Russian Tennis Champ Daria Kasatkina Says She’s Relieved After Coming Out
Author: JD Glass
Russian tennis champion Daria Kasatkina, who has been openly critical of Russia’s war in Ukraine, came out earlier this summer. Now, the athlete is opening up more about her decision to come out and to criticize the Kremlin.
Kasatkina revealed her relationship with Russian Olympic figure skater Natalia Zabiiako in July. In an interview at the time, she said, “Living in the closet is impossible. It is too hard, it is pointless. Living in peace with yourself is the only thing that matters, and f**k everyone else.”
She’d also shared images on Instagram.
Now, she looks back on her decision to come out without regret.
“To be honest, it helped me,” she toldThe Guardian earlier this month, “I felt less pressure, I put this pressure out of my shoulders because when you have to think about tennis but also to think about some deep things inside your head, it’s just not good.”
Kasatkina added: “I remember after saying all these things, I just felt much better. That was one of the best decisions of the [past] year and I’m happy with the outcome…and thanks to the people who were next to me, supporting me.”
A new Russian anti-LGBTQ+ law expanded a 2013 ban against spreading “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors to also include adults. The new law took effect December 5 and makes it illegal to promote or “praise” LGBTQ relationships, publicly express non-heterosexual orientations, or suggest that they are “normal.” The new law also bans all advertising, media, and online resource books, films, and theater productions that affirm the LGBTQ+ community or individuals.
Under the new law, individuals can be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,370) for “LGBT propaganda” and up to 200,000 rubles ($3,185) for “demonstrations of LGBT and information that encourages a change of gender among teenagers.”
Kasatkina’s critical comments on Russia’s invasion into Ukraine and the continued war has made it difficult for her to visit family.
“I have so many friends and people I know from Ukraine and hearing the stories, what they’re telling me. It’s painful because I’m thinking, imagine if I’m in their spot,” Kasatkina explained. “It’s very tough. And it’s been almost a year living in these circumstances. I want this to end as soon as possible, but unfortunately it’s not depending on us. They’re my friends and I want to show them love and support because it’s very tough. For them, it’s more difficult.”
And although she saw her mother a month ago, Kasatkina says, “It’s difficult that I cannot see the people I love, often. Actually, I can see them almost never. I didn’t see my father for two years. But it is what it is. It’s life, unfortunately. I have to say thanks that it’s not a worse scenario. I’m just happy they’re healthy and I have them.”
Still, when it comes to coming out, she said she “was ready for some negative reaction, but there was nothing like that.”
“I’m very thankful because that makes me feel so good. Some of the players were coming to me, sometimes they’re still coming to me, to say ‘yeah, it’s cool’ or ‘congrats’ to me. That’s nice.”
Kasatkina is currently ranked 8th and should the Wimbledon ban on Russian and Belarusian players be lifted as is rumored may happen for 2023, she’ll likely rank higher.
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: JD Glass