Chilean basketball player Daniel Arcos revealed he is gay in an emotional letter posted to Instagram and says he is ready to live “proud and free.”
“I waited for this day for a long time, a personal challenge with new [rainbow] colors on my shirt, colors that before I looked with shame and that today I decide to wear with pride,” he wrote according to a translation of his post on OutSports.
The 6'3" Arcos plays small forward for CD Castro team in the Chile's top professional basketball league.
Arcos revealed he was living a life of fear and regret, constantly doubting and denigrating himself for being gay. In the post, he shared his feelings after an intimate encounter with another man.
“I had feelings of guilt, I felt bad, lonely, as if I had done something really bad," he wrote. "I was afraid to share it with someone and be judged, as I was already doing with myself."
Arcos pushed these feelings away and continued on with his life. He still had goals to meet both on and off the court. This meant “a lot of sport and study, hoping that time would take care of doing its thing” and bring him some inner peace. He “avoided uncomfortable questions” and “lied and silenced” himself when he saw instances of homophobia and hate speech from his peers.
Arcos eventually grew tired of living a life of fear, and decided it was time to reveal the truth to his family and trusted friends. He knows he has their support in the coming days.
“I know that this message might generate ridicule, discomfort and even hate, but I have the privilege of having my family and friends on my team," he wrote.
Arcos is now happy living out and proud, and he wants to share with others the importance of living free of fear and regret.
“Everyone has their experiences and they experience them in their own way, but the important thing is to live as we want as long as we are happy.”