There’s nothing like your first Pride, especially when you spend it with the love of your life!
Gay pro rugby player Devin Ibañez, who was the first Major League Rugby player to publicly come out as gay, just celebrated his inaugural Pride with his boyfriend, Fergus Wade.
The pair enjoyed the festivities in Madrid. OK, kings!
“While I could have probably done with about 1 million less people, it was incredible to see such a massive gathering of queer people from across the world,” wrote Ibañez on Instagram.
Girl, we feel you. While rugby is taxing, it’s got nothin’ on a full Pride weekend! More than 2 million people attended the WorldPride Parade in Spain’s capital, which hosts the biggest Pride in all of Europe.
Fortunately, it looks like Ibañez and Wade came out on the other side. We’re glad they’re able to tell (and show) the tale.
Ibañez’s Instagram page, “@thatgayrugger,” is largely dedicated to adorable photos of him and Wade. The pictures celebrate their bond and deep love for one another.
Earlier this year, the duo attended their first wedding together. Perhaps a harbinger of what’s to come?
Ibañez played for the Major League Rugby team, the New England Free Jacks, during their exhibition 2019 season. He won a gold medal while representing Team USA at the 2017 World Maccabiah Games in Israel, and captured the 2018 D1 National Championship with his club team.
The rugger penned his coming out essay in December 2020. He says he couldn’t have gone public without Fergus’ encouragement.
“I have no doubt that without Fergus I never would have had the resolve to put myself out there in this way,” Ibañez wrote on Outsports in 2021. “His love and support gave me a strength that I did not know I had.”
It’s beautiful to see Devin now living an open life. He dated Fergus for three years before he publicly came out.
Devin admits staying closeted was taking a toll on his relationship with the man he loves.
“It just got to the point where we had the conversation a few times if [coming out] was something I was afraid to do because of backlash, or because I was ashamed of him,” he told Queerty in 2021. “You can have that conversation any number of times, but actions speak louder than words. So it started to impact me even more when I realized the impact it was taking on him.”
They’re come a long way over the last three years. Devin and Fergus compliment each other perfectly–and not we’re not just talking about their pictures!
But while we’re at it…
Devin and Fergus kicked off 2023 by celebrating their five-year anniversary, and their fun hasn’t stopped.
“Meeting Fergie in 2017 changed my perspective on what was possible for me,” Devin wrote on Instagram. “He stuck with me until I was confident enough to come out in rugby. He always reminded me it was my own journey and I needed to do what was best for me at my pace.”
There is power in gay athletes showcasing their love lives. For a long time, gay people masked their private affairs in hyper-masculine spaces, like sports. They didn’t want to stick out.
Even after publicly coming out, gay athletes have traditionally kept their dating lives under wraps. It wasn’t that long ago when NFL prospect Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on Draft Day was national news.
Fast forward 10 years, and now Carl Nassib, the first out active NFL player in history, is out here celebrating his man’s 30th birthday (Olympic swimmer Søren Dahl).
We’re here for it!
While the “likes” are nice, the visibility is even better. Devin and Fergus have been out and proud for three years, and it’s great to see other male sports couples join them.
Maybe a double date for next year’s Pride?
Scroll down for more pics on Devin and Fergus being all cute and stuff…