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2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes? Day Twenty-Four — Mayssa Pessoa

by Stuart Wilber on August 10, 2012

in 2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes?,Coming Out,International,News,Stuart Wilber,Who Are The LGBT Athletes?

Post image for 2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes? Day Twenty-Four —  Mayssa Pessoa

Brazil’s Mayssa Pessoa (b. 11-09-84) who plays professional handball for her club, Issy-Paris is considered one of the leading goalkeepers in the world of handball.

Previously she spent two years playing for Arvor 29 (2009-2011); where her former team mates included  Alexandra Lacrabère (25) one of three out handball players competing in the London Olympics.

Pessoa’s coming out was more deliberate than Alexandra’s; In an interview with she speaks movingly about her struggle and her need to be open about herself and her relationship.

“There are a lot (of athletes) who hide. Before I was also just like that … I understand the fear. But I hope that after a time they will see things as I see them. They think that they themselves are evil, and they also hurt the person they love. Our love is like everyone’s, there is nothing to hide!”

“I did not want to accept it. And then years passed, until I said, ‘I love girls, it is just like that!’ Today I am in a relationship with a woman; all my club knows it and I am no longer afraid to talk about it.”

“In 2009, when I arrived in France to play in Brest, I began hurting the person who lived with me and who I hid. Once I spent a whole night without sleeping, only thinking of this, and I told myself that I was not a kid any more, that it was not necessary to be afraid. The following day I spoke to my team members and they replied, ‘But why do you hide this? It is not serious!”

“ Having said it, I felt – well, I felt freedom.”

Mayssa Pessoa can be followed on twitter  @mayssapessoa and Facebook .

Stuart WilberStuart Wilber is a Seattle activist who skipped classes in high school to watch the McCarthy– Army Hearings. Having seen it get better and worse and better again over the years, he continues to hope he will experience full federal equality in his lifetime. *Photo by Mathew Ryan Williams

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