According to basketball star Ann Wauters (40), there are many gay male athletes who do not dare to admit their sexual orientation because of the existing clichés in our society. “They are said to have feminine sides and so they are seen as less competitive or less strong. Completely blown away, of course,” she says in Knack weekly.
Together with Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden, with whom she is a good friend, Wauters talks about homosexuality within sport and her role as ambassador for that community. The Belgian Cat says she thinks she should have talked about such topics much sooner, because it was only after Philippe Geubels’ television program about taboos that she realized how difficult it is for other homosexuals. Wauters is also upset about the lack of acceptance in the sports world. “Thomas Meunier said about this that he would advise against a fellow Red Devil to come out as a homosexual. That says enough, doesn’t it?”
The five-time European player of the year sees that it is much more difficult for men to come out as gay. “Gay men are said to have feminine sides and so are seen as less competitive or less strong,” she explains. “While lesbians are perceived as more competitive. Those stereotypes have of course been completely debunked, but because of this, male athletes are more afraid to reveal their sexual orientation. It simply cannot be that there would not be a single gay footballer in the first division of Belgian football.”
Wauters will be leaving with the later later this month Belgian Cats to the Olympics. Last month, the Belgian basketball women took bronze at the European Championship, but Wauters was not there to give her the best chance of optimally preparing for Tokyo.