Gareth Thomas | I'm Gay | News | Rugby | Sports | Wales

Wales Rugby Star Gareth Thomas: I'm Gay


Wales rugby legend and fullback for the Cardiff Blues Gareth Thomas has joined the few high-profile athletes who have come out of the closet during their career, telling the Daily Mail he's gay:

Thomas "I've been through all sorts of emotions with this, tears, anger and absolute despair. I wasn't sure if I ever wanted to let people know, and, to be honest, I feel anxious about people's reactions and the effect it might have on my family. 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. My parents, my family and my friends all love me and accept me for who I am, and even if the public are upset by this, I know the love of those people who mean the most to me will never change. 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. I want to send a positive message to other gay people that they can do it, too."

Much more at the Daily Mail...

Former Australian rugby star Ian Roberts, who came out late in his career in 1995, told the Sun Herald: "It's great that the times have allowed for it. It's so bewildering to me that other people haven't allowed for that to happen to themselves. There are so many gay sportspeople ... gay people playing league. I'm just like, 'How can you be controlled by all these other people?' It doesn't have to be a problem, as long as you don't allow it to be a problem. I think it's great ... at long last someone else has done it! It's almost like, that's the breaking of the ice for me. The fact that someone else has done it, it shows that it can happen and it does happen."

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  1. There are few things that are as much of an instant turn off for me than a guy who shaves his head or is balding. But Gareth Thomas is one of the exceptions to that rule...totally HOT! Thanks for bringing him to my attention, Andy.

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 19, 2009 3:25:58 PM

  2. Dear, brave Gareth - thank you

    Posted by: ACe | Dec 19, 2009 4:58:27 PM

  3. I suspect the worst problems he will face will not be with other players, he has proven himself to them, it will be with opposing team's fans. I suspect that will be the case in all pro sports. In hockey there have been players whose sexual orientation was more or less an open secret and it didn't cause them too much trouble with their fellow players, but it sure would have with the fans.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 19, 2009 6:12:03 PM

  4. ......courageous indeed..... that's a role model.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 19, 2009 6:33:20 PM

  5. Gents, I believe the point of this story is best illustrated by placing a link to the Wikipedia page on the last major UK sports star to publicly come out, Justin Fashanu. Hounded, booed at matches and in the press until he committed suicide.

    My deepest respects Mr Thomas.

    Posted by: Bob | Dec 19, 2009 7:06:30 PM

  6. How very sad that this is a major achievement in his life declaring who he is.Brave is hardly a description i would use.It's about time people stopped caring about what others think & just get on with your life as the person you were born to be.Having said that,i realise the stigma,the disapproval,the hate,the lack of belief in yourself and it goes on.Walk out your door & start living YOUR life.Do it.Be proud that you're a human being.Sexuality is not the issue.

    Posted by: john | Dec 20, 2009 1:06:46 AM

  7. People like Rhys are one reason why gays are reluctant to come out of the closet at a late age. Way to go, Rhys! *JERK*

    Posted by: ophu | Dec 20, 2009 2:52:28 AM

  8. How very sad that a majority of the comments here and on Matthew's most recent story are debating whether or not "he's hot". I guess competing at the Olympic level or being a household name in the UK doesn't mean much if he isn't worthy to drool over. How terribly sad.

    Posted by: DR | Dec 20, 2009 7:47:45 AM

  9. Thank you, Mr. Thomas! You are truly a brave hero! I hope this will inspire more professional athletes to come out and break down the final taboo wall.

    Posted by: Jim | Dec 20, 2009 9:52:04 AM

  10. @ Doug Berman

    Lol indeed. If only when he was young and cute but not as successful or having being caption of the best of the best Rugby 6 nation 'Lions' team, like 3 years ago.

    Oh no.

    Much more impactful when he was just an up and coming cute Rugby player who would've prolly got more heat, instead of now, getting unanimous praise across SPORTS blogs in the UK, something that would NEVER have been done if he didn't have a sterling and fearless repuation.


    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 20, 2009 10:57:49 AM

  11. It's too bad that the American Athletes don't follow suit! We are still a young Nation compared to most and still very Puritanical in most ways! Coming out as a professional athlete here is suicide for most of the Baseball, football, soccer and hockey players! Gareth has made the right choice even after struggling with his descion over a period of time! Kudos to him and may he be an Icon for all in the closet pro althletes world wide!

    Posted by: Steve Kerbow | Dec 20, 2009 10:57:53 AM


    Posted by: nelson | Dec 20, 2009 12:01:55 PM

  13. What do you think...will footballers follow suit? If no...then why not...what can happen to make it become ok to be an openly gay footballer?

