David Denson, Brewers minor-leaguer, comes out gay

Mon. August 17, 2015 8:54 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

david denson comes out publicly

photo credit // mlb.com

David Denson is the first active player affiliated with an MLB organization to come out publicly.

Milwaukee, WI - Helena Brewers infielder David Denson announced Saturday that he's gay, making him the first active player in affiliated professional baseball to publicly come out of the closet. The Helena Brewers is the advanced rookie affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

In a Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel profile, Denson, 20, explained how he recently came out to his teammates.

After a teammate jokingly referred to him using a gay slur, Denson cautioned, " Be careful what you say.You never know."

The comment led to an announcement."Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them," Denson said."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.'"

"That was a giant relief for me. I never wanted to feel like I was forcing it on them. It just happened. The outcome was amazing. It was nice to know my teammates see me for who I am, not my sexuality."

Denson reached out to Billy Bean, who came out after he retired from baseball and last year was named MLB's first Ambassador for Inclusion, for advice on coming out publicly.

"I'm excited to see David not have to worry about all of that," Bean said. "He can just tell the truth all the time. That's a huge relief. When your life is a secret, you have to navigate on what levels of truth you're allowed to share.And that becomes exhausting."

Denson told his parents in the spring.

"They weren't too happy about it at first, though I think they sort of knew since I was little. They were afraid I'd be judged. ...It was harder on my dad than my mom. He's a very hard-core Christian and he goes off the Bible and all that, which I completely understand, growing up in the church. I'm a Christian myself."

"But I'm his son and he said, 'It's your life and it's who you are. I love you,'" Denson said.

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