Former British racer and two-time Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 class winner Danny Watts has come out as homosexual – and we shouldn’t care.
The fact that a former racing driver coming out of the closet should be treated as news in the world of motorsports is indicative how much further there is left to go when it comes to equality and how we choose to see others in our eyes.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here for a moment. Do we really think that straight white dudes are the only ones who can learn how to drive car with intense speed and precision? Are we really deluding ourselves in believing that the world of Motorsports can only appeal to heterosexual males?
Of course not. That view of reality isn’t reality. It’s a close-minded approach to seeing only what we want to see, because what one might not want to see is usually that which frightens or confuses them. So, instead of looking inwards and confronting culturally reinforced predispositions, it’s apparently a lot easier to just twist the world on its side and look at it how it best serves the values you hold.
God forbid that one day we might come to the startling realisation that we were the ones who were wrong and walk away learning something.
It’s hard to imagine oneself in Watt’s position, how people will perceive him now is hard to tell. He’s decidedly one of the most high-profile writers that have come out in the world of Motorsports. The world that has for years now paraded around booth babes in spanks and bikinis as nothing more than pleasure-objects for their target audience to drool over.
Here at ClICKON we typically like to throw a blurb or two from the source into our articles and keep them bite-sized – but this isn’t something that I’m willing to cut down for the sake of readability, so I’ve opted to include a larger portion of Danny’s statements below.
Homophobia and the blatant labeling of the “other” are still an issue that we’re collectively suffering under as a global society. Who someone loves and who someone is should be of concern to no one but themselves.
“My stomach is churning about the next paddock I go to and people knowing and how they’ll think of me. It’s bloody scary. You can either keep it secret in racing and have your separate life where your close friends and family know, or you can just go all out and say ‘there you go, my cards are on the table, take it or leave it.
The hardest bit has been the last six months in terms of fighting it. You’re in denial to everyone, you seem happy-go-lucky and outgoing, but when you’re on your own and climb into bed at night it’s on your mind and it wears you down.
I got to a point where I thought I’m not happy in my life. I’m not enjoying anything. So what’s the best solution? Just come out and just do it. If it’s out there and everyone knows about it then they can think what they want, whether it’s good or bad or ugly.
“At least I can get into bed at night not having to think about it and know that it’s out in the open and I can live life a lot happier.” – Danny Watts
The notion that Watt’s life has taken a hit due to this is disheartening and saddening. It’s 2017 folks. We’ve been floating on this rock for too many years to still be letting our fears and prejudices run rampant. Danny has clearly been struggling, but he’s far from the only one. While his position is extraordinary, Watts does have the blessing that thousands of people over the world will hear his words.
Please remember that there are many other people out there that are not as fortunate as him. For the rest, camera crews and reporters don’t come running when they speak. It’s high time that we move past bigotry, hatred, and vilification. Both as a sport and as a species.