After coming out last year, Nicolás Fernández is talking about why more gay players aren’t doing the same.
Last June, Fernández came out through a Facebook post. This made him the first openly gay football/soccer player in Argentina. In the post, the athlete shared that he had already come out to his family.
”I told them that if they didn’t like me I was leaving home, that there was no problem. I was 17 years old. But they understood,” he explained.
According to GCN, Fernández then explained that he’s happy to be openly gay and in love.
“I’m happy. Thanks to those who understand. And sorry to those who don’t. Gender does not determine anything and much less speaks of who I am as a person. I am in love and yes, with someone of the same sex.”
But now, the athlete has recently talked to Tiempo about coming out to his family and team. He shares that after coming out, he initially was faced with a lot of homophobia. Unfortunately, he couldn’t handle the pressure at the time and would often lash out in anger. But as time has passed, he’s learned how to not react to all the hate.
“In football, it is a taboo subject… There are gay people out there who feel bad if they hear a joke. It doesn’t happen to me. They can tell me anything, and I may get angry but I can solve the situation without it getting bad…. I’ve always had support. Now, [homophobic football fans] yell at me off the court and I turn around and laugh… They told me so many things to pressure me to get out of the game… They failed to make me angry.”
Fernández then talked about how toxic masculinity has taken over the sport of soccer/football. Meanwhile, women’s football is “much more open” than the men’s league.
“In that sense, women’s football is one step ahead,” he shared. “Men’s football is on its way to being more open.”