Brewers Prospect David Denson Makes History by Coming Out As Gay


About a month ago, 20-year-old David Denson, a first baseman in the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league system, made an impromptu decision that started him down a historic path. When one of Denson’s teammates on the Helena Brewers jokingly called him a derogatory name for a gay man, Denson told his teammate, “Be careful what you say. You never know.”

A few minutes later, Denson found himself surrounded by his Helena Brewers teammates as he explained that, yep, he’s gay.

Denson’s coming out wasn’t entirely unplanned. He had been concealing his sexuality since getting drafted in 2013, and by spring training this year the secret was weighing so heavily upon him that he felt he was on the verge of a mental breakdown. After discussing his issues with a counsellor provided by the team, he came to the decision that he had to tell the Brewers organization his secret. So he arranged a meeting with the Brewers farm director and single-A coach and spilled the beans.

That meeting went incredibly well, with the Brewers officials telling him that they support him, and that his sexuality was his business. However, Denson still felt like he was hiding from his teammates. So when the opportunity presented itself that day in the locker room, he took it.

His teammates echoed the same sentiments as the Brewers officials. They all told him they didn’t care—that he was their teammate, and that they had his back. So Denson decided it was time to take things a step further and come out publicly, so that the weight of hiding his true self might be completely taken off his shoulders.

To do that, Denson contacted Bill Bean, a former gay major leaguer and MLB’s official “Ambassador for Inclusion.” And with Bean’s advice, Denson reached the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to see if they would like to tell his story.

Obviously, they said yes. So here we are.

Denson is not the first active openly gay ballplayer. In June, a pitcher named Sean Conroy with the Sonoma Stompers of the independent Pacific Association revealed that he was gay. However, the Stompers are not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Denson’s story merits a little more attention because in three or four years, he could wind up in The Show.

That said, history did not factor into Denson’s decision to come out.

“I wasn’t doing it to be brave,” he told the Journal Sentinel. “I just couldn’t hide it anymore. For them to be so accepting and want the best for me, it showed they are looking at me for my ability, not my sexuality. They don’t treat me any different. They said if there was anything they could do to help, let them know. It was a huge relief.”

Read the entire story over on the Journal Sentinel.

Tags: David Denson, gay athletes, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB,