.”
Sadly, the hostile environment in both Brazil and in the world of football led to Braga’s decision to retire from professional play.
“That day that I decided not to play, I cried so much,” he told the BBC. “I walked around for hours crying.”
But again, things are changing as Douglas Braga, now 36, has returned to the sport. We hope the best for him.