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Swiss Football Referee Pascal Erlachner Comes out of the Closet
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of December 13, 2017) Pascal Erlachner, age 37, came out of the closet as the first gay referee in Switzerland. Here is some background information.
Many people in Pascal Erlachner’s environment knew already that he was gay: Fellow referees, players, coaches and club officials. He has worked as a referee since 2010 and has never hidden his homosexuality or his boyfriend.
Pascal Erlachner, in his main job a physical education instructor, refs in the Swiss Raiffeisen Super League on the side. His family has known about him for seven years and fully supports him. However, he had not been out to his fellow teachers and pupils yet.
Erlachner’s public coming out a couple of days ago made him a star in the eyes of the Swiss LGBT organizations, and the media virtually jumped at him.
He does not mind little jokes about him but would not hesitate to show the red card to any player calling him a fag or a fucking twat.
Erlacher lives in the Swiss canton of Aargau and decided to come out of the closet particularly because homosexuality is still an enormous taboo in the world of football – in Switzerland just as anywhere else, and he wants to change peoples’ mentality in football.
Although he intends to be a role model, he leaves it to everyone’s own decision whether to come out or not. Of course, he knows other gays in football, and many more are likely to confide in him now that he has made this important move.
“I hope my coming out will cause a public debate,” he says, and we hope that other referees and players will soon follow his lead.
There are not many openly gay professional referees in the world of sports, particularly not in football – such as Ryan Atkin in the UK. Some have had very bad experience, such as Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ in Turkey who was banned from his profession by the Turkish Soccer Association, or Juan Tomillero in Spain who resigned from his referee job.