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Josh Cavallo Challenges FIFA to Accept LGBTQ+ Players and Fans

Josh Cavallo Challenges FIFA to Accept LGBTQ+ Players and Fans

<p>Josh Cavallo Challenges FIFA to Accept LGBTQ+ Players and Fans</p>
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The professional soccer player is using his voice to fight for change.

Josh Cavallo is continuing to make history.

Back in 2021, the professional player became the first openly gay man to come out and compete in top-flight soccer.

As he gears up to make a special appearance as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under, the soccer star is reflecting on his growth ever since his viral coming out video.

"It's been absolutely phenomenal to see the changes it's had in my life, but most importantly, changes it's had around the world. When I go to countries outside of Australia and see people recognize me... [it's] crazy. There's still a long way to go in the world of football," Cavallo tells The Advocate.

Since his brave coming out, Cavallo has used his platform to fight for LGBTQ+ rights around the world, particularly in sports.

Last year, FIFA's World Cup took place in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are not just illegal, but could be punishable by death.

"We have countries that still criminalize the LGBTQIA+ community. The World Cup was in a country where our lives would be threatened last year. We still have a long way to go. There is a lot of hate behind the LGBTQIA+ community in a space of football."

Even though it's a tough climate for Cavallo to be himself, he's hoping his journey can open doors for more members of the community to come out and be themselves.

"For the next Josh that comes up that wants to play football, it's for that kid. You can send all the hate my way. I'm not stopping what I'm doing. I'm making that little Josh pick up a ball and that's my job."

While Cavallo's efforts are being seen around the world, his accomplishments in soccer are also helping him spread his positive message.

A couple weeks ago, the athlete's rainbow-colored soccer jersey was placed in the Australian Sports Museum.

"This is working. We're paving the way and changing the world of football. This is why I wanted to come out. People are listening! Some people are ready to come out today. Some people aren't ready to come out at all. Everyone has a different journey, but I want them to see those messages that will give them that hope that they need."

Cavallo is also hoping that FIFA will learn from the women's professional teams, which are largely made up of LGBTQ+ athletes. This past year, the Women's World Cup took place partly in Cavallo's home country of Australia.

"It was really nice to see how people didn't care about sexuality. Nearly half of the players in the [Women's] World Cup were LGBTQIA+. It was phenomenal to see here. Why is the men's game different? Why is there issues in that space? There's no excuse for it."

Catch the footballer on an upcoming episode of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under. To see the full interview with Josh Cavallo, check out the video below.

Josh Cavallo Challenges FIFA to Accept LGBTQ+ Players &

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