With a little help from his friends…
The Adelaide United player came out in a heartfelt post on October 27, making him the world’s only current openly gay male top-flight professional footballer.
Now, in an interview with the Herald Sun, the football star has shared that he had some support in the process from Thomas Beattie, a former English footballer who came out as gay in 2020 after retirement.
Cavallo said in the interview: “He has worked closely with me, and he said to me: ‘Josh, you can have both, you can change the world, you can do this’ and he opened my eyes to doing this.”
He said that there could be “someone on the opposite side of the world dealing with the exact same pain as what me and Tommy went through” and that “It could lead to suicide or take them to dark places”, he explained.
Continuing: “But I want to share the positive side of that and look at the reaction I’ve gotten and how happy everyone is from that.”
The central midfielder also revealed the very specific reason why he picked the 27th as his date to come out: “I wanted to do it on the 27th because that’s my number,” he said. “It’s a very special number in the family.”
The 27th is his parents’ wedding anniversary, the date of his grandfather’s passing and, of course, 27 is the number on his Adelaide United jersey.
Since coming out, Cavallo’s social media presence has shot up, with him growing from just twenty-something thousand followers on Instagram to 143,000. He also received messages of support on Twitter from the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Marcus Rashford MBE and Rio Ferdinand.
Strength & bravery personified here.— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) October 27, 2021
I know this took a lot of courage Josh. Know that the entire football community stands with you. Enjoy this freedom now, enjoy your peace. So much respect for you brother 👏🏾👊🏾@JoshuaCavallo https://t.co/A3eFubgPlr— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 27, 2021
.@JoshuaCavallo is the first top-flight professional footballer to come out as gay. I’m sending him a whole lot of love today. https://t.co/Yh6dRUJHXB— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 27, 2021