Former professional footballer Thomas Beattie has come out as gay after a long battle with his mental health just in time for Pride. Welcome to the Family!
“My name is Thomas Beattie,” he opens up ESPN. “I’m a brother, son, friend, former professional footballer, entrepreneur and annoyingly competitive lad. I’m a lot of things, and one of them is gay.”
He spent years of his career feeling empty and isolated, even when his team scored high-profile wins over the years.
“I’m usually super social, but I was becoming antisocial to avoid scenarios that might expose me,” he recalls. “This was a pattern that had also taken me all over the world. I lay in my bed and stared at the ceiling, feeling like the loneliest lad in the world. Tears welled; a paralyzing flood of emotions engulfed me. My whole body was burning; my arms tingled and my heart raced, like a thousand beats per minute. I prayed that I would wake up and this would all disappear, although deep down I knew I was praying for the wrong thing”. He realized: “I needed to ask for the strength to accept myself.”
Beattie continues by calling out the homophobia in sports.
“Being gay and having a career in football never felt like an option. Society told me my masculinity was linked to my sexuality — something we of course know is a false assumption — but I felt as if I couldn’t be a footballer and accept who I was.”
“Everything around me suggested these two worlds were pure enemies, and I had to sacrifice one in order to survive. It doesn’t feel that way in other industries. In music, we love Freddie Mercury and Elton John. It’s accepted in film. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is gay, and these things are all OK. “But in football, there’s still fear a gay teammate might disrupt the team environment.”
Ultimately, Beattie wants other closeted athletes to know they’re not alone, and urges compassion and acceptance on the part of the rest of the athletic world. “I hope in time these things no longer have to be spoken about,” Beattie says. “I realize to get to that point, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. But I would love to be part of that conversation, and have a seat at the table.”
Fill out your email address at www.pinkinourlives.com for more updates, news, stories, parties and more!!! DON’T SAY IT, BUT SPRAY IT!!!
Lesley Middleton, owner of PINK IN OUR LIVES
Comment or sound off below ▼▼▼ THANK YOU!!!