Brian Vahaly, an American former professional tennis player, 42 years-old, talked about his career, his coming out and he attacked ATP with homophobia and machismo, during an interview. Brian said that the ATP does nothing to counter stereotypes and discrimination and that for his coming out he has also received hateful messages towards his family and his children.
He explained in the interview: "There was a lot of homophobic jokes on the tour. This is a very chauvinist and competitive circuit. There is no representation for gays, unlike the female circuit. Surely when I was young I didn't have a great personality and I had I need to understand myself as much as possible, and I suffered from the fact that in tennis there was no one to talk to and no one experiencing anything like that.
I think ATP could help, if he had a more open mind. I think Carl Nassib he handled the situation well. I think it's not even something that needs to be discussed that much. I hope the fans understand that when they see a gay compete just like the others.
The change of mentality will take a long time, but it is It is important to see that such prominent athletes pay attention to the issue. I wonder if the quality of my game would have benefited if I had been more free mentally.
Brian Vahaly accuses ATP of homophobia and machismo
Having said that, I know that during the Years Two mila would not have felt comfortable traveling around the world. Some countries are still very hostile towards gays. There was, however, a risk component in a possible coming out, also from an economic point of view.
How would the sponsors react? One cannot know. These are risks you don't want to take if you've spent 25 years working as a tennis player. I knew that it would be important for me to talk about it openly as soon as I had the opportunity.
I just wanted to say it once and for all. But I didn't want to feel like I was hiding, even though I was already married. After having children, the way I think about everything changed and I thought I had to somehow move forward.
I am very introverted, so I really care about my privacy, but having children changes things for you. After that podcast where I came out, I received a good amount of nasty emails. Perhaps more than 1000 messages from people who were disgusted that two men were raising children together.
I received a lot of hatred, but I was benefited by the fact that I was already of a certain age, I was psychologically prepared and therefore all of this did not have a great impact on me. But when people told me they knew where I lived and that they would come to take the children away, it was scary.
Find someone to talk to, someone you trust. Know that there are people like us out there ready to help you learn something about yourself."