Out of Bounds for 20 Years, Gay Soccer Player David Testo Decided It Was Finally Time to Come Out. He Hasn’t Played Since
Out of Bounds for 20 Years, Gay Soccer Player David Testo Lived a Closeted Life. in November, He Decided It Was Finally Time to Come Out. and He Hasn’t Played Professionally Since. « Sigmund, Carl and Alfred
He tiptoes around the dark laminate floor barefoot. His boyfriend Romain and his best friend Steven are up front. The four others in his yoga class don’t know about the past he pushes out of his body with every “Hoooommmmm.” They don’t know what he was. His giant calves, poking out of his bloused sweat pants, give him away, but only if they knew to look for them. He isn’t built like a soccer player, after all. He looks more like a male gymnast, an upside down triangle stacked atop barrel quads. His heavy, bassy voice gently guides them through their contortions. When he cracks open a window, the sound of cars ripping through puddles washes over the room.
Downstairs is a health food store - the sort that burns incense and displays carefully-placed crystals. Across the grimy street at La Pataterie you can get a hamburger for $1.89 or a hotdog for 89 cents. A few blocks up the road, squatting in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium sits newly-renovated Saputo Stadium, his would-be place of work. Where the Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer plays on without him.
In the corner of the tiny studio a shrine to a Hindu guru marks the spot against the brick wall where he unwrapped his secret for all the world to see last November. Where he drew a final constricted breath and expelled all the negativity by telling the CBC-Radio Canada camera that he was gay. That he hadn’t chosen to be. But that this was just who he was.
David Testo doesn’t remember anything from before the day his dad died of colon cancer, when he was 10. But from that day onward, he knew a few other things to be true. One, his father was gone. Two, he was gay. And three, he would pay a terrible penitence for it.
He wasn’t quite sure what it meant to be gay. In his confusion, he sometimes dressed up in his mom’s high heels. He could only imagine being with other boys, recognizing himself in what his surroundings railed against. The Bible, the only truth in his pious Baptist community down in North Carolina, was pretty clear on the evil of homosexuality: “Thou shalt not lie with the male as one lieth with a woman: for it is abomination,” Leviticus, 18:22. Even though the Testos, now consisting of just David, his mother Judy and his older sister Angela, had stopped going to church when his dad died, he remained a devout believer. He had a wooden chest in his bedroom that contained cherished possessions - bible verse and drawings he’d made on his own that read “I love Jesus.” But what he loved, he was told, hated him.