The past few months have been a remarkable time for Josh Cavallo.

The 22-year old Adelaide United footballer made a shocking announcement last year. He posted a video online, and said that he was a footballer and that he was gay.

He was the first gay professional footballer of top flight in the world.

He tells me that it was raw emotion and he wanted people to feel what he felt when we meet up in Adelaide.

“I never imagined… that there would be a time when I could say, ‘I’m Josh Cavallo. A footballer, and I’m gay.

He looks very different from the man in the video. He’s beaming.

He mentions how happy he was to have inspired Jake Daniels (17-year-old Blackpool footballer) to come out.

It’s amazing to know that I have had an impact on someone within such a short time.

Jake Daniels, a British professional male footballer, became the first to be out in over 30 years. He stated that Josh was his inspiration. They still speak often today.

He should embrace who he is and enjoy it. Mate, you have opened a new chapter. This is your new life. So go out and live it. Both of us are very excited. We are just at the beginning of our careers.”

It is still a work-in-progress and there will be times when it is not all good. There will be days that are very dark and gloomy. Josh assures us that he is prepared for the worst.

Josh’s first season as Adelaide United’s Young Player of Year was the turning point that spurred him to speak up. He told me that something was not right.

“When I received that award I was emotional quite sad. But on the outside, I looked happy. He says, “And I wanted to change it.”

“I was a teenager and I started my professional career in the dark. That’s all it takes to be a professional actor 24/7. It’s constant lies, and there is the added pressure of playing professional football.

He said he was overwhelmed at the reactions to his coming out.

“To see the tweets by Lil Nas X, Ellen DeGeneres, and all the other big Premier League clubs… Jurgen Klopp [Liverpool manager] was also talking about it.” He smiles and tells me it’s great to see.

He was touched by the messages he received from people all over the globe, thanking him for his help.

“If I open up my phone now, you’ll find in my messages requests of moms, dads, and boys, as well as girls, grandparents. He added that people have said to him: “You helped my uncle…or you’ve helped me get out… they’re so happy’.”

Adelaide fans love him. He tells me that he has become more confident since coming out.

“I felt like a ton bricks just fell off my shoulders. It was an incredible feeling,” he said.

It hasn’t always been easy. Josh says he still has negative comments to deal with.

“I have been booed in games before. I have also heard homophobic comments and it hurts me. He says that not everyone will love you for you as you are.

Josh claims that he has been approached by many athletes from around the globe.

“From water polo and track and field sports to football and AFL in Australia to AFL in Australia, many athletes have reached out… He says that some people are willing to speak out while others just want to ask questions.

Few male football players have ever come out as gay in their professional careers. Both Jake Daniels and Josh Cavallo’s announcements are significant.

“It was difficult to find someone I could look up to… [and] say: ‘Ohh, he is successful and he is gay and he plays football. Josh says that this is something Josh didn’t have growing-up.

“I want the children that are growing up and identifying as gay to not turn their back on the sport. He adds that he would hate to hear from Ronaldo or Messi being gay and turning away from football.

Josh says he hopes that one day, in a few years football players like Jake Daniels and Josh will come out as gay. He also acknowledged how pivotal this moment was.

“I am just so proud of myself, and that I can make people’s lives better.