Pascal Erlachner has become the first openly gay professional in the Swiss football league.
Erlachner came out in an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick, and explained that he wants to serve as the catalyst for public discussion about the “taboo” of being openly gay in the football world.
As he said told Blick, it’s not a big deal. “I can stand there and say: Yes, I’m gay – so what?”
That said, he does realize that his coming out will have unforeseeable consequences.
Many believe that being gay in the soccer/football world is the last hurtle for gay sports professionals and athletes. We’ve had a few referees come out this year, such as the UK’s first openly gay referee Ryan Atkin, but football players are still primarily in the closet.
That said, Erlachner says that it’s good to be finally out, and he adds that he also came out to his parents recently too.
When speaking to Blick about the experience, he says it was “totally open and positive.”
“They told me that I was the same Pascal for them,’ Erlachner explained further, “That they love me. And that they go through thick and thin with me. It was a very nice and very important moment. From there it went step by step upwards. Finally the truth was out. Finally, I was allowed to be what I am.”