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Minor League baseball player David Denson reveals that he is gay

By Micah Sulit

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Brewers prospect David Denson revealed that he is gay, making him the first openly gay active player on a team affiliated with Major League Baseball.

Denson came out to his teammates spontaneously after one of them jokingly referred to him with a gay slur. He grabbed the opportunity to have a conversation with his team and was relieved to hear that they fully supported him.

“Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them,” Denson told the Journal Sentinel. “They said, ‘You’re still our teammate. You’re still our brother. We kind of had an idea, but your sexuality has nothing to do with your ability. You’re still a ballplayer at the end of the day. We don’t treat you any different. We’ve got your back.’”


Throughout his coming out journey, Denson had support from out and retired player Billy Bean, the first ambassador for inclusion for Major League Baseball. It was with Bean’s help that Denson himself reached out to the local paper to tell his story.

Denson revealed how he came out to his family last spring – before coming out to his teammates – and how difficult it was to tell his “hard-core Christian” father.

“Coming out to my father was even harder than coming out to my teammates, because I knew how he felt about it,” he said. “He grew up in sports, and I heard him talk (in derogatory fashion) about gay guys. That was hard for me to hear at the time.

“But I’m his son and he said, ‘It’s your life and it’s who you are. I love you.’ There’s a difference between accepting it, and supporting it and respecting it. I know he loves me and supports me and has my back.”

Denson also admitted that he battled depression, sought counselling – which convinced him he needed to come out publicly – and feared condemnation from his peers.

“There was that stereotype stuck in my head that there would never be a gay player on a team. I was thinking that once they found out, they would shut me out or treat me different,” he said, adding that the struggle to hide his sexuality started to affect his performance on the field.

Now that he is out, Denson believes he can finally reach his full potential in the sport. “I think what I do on the field will matter more than my sexuality,” he said. “At the end of the day, if I’m playing well, why should I not get the same opportunity as anyone else?”

Read David Denson’s coming out interview in full here.

Denson wasn’t the only sportsman to come out as gay this weekend. Catch up on British rugby player Keeran Hirst’s coming out here.