Milwaukee Brewers' prospect David Denson has become the first openly gay active player affiliated with a Major League Baseball team, but he never thought his coming out would be received the way it has been thus far.
"Talking with my teammates, they gave me the confidence I needed, coming out to them," Denson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel over the weekend. "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," Denson added. "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, a 20-year-old first baseman, officially came out to the newspaper to tell his story with the help of former major league Billy Bean, who revealed he was gay after his playing career.
"I don't have any expectations of what might happen," said Denson, who is batting .253 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 41 games with Helena, a minor-league affiliate of the Brewers. "I'm hoping it will open the eyes of people in general that we're all people, we're human, we're brothers in the sport. We're all here trying to get to the big leagues. I'm excited to see where it goes from here, now that I don't have that wall holding me back anymore."
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