Dennis Del Valle, a professional
volleyball player, announced in an interview that he's gay.
The 31-year-old Puerto Rican athlete
currently plays for the Swiss international squad.
Speaking with 24 Hueres, Del
Valle said that he hopes his coming out will inspire other queer
athletes to do the same.
“Now is the time to speak up,” he
said. “There must be lots of young athletes who live in secret, in
Switzerland and elsewhere. On my level, I've had a successful career
“I hope they will say to themselves,
'Why not me?' Maybe I could change someone's life. Me speaking out
could allow someone to gain confidence, to feel safer, to not stop
playing sport for fear of rejection.”
Del Valle said that he kept closeted
because he worried being out would “break the chemistry of the
“[Teammates] might fixate on my
homosexuality,” he said, adding that he's there to work “not
watch guys or flirt.”