Kasatkina was inspired by Russian football star Nadya Karpova; Russian lawmakers have proposed extending a ban on the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relationships to minors to include adults as well; Kasatkina has also criticised the ongoing war in Ukraine
Last Updated: 20/07/22 7:57am
Daria Kasatkina has become the latest prominent Russian sportswoman to come out as gay and criticised attitudes to homosexuality in her country.
The 25-year-old – who was a semi-finalist at last month’s French Open – said she was inspired to come out after Russian soccer striker Nadya Karpova revealed she was gay in a country where homosexuality is frowned upon.
Soon after the interview was released, Kasatkina posted a picture on Instagram of her embracing Olympic silver medallist figure skater Natalia Zabiiako with a heart emoji.
In a video interview with a Russian blog site, tweeted by Kasatkina, she said: “So many subjects are taboo in Russia. This notion of someone wanting to be gay or becoming (gay) is ridiculous. I think there is nothing easier in this world than being straight.
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“Seriously, if there is a choice, no one would choose being gay. Why make your life harder, especially in Russia? What’s the point?”
Asked if she thinks she will ever be able to hold hands with her girlfriend in Russia, Kasatkina responded: “Never – judging by things that are going on now, it will never be OK.”
Kasatkina was not allowed to compete at Wimbledon recently because of the All England Club’s blanket ban on players who represent Russia and Belarus.
Asked what she wants to happen most, she responded, “For the war to end”, describing the situation as a “full-blown nightmare”.
The 25-year-old’s announcement follows that of Espanyol forward Nadezhda Karpova, who came out publicly in June. Karpova sent a message to Kasatkina on social media, writing: “I’m so proud, you go, girl!”
Russian lawmakers have proposed extending a ban on the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relationships to minors to include adults as well.
Russia’s existing “gay propaganda” law, passed in 2013, has been used to stop gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists.
Kasatkina, who is ranked 12th in the world and lives and trains in Spain, where the interview was filmed.