Jack Dunne, who currently plays in the second row for Leinster, made history by coming out as bisexual during an interview on the BBC LGBT Sports Podcast over the weekend.
This is a significant moment as it means that Jack Dunne is now the only current professional player being paid by the IRFU to have spoken openly about being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, retired players having done so in the past.
During the podcast, titled The One With Jack Dunne, he shared, “I’ve been out as bisexual for four or five years now – but not out in the media.” He explained that while he didn’t want to be pigeonholed, there was a good reason behind him sharing his news.
“It’s definitely on my mind that people could be like, he is the bisexual rugby player, instead of he is a bisexual who plays rugby,” Dunne explained, “but at the same time, maybe there are some kids across the country who could do with a role model.”
Dunne shared that being “bisexual is almost a blessing and a curse. You can hide it way easier. You can go out with the lads and do all that stuff, but it is easier to not be true to yourself.”
He also explained his reasoning for not doing so sooner. During the podcast, he said, “I kind of realised when I was 15 or 16, but you are in a school full of of teenage boys. A lot of them would say things that they wouldn’t even be thinking about, but they are just doing it out of ignorance. So when you hear that you kind of just want to keep it to yourself.”
“Eventually, in sixth year I told one or two people and they took it really well so I decided to tell everyone and if someone has a problem with it, that’s on them. It went pretty well, there were one or two people who said ‘you are not bisexual, you are gay and you won’t come out’, but largely it was overwhelmingly positive so it was a massive weight off the shoulders when I did that.”
Cork’s LGBTQ+ rugby club, the Hellhounds, made their own history in June when they were ratified as being an official IRFU club. In the process, they became Ireland’s third, and Munster’s first, LGBTQ+ rugby club.
© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.