NO ONE SHOULD NEED “PERMISSION” to be themselves. But one of the biggest and worst stereotypes I’ve encountered are the ones that try to link sports to homosexuality.

“Girls who play sports are lesbians,” or “Guys who play sports aren’t gay” are two of the more common things I’ve heard over the years, but they give you a good idea of what many people in the world believe. I think it’s incredibly brave when anyone in the limelight, not just athletes, comes out to the public, because it helps us change the way we view LGBTQ culture.

In light of the craziness that is the 2014 FIFA World Cup, I hope that people set aside their prejudices and focus more on the awesomeness that is soccer. I hope they can appreciate the feeling of pride at having their culture and country represented during this time, and that they can cheer on the members of their favorite teams, regardless of who the athletes choose to love in return.