Out Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas Opens Up On His Difficult Journey To Self Acceptance
Although rugby star Gareth Thomas came out in December of 2009, and went on to be voted the most influential gay person in the UK in 2010, he now admits that his journey to self acceptance was not easy.
In fact, the weight of living in the closet nearly drove him to suicide.
"I had this dirty hidden secret that I had to keep from everyone else."
In an interview with the Attitude Heroes podcast, he admits that after his first gay sexual experience, he felt a tremendous amount of shame.
“I remember going home and facing my Mum and Dad and obviously no one had known what I’d done and I literally felt like the dirtiest person alive.
“I’d had all these feelings for so long, but I’d never acted on it so it was suppressed, but all of a sudden it had become a reality."
“I thought, ‘Fuck, what have I done, what have I started here?'"
Happily, Thomas said he'd later find reassuring acceptance in London's gay nightlife.
He recalls visiting popular gay bear bar, "XXL," for the first time:
“I literally remember walking into this club, XXL, and there was about a thousand men with their tops off.
“For the first time ever I stood in this room and there was people dancing, enjoying themselves, smiling and laughing.
“And I just thought to myself, ‘Holy shit! Life can be good, and you can actually have a life as a gay man just like I have had a life as a straight man.'"