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Josh Cavallo says his first experience with a guy 'just felt right'

The Adelaide player graces the cover of Men's Health Australia where he also discusses coming out and abuse from fans.

2022-07-05

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Leon Tran

As he graces the cover of Men’s Health Australia Josh Cavallo has been speaking about coming to terms with his sexuality and knowing he was gay.

The 22-year-old shared the magazine cover on Instagram writing he was "Stoked to be able to talk about life and football since my freedom day."

 
 
 
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The Adelaide player, who graced the cover of the Attitude 101 issue last year came out publicly in October of last year.

The Australian footballer told Men’s Health Australia that while he had been winning achievements professionally "on the inside, I was really sad."

He says, "And that was the moment where it sparked. I wanted to change. I wanted to be myself and let the world know who Josh Cavallo is."

Cavallo writes that he was about 16 when he first realised he might be gay. 

"Growing up in my household, I always felt that you have a wife, you have kids, you have a big family. So, it was very difficult to see a future this way."

The 22-year-old says there was a "long period" of trying to understand what he wanted.

"My first experience with a guy was a bit later on. It felt like it was something I’d been missing my whole life. It just felt right. That’s when I knew that I’m not going to be straight. I think I’m going to be gay." 

 
 
 
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Cavallo describes hiding his sexuality as "exhausting," when the subject of women he may be dating was a frequent topic of conversation.

“You literally have to make up lies. And sometimes they don’t add up and you look silly,” he remembers of the changing room banter.

Cavallo also notes that he believed he was going to have to wait until his football career ended to come out but that the first people he came out to were his family in a letter.

“The next people I told were my coaches,” Cavallo writes, “It honestly felt like 20 kilos had been taken off my shoulders. After that, I was like, I’m ready to do this. I’m ready to tell the world.”

After sharing that he is gay, Cavallo says that while messages from celebrities are fantastic it is the ones from everyday people that touch his heart.

“Abuse from fans is going to be an ongoing issue but I use that as motivation,” Cavallo adds, though experiencing and fighting through the hate is something he is taking in his stride.

He concludes: “to me, to be known as Josh Cavallo, the gay footballer, as well, they’re both positive things. I want to be a role model on and off the field.”

As an openly gay top-level professional footballer, Cavallo set the roadmap for numerous sportspeople to also come out. 

After 17-year-old Blackpool FC striker Jake Daniels named Cavallo as an inspiration for his own coming out, Cavallo shared that he is "very proud” of Daniels.

Recently, Cavallo revealed that though it is his dream to play in the World Cup for Australia, going to the 2022 Cup in Qatar would lead to concerns about his safety.

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.