In England 44 league team have official LGBTQ fan group

8 male footballers who dared to come out as gay

Football is a universal language. Football players should therefore not be stigmatized or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

Even though it's been three years since Justin Fashnu first came out publicly. There are only two or three openly gay footballers in the world.

The main reason why many gay footballers do not publicly reveal their sexuality is fear of homophobia on and off the pitch.

While LGBTQ people are hardly an issue in women's football, men fear being targeted.

Amal Fashanu, niece of the late Justin Fashanu, said she knew gay footballers in the Premier League but were afraid to come out as gay.

In England, 44 league teams have an official LGBTQ fanbase

As a result, many professional leagues, teams and players are speaking out against homophobia so that gay footballers don't face any backlash when they go out.

Now, without further ado, check out eight brave footballers who dared to come out as gay.

8. Andy Brenan

Andy Brennan is a 29-year-old Australian professional footballer. Brennan played for New Castle Jets in Australia's top league A-League in 2017.

Apart from that, he played for a semi-professional football team. Currently, he plays for Hume City.

Andy Brennan on the pitch (Credit: BBC)

Moreover, he is the last active football player to come out as gay. In 2019, he revealed his sexuality in an interview with Melbourne's Herald Sun.

Additionally, Andy Brennan is the first Australian male footballer to publicly come out as gay.

He said it took him years to make his statement publicly. Brennan also revealed that he has dated girls in the past.

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7. Colin Martin

Colin Martin is a 27-year-old professional footballer. Currently, he plays for the new San Diego Loyalty of Major League Baseball.

In 2018, the MLS midfielder revealed his sexuality on social media.

His announcement came hours before his former club, Minnesota United, hosted FC Dallas in a "Pride Game" in support of LGBTQ people.

Colin Martin reveals himself in San Diego

However, his sexuality was known to his family, friends and teammates long before he made a public statement.

Likewise, in 2019, Martin received the sixth Aly Action Award for Athlete of the Year for his daring moves.

Currently, he is the only openly gay footballer to play in the top 5 major leagues in the United States.

In 2020, during a San Diego Loyal game against Phoneix Rising FC, Martin posted a story of homophobic slurs directed at him.

6. Thomas Hitzlsperger

German footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger is one of the most prominent male footballers to come out as openly gay.

He made 52 appearances for Germany and featured at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.

Currently, he is sporting director of Vfb Stuggart since 2019. Early in his career, Thomas played for Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Later, Hitzlsperger joined Stuttgart in 2005, and he even won the German top flight. After a brief loan spell at Lazio, he returned to Westham in 2010.

Thomas Hitzlsperger (Source:

However, after his contract was terminated, he found himself at Wolfsburg. A year later he returned to England to play for Everton again.

But in 2013, at the age of 31, he retired from professional football. Hitzlsperger cited frequent transfers and injuries behind his early retirement.

In January 2014, Hitzlsperger came out as gay in an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit. Later he said he was released a few years ago and was gay.

In the past, he had been in a relationship with Inga for eight years before breaking up a month before their marriage in 2007.

His decision to come out publicly as gay was supported by his German players.

Lukas Podolski said his decision was brave and coach Joachim Lowe said his announcement deserved respect.

Today, he raises his voice to help footballers struggle to reveal their sexuality.

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5. Robbie Rogers

Robbie Roger is a retired professional American football player. He played for Team USA 18 times.

While at Leeds, Rodgers came out as openly gay in February 2013. He then became the second British footballer to expose his sexuality.

Roger announced his retirement after the announcement, despite full support from the FA and the footballers.

Later, in an interview with Britain's 'Guardian' in March 2013, he mentioned avoiding media and fan pressure after his retirement.

However, after speaking with 500 people through the Oregon LGBT Youth Program, he decided to return.

He then joined the LA Galaxy, becoming the first male soccer player to play in one of America's top sports leagues.

Later, after winning the 2014 MLS Cup, Rodgers also became the first gay man in the United States to win the league title.

In 2015, Roger was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

Robbie Rogers enjoys a family vacation

Additionally, in 2013, Rogers began dating Greg Berlanti and welcomed their first child, Caleb Berlanti (son) through surrogacy in February 2016.

Later, in December 2017, they got married in California. Then, in May 2019, the couple welcomed their second child, Mia Barbara Rodgers-Berlanti (daughter).

4. David Testo

David Testo is a retired professional footballer. Testo played for the Richmond Kickers, Columbus, Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact.

