Richarlyson, 39, a former Brazil international, revealed he was bisexual in podcast “Nos Armários dos Vestiários”, in the first of ten episodes of the Brazilian series on homophobia and machismo in various spaces of football.
“I am always asked if I am homosexual. I met men and women. Now I speak here and soon the news drops: ‘Richarlyson is bisexual’. I’m normal, I have cravings and desires. We will talk about it, but the most important thing will not change is the question of homophobia. Unfortunately, the world is not ready to have this discussion and deal with it naturally,” he said.
The Brazilian clearly explained why he decided to reveal his sexual orientation: “Now I want to see if anything will really improve. Brazil is the country that kills the most homosexuals. Being homosexual is not a demerit for no one and in football it shouldn’t be such a controversial topic. The players themselves need to take a better position on the situation, especially the upright ones. It’s not about wearing a sweater with a bow- It is, when this situation of homophobia arrives, to leave the field.
The former player said his skin was more demanding from fans, but despite this he never stopped living the way he wanted and wore clothes with extravagant sequins and colors in silent protest. : “It was always me. I wanted, whatever they say, to live my life, I would do what I wanted. The criticism when it failed was disproportionate.
On family support, Richarlyson was clear: “I only spoke openly with my mother about my sexuality. My father [o ex-avançado Lela] and my brother [avançado Alecsandro, que passou pelo Sporting, em 2007, cedido pelo Cruzeiro] find out in the podcast. They never questioned me or looked askance at me. Sometimes I joke and say that everything I am today is due to the fact that at home I had a completely rigid training in education and respect, but above all with a clarity and a naturalness to face this that I wanted, as I saw it, not as I wanted it, so that my father, my mother or my brother could see it.
In 2007, then-Palmeiras manager José Cyrillo Júnior publicly insinuated that Richarlyson was gay and the former player sued, which was ultimately dismissed, with a surprising decision. The judge in charge of the case, Manoel Maximiniano Junqueira Filho, closed the case by saying that it would be unreasonable to accept homosexuals in Brazilian football because it would harm the thinking of the team and, in the sentence, pointed out that football was for men and not for gays.
“It made me very sad, but I never let it get in the way of what I want for my life, not a single sentence, word, discussion or someone with a closed mind, who tried to vulgarly abuse a class. I was never an ace, nor technically incredible, but I was smart to know what I could do to always be ahead of the others”, he underlined.
In Brazil, Richarlysson represented São Luiz, Ituano, Santo André, Fortaleza, São Paulo, Atlético Mineiro, Vitória, Chapecoense, Grêmio Novorizontino, Guarani, Cianorte, Campinense, América do Rio de Janeiro and, last season, the North West . Abroad, he spent a season in Austria, at Red Bull Salzburg (2003/2004) and in India, where he represented FC Goa (2017). He arrived in the Brazil national team in 2008, thanks to Dunga, adding only two caps with Júlio César, Luisão, Robinho, Dani Alves and Marcelo.