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Anderson Silva: There are a lot of gays in mixed martial arts

The UFC fighter says: "You want to be gay, be gay, it’s all right."

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Legendary UFC fighter Anderson Silva says he was bullied as a youth in Brazil for taking ballet, leading some to think he was gay. This revelation in a Brazilian magazine Trip led to this question and answer about gays in mixed martial arts:

Q: On prejudice towards homosexuals in mixed martial arts:

A: I don’t think there’s prejudice, but there’s a lot of homosexuals in mixed martial arts. There are a lot of them who haven’t yet come out.

[If they were to come out,] nowadays it’s so silly to not express your feelings. As long as you respect people’s spaces, and respect their limits. You have to live your life in peace and no one has anything to do with that.

I would train with a gay man. As long as he respected me, it’s all right. I don’t think much of it. The fact that guy is gay doesn’t mean he’s going to accost you. He can be gay, have a relationship, live among guys who aren’t gay. he can do whatever he wants with his private life.

Q: On vanity and getting picked on in the gym:

A: They tease me. Sometimes people think I’m gay. A lot of people have asked me if I’m gay. I answer, “Look, not to my knowledge. But I’m still young, it could be that in the future I’ll find out that I’m gay."  I take good care of my things, I put everything in a bag, I use soap, I put on a cream after training. People think it’s capricious. To each his own. Doesn’t mean you’re more man or less man, more gay or less gay.

Silva, 39 and a former UFC champion, doesn't say anything more about gays in the sport but I loved how he allowed that he might discover another side to his sexuality as he gets older. It's not something most straight men would ever admit to.

The whole interview of Silva on Vice's Fightland site is worth reading.