Montana State football and rugby player Brandon Davis, has come out as gay in an open letter published on Outsports.
Davis left the Louisiana Tech football team because he felt he couldn’t come out as gay there and says he was finally able to come out of the closet when he arrived at Montana State.
“I always told myself I’d come out my freshman year of college,” said Davis, “playing Division I football put that on hold.”
“Growing up I thought being different was normal,” he writes. “I realized that I was attracted to guys in elementary school, but it wasn’t until about eight grade taking sex education classes that I knew it for sure. Being involved with sports, I thought it would be best to keep that side of me hidden, only to avoid conflict with my teammates. Not that I cared about what they thought, I just thought it didn’t need to be announced because it wasn’t relevant to getting the job done for winning a game. While it may have avoided some kind of conflict, internally that did a number on me.”
Davis says he was always really good at sports, and when he arrived at Louisiana Tech, he was given the shot to play along side two other great running backs – Tevin King and Kenneth Dixon. Despite his athletic abilities and the exhilaration of playing in front of 40,000 people, Davis says “something was eating at me.”
“In high school I told myself I’d come out my freshman year in college. I didn’t want to let myself down. So after becoming really close to one of my teammates I felt we were close enough that he could be the first person I told. Before I told him I wanted to see how he would react, so I asked how he would feel having a gay teammate.”
I pushed the pause button on my commitment to come out.
After finishing my freshman year at Louisiana Tech, I just wasn’t very happy there. The school was great, but I needed a new scene. So I got in touch with another coach at Montana State University in Bozeman, where I was offered a full ride scholarship to play football. This was like a dream come true, to be given another opportunity to play at another Division I school without the burden of paying for it myself.
Yet going to Montana State was, for a while, the most depressing time of my life. I never got the chance to finish out a full season because my knees started to give out on me, resulting in two ACL tears and surgeries. I was also depressed being in such a small town and hiding who I was. The depression got so bad that I was loosing weight and not taking my football workouts seriously. I resorted to pills.
The injuries and depression caused a halt to my athletic career. I just couldn’t handle all the surgeries and stress, and my mind was just racing every day thinking about being a gay athlete. So between my sophomore and junior year in college, my coaches and I officially agreed that my career in football was finished.
The end to my football career was bittersweet, because I finally felt it was time to stop hiding who I was. I started talking to guys using online dating apps to possibly meet with others who identified themselves as gay. Once I even brought a guy around my teammates, but we were super discreet.
This same guy was the reason for my coming out. Being that I was new to the whole “gay scene,” I fell pretty hard for this guy. Then out of no where, he cut me off on all forms of communication leaving me confused and scared as hell. I thought he was gathering information to out me in front of everybody to black mail me. I was the definition of paranoid at this point. This caused me to have consistent thoughts of suicide, and my GPA dropped drastically.
Continue reading Davis’ story on Outsports.
Watch his coming out story below: