63rd-ranked 3×3 pro and Swiss national basketball player Marco Lehmann came out as gay in an essay and video (below) published on the website of The International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
Wrote Lehmann: “I probably could have kept it a secret until the twilight of my professional career. But I decided otherwise. Mental toughness is one of the most important attributes for an athlete. And I always considered this was one of my best qualities. But exactly this is what collapsed like a house of cards at the end of 2019 for me.”
“I had been switching personalities for so long now, that it was affecting my mental health,” Lehmann continued. “Every week the same old thing: my boyfriend would drive me to the airport and the minute I would go through security, the happy gay man in a relationship turned into the emotionless pro athlete, who didn’t want to talk about his personal life. In December 2019, I hit rock bottom. I started to have emotional outbursts, tears, cold sweat running down my back. And for what? Just thinking about the next practice. Are we talking about practice? I just couldn’t stand the thought of having to switch from my home personality to my competitive one once more.”
Added Lehmann: “All these situations. All the sleepless nights. All the moments of fear and self-doubt have led to this. The time has come for me to enjoy the rest of my career without having to live a double life or hide my true self. And hopefully help other gay athletes in Switzerland and worldwide.”
Read his full essay here.