Recently, our friends at Audacy caught up with openly gay NASCAR Driver, Devin Rouse, to get the scoop and the tea on life in racing after he came out as the second openly gay NASCAR driver in history. Here’s the interview.
Audacy’s Channel Q: At 22 Devon Rouse is the second out NASCAR driver. But if he wins this upcoming competition, an event on July 9th, he could become the first out NASCAR driver to win in the sports 73-year history and guess what? Because we go right to the source, we have him here with us today on the show. Devon welcome to. Let’s go there.
Devin Rouse: Hey, how are you guys? Thanks for having me.
Audacy’s Channel Q: Welcome to the show, we’re super excited to have you. It’s really interesting to think about the NASCAR world and to see someone like you making such strides and making history. How has this experience been for you? Because obviously it’s just you living your life. But when you’re thinking about on a grand scale, are you taking it all in?
Devin Rouse: Absolutely, and that’s a really good word to use, the grand scale because you get caught up in the whole everybody doing interviews, everyone asking you questions, and you see the highlights of your name and stuff. But then, you know, you have the motorsports world and the racing world, it’s pretty traditional and old fashioned. So, there’s still your struggles within it. But I will say that in motorsports, the whole 100% is getting more understanding and more knowledge about diversity and stuff. Times are changing and that especially me doing what I’m doing, you know, things are changing.
Audacy’s Channel Q: Yeah. And you came out in 2020 at the end of Pride Month. How has life changed for you?
Devin Rouse: You know, I lived a double life of hiding who I truly was since seventh grade and as we sat in lockdown and quarantine, not being able to do anything, I had time to think about myself and I saw how bad my mental health was, my mental health was at an all-time low. I’d really hit rock bottom with it, and something needed to happen. The positive thing that needed to happen was me coming out and I did that, but for a long time I regretted it. I regretted it probably right up until I went and ran Daytona this year. Ever since then, with the outpouring of support in the motorsports world that I’ve had and just everything else, I don’t regret it anymore. It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m living my true best life.
Audacy’s Channel Q: I mean, that’s absolutely just incredible. The fact that you went through that journey of regretting it and you’re able to come to terms of being gay, you can’t even admit that, right? I think oftentimes people don’t really talk about, especially as part of the queer community, we don’t talk about our process and our journey in coming out, how complicated and up and down it is. It’s not just a simple thing, especially when you have your whole career tied to it.
Devin Rouse: Yeah. And that was really my biggest struggle in coming out was worrying about altering any future endeavors. I had started all the NASCAR stuff right at the end of 2019 and stuff was just starting to take off. I went and drove for the first time in January of 2020. I mean, yes, Covid hit and shut everything down. But, I was really making some strides there in the beginning and I really didn’t want to affect it at all. But it came to the point where it didn’t matter whether it affected that or not, I was ready to be happy in life.
Audacy’s Channel Q: That’s so amazing. I think so inspiring for others who are looking at what you’re doing because you’re doing it all very quickly.
Devin Rouse: I’m trying to, you know, I look at it and look at people, there’s some kids that are younger than I am running full time or running way more races than I am. And it’s like, all right, I’m late to the game, we gotta knock this into overdrive and make up for some ground. Granted I am only 22 I’ll be 23 next month, so I do have plenty of time, but I’m ready to get out there. All of this isn’t for my career, my end goal is to be able to help people within our community and understand that me at the platform that we can overcome obstacles and we can overcome what’s in our heads. Thinking what’s right, what’s wrong and to show that you can just live your life. You are who you are and I want to be that person out there for everyone else that is struggling.
Audacy’s Channel Q: That sweet now. Okay, I gotta get to the real tea before we get out of here, just real quick. I saw a tweet that you wanted Mr. Colton Underwood to date a race car driver. Is that still on the table? Are you, are you into Colton? I’ve got to find out the dirt before we got to spill tea for you.
Devin Rouse: So, I’ll give you some real good tea here. I fly out to Colorado on June 26. That that gives you any idea. I am going out there to hang out with. I’m sure you probably. Do you know who Ryan O Callaghan is?
Audacy’s Channel Q: Yeah, of course. Well, that’s probably the only person I know.
Devin Rouse: So, I am going out there to spend the weekend and Monday and Tuesday with those guys and Colton’s having a big golf tournament and benefit that I’m going out there for. We might go out and get to know each other.
Audacy’s Channel Q: Oh my God, shoot, I seriously can’t wait to be a part of your wedding. Just like the exclusive that could come on the show. We’ll do like a little dating challenge, trying to make it a work thing. I’m just trying to come in and be a part of the open bar.
Devin Rouse: I’m looking forward to meeting both of them. Obviously, Yeah, I mean, we all know because I put it out there that, I might have a little, little crush on Colton. But, nevertheless, a really good friendship, I think will be formed and we’ll see where things go from there. But I’m really looking forward to the event.
Audacy’s Channel Q: It’s a great cause we’re proud of you. Congratulations. Thank you so much again for being here. Devin Rouse, you can check them out online and watch him drive NASCAR on July 9th on Fox One.