    Posted by: steve | Dec 20, 2009 12:27:23 PM

  14. Bob, I am unlclear; Justin Fashanu came out almost 20 years ago - are you suggesting that Gareth T is going to receive the same treatment? It is very apparent from the UK press that GT is receiving tremendous support from all sides. Fashanu hanged himself because he had been charged with sexual assault by a teenager in the US where he lived at the time, not because of the reaction of football fans to his homosexuality.

    Posted by: atheist | Dec 20, 2009 3:15:21 PM

  15. GAY IS THE WAY!!! I am completely with Ian. Finally another rugby player has come out. A few months ago I was thinking about Ian Roberts and how long it's been since he came out and why no one else has in rugby.

    The fact is we need more forceful gay activists. Gay activist work for GAY people and need to lead on gay issues. Gay people also need to be much more supportive of gay activists and other gay people because they need it. We don't have forceful gay activists and supportive gay people to have famous gay people come out more often.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 20, 2009 3:42:03 PM

  16. @ Atheist

    Justin Fashunu died in 1998.....are you saying he came out in 1989??

    Nope. I'm British and he DIDN'T.

    And yeah, he died cause he was gay. It all started with the homophobic abuse he alwyas got in the press and on the field but here this...

    1) Fashanu was black..

    2) He also wasn't as good a player (in football OR he didn't reach his potential) as GT..

    3) GT was also known as an ALPHA MALE. Men wanted to BE him. Fashanu wasn't. He was always sensitive.

    It sucks but this is human beings, as will all know from reading Towleroad comments!

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 20, 2009 4:27:33 PM

  17. If anyone needs proof that anti-gay hate speech is violence, all you have to do is read his words about the pain of being in the closet. This poor guy was tortured for so many years because of society's bigotry. I only hope he stops apologizing to his wife soon - because it's not his "fault" for being gay.

    And now he's out - and a very hot man he is! Somehow I think he's not going to be lonely.

    Posted by: steve | Dec 20, 2009 8:17:56 PM

  18. JSE, years ago I would have argued with you vehemently on how hot jocks are. Now that I'm older personality and intelligence are more attractive to me. Not to say looks and athleticism don't count (they always do) but I consider those pluses rather than essentials.

    Posted by: terry | Dec 20, 2009 11:20:13 PM

  19. Gareth Thomas, you are totally my hero. I wish I knew about someone like you when I was ten. I hope there's a lot of kids out there who you'll reach - even kids who don't know much about rugby.

    Thank you.

    Posted by: Jon | Dec 21, 2009 1:08:55 AM

  20. " I only hope he stops apologizing to his wife soon - because it's not his "fault" for being gay."

    Steve, I think you're wrong about that one. Of course, it's not his fault that he's gay, but it is his fault for marrying someone to whom he had no sexual attraction. He used her as a beard which would have been okay, if she had known all along that he was gay. Now that it is done, I rather imagine that they will both move on and find people they can feel attracted to and the feeling will be reciprocated.

    That being said, I do know a woman who has had three gay husbands (and her name is not Liza). She finally realized that she only liked gay man, and she was better off just being our friend.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Dec 21, 2009 3:33:55 AM

  21. What a great guy, and I'll add my vote for "hot." He's definitely a 10 in my book. I wish him all the best.

    Posted by: Jack M | Dec 21, 2009 9:42:04 AM

  22. Great! Too bad he's a complete unknown in the US! Though here it's assumed you'd have to be gay to want to play rugby. The sport is almost too manly.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 21, 2009 9:29:02 PM

  23. There's nothing wrong with focusing on this man's looks. We're gay men, we like good looking guys. If this was a random story that featured a remotely good looking women & we were all straight guys, we'd be focusing on how hot said woman is.

    It's all relative.
    Anyways, this guys is SEX, & he's also very very brave.
    But most importantly, he's sexy as hell.

    Posted by: Travis | Dec 22, 2009 5:54:53 AM

  24. Where did it say it was the end of his career? He's hot and honest - two very nice qualities!

    Posted by: Todd | Dec 26, 2009 9:32:20 PM

  25. In this exclusive video interview with Meet The Boss TV, Welsh Rugby's celebrated Head Coach Warren Gatland shares about his team management style, his big lessons on and off pitch, and how four soldiers in a jeep helped him create a siege mentality.

    Watch the full video here -

    Posted by: Petrus Hansen | Nov 4, 2010 1:32:44 AM

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