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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. The message that comes through loud and clear is one we know well: it's lonely in the closet. Even more so when you are thousands of miles away from your home and your loved ones for an extended period of time. The pressure to hide the truth from team-mates must adversely affect the performance of these top athletes. Removing this burden reminds me of the infectious grin that Ricky Martin sports in every one of his current photos. The gay role model stuff is icing on the cake.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Feb 28, 2011 2:37:36 AM


  2. J you are being very cynical. The west isnt a gay utopia, there are still a lot of problems for us. Steven Davies stands to gain nothing professionally from this, it can only have a positive effect on his personal life.

    Its stil a risk professionally for sports people to come out. They compete internationally and can go to countries where its illegal to be gay. I happen to know there are at least 2 gay F1 drivers, one rather obviously bearded. They compete in the middle east now. Being openly gay there is not safe.

    Posted by: Rovex | Feb 28, 2011 3:07:32 AM


  3. Ok Rovex, that is the first time I've ever heard of supposedly gay drivers in F1, and 2 at that..

    can you drop a hint or two? I'm all ears :)

    Posted by: yadda yadda | Feb 28, 2011 3:52:03 AM


  4. I think it's great, regardless of what "J" says.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 28, 2011 4:13:18 AM


  5. I for one fully and wholly support this young mans decision to come out and be honest.

    He is a young man who would create a stir if he was seen out on the streets of London or elsewhere with another man and he would have faced exposure by the UK press.

    He deserves a right to live his life not worrying about the exposure that his choice of career has on his personal life and the only way to have control of that is to set the agenda.

    Whether he likes it, or those who do or do not follow him like it, or not - he is a famous sportsman in England and the wider world and is a role model to young people - coming out publically is a positive thing - allowing him to live and love honestly.

    Cricket isnt a mega bucks sport in the UK, few of the cricketers (and Davies is not one) are seen on the celeb circuit. He will earn enough to make a living but not the same as footballers.

    I think J is very wrong in his perception of what Davies' intentions were. I think Davies' interview with the Telegraph is startingly honest and very touching. I find J's "BS" comment derogatory and offensive.

    I perceive that J's comments are less about the honourable and inspiring disclosure that Davies has made and more about his feeling of insecurity wherever he lives that trap him in a situation in which he appears to either choose not to disclose or feels unable or unwilling to disclose. My cynicism of the integrity of J's comments would go further as I perceive it as lashing out and jealousy that Davies is in a position where he can come out.

    What we should be aiming for as a gay community is to ensure that globally everyone is given the opportunity to be honest about the orientation (including J) but are not required to disclose. This will require many countries to change their attitudes and move ahead in terms of gay rights ...

    Posted by: stu | Feb 28, 2011 4:50:16 AM


  6. Woah J, I rant about lady gaga but I do it in jeste, you are showing so much irrational anger for someone who you don't know and is possibly the least attention seeking sports player in the least attention seeking sport! Huh?! Yeah, look at him, what an attention seeker-you can see the arrogance dripping off.

    Didn't you hear what he said? Gareth Thomas inspired him. So imagine GT had never come out? He wouldn't have one so yet and young kids playing cricket would think f*gs wear pink and lisp-'they aren't like us!'

    Better still as has been put by Vikram, Cricket is huge in some of the most homophobic places in the World-Australia, India, South Africa and the West Indies.

    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 28, 2011 5:13:29 AM


  7. I don't buy J's argument that he's living in some dangerous non-Western country. The fact that he opts not to have sex "for health reasons" (never heard of a condom, J?) is the kicker. He clearly has serious issues.

    Posted by: Rick S. | Feb 28, 2011 6:19:55 AM


  8. There are so many people I have to respond to!!!

    Don't think I'll do so to all.Anyway,here's one to Rick S:

    Did I say DANGEROUS non-Western country? I didn't!

    As for not having sex for health reasons,it's partly(or largely) because I have severe acne vulgaris.I cant have the sex I want to have when I have lots of pimple on my chest,back and face.I don't want to end up bleeding and in pain.And you should know that exchanging these body fluids is unhygienic and dangerous.


    @Rovex:

    Yes,I know the West isn't a gay utophia socially and to an extent legally.In fact,ALL countries in the world is made up of homophobes(probably with the exception of The Netherlands and a couple of Northern European countries).

    And yes,I do know it's risk to come out and put his professional career in jeopardy.Silly of him I say.Where's his self-respect? I know you collectivists will say oh he's sacrificing his career by doing good for society bla bla bla,but in the individualistic West,every individual is responsible for the happyness and well being of him or herself.

    I just hate these celebs with god complexes going around telling others to do good when they're not saints themselves and the public being so gullible by it,mindlessly kissing their asses.

    Posted by: J | Feb 28, 2011 7:25:37 AM


  9. I think that the news is great - the more role models the better especially in sport. And by the way cricket is big here in England and huge in India, Sri Lanka, Austalia, Pakistan and parts of the West Indies.

    I had heard one F1 driver and his "girlfriend", do not know if it is true, as for the other driver never heard about him.

