1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Russian tennis star announces she is gay

July 19, 2022

World No. 12 Daria Kasatkina said it was important for influential sports stars to lead the way for others. Last month, Russian soccer player Nadezhda Karpova also came out as lesbian.

Daria Kasatkina at the Bad Homburg Open in June, 2022.
Daria Kasatkina said it was "pointless" living in the closetImage: Mathias Schulz/IMAGO

Russian tennis star Daria Kasatkina has come out as a lesbian in a YouTube video, during which she also criticized her country's attitude towards homosexuality.

"Living in the closet, as they say, is pointless," Kasatkina said in an interview with vlogger Vitya Kravchenko. "There is no point, it would always be going round in your head, until you say something. Obviously, each person decides how to open up and how much,'' Kasatkina said.

The 25-year-old tennis player lamented the fact there are so many "taboo topics" in Russia.

"I believe it is important that influential people from sports, or any other sphere really speak about it," she added.

"It is important for young people who have a hard time with society and need support."

Hours after the video was published, Kasatkina shared a photo on Instagram of herself hugging another woman with a purple heart emoji. On Twitter, she posted a photo of herself and the same woman, saying: "My cutie pie."

Russia proposes ban on discussion of 'non-traditional' relationships

Kasatkina's announcement came after Russian lawmakers on Monday proposed banning any discussion of "non-traditional" sexual relationships in the public sphere.

The French Open semi-finalist said "it's no surprise" that Russia is trying to clamp down on homosexuality.

Russia's so-called "gay propaganda" law from 2013 has been used to stop pride marches and detain gay rights activists.

Kasatkina praises soccer player for coming out

Kasatkina praised Nadezhda Karpova for paving the way, after the soccer player became the first Russian sportswoman to come out in June.

"My respect. I was happy for her, but also other people, especially girls needed to know that," Kasatkina said.

There had been a push for more openness at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Kasatkina said, but this momentum was lost after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Meanwhile, when asked what she wants most in life, Kasatkina said: "For the war to end," describing the conflict as a "complete nightmare."

zc/jsi (AFP, Reuters, dpa, AP)