Ex-Brazil international Richarlyson comes out as bisexual
Former Brazil international Richarlyson has come out as bisexual and slammed the amount of homophobia existing in both football and his homeland.
The 39-year-old, who played two international matches back in 2008, is the first player from a Brazilian top-flight team to come out in public.
Richarlyson, who spent most of his career in Brazil, opened up on dating both men and women in his appearance on the Nos Armarios dos Vestiarios podcast.
‘All my life I was asked whether I was gay or not. I had relationships with men and I had relationships with women, too,’ Richarlyson said in the podcast aired by website Globo Esporte.
‘I am normal, I have wishes and desire. I dated men, I date women. So what?
‘So many people say it is important that I stand up, so I decided to say it today. I am bisexual.’
Richarlyson, who retired from football last year, also revealed that he decided not to come out during his playing days, as he ‘didn’t want to be ruled out because of his sexuality’.
The news comes following Blackpool player Jake Daniels’ decision to come out as the only openly gay professional footballer in the United Kingdom – and the first since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
The former Sao Paulo star, who was part of the team that beat Liverpool in the 2005 Club World Cup final, is doubtful his honesty will lead to positive change in Brazil, where footballers are idolised but homophobia is rife.
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He said: ‘Unfortunately, the world is not prepared to have this discussion and deal with it naturally.
‘Do you understand why I think it’s unnecessary for you to label yourself sometimes?
‘There is a more important issue, there are people dying, Brazil is the country that kills the most homosexuals.
The Guardian reported in 2020 that Brazil had one of the most alarming rates of violence and discrimination against LGBT in the world.
That year alone, there were 224 murders and 13 suicides, according to Grupo Gay da Bahia, the oldest LGBT rights organisation in Latin America
Data from the government’s hotline to report abuses, revealed that between 2011 and 2017, there were 12,477 cases of violence against LGBT people in Brazil.