Argentinian basketball star Sebastián Vega, who came out as gay, says he thought his country would be ready for him to come out five years ago.
The player made the comments in an interview with Reuters, where he said he had a “very bad time” when he started to feel attracted to other men.
“I felt shame, guilt, a lot of rejection, but at the same time the desire to be with someone,” he said.
“I was really scared, but the fear spoke paralyse me,” said 31-year-old Vega.
Basketball player Sebastián Vega felt ‘truly free’ after coming out as gay.
“I felt really free: it had been a long time since it started without such a heavy weight on my shoulders.”
The 31-year-old basketball player also revealed that his parents struggled to accept his sexuality when he came out, saying they were afraid he would “suffer” because of his sexual orientation.
I felt shame, guilt, a lot of rejection, but at the same time the desire to be with someone.
Furthermore, the gay sport star also revealed that coming out was difficult because being LGBT + in sport in Argentina is “still a taboo topic”.
“It is very difficult to say goodbye to gay people … you have to be masculine to not be (seen as) less than.”
He thought think society in Argentina would have been ready for a queer basketball player five years ago.
He added: “If I had (come out) five or six years ago, I knew if society would have been ready,” said Vega.
However, he said people in Argentina are “becoming more aware” of LGBT + issues.
“It might help things to keep getting better,” he said. “So that in the not too distant future, being gay is no longer news.”
Vega’s comments came a week after he came out as gay in a letter posted to social media where he detailed his own struggle in coming to terms with his sexuality.
The basketball star plays for Gimnasia de Comodoro, which takes part in one of the country’s top leagues. He has become the first professional basketball player in the country to come out as gay.