Evan Davis: Hiding my sexuality at work was a terrible mistake

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Evan Davis has opened up about staying in his closet earlier in his career – and how it was a “terrible mistake”.

The Newsnight presenter and Dragon’s Den host spoke about his experiences ahead of Student Pride.

Davis began work as an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies before becoming a BBC economics correspondent in 1993, working his way up to his current role.
Evan Davis: Hiding my sexuality at work was a terrible mistake
The host revealed that he was cagey about disclosing his sexuality early on, before deciding to open up publicly.

He said: “My experience was in my earliest jobs – it wasn’t that I wanted to lie to people, and it wasn’t that I was embarassed about being gay, but I just wasn’t public about it.

“I’ve tried never to lie, but equally it was just constantly thinking about what you were saying, and treading on eggshells. I think it was a terrible mistake. It was hard work.”

“Disclosure is more than just a gay thing – the principle is ‘I am what I am, and I want you to know what I am, and I want you to be comfortable with that and accept me for that’.”

He added: “The issues of good mental health and being authentic and being true and comfortable with yourself are inextricably linked so I think it’s much easier to have a sound, comfortable mind when you’re one person and you know what that person is and you’re comfortable with it.

“Every night I’m on TV, I am terrified… there are those short term stresses, and I think the best approach to those is to ride with it and say ‘I’m not going to let you defeat me’.

“The more chronic long-term stresses – feelings of loneliness and discontent, those are more difficult. Those ones you need to get help to talk to people, friends or counsellors.”

Watch the clip below:

National Student Pride is taking place at the University of Westminster and G-A-Y from February 5 – 7. It is open to all, and student ID is not required.