Gareth Thomas: First Gay Rugby Player
Even though it’s 2010 approaching, we still haven’t seen any star athletes come out of the closet and admit their homosexuality while they were playing. That’s somewhat surprising considering how progressive we view ourselves as a society. While the U.S. may be lagging, the U.K. is now ahead of the curve considering a recent development on the rugby front. Welsh star rugby player (from what I’m told) Gareth Thomas finally had enough of hiding who he was and revealed his homosexuality. He said it tormented him for years:
‘I was like a ticking bomb. I thought I could suppress it, keep it locked away in some dark corner of myself, but I couldn’t. It was who I was, and I just couldn’t ignore it any more. I’d been through every emotion under the sun trying to deal with this. You wake up one morning thinking: “I can handle it. Everything is fine,” and the next morning you don’t want anyone to see your face, because you think that if people look at you, they will know.’
‘It’s been really tough for me, hiding who I really am, and I don’t want it to be like that for the next young person who wants to play rugby, or some frightened young kid. I don’t know if my life is going to be easier because I’m out, but if it helps someone else, if it makes one young lad pick up the phone to ChildLine, then it will have been worth it.
Thomas may have been living a lie for quite some time but at least he finally came out and admitted the truth. It will probably be much easier to be happy with himself now. My question is how long before the first major sports figure comes out and reveals his homosexuality in the U.S.. The percentages suggest it has to be the case, and Gareth Thomas’ example proves even the most masculine athletes can be gay.