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Welsh swimmer Dan Jervis comes out as gay ahead of Commonwealth Games

29 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Dan Jervis. Photo Ian Rutherford PA Images

The 26-year-old Welsh ace, who won 1500m freestyle silver and bronze at the 2014 and 2018 Games in Glasgow and Australia’s Gold Coast respectively, is set to compete at his third Commonwealths.

Jervis, who finished fifth on his Olympic debut last year in Tokyo, said: “It took me 24 years to be who I am.

“I was adjusting to everything else, just trying to fit in – until I thought: ‘Just be you.’

“You know, we’re just before the Commonwealth Games and there are going to be kids and adults watching who will know that I’m like them, and that I’m proud of who I am.”

‘I hated who I was’

Jervis, who was speaking on the BBC’s LGBT Sport Podcast, added: “For so long, I hated who I was – and you see it all the time, people who are dying over this. They hate themselves so much that they’re ending their lives.

“So if I can just be that someone people can look at and say, ‘yeah, they’re like me,’ then that’s good.”

Jervis said he revealed his sexuality to a close friend when he was 24.

He continued: “At that point, I’d never said the words out loud to myself.

“I said to her: ‘I think I’m gay.’ I couldn’t even say: ‘I’m gay.’ I was basically punching the words out.

“She was quite shocked but great, and it was exactly the reaction I wanted. I’ve had all good reactions, and the way I’ve described it is I’m not going to change as a person.

“Everyone’s journey is different, but I think I’ve always known.

“It was something in the back of my mind, bugging me. I thought I was bisexual and had girlfriends that I loved – but it came to about three years ago where I knew I had to deal with this.

“It wasn’t affecting my swimming, but me as a human being. It sounds quite drastic, but I wasn’t enjoying my life. Yeah, I was smiling, but there was something missing to make me properly happy.

“I’m still the Dan you’ve always known. You just know something else about me now.”

Jervis will be in action for Wales at the Commonwealth Games which begin in Birmingham on July 28.

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
2 years ago

I am so glad this young man feels that he can be out and no doubt it will be good for young athletes and people in general who are scared that their sexuality is something to be ashamed of, it’s truly a joyous thing… One day, society will be a place where there will be no need to come out, your sexuality will just be a thing that is, like ones eye colour, it will be mentioned in passing, the same way we talk about a preference for tea aor coffee* and on that day straight people will be much… Read more »

David Harking
David Harking
2 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

It’s Victorian Gentlethey, not gentleman.

2 years ago

A move that will i am sure help others in their own life’s journey to find happiness and their inner self 🍀

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
2 years ago

Dymunaf bob lwc i’r dyn ifanc yma yn ei yrfa fel athletwr a phob lwc iddo fe hefyd yn ei fywyd rhamantus. Boed e’n hapus yn y ddau faes! ~ I wish the best of luck to this young man in his career as an athlete and also wish him the best of luck in his romantic life. May he be happy in both areas!

2 years ago

I saw a tweet once which suggested “coming out” should be rephrased as “letting people in”. The latter demonstrates that homophobic viewpoints from decades ago are no longer relevant in the UK (members of the LGBTQ+ community both who are and more frequently who aren’t covered by G or L will rightfully raise eyebrows and objections at this statement – we have some way to go yet), that making assumptions about someone’s sexuality is the weird thing, and that telling people your sexuality is just sharing something about yourself with people you want to share it with. It’s our privilege’s… Read more »

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