Testo came out in November 2011 during an interview with Canadian radio station CBC.

He also mentioned that his sexuality was known to his family, friends and Montreal Impact staff and teammates.

David Testo (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Additionally, David Testo is the first male professional soccer player in the United States to come out as gay. He is also the third footballer to publicly declare his sexuality.

In 2019, he also starred in a documentary about homophobia in sports titled Stand On Line.

Testo is a You Can Play sports advisory group working to eradicate homophobia in sport.

3.Anton Heisen

Anton Heisen is the youngest son of retired Swedish footballer Glen Heisen and one of football's gay players.

Hessen played in Swedish top flight BK Haken in the 2008-09 season. But injuries have affected his career.

Thus, he played second or even fourth in the United States.

Anton Heisen with the LGBTQ flag

In 2011, Anton Heisen came out publicly in an offside interview. He then became the second footballer to come out as gay in professional competition.

He was only 20 years old when he publicly declared his sexuality. But Heisen has told his family and his family and they fully support him.

Heisen mentioned that he received many anonymous calls saying the player understood. He also said he started a project to support homosexuality in sport.

He even became an internet sensation after coming out as a gay footballer. He has appeared on the covers of many magazines as a model.

It was later featured in a talk show on Swedish radio channel TV4 in March 2011 (Can gays play football too?)

Likewise, he also participated in the 7th edition of the reality show Lets Dance and became the first gay man to win the competition.

The documentary Rise Above is a film about Anton Hysen, released in 2013, which depicts his history as gay.

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2. Olivier Ruyer

Oliver Rouyer is a professional footballer who retired in 1966. He has 17 selections for the France team.

During his career, Ruyer played for top French clubs such as Nancy, Strasbourg and Lyon.

Olivier Rouyer (Source: Pinterest)

After his retirement, he even managed Nancy and Fc Sion. However, he only came out as gay in 2008.

Moreover, he is the only French footballer to date to publicly disclose his sexuality. But as one of football's gay players, Ruyer is doing his best to fight homophobia in France.

1. Justin Fashanu

The late athlete Justin Fashanu was the first openly gay footballer to come out. In 1990, Justin broke football barriers by coming out publicly as gay in the newspapers.

Thirty years later, he remains the only top male footballer to have publicly disclosed his sexuality during his career.

Justin Fashanu's days in Norwich

Early in his career, he broke the record for the most expensive black British player in 1981. After a £XNUMXmillion move from Norwich City to Nottingham Forest.

Later, on October 22, 1990, the Sun tabloid ran the headline '£1million Football Star: I'm Gay'.

But after that, instead of supporting, Justin was insulted by fans and opposition players. He also said that no club would offer him a full-time contract after the announcement.

Legendary manager Brian Kroger ended Fashnu Nottingham's career because he was gay.

In 1998, he was also accused of sexually assaulting the body of a 17-year-old after drinking alcohol at night in the United States.

He fled to his native England when police attempted to arrest him on these charges. Later, on May 3, 1998, he committed suicide.

After his death, The Pink Paper ranked Justin Fashnau as 99th out of 500 gay and lesbian heroes.

Similarly, Justin Fashanu's All-Star Football special kicked off in Brighton to honor him and promote gay football.

Netflix also released a movie honoring Justin in 2017 called Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story.

However, in 2012 his brother John Fashanu made controversial comments in an interview with TalkSport. He claimed his brother was just an attention seeker and not gay.

recent announcements

In June 2020, former professional soccer player Thomas Beatty came out as gay in an interview with ESPN.

Beatty played professional football for ten years in the United States, Canada and Singapore from 2005 to 2015. But in 2015, he was forced to retire after suffering a serious head injury while playing. for the Warriors.

Moreover, he is one of the second British footballers to be openly gay after Justin Fashanu 30 years ago.


The list of players above completes our list of 8 footballers who have dared to come out as gay. In addition to the recent announcement, Beattie's mandy has also become a new one.

  1. Justin Fashanu
  2. Olivier Ruyer
  3. Anton Heisen
  4. David Testimonial
  5. Robbie Rogers
  6. Thomas Hitzlsperger
  7. Colin Martin
  8. Andy Brenan

Although there are more than 8 gay footballers, they are afraid to come out publicly.

Therefore, an appropriate environment must be created with education as the driving factor so that gay footballers do not feel any pressure to reveal their sexuality.

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