Australian footballer Josh Cavallo attracted international praise last month when he took to social media to come out as gay.

Now, the Adelaide United star has received a new outpouring of support after his “amazing” response to a tweet by the LGB Alliance – an organisation considered a “hate group” by many LGBTQ+ people.

Cavallo, 21, posted a statement to his Twitter account on 27th October saying that he was “proud to publicly announce that I am gay” after “fighting my sexuality for over six years now”.

“I’m glad I can put that to rest … Being a gay closeted footballer, I’ve had to learn to mask my feelings in order to fit the mould of a professional footballer. Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that hadn’t crossed paths before.

“I’ve lived my life assuming that this was a topic never to be spoken about … It is astonishing to know that there are currently no gay professional footballers who are out and actively playing, not only in Australia but around the world.

“Hopefully this will change in the near future. I hope that in sharing who I am, I can show others who identify as LGBTQ+ that they are welcome in the football community,” it reads.

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Cavallo was immediately praised for his coming out, with both fellow footballers such as Marcus Rashford and Rio Ferdinand and clubs such as Barcelona and Liverpool, sharing their respect for the sportsman’s “bravery.”

However, when an organisation known as the LGB Alliance decided to chip in with their praise of the footballer, Cavallo offered up an “amazing” response to the group which trans youth charity Mermaids say “actively work to oppose the advancement of rights of trans individuals”.

The charity, together with the Good Law Project and LGBT+ Consortium, have challenged the LGB Alliance’s charitable status, which was granted to them by the Charity Commission in April.

The group also attracted criticism following reports that it had paid for a stand at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. In the same month, it was revealed that the prime minister had written to the LGB Alliance to thank them for their “incredible hard work”, describing the organisation’s recent national conference as “a ground-breaking event”.

Pink News reported that attendees at the conference, held in central London on 21st October, also hurled abuse at trans comedian Jen Ives during the event.

Commenting on Cavallo’s coming out, LGB Alliance tweeted in October: “We applaud the courage of @JoshuaCavallo and hope he inspires others. Here’s to a time when society as a whole can look back and wonder why anyone felt the need to hide who they love.”

“#LGBWithTheT,” was Cavallo’s short but oh so sweet reply, with the hashtag referring to trans inclusion within the LGBTQ+ community and support for trans people from lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

The hashtag later went on to trend on Twitter, as users celebrated the footballer’s response online:

We would say that this is an incredible way to shut down the LGB Alliance, but Cavallo’s a footballer – he’s used to tackling things head-on.

And in this instance, we absolutely love to see it.

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