(Photo: Robert Páez)
Robert Páez, 23, a professional diver from Venezuela, who represented his country in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, has just come out publicly in a moving op-ed on Outsports.
Here’s an excerpt:
“I’ve been in sports since I was 7 years old. Growing up in Venezuela, I knew from a very young age that I was different, despite not knowing what exactly that meant.
It’s a difficult road, to know at a young age that we feel something that makes us believe we are not “right” in the eyes of society. Yet the truth is that if I was born that way, it was because God created me and he wanted it that way. When I finally came to believe that, that’s when I understood that I should accept with pride and courage what others called “mariconeria.”
I understood that this was and would be my truth forever, and my own self-acceptance was only in my hands. It was up to me whether I lived in happiness, or sank and lived in a lie that never would be.”
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