Is this a sign of change in the world?
Pro rugby player Devin Ibañez recently shared the story of his reunion with his long-term lover Fergus Wade. While Ibañez is from the U.S., his boyfriend Wade is from the U.K. For nearly a year, the two have been separated due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns. But now, the two are together for the first time since July of last year.
Ibañez shared over TikTok on Saturday (April 17) that he “took the plunge and booked flights” after “many canceled trips.” Now that he has been vaccinated and tested, Ibañez flew from Boston, Massachusetts to London, England. Ibañez then captured the beautiful moment when the couple reunited. The two then promised to share more of their story on TikTok in the future.
Former New England Free Jacks player Devin Ibañez is the first Major League Rugby player to come out as gay. While Ibañez is currently not signed with a professional team, he hopes to sign to a British team in the near future. That way, he can actively play as an openly gay player and live closer to his boyfriend.
Ibañez publicly came out in December of 2020. The athlete let the world in on this fact through posts to Facebook and Instagram.
“I am openly gay,” he wrote. “This is something that is not a secret to those close to me and even several people not close to me. But I always felt a need to keep it separate from my rugby career. I always came up with a reason why being more vocal would be a distraction, detrimental, or unnecessary. I told myself that if I achieved a certain level of success that I would use that platform to show proudly who I was in hopes of inspiring others to be true to themselves.”
In that post, Devin Ibañez also shared that he’s been dating Fergus Wade since Wade was a Harvard medical student in 2017. Now that Ibañez is fully vaccinated, he can enjoy being physically around his boyfriend again.
This sweet and heartwarming story of lovers reuniting after a year apart is becoming more common lately. Part of that may be due to the fact that the several coronavirus vaccines are creating a sense of safety and hope. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 50.4% of U.S. adults (18 or older) have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. In addition, the vaccines became open to all U.S. adults earlier this month. Other signs of a “light at the end of the tunnel” have been concert tickets being sold for later this year or next year, restaurants gaining permission for inside service in several states and cities, public schools opening for in-person classes, and more.
That said, the coronavirus pandemic has not ended. In fact, the virus is increasing its spread. According to Politico, the global death toll from the coronavirus has topped 3 million. In addition, the U.S. trails behind several countries like Israel, the United Kingdom, and Chile with its vaccination rate. The country is experiencing 61.6 doses administered per 100 people. With that in mind, it will still be some time before we reach herd immunity. But despite that reality, moments like the reunion of Devin Ibañez and Fergus Wade are giving us hope.