Ever since becoming the first NFL player in history to publicly emerge as bisexual in 2019, Ryan Russell LGBTQ has been using its platform to raise awareness for visibility in sports.
Talking with Yahoo! LifeThe three-year-old veteran, who has played for the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, says he loves to live in his truth and is “irresistible.”
“Visibility is my hope,” Russell said as he discussed bi-visibility day, which aims to raise bisexual awareness and is celebrated on September 2 each year. You see or love someone. “
“Going from someone who hasn’t seen much visibility, and who didn’t have much hope, so far, hopefully it’s becoming visible and a beacon of hope, even if it’s a combination of a lot of trials and tribulations, now I understand why I went through them and why they happened. And it feels good, “he told the outlet.” I feel irresistible. So I can do something. “
Related: NFL veteran Ryan Russell has revealed he is bisexual
Russell, a current NFL free agent, recently partnered with Engerkel, an LGBTQ resource center that provides life-saving services, programs and therapies to the LGBTQ community. He said their work is crucial for social acceptance and progress.
“I think education is always the first hurdle,” Russell said. “Understanding bisexuality is so different for everyone because the definition of bisexuality has changed and grown a lot, especially as we have developed conversations around gender and non-binary people.”
Russell says many people who grow up in bi-families don’t understand their sexuality or define it through anatomy.
“Historically, I think for a lot of people, including my family and myself, bisexuality was almost bisexual. It was about men and women,” Russell said. I have an attraction outside of myself towards sex and gender. It opens up conversations to include everyone who at one time not only considered their sexuality legitimate, but also their gender identity and who they actually are. “
He continued: “I think for men, it’s like you’re almost hit with this triple vampire, for lack of a good term. You’ve been taught at a young age that the most important thing about your male identity is your masculinity. So if you protect it. Instead of feeling the need to nurture it or allow it to feel your femininity or whatever comes to you, you begin to create things of masculine personality instead of the real creation coming from within you. Your own soul. “
“You can’t understand or comprehend anyone else until you work, unless you empower yourself with knowledge,” he said. “I think all of that is between gay people, I think, the facial expressions feel like we need to protect our sexuality – it can be a barrier for me, but a barrier that I didn’t jump into because I don’t. As such, I don’t feel the need to verify my sexuality for anyone. You ask me a question, I tell you, we move on.
To learn more about bi-visibility day, click here.