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Josh Cavallo, BBC, Conversion Therapy, Oxfam and other LGBTQIA+ stories this week

Josh Cavallo, BBC, Conversion Therapy, Oxfam and other LGBTQIA+ stories this week

Jamie Wareham
Jamie Wareham

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Welcome to the big queer family, Josh Cavallo

For years the tabloids, and following their lead even the LGBTQIA+ media, have been pedalling a false myth. To drive all kinds of clicks, the tabloids have long claimed it is too difficult for a queer footballer to come out.

So this week, when Australian Adelaide FC's Josh Cavallo told the world "I'm a footballer and I'm gay" - it sent tingles down my spine. Partly because I did wonder if it would ever happen.

But ultimately because Cavallo, chose to tell his story on his own platform. And he did it in an endearing video.

Long gone are the days where coming out is a moment to save for a gay magazine cover shoot. Where this is the only safe space to tell this story.

You can always expect shout outs from the queer world when someone comes out. But either a miraculous change happened overnight, or the tabloids have been completely off the mark. Because the football world took to their platforms to show they are 100% ready for a gay player.

Huge living room names joined a chorus of comradery for Cavallo:

From Rio Ferdinand to Marcus Rashford - Barcelona FC's Gerard Piqué to A.C. Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Clubs from Liverpool to Bayern Munich - Juventus to Arsenal. Hey, even the Premier League. The list goes on.

They all chimed in to wish Cavallo well, and thank him for leading the charge. It makes him the only current gay top tier footballer.

The world hasn't had one since Justin Fashanu came out 30 years ago at the start of the 90s. - BBC

Fashanu went on to take his life after a tabloid campaign that started with his 'confession' and led to a bombardment of attention. - Attitude

And Cavallo has blazed a trail, already kept alight by a number of other queer footballers since. Though not in the top tier, there's also been Newcastle Jets player Andy Brennan, Thomas Beattie and US 'soccer' player Robbie Rogers.

Despite this, as our newest founding member Jon Holmes writes for Sports Media LGBT+: The Sun was still chasing "search-traffic gold" only last week with another unverifiable story of an unnamed gay footballer, scared to come out.

That's why the football world's reaction has sent a striking message, based on the actual reality.


Josh Cavallo's action sent a wonderful message this week. Football's reaction is going to have an incredible ripple effect. Becuase, yes you can be a footballer and be LGBTQIA+ ⚽👏🏽

Deep dive into the impact of this story, and how we got here in this explainer from Sports Media LGBT+:

Major media impact of Joshua Cavallo’s coming out shows power of storytelling - Sports Media LGBT+
When a young footballer in Australia saw himself reflected in the story of a former player, he reached out to him for guidance. Six months later, Joshua Cavallo was not just ready to come out publicly, but to share his truth in a way that reverberated across the football world. Jon Holmes looks at t…
Jamie Wareham, he/him, gay,queer,disabled I started QueerAF to fund queer media careers. Will you join our movement?
It feels like fate that in the week Jon Holmes (Sky Sports, Sports Media LGBT+) joined our movement as a founding member, the biggest story of the week is celebrating a queer sports moment. A big thanks to Craig Richards (Diversity & Inclusion specialist) who also joined the circle of founders this week. You're helping us get closer to launching to the public.

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