Pride & Prejudice

Olympic Diver Robert Páez: “It was up to me whether I lived in happiness, or sank and lived in a lie that never would be.”

Robert Páez, 23, a professional diver from Venezuela, who represented his country in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, came out publicly last month in a moving op-ed at outsports.com.

“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,” wrote Páez.

Accepting ourselves and respecting ourselves are big first steps. Life is too beautiful to be hidden in a closet.”

“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 ‘mariconería.’”

“I understood that this was and would be my truth forever, and my own self-acceptance was only in my hands,”  wrote Páez.

“It was up to me whether I lived in happiness, or sank and lived in a lie that never would be.”

“Accepting ourselves and respecting ourselves are big first steps. Life is too beautiful to be hidden in a closet,” writes Páez. 


Read the full op-ed at outsports.com.