Top Russian female tennis player Daria Kasatkina revealed on July 18 that she is dating a woman.
Kasatkina, who is currently ranked No. 12 in the world, told Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko in a video interview that she was in a relationship with figure skater Natalia Zabiiako.
Kasatkina said that “living in the closet is impossible. It is too hard, it is pointless.”
“Living in peace with yourself is the only thing that matters,” Kasatkina said.
“Obviously, each person decides how to open up and how much,” Kasatkina added.
Kasatkina, who lives in Spain, criticized the current situation in Russia, where the parliament is holding discussions on broadening a so-called “gay propaganda” law that would enact a complete ban on the “promotion” of LGBTQ relationships in a positive or neutral light.
“Seriously, if there is a choice, no one would choose to be gay. Why make your life harder, especially in Russia? What’s the point?” Kasatkina said.
Russian footballer Nadya Karpova, who became the first openly gay Russian national team athlete, said she was “so proud” after hearing the news about Kasatkina.
“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. The timing is so symbolic as well, with all the f— up things happening in Russia,” Karpova said, as quoted by The Guardian.
Igor Kochetkov of the prominent Russian LGBT Network described Kasatkina’s coming out as “monumental.”
“This is the first time in our history that an undisputed sports star of Kasatkina’s stature has come out. And in Putin’s Russia sport is always political,” Kochetkov said, as quoted by The Guardian.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.