The number one female Russian tennis player Daria Kasatkina came out as gay on 18 July, just one day before Russia’s parliament announced tightening restrictions on LGBTQ related bills.
Kasatkina has openly criticised the Russian parliament for its restrictions on LGBTQ rights. For the first time ever, she spoke on camera about being part of the LGBTQ community.
“The notion of someone wanting to be gay or becoming gay is ridiculous,” Kasatkina said in an interview that was filmed in Barcelona. “I think there is nothing easier in this world than being straight.”
The drafted bill would ban “public discussion of LGBTQ relationships in a positive or neutral light, and any LGBTQ content in cinemas,” according to Associated Press.
Kasatkina said with the way things are going in Russia now, she doesn’t think it will be acceptable for LGBTQ people to even hold hands in public.
The draft bill will strengthen the 2013 “gay propaganda bill” was announced on the parliament’s website. This bill bans the “promotion of nontraditional relations” to minors, according to the Associated Press.
In the video interview, Kasatkina described how “living in the closet” was simply too hard to do, explaining the constant thoughts and worry that would stay in the back of her mind.
“Living in peace with yourself is what matters, and f*** everyone else,” Kasatkina said.
On her Instagram, Kasatkina posted a photo of her relationship with Olympic silver medalist figure skater Natalia Zabiiako.
According to The Guardian, Kasatkina was inspired to come out after seeing Russian football player Nadya Karpova come out last month.
At the end of the interview, Kasatkina was brought to tears when she was asked if she was afraid of not being able to return home to Russia after her statement.
With everything that is going on in Russian, Kasatkina has taken the time to speak out against the war in Ukraine as well. This year Russia was banned from competing in Wimbledon, along with all other international tournaments.