—Victor Gutierrez, Spanish water polo player and a member of the national team that will be representing Spain at this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Gutierrez has come out to Spanish magazine Shangay, in an effort to help boost the number of openly LGBT athletes, but also to counter a number of homophobic attacks in the Spanish capital.
“I have never met anyone who has judged me as an athlete for my sexuality. It has always been based on my performance,” Gutierrez said, according to a translation of the interview. “As a gay athlete, I feel the responsibility to come out because it is very important.”
He pointed out that there have been “more than 70 homophobic attacks in Madrid” this year, which helped prompt him to come out publicly. He also noted that there are “almost no athletes who say they are gay,” with Gutierrez unable to name any other openly gay elite water polo players. He then said that it would help immensely if a Spanish soccer or basketball star were to come out.
“I hope my coming out serves to break a taboo within the sport,” he said. “You have to be judged not by your sexuality but by your sporting merit.”
Enjoy a few choice excerpts from Gutierrez’s Instagram below:
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