UK rugby player comes out

Timothy Kincaid

December 18th, 2009

Gareth ThomasGareth Thomas is not just a rugby player; he’s a legend in what is probably one of the toughest, most macho of sports. He was the first Welsh player to earn 100 caps and served as captain of Wale’s team. And he’s gay.

He told BBC:

“I just happen to be gay,” he added. “It’s irrelevant.

“What I choose to do when I close the door at home has nothing to do with what I have achieved in rugby.

“It’s pretty tough for me being the only international rugby player prepared to break the taboo.

“Statistically I can’t be the only one, but I’m not aware of any other gay player still in the game.

“I’d love for it, in 10 years’ time, not to even be an issue in sport, and for people to say: ‘So what?'”

Thomas is a welcome addition to those few other sports stars that have come out. He is especially welcome in that he is still a professional player in a sport that has not been historically seen as particularly welcoming to gay athletes or fans.

Stefano A

December 18th, 2009

Actually, the BBC only provided a condenced version of him outing himself earlier in the Daily Mail.

I don’t have the link handy, but it shouldn’t be difficult to find with a google.

That article is much more in depth in talking about himself and his struggle to come to terms with his sexuality, being in the closet, being married and acting the tough macho mail.

One thing he said to the Daily Mail did rather bother me. He said:

“I’m not going on a crusade, but I’m proud of who I am. I feel I have achieved everything I could ever possibly have hoped to achieve out of rugby, and I did it being gay.

Okay. Technically he was gay all this time and did realize that. But that statement bothered me, because he did not achieve all he did in ruby being gay, he did so by pretending to be straight.

However, hopefully with people like Thomas and Dónal Óg finally “coming out” others will achieve equal sports accomplishments while actually being openly gay and not pretending to be something else. On that point, I found Dónal Óg to be much more genuine.

Stefano A

December 18th, 2009

Errr make that, obviously, male not mail. LOL

Stefano A

December 18th, 2009

Oh! One thing I failed to say…

What I really appreciate about both Dónal Óg and Thomas is that they outed themselves while still playing, unlike others who waited until they’d left their sports or retired and had nothing (professionally) to lose at the time of their coming out.

Burr

December 18th, 2009

Well it has to start somewhere.. retired players coming out make it easier for their active contemporaries..

Stefano A

December 18th, 2009

Burr:

Indeed! I would agree.

Lee

December 19th, 2009

“What I choose to do when I close the door at home has nothing to do with what I have achieved in rugby.”

It’s sad that even open and honest gay people still reflexively repeat these memes. Heterosexuals consider their relationships and family (aka their orientation) to be the highest priority in their lives. Both Obama and Bush would tell you that their opposite-sex lovers are the backbone of their lives and reason for living.

Yet gays are supposed to somehow segment that part of their lives to imagined kinky perversions that only occur in the bedroom. Plus the statement that being gay had nothing to do with his achievements in rugby is patently absurd. I guarantee his perseverance and determination are specific qualities that were informed by his orientation. Shame on you Gareth for perpetuating the myth that gay orientation is some private and secretive sexual practice. Gay Republicans (like the Austin 12, Mary Cheney, and GOProud) have bought into the same rubbish.

Tina

December 19th, 2009

Lee- exactly. And, well stated.

We do ourselves no service by falling back on that old line about “behind closed (bedroom) doors.”

Scott

December 19th, 2009

I commend Thomas for coming out. Perhaps with time he will be more open about the gay side of his life and not feel a need to “sanitize” it for the average beer bellied macho rugby fan. I do agree with the others who suggest that we should not have to make apologies for our personal lives and our relationships. It may be for this man that simply admitting that he is gay now was a major step. Hopefully with time he will have the courage to openly discuss the rest of his life. I am in the same position—masculine guy, started to come out a few years ago, live in a very homophobic community, and plan to divulge more about my personal life after the homophobes have had time to acclimate to the news. This doesn’t mean I am making apologies or catering to the straight community. It has to do with me surviving in my community at this time. We don’t all live in liberal and accepting communities. It takes time to change peoples way of thinking and to generate acceptance. Each gay person needs to approach this in their own way as our life circumstances all differ. He probably doesn’t want to get the shit beat out of him now. The important thing is that he came out.

Timothy Kincaid

December 19th, 2009

The article Stephano reference in the Daily Mail is here.

Scott,

Thank you for sharing your perspective. I think that it is rather likely that rugby players and rugby fans will accept Gareth’s orientation on a conceptual level (i.e. he’s gay but we don’t see any actual physical evidence of it) before they can accept it on a real life level (i.e. here’s the man he loves).

I would love to have it be all at once. Wouldn’t we all? But I do recognize that if the rugby community accepts the no-details version of his orientation, that will definitely be a step in the direction we want to go.

