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Congratulations to British race car driver Danny Watts for coming out publicly as a gay man

It’s always a great day when someone in the public eye decides on their own to come out publicly. British race car driver Danny Watts retired after the 2016 season and opened up to Daily Sports Car about his decision. Here is an excerpt: Q. You also kicked off a new phase of your life by going public about your homosexuality. What led you to take that decision?

A. Now I’ve finished driving it has made it a lot easier to come out of the closet. It’s been hard living two separate lives, as motor racing is very macho. It wasn’t the right time when I was competing, as there was always the worry of sponsors and the team not being LGBT friendly. Aside from that, having hid it for ages, which has been depressing, lonely and tiresome, something inside said, “Right, if you’re going to be happy, then you need to get this massive weight off your shoulders. So do the right thing, and be brave, so you can live life in a happier and stress-free way.” Thinking of the best way of coming out was a difficult decision. I could have kept it quiet, not said anything and carried as normal, or just put [my] cards on the table so everyone knows and get ready for the reactions… but at least it kind of won’t be an ongoing saga of explaining to every Tom, Dick and Harry. So the latter is what I decided was best.

I told the people closest to me first, obviously, and as I expected they were shocked but supportive of my decision.

Q. Looking back, do you think you could have gone public while you were still racing?

A. I think the biggest reason why I didn’t do it sooner is the fact that you don’t know if the sponsors are going to be accepting of it and that could affect getting drives as well as affecting spirit within a team environment and whether relationships would be made awkward to the detriment of the squad. I have to say, it’s been terrifying getting to this stage and not the best feeling in the world. I’ve struggled to sleep with sheer worry about people’s thoughts and how they will now see me. But longer term, once the initial horror has passed, I hope people will be accepting and cool with it, and I can carry on doing what I really enjoy doing the most, which is coaching drivers and trying to maximise their potential. I’m aware and understand that some people are going to take it in a less positive way, so I guess that’s fair enough and I’ll see who my mates and friends really are.

FILE UNDER: Coming Out


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3 Remarks

  1. Awesome! Congrats on coming out, Danny Watts. In this day and age, I don’t understand people being shocked about someone coming out. Hopefully it paves the way for other race car drivers and other LGBT athletes will be able to be out and open during their career and not after.

  2. Good for you matey. Wish you had come out when you were racing. Still, I’m happy for you and this will hopefully change a few minds in the racing world.

  3. Congrats to you for your very successful career and your courage in coming out, better late than never, and who knows how many others will benefit and follow you. We all need a hero now and then.Now, it is you!

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