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Gay pro basketball player comes out in Argentina, team embraces him

Despite hearing homophobic language, Sebastian Vega was totally embraced by his teammates when he came out.

Sebastian Vega is blazing a trail for gay pro athletes in Argentina.
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Sebastian Vega, a professional basketball player in Argentina, has come out as gay. And his journey again shows us the true heart of sports.

In a lengthy social-media post, which is largely published by Clarin (you can use Google translator to read it), Vega talks about the disgust he felt after the first time being with a man, his fear coming out to his father, and how his father met him with love and compassion.

That response was repeated when he came out to his team.

As we’ve heard so many times before, the homophobic language used in and around sports that Vega heard for years was zero indication of how he would be received by his teammates. From Reuters:

For Vega, his fear was misplaced: since coming out, he has found his fellow Gimnasia de Comodoro club players nothing but accepting. Some even apologized for past homophobic remarks.

“The most beautiful thing of all is that nothing has changed - on the contrary, it has changed for the better,” he said.

“We formed a stronger bond.”

The positive reaction has poured in from around the world.

“Happy to see the positive reception my letter had,” Vega wrote. “I’m touched.”

Vega’s goals in doing this, like that of so many other athletes who come out, are to make his life whole and help others.

“The most important thing is to be able to close a stage and feel free,” he wrote. “Show everyone and myself that my profession and my personal life can go the same way. That I can be gay and continue playing basketball with the commitment I have had since I made my league debut. I would also like this to help other people who may be in a similar situation.”

Argentina has had several LGBTQ athletes come out at sports’ higher levels in the last year, including soccer players Nicolas Fernandez and Mara Gomez, as well as volleyball player Facundo Imhoff.

You can follow Sebastian Vega on Twitter @_sebavega, or on Instagram @sebavega_7.