Former professional soccer player Thomas Beattie comes out as gay

Former professional soccer player Thomas Beattie has revealed he is a gay man, becoming the first UK star to come out as LGBTIQ+ since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

The 33-year-old played for the youth squad of Hull FC, taking his skills around the world to the US, Singapore and Canada for more than a decade.

Speaking to ESPN, Beattie tells the story of having to live in the closet throughout his career, and why he’s decided to share who he is now.

“Of all the things I’ve achieved or accomplished, the pursuit of mastering myself has been the most liberating,” Beattie said.

“So I’m able to say it out loud now for everyone to hear: My name is Thomas Beattie. I’m a brother, son, friends, former professional footballer, entrepreneur and annoyingly competitive lad.”

“I’m a lot of things, and one of them is gay.”


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It’s time to share something very personal to me. It’s easier to sit in silence but the real challenge is to speak up and for me it’s time live my truth and hopefully affect change in some way. I am a brother, son, friend and I’m gay. It took me a long time to accept who I am and I hope it is a little easier for the next generation. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this process and the journey to come, I appreciate you. Thank you to @espn @espnuk for the platform to speak openly.

A post shared by T H O M A S B E A T T I E (@iamthomasbeattie) on

Beattie also speaks of the few visible LGBTIQ+ players in the soccer world, US player Robbie Rogers, German midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger and Justin Fashanu; the first to come out in 1990.

Here in Australia, former A-League star Andy Brennan made history last year when he became the first Australian soccer player to come out as LGBTIQ+.

The former Newcastle Jets star, who now plays for Green Gully in Melbourne, spoke honestly about his sexuality in an essay for Professional Footballers Australia.

“Firstly, it is really important for me to say that the main reason I am doing this is to make me feel most comfortable about who I am,” the 26-year-old wrote, “It has taken a long time to come to this point.”

“But I couldn’t be happier that despite taking so long, ruminating over this decision for so many years and being entirely unsure about myself, I can finally come out and say it.”

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