David Hill profile – LGBT History MonthFebruary 28, 2017
February is LGBT History Month, and to round it off, we have interviewed a number of athletes about their experience of being ‘out’.
Our swimming profile is of David Hill, a para-athlete who has competed in two Paralympic Games.
David’s first Paralympic Games was in Athens 2004, where he competed in the 100m Backstroke. Despite being just 15, he made the finals. Over his 12 year career as a para-swimmer, he won numerous medals at the IPC Swimming European and World Championships.
In 2013, David began competing in para-triathlon events, and went to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as part of the British Para-triathlon squad.
We caught up with David to find out about the part sport played in his coming ‘out’ with his identification.
- Age: 27
- Gender: Male
- Sexual orientation: Gay
- Twitter handle: @DavidHill_GB
- Occupation: Athlete Mentor
- Discipline: Paralympic swimming – 100m Backstroke / Sprint Para-triathlon
- What level do/did you compete up to: Athens 2004 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
What does LGBT History Month mean to you?
It is about a celebration for me and raising awareness that we are all different but actually much the same.
Has swimming helped you at all with your sexual orientation?
Sport overall gave me the confidence to be whoever I want to be and made me proud to be me. I’m very thankful to sport for moulding me into the strong and resilient person that I am, to face anything in relation to my disability and my sexuality.
What was your experience like coming out in your sport?
A bit of an anti-climax. No one really cared. I built up a fear that wasn’t fulfilled, thankfully of course, as people are just happy to see you happy.
Have you had any really great experiences in swimming in relation to your sexual orientation?
Nope but then there is also not any really bad experiences to report either.
What do you think people could do more of to support others in LGBT communities?
Create a safe environment that is non-judgmental to allow people to voice how they are feeling. Remember, be open-minded, and kind.
What message would you like to send to others in LGBT communities?
Be proud of who you are, be brave to say where you want to get to, and be courageous to make it happen.
- To find out about some of the LGBT aquatics clubs in England, please click here.