TampaZeke

December 19th, 2009

Stefano, what I find MUCH more offensive than the sentence you stated is the headline of the Daily Mail article that broke the story:

“British Lions Rugby Legend Gareth Thomas: ‘It’s Ended My Marriage and Nearly Driven Me to Suicide. Now It’s Time to Tell the World the Truth – I’m Gay’.”

Exodus International, the National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family put together couldn’t have written a more sensational and anti-gay headline. Unfortunately, the article doesn’t get a whole lot better after that with the two beautiful pictures of him and his wife (yes he’s still married to a woman) and paragraph after paragraph about how in love with her he was, and is (strange how he goes on and on in a newpaper talking about his relationship with a woman he married but claims that his homosexuality is only about things he does behind closed doors), and that he just can’t “overcome his feelings”. The only time he talks about homosexual encounters he talks about how ashamed, guilty and suicidal they made him feel. The whole thing is written in a way that would tell the average non-gay person, or struggling closeted gay person, that homosexuality is an unwanted, destructive addiction that tears families apart and ruins the perfect happy lives of those who allow it to take over. Ex-gay 101. It reminds me very much of the gay police chief in London. He did EXACTLY the same thing when he came out.

I know he’s trying to help but I fear that the way he’s presenting the issue he may do more harm than good to the people who need help the most.

R Holmes

December 19th, 2009

The Daily Mail is not known as The Daily Hate Mail for nothing. A month or so ago, they printed an opinion piece on the death of Stephen Gately (a young gay singer who had married his partner) which – as well as speculating that the case of his death was unnatural (when the coroner has said the opposite) – pretty much implied that gay people can’t commit, have normal lives or be happy.

That article generate the highest number of complaints ever recorded by the Press Complaints Commission.

Lee

December 19th, 2009

Scott: “I am in the same position—masculine guy, started to come out a few years ago, live in a very homophobic community, and plan to divulge more about my personal life after the homophobes have had time to acclimate to the news.”

I’ve never understood this type of self pity. If self-described “straight-acting” masculine gay men have it so hard that they can’t come out, what does that make the queeny, effeminate gay men who seem to be at the forefront of every right we’ve ever won? Are they super-masculine and macho-courageous? You can’t say they all grew up in this liberal, accepting environment you claim.

Jason D

December 19th, 2009

Lee, not to stray too far, but I think the more feminine gays Come Out, proud, loud, and ready for action because their circumstances force them to bravely face the situation.

I mean, the masculine guys can hide in plain sight.

But the feminine gays can’t hide. You can see us from space!!

So a feminine gay man has the choice “get tough” or “get creamed”. Drag Queens, in or out of their female persona are possibly the toughest men you’ll meet in your life. Some of that plastic surgery is reconstructive surgery.

It’s funny, because some of the self-proclaimed straight-acting gay men I’ve met will kick your butt up and down the street if you dare suggest they’re not manly in some fashion — but somehow, somehow disapproval scares the living crap out of them.

joel

December 21st, 2009

“What I choose to do when I close the door at home has nothing to do with what I have achieved in rugby.”

As Lee pointed out. This pretty much reduces homosexuality to sodomy.

Having just read the two articles related to this, the first thing that jumped out was when she said,(after knowing he was gay) “We were still together, but living parallel lives. It was very hard for us to let go of each other, and we would often end up in tears, because the love between us was still there”.

I dont get it then… Assuming he did all of this genuinely, rather than playing a role(which doesn’t seem he was trying to play w/ her exclusively).
Romance… check.
Passion… check.
Love… check.

Sustained by, “the craziest thing about Jemma is that I genuinely did love her. She was the nicest, most caring, understanding, prettiest girl I had ever met

It was such a confusing time because I had amazingly strong feelings for her, yet I knew I had taken who I was and put it in a little ball and pushed it in a corner.”

So WHO HE WAS was bi(one of the 90%gay-10%bi).

Did his self-rejection somehow make him prone to one night stands because of the emotional turmoil? Otherwise… the only problem was that he couldn’t hold his masculinity in his pants. And even if he did have a male partner, it wouldn’t have changed the fact that he would cheat.

Supporting the notion that he just cheated on her, he says, “I wanted to make love to her because of my feelings for her. It wouldn’t have mattered to me if she was a man, a woman or an alien.”

So you ARE attracted to this person… It wouldn’t have mattered if she was an alien or a dummy? What does this even mean? All your saying seems to indicate that you ARE attracted to this person.

I honestly find his intentions to be good, yet, maybe he could’ve stuck with her now that the emotional turmoil he had of being distressed over being gay was gone. He would now be able to sanely establish a relationship. Thus, unless he was like slutty Woods, he would no longer need to visit rainbow bars for ‘being gay’ sex.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

FBI Reports Massive Surge In Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes in 2015

Baptist General Convention of Texas Warns Churches in Dallas and Austin Over LGBT Inclusion

Trump Selects Alt-Right Nationalist As "Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor"

WITNESS: Bean Blossom, Indiana

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.