Olympic diver Robert Páez just came out as gay.
The professional athlete from Venezuela, who participated in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, published a new open editorial through Outsports to share the news.
In the post, the 23-year-old shared that his upbringing in Venezuela originally caused him to feel panicked about his interests and his sexuality.
“I believe that I was born gay. As I got older I became more aware of it, and as I grew – like with so many others – it became my great dilemma. It was a source of worry that I was interested in things like dancing and fashion, things that in my culture were for women and gays. I shied away from doing many things. I was at times ashamed to go out into society, to face who I really was."
"At age 15, while other kids were playing soccer and eating ice cream with girls, my mind was struggling with endless thoughts and questions.”
But, now Páez shares that he’s more confident and secure than he’s ever been before. Páez says that now’s the time for him to open up about his sexuality and his life experiences, so that he can act as a role model for others.
"Many times we as gay men, fearing who we really are, find a girlfriend to make our family believe that we are what they call a “real man.” I wish I could show other gay men that we are not deceiving anyone, but we are cheating ourselves of being faithful to who we are as people."
"In sharing my story, I hope to help make homosexuality as common of a word as heterosexuality. We have to read it, say it, and accept it with clarity and maturity. He have to understand that we are all equal."
If you want to read more of Páez’s story, you can do so over at the Outsports article. Otherwise, check some of Páez’s Instagram pics down below to get a better look at the man.