Arsenal and England attacker Beth Meade has spoken candidly about her sexuality, and hopes that by setting an example she can help bridge the gap between LGBTQ+ discussions in the men’s game.
Mead has been a key figure on the field this summer, helping England to their first major tournament win in 56 years.
She ended up not only being the tournament’s top scorer but the tournament’s best player too in the summer to be remembered by Meade and women’s football in England.
And now, Mead has opened up in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports as she looks to help bridge the gap between LGBTQ+ discussions in the men’s game.
“When I was growing up, where did I come from, there weren’t a lot of people I knew who were openly gay or bisexual,” she told Sky Sports. “Maybe my parents, at the time, were struggling at first and it was hard for me to say.
It should not be underestimated. It must be the norm. I think there is this hierarchy of what people expect and how the older generation sees it. Everyone has their opinion but to me it should now be the norm and as I said, you can’t help who you fall in love with. If you’re happy, that’s all that matters.
“I struggled really for a long time, whether it was just a phase or ideas, but it wasn’t really about anything I wanted to work on. But, I realize how difficult it can be for some people and I realize that it is not always socially acceptable.
She added, “Especially in the women’s game, it’s more common.
“Actually, I’ve never physically gone out and said I’m gay, I’m with a girl because I didn’t have to. I just be me. I put up pictures with my partner on social media. For me, I tried to make it natural instead of making it a statement.”
“Obviously for men now, they have to put it out there in the media to see what reaction they get, and the culture in the men’s game is still very different and it’s a lot harder. But for me, you want to bridge that gap and help men as much as you help women.”
“It’s a tough process. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting, and I have all sides to people, but for me, you can’t help who you fall in love with and if you’re happy at the end of the day.
“You just have to be happy. Life can be so short.”
Meade will return to domestic action on Friday when Arsenal kick off their Women’s Premier League campaign against Brighton at Meadow Park.
Arsenal are hoping to progress even better this season after completing the runners-up Chelsea, who will face a trip to Liverpool in the season opener, on Sky Sports.
Friday, September 16
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- Manchester United vs Reading
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- Leicester City – Tottenham Hotspur
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- Watch the Liverpool and Chelsea match broadcast live on Sky Sports
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Key dates for the 2022/23 season
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- Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final: May 14, 2023
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