Jenni Hermoso, 33, opens up about growing up gay in Spain: Women’s World Cup champion says it was a ‘taboo’ to be a lesbian

WOMEN’S World Cup champion Jenni Hermoso, 33, has opened up about growing up gay in Spain. 

Hermoso opened up about her sexuality on a popular Spanish travel programme. Photo: Cuatro/Planeta Calleja

The footballer became a household name after speaking out about consent following the infamous ‘kiss-gate’ scandal. 

Now, the star is opening up about her sexuality, saying it was ‘much easier’ to come out as a female footballer. 

Hermoso also claimed she never spoke to her family about her sexual orientation while growing up.

She told Spanish TV show Planeta Calleja: “I never explicitly told my parents that I liked girls.

“’It is something that has always been taboo, but there was actually no need to discuss it openly: the people around me knew it. My parents weren’t stupid either.”

Currently with Mexican team, Tigres UANL, the player confessed: “I have always been open with my mother, but if that was difficult, I turned to my aunt, Carol, who was my confidante.”

The programme shows host Jesus Calleja and Hermoso travelling to Iceland. 

During the trip Hermoso opened up about her experiences a lesbian in football. 

Hermoso plays with the Spanish national team and Mexican side Tigres UANL. Photo: Cordon Press

She said: “In women’s football it is much easier to come out than in men’s football. Stereotypically, there’s the image of a footballer with a wife and kids. 

“Some male footballers have come out, but they have been met with a lot of hate. They aren’t inclined to talk about it because they are treated differently.”

Despite the revelations, Hermoso says she is currently single and is planning to stay that way after finding ‘stability’ through ‘loving’ and ‘being with’ herself. 

The Spanish forward also revealed her personal life had previously got in the way of her football performance. 

She said: “I was in love but now I’m not and I think it’s better that way. 

“I mixed my personal life and football. If something happened in my personal life, I was a disaster on the pitch.” 

The honest discussion comes some six months after Hermoso was thrust into the spotlight thanks to Spain’s World Cup win and the notorious ‘kiss-gate’ scandal. 

Former UEFA vice-president, Luis Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips during the Women’s World Cup award ceremony, sparking an international debate on consent. 

Rubiales became infamous after the ‘non-consensual’ World Cup kiss. Photo: Cordon Press

On September 6, Hermoso filed a criminal complaint against Rubiales. 

Two days later, prosecutors filed a lawsuit against him, alleging sexual assualt and coercion. 

Early this month, the Spanish footballer appeared before a judge at Madrid’s High Court to give a statement on the events. 

She restated the account she had previously to prosecutor, claiming the kiss was ‘at no time consensual’. 

Leaving the court, she said: “Now, everything is in the hands of the justice system. 

“The judicial process will continue its course, thank you for your support.”

If convicted under a 2022 sexual assualt law known as ‘Only Yes Means Yes’, Rubiales could face up to four years in prison. 

Rubiales has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and insists the kiss was ‘just a peck’. 

A judge imposed a restraining order on Rubiales in September and he has been banned from participating in football activity for at least three years. 

The ban will last until after the 2026 Men’s World Cup, but will expire before the next women’s edition in 2027.

Rubiales has recently claimed ‘everyone in the street is with me- especially the women!’

The ousted UEFA vice-president said: ““Everyone who stops me in the street says it’s a huge injustice.

“I think no one believes it was sexual assault, no one really believes Jenni Hermoso.”


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