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Openly gay Coast Guard runner sets school record in track meet

Josiah Davis says he became a better athlete after coming out as gay. Setting the Coast Guard record in the 800 meters shows that is true.

Josiah Davis running
Josiah Davis set the Coast Guard record in the 800 meters.
U.S. Coast Guard

Josiah Davis had quite an eventful end of last week. A day after he graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Davis set the school record in the 800 meters at the Tufts qualifier in Massachusetts.

Davis, who is openly gay, ran a school-record 1:51.96 that ranked him 23rd nationally in Division III. He reflected on the significance of his achievement in a Facebook post:

“Been fighting for this one for awhile now! After missing outdoor season sophomore year with mono and junior year for COVID, I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to race this Spring. Last race in the Coast Guard uni... last one fast one!”

It was a terrific conclusion to his season and Coast Guard career that also saw Davis earn All-New England honors and be selected to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division III All-region team.

In his coming out story that ran in March, Davis reflected on how much better of an athlete he became when he came out as gay, and he credited a gay teammate who was out and confident with inspiring him.

“Growing up, I competed because I needed athletic success to validate me as a person, Davis wrote. “Now I was able to compete solely to push my own limits as well as inspire future queer athletes and service members to succeed.

“My dependence on sports to give me an identity quickly shifted into me leveraging sports for the opportunities it offered: traveling to national championships and big meets, making new friends and opening doors for future endeavors. In fact, in the winter of my senior year, I was told I had the Coast Guard’s blessing to pursue a graduate degree while continuing to compete at the NCAA level at Florida A&M University.”

Josiah Davis can be reached by email (josiahdavis1997@gmail.com) or Instagram (@Josiah_Davis).