14 Sep 2020
Former Bath wing Levi Davis has become the first openly bisexual professional rugby player.
Davis, who played for England at U18 and U19 levels, signed for Bath in 2017. He made eight appearances for the club and recently joined English Championship club, the Ealing Trailfinders.
In April, during the lockdown, every Bath player received a WhatsApp message from the 22-year-old.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Davis explained: 'I had hidden it well but I couldn’t keep it secret any longer. I had to tell them, all of them, not just a few. I didn’t want it to turn into Chinese whispers. So, on the spur of the moment, I put it on our WhatsApp group.'
The message read: ‘Hi guys. I just want to tell you something that’s been eating away at me for four years now. I want to be open and honest with you boys, as friends and teammates. I’m bisexual. It’s something I have known since I was 18.'
Jokingly he signed off, 'None of you lot are on my radar ... so it’s OK’.
Davis said he received a flood of supportive messages:
'This changes nothing.'
'Mate, we support you.’
‘You’re really brave.’
‘Fair play to you.’
Then the banter began, which Davis said he was relieved about.
'If they had been too tender-hearted, I would have been worried. I’m still a rugby player, after all!’
Davis thanked Bath for supporting him over the last year as his mental health suffered and he turned to heavy drinking.
'Thankfully we can now discuss mental health more openly. And in the same way, I want people to feel that they can be who they are and that it is OK to be who they are.
'Hiding who you are can kill you – and has killed people.
'I don’t know yet where I am going, but by talking today I can walk hand-in-hand with whoever I want and it won’t matter any more because it’s out there.
'I realise, though, that I am a bit niche and difficult to categorise: a black, bisexual, privately educated rugby professional.
'Even in the deepest darkest depths, I’ve always thought I was destined for good things – and that I’d somehow make it."
‘This could have ended up killing me, but it hasn’t.'
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