Professional Swiss basketball player Marco Lehmann has come out as a gay.
In a recent essay and video through The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), Lehmann says he is coming out despite the knowledge that he could have kept his sexual orientation a secret. In fact, Marco Lehmann says that he has gotten very good at being closeted. He knows how to code-switch. He does so constantly to live out his life with his boyfriend separately from his public life as a professional athlete.
“I had been switching personalities for so long now, that it was affecting my mental health,” Lehmann wrote. “Every week the same old thing: my boyfriend would drive me to the airport and the minute I would go through security, the happy gay man in a relationship turned into the emotionless pro athlete, who didn’t want to talk about his personal life.”
That’s not to say that Lehman wasn’t open about his sexual identity and relationship with those close to him. The athlete’s close friends, family, and 3×3 teammates all knew that Lehman was gay. Despite that, he still felt wrong over not sharing the fact with the rest of the world.
“In December 2019, I hit rock bottom,” he confessed. “I started to have emotional outbursts, tears, cold sweat running down my back. And for what? Just thinking about the next practice. Are we talking about practice? I just couldn’t stand the thought of having to switch from my home personality to my competitive one once more.”
Lehmann then shared that “the time has come” for him to enjoy both his career and his private life without fear of having to code-switch or hide parts of each life. He also hopes that by coming out, other gay athletes in Switzerland will get the courage to do the same.
Though, it wasn’t easy to do so. The athlete experienced several moments of homophobia in the lockerroom or on the bus driving to and from sporting events. That led to him hesitating over coming out.
Despite that, Lehmann has continually desired to come out. And so, he did.
“I am Marco Lehmann, 3×3 Basketball player and gay,” he wrote. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m trying to win a World Tour and bring Switzerland to the 2024 Olympics.”
Congratulations and thank you to Marco Lehmann. We look forward to seeing your bright future from here on out.
Source: International Basketball Federation,