Russian Tennis Star Daria Kasatkina Says There Was Less Pressure After She Came Out As Gay

Russian tennis star Daria Kasatkina has expressed her relief after having come out as gay last year, with news of her sexuality lifting a weight off her shoulders. 

Kasatkina, who is competing at the Australian Open, spoke about her anxieties of being unable to see her family in an interview room in Melbourne Park on Monday. She emphasised how important it was to her to be open about her sexual orientation as she continues in her tennis career. 

Last year, Kasatkina came out as gay in an interview with Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko and shared her experiences of living as an out gay person in Russia. She revealed that she was in a relationship with professional figure skater Natalia Zabiiako.

Speaking Out Against Homophobia In Russia

Kasatkina is Russia’s highest-ranked female tennis player and condemned the ongoing homophobic attitudes where she’s from, stating that she would not be able to hold hands with her girlfriend in her home country. 

“This notion of someone wanting to be gay or becoming one is ridiculous. I think there is nothing easier in this world than being straight. Seriously, if there is a choice, no one would choose being gay. Why make your life harder, especially in Russia? What’s the point?” Kasatkina said. 

Kasatkina explained the need for her to speak out against homophobic attitudes in Russia, even if this came at the cost of her being unable to see her family.

“Of course I’m worried. I have so many friends and people I know from Ukraine and hearing the stories, what they’re telling me. It’s painful because I’m thinking, imagine if I’m in their spot.”

‘I’m Happy’
happyDaria Kasatkina and Natalia Zabiiako. Image: Facebook.

“It’s difficult that I cannot see the people I love, often. Actually, I can see them almost never. I didn’t see my father for two years. But it is what it is. It’s life, unfortunately. I have to say thanks that it’s not a worse scenario. I’m just happy they’re healthy and I have them”, Kasatkina said. 

The world number 8 women’s tennis star reflected on the experience of coming out, stating that it has “helped” her to feel “less pressure”. 

“I felt less pressure. I put this pressure out of my shoulders because when you have to think about tennis but also to think about some deep things inside your head, it’s just not good. 

Kasatkina said that she felt “much better” after coming out and called it “one of the best decisions of the last year”, expressing her gratitude to the people in her life that had supported her since the news broke. “I just felt much better… I’m happy with the outcome,” added Kasatkina. 


Tags: tennis,, Daria Kasatkina

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