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Former German Footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger Comes Out

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 12.09.36 PM

2014 has just welcomed a brand new athlete to the “out” club of current and former professional sports players.

After retiring from the sport last September, former Germany International and Premiere League football star Thomas Hitzlsperger has now come out in a lengthy interview with German newspaper Die Ziet. Though the interview is completely in German, The Guardian has helped us Americans out and translated a few choice quotes from Hitzlsperger.

“Only in the last few years have I realized that I preferred living together with a man,” Hitzlsperger says. “I was never ashamed of being who I am but it was not always easy to sit on a table with 20 young men and listen to jokes about gays.”

Between controversy over the antigay sentiment in Russia where the 2014 Winter Olympics are being held and 2013’s parade of high-profile athletes coming out, gays in professional sports are a hot topic. Hitzlsperger is coming out partly because he wishes “to further the debate about homosexuality among sports professionals.”

The beefy and athletic Hitzlsperger is definitely easy on the eyes, and The Guardian has done us all a favor and shared a gallery of his greatest hits on the field. Though there will undoubtedly be criticism levied at Hitzlsperger for waiting until after retirement to come out (especially when compared to the still active Robbie Rogers), his presence will make it easier for the out players who will surely follow.

On:           Jan 8, 2014
    • robirob

      The newspaper is called ‘Die Zeit’ which translates as ‘The Time’. Good for him to come out. Better late than never.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KittyLitter

      WTF? No shirtless pics?
      To be fair, Robbie Rogers retired after he came out- then quit retirement once he was made an offer.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stranded

      so HOT!

      Jan 8, 2014 at 2:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gaymaniac

      ‘The HAMMER’ strikes again!The new year starts really good.Let’s hope our Chancellor ‘Mutti’ Merkel finally gives up ,so that marriage equality can come to Deutschland!

      Jan 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B Damion

      Uuuummm…ok a little underwhelming.

      But,good for him. Nothing really gripping about this news. Tell me when George Clooney or Ryan Gosling comes out as gay and then you will have my attention.

      Until then…eeh.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dxley


      Jan 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveDenver


      Jan 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveDenver

      @Dxley: Wow, you didn’t even have to open your mouth to reveal stupidity.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queertheory

      There is an English text on the website of ‘Die Zeit’:

      Jan 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alanj

      Very impressive both as a footballer and human rights spokesperson.
      52 caps for the National German team is remarkable.
      He deserves full support.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TinaTheGreat

      I don’t appreciate the condescending tone of this article. Lots of Americans are fluent in foreign languages, including German.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefan

      Who cares if someone know one even knows comes out? I guess only if they are hot?

      Jan 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alanj

      @Stefan: maybe you should read up on him then you’d understand why people do care

      Jan 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Teleny

      Congrats to Thomas!!! What a cutey!!!

      Jan 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant

      I note that this German player said that he preferred to live with a man. I can understand why men would want to live with men. Men’s personalities match each other. The only reason a man would want to live with a woman is if he had a mommy complex or needed sex from her.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant

      I’ve read the original transcript and it’s obvious that Thomas is bisexual, not gay.

      He has undergone what I call “transformative homosexuality”. This occurs in men who are oriented to both men and women but who, for reasons such as personality-matching, eventually settle in with men.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist

      Gott im Himmel! Ich bin so verliebt, gerade jetzt. Ich wünschte, er würde mit meinen Bällen spielen und ich konnte auf seinem saugen.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zaladine

      Really great! But I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal- until I read the commentary section of a big German newspaper (FAZ). Still shocked by the amount of hateful, disgusting remarks about his coming out as gay.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo

      @Stefan: I feel the same about Cruz, Rodgers etc as they are absolute nobodies.

      This guy was a very talented player, who unlike Robbie proved it at the pinnacle of easily the worlds largest sport, that’s something to really identify with.

      Great for him.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alanj

      @Zaladine: Agree about the disgusting comments.
      However I note that the UK press that I read are moderating homophobic comments, as they did with Gareth Thomas & Tom Daley. The less oxygen for those vile views the better.
      Thomas has the media nous to push through this and continue to focus the discussion the way he wants.
      Good luck to him.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant

      Britain and Germany are very homophobic at the level of ordinary men and women in the street.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TrekBear

      Here’s a link to a shirtless pic of the guy: http://jlmd.blogspot.com/2010/06/der-hammer-time.html

      Jan 8, 2014 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JohnnyMorales

      @jimbryant: There are many processes people go through to accept themselves, but to think that we decide to be with another men, because we get along with them better is utter nonsense.

      There are many straight men who positively loathe the way women behave, but still find them the exclusive target of their sexual attraction. No matter how chummy they are with other like minded men, the thought of sleeping with one of their buddies elicits nothing but revulsion.

      It’s pretty strange that anyone would believe that considering the # of gay men who get along better with women than any man, but no matter how fabulous their relationships with women are would never decide to be with a woman, because of it.

      You purposely conflate the sexual relationship and the emotional relationship.

      Our sexual attractions are not a product of liking someone emotionally.

