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MLR Player Devin Ibanez Comes Out As Gay

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MLR Player Devin Ibanez Comes Out As Gay

Devin Ibanez with trophy with Mystic River in 2018.

New England Free Jacks rugby player Devin Ibanez has come out as gay.

Ibanez posted on Facebook an announcement that he is openly gay, saying in part:

“This year it became increasingly difficult to find things I could take control of. Many things felt out of my control and it was hard not to feel helpless and at times hopeless. I took the time to reflect on my life and what aspects I could control and make positive changes to that would impact my day to day life and happiness. 

It became clear to me that living my life with more transparency and openly celebrating who I love would have an immediate positive impact on me and those I care about. So I want to start 2021 by celebrating the love of my life and my partner Fergus Wade who has been with me through the highs and the (very) lows of the last three years. 

I am openly gay. This is something that is not a secret to those close to me and even several people not close to me. But I always felt a need to keep it separate from my rugby career."

Rugby Union has long been one of the most gay-accepting team sports in the world. Gay players have been celebrated for their ability and their heroism, and gay-accepting or gay teams have been welcomed into leagues around the world.

But it is still a difficult decision for rugby players, especially professionals and especially men, to publicly acknowledge that they are gay. Ibanez said he is the only openly gay Major League Rugby player. It is highly likely that other players are gay, and it’s also highly likely that should they choose to come, they would be accepted and celebrated.

Ibanez first started playing for Brookline High School in Brookline, Mass. He played there for four years and captained the team his senior year. 

He went on to play at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, from 2011-2015 and captained the team during the 2014-15 season. He was an all-conference hooker and then went on to play overseas in Australia as well as touring to Montreal with a Collegiate Selects team. Learn more about him in his profile on djcoilrugby.com.