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I'm Gay: Professional English Cricketer Steven Davies Comes Out of the Closet in a First for the Sport

Davies

English cricketer Steven Davies has come out of the closet, becoming the first professional athlete in that sport to do so, in an interview with The Telegraph:

In a frank and moving interview with Monday’s Daily Telegraph, Davies, who started his professional cricketing career with Worcestershire when he was 18, said he could no longer bear to lie about his sexuality. Davies, who told his family he was gay five years ago and has enjoyed their complete support, said it was a huge relief to finally come clean and be honest with the wider public.

And he said he hoped his decision would help other young gay people to have the confidence to follow in his footsteps. He explained: “This is the right time for me…I feel it is right to be out in the open about my sexuality. If more people do it, the more acceptable it will become. That must be a good thing.”

Davies said he has received much support from his teammates, and cited Welsh rugby icon Gareth Thomas as inspiration for his coming out.

Thomas, who came out last year, expressed support for Davies:

"I am really happy for Steve and pleased that he has had the strength and courage to be able to come out and be open and honest about who he is, and to see that he has the support of his family and teammates in doing it, like I did. When you are a professional sportsman you have to be 100 per cent in the moment, and I know that I played many years of 90 per cent in the moment and 10 per cent listening to the crowd. That’s why it’s good for young sports people to come out early and be the best they possibly can through their career. There comes a point where you think that the whole world is against you, and then you say to yourself “I can carry on in this dark little world or I can be honest with everybody and live the life I want.”

Watch Davies discuss his decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Wow, Gareth Thomas coming out has had a HUGE influence on people coming out. Times like this you understand why people need to be out and proud.

    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 27, 2011 8:14:30 PM


  2. I think this is bad taste,really.


    Does he have to come out publicly? Who does he think he is?

    And don't give me that "I want to help others" BS.

    I understand that they can help others and generally make the world a better place.

    But these celebs are not saints.And they don't do enough with their altruistic work.They don't give a lot of money and they only do the easy work : lending name,face and voice to causes.Not going out there to do the dirty tough work.

    It just screams of hypocrisy.

    Posted by: J | Feb 27, 2011 8:29:16 PM


  3. @J I don't think it is in bad taste, there are a lot of people who look up to this guy. In the super macho world of sports and its institutionalized homophobia, he has done more than you know by this one act.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Feb 27, 2011 8:52:54 PM


  4. Oh god! What do I say in response to you,Wayne?


    Why do we need a celeb to justify things? TO be the leader in change? Because they can.Yes I know that.

    But what about educating people about life and letting them realize that being gay is not wrong and that in the UK,it is not a crime to have sex with a person of the same-sex or to have a relationship with a person of the same-sex too?

    The UK has fully decriminalize homosexuality and science says that it's not wrong to be gay,I think that's enough for the UK homos to use to be themselves and make the most out of life.

    Again,this gay cricketer is not a saint for sure.It's opportunistic.

    Posted by: J | Feb 27, 2011 9:10:59 PM


  5. @J, and what have you done that is so altruistically wonderful it entitles you to crap all over other people?

    I came out in 2001, when I was 15. At that point, the ONLY people I'd heard of who were officially out were Ellen Degeneres and Ian McKellen. It was a horrifically lonely time for me, and if I'd known that a young gay athlete at the height of his career was out and proud, it would have made my life much, much less isolating, depressing, and hopeless.

    These people, whether you like it or not, are beacons of hope to all the gay kids out there who are just coming out--or even for the ones who are out and proud but lonely and isolated. All the family acceptance in the world doesn't negate the feeling that you're literally the only one. Actions like this do.

    So please keep your ego to yourself and either make the world better, or STFU and let us do it without you.

    Posted by: Jeremy | Feb 27, 2011 9:11:09 PM


  6. J is one of the trolls reborn people, pay him no mind.

    Posted by: Cory | Feb 27, 2011 9:34:25 PM


  7. Personally, I find what this young athelete has done quite courageous. I find J quite petty and jealous and the question J should answer is what has he personally done for the cause other than spout off anonymously on a gay blog?

    We need more courageous young men who play professional sports to come out and serve as role models. We need petty little people like J to just grow up and not criticize someone who, in their own way, is trying to make a difference.

    That being said, I wish Steven Davies every success and applaud his courage. I'm quite appreciative and proud to have you as part of our community. J, not so much.

    Posted by: Bob R | Feb 27, 2011 9:44:35 PM


  8. To Jeremy,

    I am not crapping all over others.I'm being criticial and skeptical.

    You said :
    "It was a horrifically lonely time for me, and if I'd known that a young gay athlete at the height of his career was out and proud, it would have made my life much, much less isolating, depressing, and hopeless".

    And :
    "or even for the ones who are out and proud but lonely and isolated".

    An athlete coming out won't change your or others' life of loneliness and isolation,you know?
    YOU DO! YOU have to do something about it.

    By the way,what country are you from?


    And to Cory,just because I am critical and skeptical doesn't make me a troll.I am not going to mindlessly praise and worship anyone who goes out to "help" gays because there is a good chance these people are insincere about it and are exploiting it.

    I notice,that when a straight male celeb publicly supports gay marriage or gays,many of us gays just go gaga over them when you don't even know whether they're being honest about it.

    Posted by: J | Feb 27, 2011 9:50:41 PM


  9. wow J, who pissed in your cereal this morning?

    Posted by: jersey | Feb 27, 2011 10:07:17 PM


  10. @BobR:

    "We need more courageous young men who play professional sports to come out and serve as role models. We need petty little people like J to just grow up and not criticize someone who, in their own way, is trying to make a difference."

    Serve as role models? People who become athletes do so because they want to play sports,not to become role models.

