Robert Hampton

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28th February 2011

All out at 24
Posted by at 1.10pm | 4 responses | Gay

Here’s a good news story to start the week, as England cricketer Steven Davies reveals that he – ahem – bats for the other team:-

The 24-year-old Surrey player said he had decided to make the announcement after months of personal conflict.

In a frank and moving interview with today’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.

I like to think that it was James Anderson’s nude photoshoot for Attitude a few months back that helped him along. In fact, I just like to think about James Anderson’s nude photoshoot.

The extended interview with Davies is well worth reading, even for non-cricket fans. It’s a textbook example of the problems faced by someone who is hiding their sexuality. The misery of being in the closet is a situation I can sympathise with.

In dressing rooms, hotel rooms and coffee bars he felt uncomfortable and dreaded being asked even the most innocuous questions about his love life. “Sooner or later, the conversation would come round to whether I had a girlfriend. I was scared of that. I could never be totally relaxed.”

Some will dismiss his announcement as unimportant and irrelevant. Maybe, in an ideal world, it would be. At this moment in time, however, the reality is that gay people in the world of sport face huge barriers which still need much work to break down. So well done to Steven Davies – not just for coming out, but for doing it in the Daily Telegraph of all papers. Retired colonels up and down the country will have been choking on their marmalade at breakfast.

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4 Responses
  1. Comment by Jamie
    28th February 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I’m trying to remember the last time I was in any way in the closet. I’m pretty sure that, after I came out to my mum when I was 19 (the last of all to know) I’ve been fully out ever since.

    I’m sure the “dreading ‘being asked even the most innocuous questions'” phase must have existed before then, but it seems life a whole other lifetime ago.

    Coming out is an odd process, and one that only gay people have to go through, so it scares people silly. But it’s worth it in every single way.

    Although it shouldn’t be scary. After all, those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.

  2. Comment by Jamie
    28th February 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Also, that link to the Daily Mail. It seems odd somehow. It’s, well, I don’t know, it’s like… positive about homosexuality or something.

    How did that get past the Mail’s Army of Viciousness?

  3. Comment by Robert
    28th February 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I think Melanie Phillips was off sick that day.

  4. Pingback by Friends in Hysén Places « Robert Hampton
    4th May 2011 at 6:57 pm

    […] of Attitude is out now and features an interview with two newly out sportsmen – cricketer Steven Davies and footballer Anton […]