Russian human rights activists and fellow athletes have describedthe decision to come out as gay by the nation’s highest-ranked female tennis player, Daria Kasatkina, as a monumental and symbolic moment for the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the country.
“When I heard the news about Kasatkina, I couldn’t believe it, I was so proud,” said Nadya Karpova, a footballer, who became the first openly gay Russian national team athlete when she came out last month. “I was ecstatic, jumping around like crazy in my flat.”
Kasatkina said in an interview on Monday with Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko that Karpova had served as an inspiration in her decision to come out.
“It is so important for younger people to have role models who are like them. For them to see that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them,” Karpova added. “The timing is so symbolic as well, with all the fucked-up things happening in Russia.”
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