Jake Daniels was inspired to come out by Tom Daley

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Jake Daniels, the only professional UK male footballer who’s openly gay, has revealed how diver Tom Daley inspired him to come out.

In a new Channel 4 documentary, Out and Proud in Football, the 17-year-old Blackpool footballer opens up about his journey accepting his sexuality with fellow queer athlete Daley. Daniels explains that Daley’s 2021 Alternative Christmas message saying all it would take is if “one impossibly brave Premier League player steps forward and says: ‘I am gay’”, deeply impacted him.

“In football, being gay is a taboo – even now. So I had a choice, either live my life as a lie and carry on playing football or come out and have to quit,” Daniels explains in the documentary. I saw Tom talking on Channel 4 on Christmas Day. He spoke about homophobia in sport, and how amazing it would be and what a difference it would make if one brave player came out as gay.

“I watched that message over and over, and over again. Eventually, with the support of my friends and family and support of Tom, I decided to come out.”

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Gay soccer fan stands up to Qatar’s ambassador ahead of World Cup

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The World Cup is set to take place in Qatar, but two months ahead of the competition, a representative for fans of the sport is calling on the Middle Eastern nation to change its draconian laws against homosexuality.

At a human rights conference in Frankfurt, Germany, hosted by the German Football Association on Monday, Darion Minden spoke directly to Qatar’s ambassador.

“I’m a man and I love men. I do — please don’t be shocked — have sex with other men. This is normal,” Minden told Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani. “So, please get used to it, or stay out of football. Because the most important rule in football is, football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian, if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. And for everyone in between.”

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Zander Murray is first-ever senior Scottish footballer coming out

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Gala Fairydean Rovers striker Zander Murray has become the first-ever senior Scottish footballer to come out as gay. Murray, 30, opened up about hiding his sexuality for years in an interview with his club’s official website.

He said: “Firstly it feels like the weight of the world is now off my shoulders. “The reason I have decided to do this now is twofold, firstly I was on holiday recently at a Pride event and I have always been that closeted [that I] never to go to these things but I loved it.

“The vibe was brilliant and everyone was just being free and happy and it was great to just be me. I also want to help other players who are struggling with this as it isn’t easy for men, especially footballers to deal with.”

Murray said his teammates have been “so supportive”, and added: “Before coming out you think people will turn against you and you think the worst. It’s been lovely how much support I have had.”

He said he hopes his brave decision can help other closeted Scottish players: “In recent years Jake Daniels has come out and then Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson who are both referees have done the same. “Of course there are gay footballers in our game and I have had lots of players get in touch saying they have read my post and they can’t believe how strong I am by doing this.”

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Jake Daniels is UK’s first active pro-footballer to come out

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Jake Daniels becomes Britain’s first openly gay active male professional footballer after coming out to an outpouring of support. Daniels, who plays forward for Blackpool, is the first professional player in British men’s football to come out publicly since Justin Fashanu in 1990. Fashanu was the UK’s first professional footballer to come out as gay, but his career was cruelly cut short by homophobia before he took his own life.

He told Sky Sports that he felt like he’s now “ready to tell people my story” as he wants fans to “know the real me”. “I have been thinking for a long time about how I want to do it, when I want to do it. I know now is the time,” he said. “I am ready to be myself, be free and be confident with it all.”

He recalled being about five or six years old when he first knew that he was gay so has been “living with the lie for a long time”. He described how he didn’t think that “football and being gay doesn’t mix” at that age, adding he thought he would “change” and “get a girlfriend” when he was older. “But as you get older you realise you can’t just change,” Daniels said. “It doesn’t work like that.”

The 17-year-old player said he thought he would “have to hide my truth” because he wanted to be a professional football player. He even asked himself if he should “wait until I’ve retired to come out” as there were no other openly queer male players in the “professional game here”.

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Football’s Coming Out

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This documentary asks why, in one of the world’s most popular sports, there are still such barriers to top footballers being openly LGBTQ+. Football’s Coming Out investigates the challenges that a Premier League football player might experience if they chose to publicly come out.

The documentary consists of four parts which should play automatically one after another but in case they don’t you can find the playlist here.

First openly trans athlete wins Olympic gold

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While I’m personally a bit upset that Sweden lost the final of the football tournament at the Olympics in a penalty shootout (the worst way to lose, really), not all was bad because some queer history was made that night too.

Canadian soccer star Quinn became the first openly trans person to take home a gold medal — or any medal, for that matter — at the Olympic level.

Quinn’s historic accomplishments began earlier in the games, when they became the first openly trans person to compete on an Olympic stage, playing in one of the first matches of the Tokyo 2020 games against Japan. But they netted another historic first on Friday, when they took home gold alongside the Canadian women’s soccer team after beating Sweden in a close final match that went into overtime.

After the game’s extra time ended in a 1-1 tie, the match was ultimately decided by a sudden-death penalty shootout, which Canada won 3-2. The win also marks a historic medal for the nation, which, despite netting bronze in 2012 and 2016, had never won gold in women’s soccer.

Quinn, who also plays with the National Women’s Soccer League in the U.S., previously won bronze with the Canadian team in the 2016 Rio games, though they were not out at the time. The athlete came out in September 2020, at the time citing the importance of trans visibility for youth.

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