Representation still matters. Coming out still matters. And in the amateur and professional sports arena representation is still desperately needed. Every day we are making strides, but there is still much to be done. Italian boxer Irma Testa, 23, has just publicly come out as queer. The 2019 European champion took home the bronze medal in the women’s featherweight category earlier this year in Tokyo.
Speaking to Vanity Fair Italia, Testa discussed how judgmental the sporting world can be,
“Speaking of sexual orientation in the world of sport has a special value because champions are expected to be perfect. And for many homosexuality is still an imperfection Many athletes stay silent and hide away for fear of damaging their image. For me, too, it was like that up to a few months ago.”
The Olympian continued to speak about how being a medalist gave her the security needed to publicly come out, saying, “Now that Irma the athlete is secure, Irma the woman can be sincere.” She also brought attention to the fact that many LGBTQ are not safe in their part of the world,
“There are people who suffer from discrimination, who are bullied, who are unable to build a life for themselves because they do not know how to relate to a society that is hostile to them. “Every human being should be protected and safe. Or at least protected. Who can protect you if not the state, its institutions, its laws? “There are still too many people discriminated against and this is not good. I can’t do much, but I can, by telling the truth about myself, say that nothing is wrong [with being LGBT+].”
Concluding the interview Testa gave a shout out to those like her in the queer community,
It’s like I have always wanted to say to people who told me about their stories so similar to mine: ‘I understand you perfectly, I too am like you.’”
Sources: Pink News