Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13



SPORTS Chicago Hounds' Nick McCarthy reflects on being out in professional rugby
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 11061 times since Wed Jan 24, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

In recent years, people from numerous high-profile fields have publicly declared themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Among them have been individuals from tech (such as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Apple CEO Tim Cook), the culinary arts (chefs such as Kristen Dish and Art Smith), politics (U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, among many others) and show business (from Lil Nas X to Alexandra Billings to Matt Bomer).

However, one realm has had a distinct lack of LGBTQ+ role models: sports—at least, at least among male players.

One shining local example of an out player is Nick McCarthy, who plays for the Chicago Hounds rugby team. McCarthy talked about rugby and sexuality, among other topics, at "Out at Rugby," an event that took place Jan. 18 at the local law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson. Partners David Alfini, Vincent Rizzo and Todd Young hosted the event, with Young holding a Q&A with McCarthy.

McCarthy—who is a scrum half (which is a main playmaker)—was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is now returning to the Midwest after a career in Ireland that included stints with Leinster and Munster.

At the event, immigration attorney Ian Wagreich (a former high-school rugby coach himself) got things rolling by talking about how the firm became connected with McCarthy, as Hinshaw & Culbertson was asked to handle the team's immigration work; the Hounds have included players from every continent except Antarctica.

During the Q&A, McCarthy revealed that, among other things, that he started playing rugby at age 6 (which he said was "like flag football" at that point) and that his father was also a scrum half but "was not a pushy parent."

Regarding the discovery of his sexuality and its relation to playing rugby, McCarthy said that he initially chose to "ignore" his orientation, "but two years ago … I decided to take some steps in the right direction" toward coming out, recalling that "all the reactions were amazing." He had been "fighting against" coming out, but his network of family and close friends helped him: "I always knew it would be fine, but I just wasn't ready."

And even within the macho world of rugby, McCarthy's experience "has been unbelievably positive," he said, adding that he "went back and forth" about coming out, especially given that he is a very private individual. "I was scared … but I was pleasantly surprised."

McCarthy realized that the more open he was, the "happier" he was: "Being my authentic, true self makes me a better teammate," he said. "I'm just a lot nicer to myself."

He added that "my biggest struggle was with my own self-acceptance. The team probably accepted me more than I accepted myself." The first person he told about his sexuality was his best friend, who was supportive and said, "We're going to get through this."

McCarthy revealed that, as part of his coming-out process, he contacted now-former NFL player Carl Nassib on Instagram—and he heard back from him. "Within a week, he had set up a Zoom call," McCarthy said. "I didn't think he had even seen the message."

Nassib inspired McCarthy, who said, "I think it's really important for people to be role models," even if being one instills confidence in only one child.

When asked how the United States and Ireland compare in terms of LGBTQ+ acceptance, McCarthy responded, "I get the sense that, in America, there's a bit more anonymity. Ireland is smaller; in Dublin, everybody knows each other. … At the end of the day, my experience has been that nobody actually cares." This disclosure led Young to conclude that McCarthy "would get recognized" in Ireland and that coming out could not have been subtle. Regarding the contrasting rugby scenes between the two countries, McCarthy said that Ireland's "is more intense," as the season runs from September to June; the Hounds' regular season is considerably shorter (March through June).

McCarthy also speculated on the future, saying, "I think it is getting better. I hope that in five or 10 years' time, it won't [be a big thing to come out]."

Fielding questions at the Jan. 18 event, McCarthy talked about topics such as diet and fitness. One audience member mentioned that there's a local gay rugby team, the Chicago Dragons, and expressed hope that McCarthy could attend one of the matches.

Hinshaw & Culbertson has hosted numerous diversity-related events over the years and has a prominent LGBTQ+ affinity network, which Alfini and Young lead.

For more about the Chicago Hounds, visit . Home games are played at SeatGeek Stadium, in Bridgeview, Illinois.

