An openly gay Australian footballer says the support he has received since coming out has been ‘amazing’.
Andy Brennan, 26, revealed the news on Instagram in May as the former Newcastle Jets winger publicly came out.
His announcement preceded a Twitter saga with account @FootballerGay, allegedly created by a Championship footballer, which was deleted by the account holder on the week in which he said he would reveal himself.
And while Brennan hopes the account was not a prank, he believes positives can be taken from it.
“I personally hope it isn’t a hoax, but even if it is I think you just focus on the positives,” he told The Daily Telegraph . “The positive energy it created with all the supportive reactions from people was more important than anything negative, and that’s what you have to focus on – otherwise you let the negativity win.
“The reaction has been amazing, I haven’t had one negative comment. That was something I feared a lot with everyone I told, but everyone – team-mates, family, friends – has been amazing.
“I’ve had no problems with opposition fans either, everyone’s been really supportive.
“The way it’s affected my life has been only positive, it’s been so much better.”
Brennan is one of just a handful of professional footballers who are openly gay.
Indeed, there is a stark contrast within the sport itself; there are no gay footballers in the Premier League, while none appeared in the 2018 Men’s World Cup.
And yet, in a piece by ITV in July, 41 players or coaches at the 2019 Women’s World Cup were gay or bisexual.
But, Brennan added, not even opposition fans of his football team have posed a problem.
“It’s all created by the environment you’re in. I pushed it away because I didn’t think it was normal, and thought people would judge me. I thought it would change my life completely,” he added.
“The more people that come out the better, and then education is paramount. It’s one thing to say ‘don’t say this word because it can make people feel bad’, and saying ‘don’t say this word because it will make Andy feel bad’.
“Then you start thinking about putting someone down directly, and that’s a lot more emotional and less abstract.”
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