      In fact it’s the opposite for men in particular we seek to create emotional connections with people who attract us sexually, an attraction we have no control over. We can’t have erections on demand that come with sexual attraction.

      For both sexes sexual attraction is a thought free response to the target of our attraction.

      Being a homosexual is due a singular attraction to the same sex that thanks to cultural taboos must become overwhelming before most men will give into them.

      Regardless, a gay man’s positive attraction to another man is not due to any negative feelings about women in any way.

      Your prior comment however shows the reason for feeling that way is due to misogyny. I mean really that you can only think of a man wanting to be with a woman due to some psychological issue says it all.

      Straight men like women for the same reasons gay men like other men and lesbians like other women Etc.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle

      Ok, great that he came out, even if as bi. I’m sure a heavy burden has been lifted. But we need to stop kidding ourselves and stop pretending that looks have NOThing to do with the level of support we give. All this talk about us gays caring first and foremost about his civil rights record is a joke. If he looked liked Danny DeVeto, with the ” same ” civil rights record, I doubt if he would have half this support and complements. We hate to admit how superficial we can be.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant

      Johnny Morales,

      You forget that there is a large sea of men who are neither exclusively attracted sexually to women nor to men. They are in the majority.

      Your negligence in this regard totally weakens your argument. You also neglect to consider that male sexuality can evolve in this great sea of men.

      I also maintain that a man who is equally attracted sexually to both men and women will settle down with a person with whom he is most comfortable personality-wise.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • elbertdijkgraaf

      He’s definitely NOT a nobody, especially when you were a part of Die Mannschaft. The world of football (ok, ‘soccer’) is so incredibly macho that closeted players are carrying a heavy burden. A bit sad that he decided to come out after his

      Jan 8, 2014 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • elbertdijkgraaf

      elbertdijkgraaf: whoops wasn’t finished: ‘ a bit sad htat he decided to come out after his career. Also sad that we still live in a world that a ‘coming out’ is still a big deal.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 9:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queertheory

      Thomas Hitzlsperger published a personal statement on YouTube this night:

      Jan 8, 2014 at 10:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @jimbryant: I have total respect for bisexuality, but I despise bisexuals like you who constantly feel the need to inflate your own numbers. “[Bisexual men] are in the majority”…bull crap.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 10:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant


      I didn’t use the word ‘bisexual’. Clean your ears out.

      I simply referred to men who are into both men and women.

      The reason why a lot of you gays fear these men is because it takes ownership of the male homosexual act away from the gay rights movement.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alanj

      @MMDD: don’t feed the troll. It’s not worth it.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alanj

      Back on subject: Thomas clearly refers to ‘his homosexuality’ and discusses and refers to homosexuality in both the written and audio interview. Bisexuality is not mentioned throughout either, that’s just an opinion from one Queerty commentator.

      Jan 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant

      Thomas clearly suggests that he evolved into homosexuality. This suggests that he is/was also sexually interested in women. It must grate on you gay separatists that homosexuality in men is not superior to heterosexuality in men.

      Jan 9, 2014 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JayHobeSound

      @TinaTheGreat: “Lots of Americans are fluent in foreign languages, including German.”

      20 – 25 percent of Americans can converse in a language other than English. I would have guessed 10 percent, but was pleasantly surprised to read the higher percentage.

      Jan 9, 2014 at 2:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew

      @MMDD: What makes you think Jim Byrant is bisexual?

      Jan 9, 2014 at 7:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      Queerty, y’all falling down on the job by failing to mention a certain Mr T Daley was the inspiration for Herr dude’s coming out! Why must you continually ignore our Tom? WHHYYYYYY????!!!! :(

      Jan 9, 2014 at 8:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist

      @JohnnyMorales: Responding to Anita Bryants bastard child will get you nowhere fast…I see that you are an intelligent person and quite grounded at least when you write..I value your comments and insights Queerty sure could use someone with your talents :-)

      Jan 9, 2014 at 8:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @jimbryant: “I simply referred to men who are into both men and women.”

      Which is a bisexual, you moron.

      Jan 9, 2014 at 8:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @jimbryant: “The reason why a lot of you gays fear these men is because it takes ownership of the male homosexual act away from the gay rights movement.”

      Whatever you’re smoking, keep it away from me.

      Jan 9, 2014 at 8:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @alanj: I normally don’t, but every now and then I just gotta call ’em out on their bullshit.

      Jan 9, 2014 at 8:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist

      @MMDD: I judge my fellow humans, male,female, gay, straight, bi, ect…On an individual basis. I want to like everyone until I have reason to feel otherwise…I know you didn’t address me personally but I am after all queer…I’m not too crazy about the term gay.

      Jan 9, 2014 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alanj

      They have a clear agenda to bait and antagonise.

      I think Thomas will be a great advocate fighting homophobia in sport,
      he’s a sports hero to many who has already written against racism and anti-semitism.
      Some may call it small steps but I still think it’s remarkable.

      Jan 9, 2014 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JennyFromdabloc

      Danke schoen, Thomas! XO

      Jan 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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