Former National Rugby League (NRL) player for the Sydney Roosters, Casey Conway has spoken out about being a gay, Aboriginal man in the world of professional sport.
During an interview with SBS, Conway explained that he had privately come-out to club officials during his time in the NRL, however only came-out to teammates after he left the Roosters.
The former Roosters player said that he was leading a “double life,” hiding his sexuality from his teammates whilst sometimes trying to navigate the gay club scene in Sydney.
“I was out-and-about on the scene and meeting people. I was doing that undercover and it finally came to a point where I had to start accepting it,” he explained.
Conway believes that his experiences in the gay scene helped him come to terms with his sexuality, however, he would often receive racist remarks.
“I wanted more than what I was having …There was a lot of casual racism. People would say things like, ‘You’re hot for an Aboriginal guy’ or ‘I’ve never been with a black guy’. I’d think, ‘You know that’s not a compliment?’.”
Conway, is now trying his hand as a fashion model and has been the face of Aussiebum and is now currently modelling swimwear brand, Sluggers.
30-year-old Conway also works as a youth development coordinator for a small non-profit in Queensland and says he hopes to use his public profile as a platform in helping LGBTI youth.
“There are young people out there hearing comments like that and they’re questioning themselves. I know what it was like to be in the country and think, ‘Oh shit, I think I’m gay’.”
“At that time there wasn’t really a big push in the media for equality. I’ve worked with kids who are homeless because they’ve been kicked out of home when they came-out. They’re suffering not only because they don’t have a home, but because of their mental health and a raft of other issues.”
Last Updated on Oct 26, 2015