Out pro rugby player Jack Dunne will have a new home next season. The Exeter Chiefs, who play in rugby union’s top division, Premiership Rugby, recently signed the promising young rugger from Leinster, a club in Ireland.
Last year, Dunne publicly came out as bisexual in an interview with the British press, talking about his desire to be a role model for LGBTQ kids. That’s an impressive goal for any 22 year old.
“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 said last June. “But at the same time, maybe there are some kids across the country who could do with a role model.”
Standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing 264 pounds, Dunne is a physical force on the pitch. Exeter executive Rob Baxter marveled at Dunne’s athleticism to the BBC.
“Jack, as soon as I looked at clips of him impressed me a lot,” Baxter said. “He’s a big guy, but he’s a big guy who can really move. He’s young, the right age, and everything I saw in the clips I liked.”
There’s no mention of Dunne’s sexuality in the club’s press release announcing his signing or in the aforementioned BBC write-up. It looks like Dunne’s fear of being known as the “bisexual rugby player” hasn’t come to fruition.
But he is — in his words — a “bisexual who plays rugby.” That’s an important title to hold. Dunne also talked about the scourge of bisexual-erasure when he came out, and how easy it is to deny your identity.
“Being bisexual is almost a blessing and a curse,” he said. “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.”
Well, now Dunne is being his true self, and playing with a new team in a top division. Not too shabby.