    The big one is football i suspect it is still a few years away and as for US major sports...

    Posted by: arch | Feb 28, 2011 7:29:00 AM


  10. Great article here. http://bit.ly/grJsaA

    Posted by: hassia | Feb 28, 2011 8:08:18 AM


  11. It is very good sport men come out.
    He seems a fine young man.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Feb 28, 2011 9:22:56 AM


  12. The captain of the England & Wales cricket team gave an interview to Attitude magazine a few months ago (and posed naked in a multi-storey car park). He said that he felt cricket didn't have a homophobic culture, and was fairly sure that cricketers would start coming out soon. Looks like he was right.

    TRiG.

    Posted by: Timothy (TRiG) | Feb 28, 2011 9:32:43 AM


  13. J, that's not acne. It's your stupidity trying to escape.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 28, 2011 9:46:56 AM


  14. J.. Self respect will come FROM coming out. Sorry, but you really have it backwards.

    As for the F1 drivers, well one is an ex-champion with a rather visible girlfriend, the other is more obviously gay..

    Posted by: Rovex | Feb 28, 2011 10:50:17 AM


  15. Rovex,

    I agree with your reply to J.

    I have heard about the F1 former champion driver with the high profile "girlfriend", but who is the "obviously gay" one - must have missed that...

    Posted by: arch | Feb 28, 2011 11:35:07 AM


  16. I doubt anyone more than myself loaths celebrities, and not because I read about them or saw them on TV. My experiances are personal, one on one. I don't need to go down the list of their lackings to validate that they are mostly deeply flawed people. That said, some of the few times that these celebrities redeem themselves is when they use their undeserved attention from the masses for a good, and not self serving purpose. I applaud any sports figure that has the balls to come out, as that world has always been a bastion of bigotry. I also truely believe that any person that has NOT come out has absolutely NO right to critique someone that has. Alot of us "Out" Gay men came from horrific situations. We created a better space for ourselves, and supportive enviorn out of sheer courage.The same could be said of how Gay's faced the challenges of disease and illness, and continue to transcend these difficulties to create a world where we can have the respect and rights so long denighed us. Perhaps it was cathardic for "J" to spout his ill formed views. I hope it helped him. Although,that is the only grace he deserves. "J"'s judgements are invalid, and he might do well to STFU, and form some kind of a backbone. It is exactly this sort of spineless idiot, standing on the path paved by others bravery, blathering whiney 'concepts' of what it is to be Gay, when in fact this pathetic fool hasn't had the guts to face his own trials. "J", please don't make us suffer your comments, until you really have something to say.

    Posted by: booka | Feb 28, 2011 12:01:08 PM


  17. @J - did you even read the linking article? As mentioned above he donated the interview fees to charity. NSPCC - A UK child abuse charity.

    When did you become SO cynical? Can't you see that there is much to cheer abuout this story? No one is asking you to buy subscritpion to Cricket TV. Now move on.

    Posted by: Paul Mc | Feb 28, 2011 1:04:09 PM


  18. J seems to be young and uninformed, plus he lives in a country where he feels the need to live in the closet. That's his personal hell, I for one applaud any public figure who decides to share his or her coming out story. It is uplifting for the young gay closeted readers to see that all stereotypes are wrong. Good for Davies!

    Posted by: Ish | Feb 28, 2011 1:30:36 PM


  19. I like this debate here between J and... well, the entire Towleroad reader-base.

    As long as it's civil, the discussions raises some insightful, interesting and engaging points. On both sides.

    But let's keep it civil, children, and don't go for the obvious puerile personal attacks.

    Posted by: Jedi | Feb 28, 2011 4:11:14 PM


  20. @ j... youre from the Philippines right? the grammar and syntax sounds very filipino.. and despite acceptance (more like 2nd class citizen acceptance) of the 'third' sex in the Philippines.. the majority are still in the closet because of its vicious catholicism.. they even have a new law that you can only buy condoms with a prescription..

    @rovex.. spill the beans man.. please!!!!! just the letters..pretty please? :)

    Posted by: yadda yadda | Feb 28, 2011 5:07:08 PM


  21. Good for him- he seems nice and cute kind of reminds me of the Met's David Wright ( now if he came out...)

    Posted by: jaragon | Feb 28, 2011 6:29:29 PM


  22. Ok the first F1 driver is obviosnow. Whenever i see his 'girlfirend' on screen i say, 'oh is mother is with him again' (she looks older and platic.

    The second got a reputation for crashing a bit last year, and drove for a 'powerful, subcontinental Asian' team..

    Posted by: Rovex | Mar 1, 2011 3:19:39 AM


  23. Oh dear keyboard battery fail.. Sorry for the spelling!

    Posted by: Rovex | Mar 1, 2011 3:21:24 AM


  24. damnit, still not sure about the first one..hmmm.. MH?

    the second one I get, lol, He's my compatriot.. Hot and also a very good classical pianist.. the shoe fits, Great! :)

    Posted by: yadda yadda | Mar 1, 2011 3:49:55 AM


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