Former A-League player Andy Brennan comes out publicly as gay
"It's been a big lift off my shoulders," says former Newcastle Jets forward Andy Brennan
Last Updated: 14/05/19 12:32pm
An Australian footballer says he has "never felt better" after becoming the first male soccer player in the country to come out publicly as gay.
Andy Brennan, who previously played in the A-League with Newcastle Jets and is now with Melbourne-based Green Gully SC in Australia's second tier, explained he feels a sense of relief after shrugging off the "burden" of hiding his sexuality.
The 26-year-old posted a message to his Instagram account on Tuesday, saying: "Being open is the best way for me to feel most comfortable and be myself."
In an interview with players' union Professional Footballers Australia, Brennan described the thought process which brought him to decide to come out.
"It got to a point where I had to realise that I had to accept who I am," said the striker. "I thought about it a lot, tried to hide it, tried to push it aside, just because of the way I thought it would be perceived by a lot of people.
"I thought that if I ever came out, or spoke about it to people, that they might treat me differently, or not see me as who I am, so I was always worried about it.
"Fortunately I have, because I've never felt better."
“I tried to hide my sexuality a lot and tried to push it aside. Not admitting the truth even to myself, just because of the way I thought it would be perceived."— The PFA (@thepfa) May 14, 2019
Former @ALeague player and @GreenGullySC forward @AndyBrennan36 has made the courageous decision to come out publicly pic.twitter.com/1UEH8s76pQ
Brennan began his football career with his hometown club South Hobart and spent an injury-plagued two years with the Jets between 2015 and 2017.
He told the Herald Sun that since joining Green Gully in November 2018, he felt his mental health was beginning to suffer as he grappled with the dilemma of whether or not to come out.
"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? It's just a complete mind overload, your mind's battling yourself. All you want to do is kick a ball about and play," he added.
"There will be people out there thinking, 'why has he got to voice his own personal 'whatever' to the world?' The reason I wanted to do this in the first place was to make me feel comfortable.
"It's been a big lift off my shoulders and I can just focus on playing football."