Out pro volleyball player and Olympic champion Douglas Souza is using his massive social media platform to share about the homophobia he and his boyfriend, Gabriel, recently experienced at an airport in Europe.
In his Instagram stories yesterday, the 26-year-old explained that they were passing through the Netherlands on their way to Italy when a customs and immigration official seemed to take issue with the fact that they were a gay couple.
“I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to carry this energy, but I’ll tell it more or less,” he explained. “Basically, it was me and my boyfriend, we took a flight from São Paulo to Amsterdam and there we had to go through passport control to go to Rome.”
“Until then everything was calm. By the time we went to control, the guy was super cool, he asked me what I was going to do in Italy, I explained that I was a volleyball player, that I had been hired by that team. Then he asked who Gabriel was and I explained.”
That’s when things got ugly.
Souza continued, “When I said it was my boyfriend, his face changed and so did the treatment. He asked what Gabriel was going to do there, I showed him in the stable union document. I said he would accompany me.”
According to Sausa, the official then called another man over, who led the couple over to a different area and then told them to wait… for five hours.
“They left us there for about five hours without any kind of explanation,” he recalled. “After about five or six hours, they called me in a small room to ask what I was going to do there.”
Sousa says he tried to remain as “normal” and “calm” as possible, but he describes the whole interrogation as very “strange.”
“They hit the key again about who Gabriel was and I tried to explain that it was my boyfriend and they had a lot of difficulty understanding,” he added. “We had the document of the common-law marriage. They absolutely didn’t want to let Gabriel pass.”
After several hours, the couple was eventually allowed out of the country and traveled on to their final destination.
Sousa took home a gold medal with the Brazil men’s national volleyball team in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, which took place in his home country roughly 600 miles east of São Paulo. He is currently the most followed pro volleyball player in the world on Instagram.
Scroll down for some pics from Sousa’s page…