Czech Republic football sensation Jakub Jankto, who bravely came out as gay in February this year, has been sharing his experiences of life before and after coming out. The 27-year-old midfielder’s decision to publicly embrace his sexuality made him the sole openly gay player in international men’s football, marking a significant moment in the sport’s history.
In a candid interview with the BBC, Jankto reminisced about his early years, grappling with his identity while concealing his true self. He candidly remarked, “I was 13 or 14 years old when I knew that something was… not unnatural, but different. As a kid, you don’t think too much about it. But when I tried my first relationship with a girlfriend, it wasn’t like it was with a boy, you know?”
Jankto’s journey became even more challenging when he pursued a professional football career. He revealed that the football world still retains some homophobia, which made him apprehensive when he was younger. “So I was scared when I was 18 or 19 and next to other guys and couldn’t open messages on WhatsApp because I always had the fear that someone might see a message or a photo from a guy,” he confided.
Reflecting on his coming-out experience, Jankto expressed that he was not afraid when he made the decision. In his words, “It was a huge moment for me – but after six, seven months, I can say it wasn’t a mistake.” He emphasized the positive impact of his decision, saying, “If I could do it again, I definitely would because it helped myself, and I think it helped many, many people… I think it set a good, positive example for everybody, and now I’m really happy that I can play without hiding or being scared. I just carry on like nothing has happened, and that’s really, really good.”