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“You stop explaining yourself when you realize people only understand from their level of perception” Up in the Air once again, this time for a while lot longer… next stop – – – > Lausanne, Switzerland ?? for another season of ? 🙂 I had such an amazing time at home this past summer I am thankful for all the good times and all the memories created trough out these last couple of months. Family and Friends los Amo y los voy a extrañar! #Chapter5 #overseaslife
Dennis Del Valle is a professional volleyball player living in Switzerland and a member of the Puerto Rican national team. He just came out as gay in an interview with the Swiss website 24 Hours.
Del Valle, who is originally from San Juan, played volleyball in college at Penn State before going professional and becoming a free agent. He says he chose to come out now in hopes that it will inspire other queer athletes to do the same.
“Now is the time to speak,” the 31-year-old explains. “There are lots of young athletes who live in secret, in Switzerland and elsewhere. … I hope they will say to themselves: ‘Why not me?’ Maybe I could change someone’s life. My speech could allow some to gain confidence, to feel safer, not to stop [playing a] sport for fear of rejection.”
Del Valle says he was hesitant to come out at first because he didn’t know how it would be received by his teammates.
“I especially didn’t want to break the chemistry of the team,” he says, “that it could become weird in the locker room for some, that they imagine things, fixate on my homosexuality, no longer dare to go to shower in my presence, or whatever.”
But, he continues, “When I get to the room, I’m there to work. It’s my priority. I’m not here to watch guys or flirt.”
Following the interview, Del Valle took to Facebook to say he was “feeling proud” and to thank everyone for their support.
“What an unusual Sunday for me,” he wrote shortly after the interview published. “While I thought I was doing something nice and special for myself, I didn’t realize how much more I was doing for others like me.”
“I wanted to use this platform not to tell the world my story or who I am. But to try to inspire other people, kids, especially athletes that don’t have anyone to look up to.”
Scroll down for more pics from Del Valle’s Instagram page…
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Extremely thankful for this 2018! It was great year with definitely more ups than downs, more new friends, more new adventures and life experiences. I feel blessed for being able to call volleyball my job thus far and for letting me see the world and travel and growing both personally and professionally. It’s been a crazy journey! Even though at times it feels like it’s a lonely career God keeps proving me that I am not alone, not ever. I am always thankful for being surrounded by great people wherever I go, for having awesome friends, for making new friends along the way and more importantly for having the support of my family and my close ones! I am hoping for a healthy 2019 full of more life lessons and more fun. Gracias a los que están, los que estuvieron y los que seguirán estando ahí! “Work hard, be kind and amazing things will happen”