    I prefer what Drew Barrymore,the actress,chose as the tagline of one of her films : "Be Your Own Hero".

    As I've said before,celebrities can be of help,but I think it's important for individuals to find their own voice and not be dependent on society for their self-esteem.

    Posted by: J | Feb 27, 2011 10:19:32 PM


  11. @J, you don't need to be a troll to act like one. You also don't need to be a human with with hints of empathy, but you can act like one. Or, I guess, you can't.

    Moving on to something worthy of my time: I fully respect any major sports figure who comes out, especially if it empowers many other gay athletes to come out. Young straight (and gay) people look up to sports figures, actors, and even politicians. They always have, and they always will. It's a fact. And when gay leaders come out, they make the world more accepting. Win-win.

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 27, 2011 10:20:43 PM


  12. Thinking about it,what's next for Steven Davies? More media coverage : Magazine covers,talk show appearances,public appearances at celeb events,more articles,more fame and money....

    I think HE,personally is going to benefit from his coming out.Not the gays.After all,us gays have so much visibility these days.Not a single day goes by without an article concerning us.That will help the homosexual community.

    It seems to me that you guys think I'm hating on him.I'm not.I'm just critical on these celebrity goddessy acts.

    Posted by: J | Feb 27, 2011 10:26:19 PM


  13. Oh J, I assume you're not out to anyone in your family, or any of your friends, or any of your coworkers? You just go for hookups and keep it all on the down-low to yourself? Where have you been the last 20 years?

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Feb 27, 2011 10:27:38 PM


  14. btw this Davies guy is a cutie...

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Feb 27, 2011 10:28:22 PM


  15. It's not easy to lie about it. My first year of college i had a str8 roomate and felt the need to lie about it. Turns out they put it together and hate you even more cause you lied.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 27, 2011 10:30:22 PM


  16. @DerekPearce:

    Yes! I am not out to anyone in my life.The stacks are against me : I don't live in a Western country,you know?

    But I don't go for hook ups and keep it all on down the low because I'm single and celibate(for health reasons)

    Oh and the last 20 years? I was just a little one!

    Posted by: J | Feb 27, 2011 10:53:48 PM


  17. Well J that explains a lot. I won't judge you as you don't live in a Western country, it's understandable that you're not out. But by the same token, you shouldn't judge those of us in the West who DO come out. It's a case of you-don't-know-what-you're-missing. The initial sense of relief, followed by the freedom, is something every gay person on earth deserves.

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Feb 27, 2011 11:21:15 PM


  18. @DerekPearce:

    I'm not judging him for just coming out,but for doing it publicly because....look at my posts^^^

    "The initial sense of relief, followed by the freedom, is something every gay person on earth deserves."

    I don't think so : I don't want to share my homosexuality with anyone.I want to keep them in the dark.I don't forgive.

    Posted by: J | Feb 27, 2011 11:32:50 PM


  19. Congrats to Steven! Very proud of him. Ignoring everything else.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 27, 2011 11:49:43 PM


  20. J, I don't know where you live or how much you know about cricket, but I doubt there was any celebrity opportunism in Davies coming out. He's an English cricketer and there is not a vast amount of money chasing English cricketers - footballers, get it all.

    He's not in the team for the cricket World Cup that's going on in India at the moment (though he has been part of the national team). He just seems to be a young guy spending some years following his passion and is hardly a major name, outside cricketing circles. And he could easily have continued in them without coming out.

    But he did, and I think that shows sincerity and wanting to be open and knowing it can make a difference through the impact it might have with cricket fans - and sports fans in general. Also keep in mind that the centre for cricket these days is the Indian subcontinent where we're fighting some basic battles for gay rights.

    So when a cricketer comes out, even he's not an Indian cricketer, it brings the issue to the attention of a lot of people we might not have otherwise reached or really connected with, exactly at the time we need that most (in fact, apart from being opportune in terms of gay battles, its also great in terms of news, since the World Cup has started here, so the demand for cricket stories is high).

    I'm sure most of this didn't occur to Davies, but its part of the impact from what he did, and I think that's great.

    Posted by: Vikram in Mumbai | Feb 27, 2011 11:57:52 PM


  21. The more people in positions like him who come out, the better. It really helps dispel stereotyped myths about how gay men are supposed to look, act, talk like,etc.,

    I wish him well.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 28, 2011 12:20:14 AM


  22. VIKRAM in MUMBAI: well said!

    Posted by: shane | Feb 28, 2011 12:31:27 AM


  23. People fear what they don't know. Today they know another gay man and fear has taken another blow!

    Congratulations Steven, you have reclaimed your power and shed light on the darkness that is homophobia.

    Posted by: truthteller | Feb 28, 2011 2:27:57 AM


  24. I can't wait for my partner to read this! We're Australian, and my partner, as well as being a cricket fan, plays for his local club. Despite the many areas in which social awareness of homosexuality has increased in our [metropolitan] society, the sporting world really is still very homophobic. Like the UK and US there are only a handful of out athletes. As cricket is so popular here, I'm hoping this will raise awareness and promote discussion amongst male sports fans, and hopefully one day my partner will feel as welcome and safe to share details of his intimate life with his straight mates at the Club as they do with each other!
    So yeah, good on Steven Davies :)

    Posted by: Chaq | Feb 28, 2011 2:29:28 AM


  25. VIKRAM puts the cricketing aspects brilliantly.

    J is quite wrong.

    There is still a lot of homophobia in the UK even though the legal position has improved. The more people in high profile positions that come out, the easier it becomes for ordinary people in everyday life.

    And as for Davies doing it for selfish reasons - he donated his fee to charity!

    Posted by: andypet | Feb 28, 2011 2:35:56 AM


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