British racing driver Danny Watts has come out publicly as gay.
Watts, who holds two class wins at Le Mans and recently retired from the sport, has revealed his sexuality to the world after coming out to friends and family in the past year.
In an interview with Badger GP
, the 37-year-old former Strakka Racing team member said: "It’s not a decision I took lightly. This secret has been eating me up inside for a while, and I can’t hold it in any more. Something snapped in me last year, and I began coming out to my friends. Now it’s time for the public to know."
Watts, who had been racing for 24 years, ended his professional career after Le Mans last year.
"Now that I don’t have to think about keeping my team and sponsors happy, I can do what’s right for me," the married father-of-one explained, adding that he had been "living a lie" in order to protect his career.
Watts will now become a charity ambassador for Gay Racers, an organisation for LGBT+ people in motor sport.
"I want to live in a world where nobody has to lie about who they are to protect their careers. That’s why I want to start work with the queer motor sport community, to make sure they never have to," he said.
"Coming out is a very personal decision and people need to weigh whether they are prepared to potentially sacrifice their careers. It’s sad that that’s our reality, but this is a competitive sport. Being seen as weak has always been the worst possible thing."
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