Russian tennis player Daria Kasatkina has said in a video interview released on Monday that she is dating a woman, coming out as gay amid a tense environment under the Russian government for the LGBTQ community across that country.
The French Open semifinalist's comments come as the Russian parliament discusses even more tightening of very stringent restrictions on public discussions of LGBTQ relationships. Kasatkina is the highest-placed Russian in the women's tennis rankings. She has also called for an end to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war there.
Kasatkina said that she believes that “living in the closet” would not be sustainable long-term. “There is no point, it would always be going round in your head until you say something. Obviously, each person decides how to open up and how much,” Kasatkina said.
"This notion of someone wanting to be gay or becoming one is ridiculous. I think there is nothing easier in this world than being straight," she said as quoted by CNN. "Seriously, if there is a choice, no one would choose being gay. Why make your life harder, especially in Russia? What's the point?"
"Living in the closet is impossible. It is too hard, it is pointless," Kasatkina said. "Living in peace with yourself is the only thing that matters."
As CNN reported, even with increased visibility around the world for the LGBTQ community some 162 bills targeting LGBTQ Americans have been introduced by U.S. lawmakers just in the first half of 2022.