‘A weight off my shoulders’: Argentina’s first openly gay basketball star on coming out

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03/19/2020

Traveling Argentina and the world as a professional basketball player, Sebastian Vega was living his childhood dream. But carrying a secret deep within was a nightmare. “When I started to feel attracted to a man, I had a very bad time,” Vega recalled recently on the phone from his home in the southern city of Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. “I felt shame, guilt, a lot of rejection, but at the same time the desire to be with someone,” Vega told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. That all changed last week when Vega posted a letter on social media coming out to his fans – the first openly gay professional basketball player in Argentina’s history. “I was really scared, but the fear didn’t paralyze me,” said 31-year-old Vega. “I felt truly free: it had been a long time since I’d walked without such a heavy weight on my shoulders.”

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