Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tom Daley inspired Jack Duern as Europe’s only openly gay jockey

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Jack Duern, who resumed his career this summer, is sponsored by Racing With Pride, the official LGBT+ network for the sport. It coincides with National Coming Out Day

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When Tom Daley came out in 2013, Jack Duern decided the time was right to break down barriers in his sport.

Around the same age as the Olympic gold medallist, he would become Europe’s only openly gay jockey as a teenager.

Duern was barely 12 months into his career in the saddle, having made his first appearance on the racecourse two weeks after his 16th birthday, when he felt he had to tell people.

“Tom Daley was a role model to me,” he said.

“I was so young. Although family and friends knew, no one at work did – it was daunting coming out to them.

“There was no-one in racing to look up to so seeing Tom doing it got my courage up.”

It is a rarity for professional sportspeople to reveal their sexuality.

Jockey Jack Duern (left) was inspired by Tom Daley

In July last year, an unnamed Premier League footballer revealed he was gay in an open letter, shared with Sky News by the Justin Fashanu Foundation.

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