Watch: In a First, Australian Footballer Andy Brennan Comes Out

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday May 14, 2019

Australian football star Andy Brennan has become the first professional Australian soccer player to come out as a gay man, reported

Brennan, 26, came out May 14 via a post on Instagram.

"It's taken me years to get comfortable saying this - I'm gay," Brennan disclosed in the post.

"I was scared it would affect my friendships, my teammates, and my family," Brennan's post continued. "But the support of the people around me has been so great and helped me to get to the final step; being completely open."

"Being open is the best way for me to feel most comfortable and be myself," Brennan's post goes on to say.

The pro athlete told the Herald Sun that after he joined the Green Gully soccer team last year he started to feel the stresses of living inauthentically.

"Since being at Gully especially, it's always been on my mind that this person doesn't know or that person does know, what will they think?" Brennan told the newspaper. "It's just a complete mind overload, your mind's battling yourself."

In a piece posted at Professional footballers Australia, Brennan opened up more about the negative effects of the closet - and the instant freedom of leaving the closet behind.

"For the people who may be wondering why I feel the need to come out publicly, I understand your view," the athlete said. "For people wondering why it is important for me to share this - the reality is, is that no straight person has to ever question how those around them might respond to their sexuality."

Brennan went on to add that, "I've only become comfortable with it in the last year, which means for the best part of the last decade - most of my adult life - I've been pretty unsure of myself. In all honesty, that's been pretty tough."

Brennan described a process of coming to terms and telling the truth, beginning with himself, and then extending his circle of trust to family, friends, coaches, and teammates.

"It took me time to realize that I couldn't keep living this lie; that I wanted to be happy with who I am," Brennan recalled. "At some point, you have to realize that that's who you are and you've just gotta be who you are."

The athlete addressed one question head-on: "Obviously, I share a [locker] room with my teammates. We share that space four times a week - it's a lot of time together. And it is an environment where people could be unfairly worried about someone who is gay being in there," he said, following up with, "but my teammates haven't changed towards me. They haven't made me feel different or uncomfortable. That is the biggest thing."

Brennan was clear that he remains respectful of the process others go through in reaching a point where they have found the self-confidence to live authentically.

"I'm not calling on anyone come out, either," he said. "While I would applaud that, I think the biggest thing is, it should be done on your own personal terms. Everyone's journey is different." That said, the athlete added, "If people see my story as an inspiration, a sign of how things can go, and end up telling even one person how they are feeling, that can make a world of difference. It's better than bottling it up for as long I did."

The upshot?

"I couldn't be happier."

Brennan's comments to Professional Footballers Australia were also published in a video that he posted to his Instagram. Watch the video below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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