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UFC Fighter Anderson Silva: I’m Not Gay, But I Still Could Be

UFC Fighter Anderson Silva: I’m Not Gay, But I Still Could Be


UFC fighter Anderson Silva says he was bullied as a child because people thought he was gay -- and he's still keeping the possibility open that he might discover he is someday.

Athletes and representatives of the Ultimate Fighting Championship have a complicated history with the LGBT community. The UFC has welcomed and supported openly gay MMA fighters like Liz Carmouche, and in fact, UFC president Dana White encouraged gay fighters in the UFC to come out back in 2011; UFC fighters Rashad Evans and Kyle Kingsbury have been vocal and -- well, visual -- in their support for marriage equality; and the UFC launched a public service campaign designed to increase awareness about HIV last year.

Conversely, the UFC been plagued by stories of insensitivity and bigotry towards LGBT athletes and fans. In 2009, prior to expressing his more accepting views, White was in hot water for using an antigay slur, which he later apologized for and now refers to as "the only thing I regret." Earlier this year, Ronda Rousey expressed her controversial opinion that transgender fighters would have an unfair advantage in mixed martial arts.

Now, legendary UFC fighter Anderson Silva has voiced his support for the LGBT community in an interview with the Brazilian lifestyle magazine Trip, saying that he would have no problem training with a gay man.

"There's a lot of homosexuals in mixed martial arts," he explained. "There are a lot of them who haven't yet come out. [If they were to come out,] nowadays it's so silly to not express your feelings. As long as you respect people's spaces, and respect their limits. You have to live your life in peace and no one has anything to do with that."

As a man who says he was teased as a young boy in Brazil for taking ballet lessons, Silva doesn't mind speculation about his own sexuality.

"Sometimes people think I'm gay. A lot of people have asked me if I'm gay," he said. "I answer, 'Look, not to my knowledge. But I'm still young, it could be that in the future I'll find out that I'm gay.' I take good care of my things, I put everything in a bag, I use soap, I put on a cream after training. People think it's capricious. To each his own. Doesn't mean you're more man or less man, more gay or less gay."

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Annie Hollenbeck