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Former Brazil international Richarlyson has come out as bisexual – and slammed his country’s record of homophobia.
The 39-year-old is the first-ever player from a top flight Brazilian team to come out in public. Richarlyson received two international caps from the five-time World Cup winners, appearing in friendlies against Ireland and Sweden in 2008.
The former defender is best known for his club career with Brazilian giants Sao Paulo, with whom he won the World Club Cup in 2005. As well as publicly revealing his sexuality, Richarlyson also slammed his nation's record for gay rights.
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"All my life I was asked whether I was gay or not,” Richarlyson said to the ‘Nos Armarios dos Vestiarios’ podcast. “I had relationships with men and I had relationships with women, too.
"I am normal, I have wishes and desire. I dated men, I date women. So what? So many people say it is important that I stand up, so I decided to say it today. I am bisexual."
In 2021, 215 LGBT people were murdered in Brazil in 2021, while 24 also died of suicide, according to Statista. And Richarlyson drew attention to the figures that continue to shame his homeland.
“Unfortunately, the world is not prepared to have this discussion and deal with it naturally,” he added. “Do you understand why I think it's unnecessary for you to label yourself sometimes?
“Ah, but your speech can help. No, it won't help. Who is Richarlyson, for God's sake?! I am a mere ordinary citizen, who had a nice history in football, but I will not be able to move mountains to stop these crimes, to stop homophobia in football.”
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