British race car driver Danny Watts just came out as gay. Watts is the highest-profile European racing driver to come out so far.
In an interview with Motorsports.com, Watts says, “You feel like you have to hide it within motorsport because it’s a very masculine sport. There was something burning inside that said ‘right, you can’t hide it anymore, you’ve got to be free and be true to yourself and let it go out there.”
Watts says although they were initially shocked, his family and friends are supportive of his decision to come out. “I told close family members and friends. There was obviously shock to start with but people were also very supportive, which was nice. So I thought if they’re cool with it, let’s go with it.”
But watts still struggled with the decision to come out publicly. “The biggest thing is worrying what people will think and how they’ll portray you, how they’ll act around you,” said Watts. “It’s stupid things like thinking do I go and shake hands with people, will they shake your hand back?”
Now retired, Watts says his decision to come out publicly was easier because he is no longer competing. Matt Beer writes, “He admitted making the announcement felt ‘easier now I’ve stopped racing’ as he had been concerned about how sponsors and teams might react.”
“You can either keep it secret in racing and have your separate life where your close friends and family know, or you can just go all out and say ‘there you go, my cards are on the table, take it or leave it’,” Watts said.
“At least I can get into bed at night not having to think about it and know that it’s out in the open and I can live life a lot happier.”
We are really happy for Danny Watts. We think he will have no trouble finding someone to get in bed with at night.