This article shared 11061 times since Wed Jan 24, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Chicago Red Stars announce partnership with Wintrust 2024-02-27
Press release - CHICAGO (Feb. 27, 2024) — The Chicago Red Stars and Wintrust Financial Corporation announced a partnership that will see Wintrust become the club's new front-of-jersey partner and community outreach investment ...

Gay News

Chicago Bears hire first woman assistant coach 2024-02-21
- The Chicago Bears are hiring Jennifer King as an offensive assistant, according to The Chicago Sun-Times and other media outlets. She will be an assistant running backs coach. King—who will become the first female assistant coach ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner's jersey retired at Baylor University 2024-02-20
- On Feb. 18, Baylor University retired Brittney Griner's #42 jersey. Griner—a two-time AP national player of the year, two-time Olympic gold medalist and the NCAA women's career blocks leader (with 748)—attended a Bears home game ...

Gay News

Six Chicago Red Stars called for international play 2024-02-15
- CHICAGO (Feb. 15, 2024) — Six Chicago Red Stars—Jill Aguilera, Julia Bianchi, Sam Fisher, Natalia Kuikka, Alyssa Naeher and Mallory Swanson—have been called up to represent their respective countries during ...

Gay News

Republicans file bill to ban trans women from U.S. Olympic teams 2024-02-12
- Republicans in both houses of Congress have launched another effort to ban transgender women and girls from female sports teams—and this time, they are attempting to ban trans women from competing on U.S. Olympic teams ahead ...

Gay News

GLAAD finds missed chances for LGBTQ+ inclusion in Super Bowl ads 2024-02-12
--From a press release - Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024 — GLAAD is reacting to a lack of LGBTQ storytelling in ads that aired duringSuper Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 and is reminding brands, corporations and advertising agencies why including the LGBTQ ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue 2024-02-09
- In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...

Gay News

GLAAD, NFL host third annual pre-Super Bowl event 'A Night of Pride' 2024-02-08
- On Feb. 7, LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD, along with The National Football League (NFL), hosted the third annual "A Night of Pride" at Caesar's Palace in Super Bowl LVIII's host city of Las Vegas, a press ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars appoint Richard Feuz as general manager 2024-02-05
--From a press release - CHICAGO (February 5, 2024) — The Chicago Red Stars have named Richard Feuz as the team's next general manager to complete a brand-new leadership team in guiding the Red Stars into an exciting era. Feuz joins ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ figure skaters win gold, silver at U.S. Championships 2024-01-28
- LGBTQ+ figure skater Amber Glenn nailed a triple axel and clinched her first senior U.S. title on Jan. 26 at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Columbus, Ohio, per a U.S. Figure Skating report. ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars set 2024 preseason roster 2024-01-23
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 23, 2024) — The Chicago Red Stars have set their preseason roster ahead of the 2024 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) season. 17 of the 35 players on the preseason roster are returning Red ...

Gay News

Tara VanDerveer becomes winningest coach in college basketball 2024-01-22
- Stanford University women's basketball coach and gender-rights advocate Tara VanDerveer became the college-basketball coach with the most wins ever on Jan. 21, media outlets reported. After her team defeated Oregon State 65-56, VanDerveer has 1,203 ca ...

Gay News

Chicago Fire FC announces 2024 theme nights; Pride Night will be June 1 2024-01-19
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 18, 2024) — Chicago Fire FC announced the club's theme nights for select home matches during the 2024 regular season, driven by Carvana. The Club's 2024 calendar features 11 theme nights, including the return ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars sign Mallory Swanson to historic contract 2024-01-16
- CHICAGO (January 16, 2024) — The Chicago Red Stars have signed Mallory Swanson to a historic long-term contract, making it the most lucrative agreement in the history of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and seeing ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars select five players during 2024 NWSL Draft 2024-01-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 13, 2024) — The Chicago Red Stars selected five players and made four trades during the 2024 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft. The team wasted no time and kicked off an active day ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.