Ex-Hull City Player Thomas Beattie Announces He Is Gay
Former Hull City youth player Thomas Beattie has announced he is gay - becoming just the second British male professional footballer to come out.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Beattie follows compatriot Justin Fashanu plus Thomas Hitzlsperger and Robbie Rogers as players who have played professionally in Britian in confirming their homosexuality having enjoyed a professional career of over 10 years in the USA, Canada and Singapore.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
The 33-year-old, from Goole in East Yorkshire, admits it is not a step he would have felt comfortable taking during his playing days.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
"I never thought about coming out whilst playing," he told Advocate.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
"I literally felt like I had to sacrifice one of the two: who I am, or the sport I loved before I could remember.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
"I used football as a form of escapism and in many ways it saved me, until I reached the point in life where there was some personal growth. I was standing still on that front.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
"Society [told] me masculinity is linked to sexuality and so being an athlete playing a physical sport felt like a huge contradiction."
After failing to make the grade at Hull, Beattie moved to the US aged 19 to play football on a scholarship.
And he admits he is still coming to terms with coming out.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
"It's still a new and current process for me to be honest," he said. "I told close friends and family three months ago, which was when I decided to embark on the journey of speaking openly about it.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
"As an athlete it was something that was unspoken about, which is why I want to share my story in hopes that there will eventually be more support for people in a similar situation.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
"I recently started to tell some of my old team mates who have been amazing and treated me not a single ounce differently. They know I'm the same lad I was 10 minutes before telling them so that's been refreshing."
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