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Watch: Gay Rugby Icon Gareth Thomas Talks Coming Out on 'Ellen'


Today, Ellen DeGeneres sits down with Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas, who discusses how he told his wife he's gay, and then his family and teammates. Thomas also offers coming out advice to athletes.

Says Ellen: "I give you so much credit because to be in such a macho sport and to decide that it's more important to live your life, your truth no matter what, is a big deal."

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

(clip via snicks at afterelton)

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  1. Very good interview. I hope many people will watch this. He has been through difficult times. He was absolutely right to tell first to his wife and parents. His parents truly showed their love, a good example for many families.
    I think he is handsome. More here than in the field, perhaps because here he shows his feelings and thoughts.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jan 4, 2011 10:24:51 AM

  2. oh dear. Mickey Rourke will not be able to do justice to this beautiful and apparently quite sensitive man.

    Posted by: hugo | Jan 4, 2011 10:33:24 AM

  3. GARETH IS A MAJOR HERO. He made my day. BIG TIME

    Posted by: Max F. Grump | Jan 4, 2011 10:54:02 AM

  4. is he a big ol bottom?

    Posted by: dards4444 | Jan 4, 2011 11:07:33 AM

  5. DARDS4444, oh probably.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jan 4, 2011 11:22:09 AM

  6. Lord have mercy, that man is unspeakably hot. And smart and kind, too, which makes it even more difficult to breathe. Some British bloke is going to be very, very lucky one day.

    Good for him. :)

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jan 4, 2011 11:38:11 AM

  7. I love Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. I thought that was one of the best movie performances in the last 10 years & it was a shame it came out the same year Sean Penn did Milk. Having said that, I think he's too old to play Gareth. Jason Statham or somebody unknown would be more appropriate.

    Posted by: scar2 | Jan 4, 2011 12:41:10 PM

  8. Gareth is a legend! Well done on the Ellen Show, fair play.

    (And such rubbish bitchy comments about his sexual preference, grow up children!)

    Posted by: Sean R | Jan 4, 2011 12:48:48 PM

  9. The only reason why a movie about Gareth Thomas is even being made is because of Mickey Roarke's involvement. There is no market for a coming out story of a Gay man in a sport hardly anyone knows about. Sure there are other age appropriate actors out there that would better fit the role, but those actors won't bring in investors or distribution.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Jan 4, 2011 12:57:40 PM

  10. Wow, judging by the wedding photos, losing those teeth and the hair was the best thing that could have happened to him.

    Posted by: borut | Jan 4, 2011 1:08:08 PM

  11. Since Andy obviously deleted my comment, I'll try again without saying the word 'bitchy' like Sean rightfully did above my post.

    The two comments about his sex life are often the reason hyper masculine guys don't come out, period. They do not want to be associate with the most visible portion, and what they perceive to be the entirety, of the openly gay community; the gossipy, mean girls that behave like 12 year old tweens who are actually grown men.

    Andy, this is not trolling. It's an honest criticism that many in the gay community share so please don't silence it just because you disagree.

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 4, 2011 1:12:14 PM

  12. He's not really my type but that torso in a lycra shirt is totally bang-worthy. :)

    Posted by: sparks | Jan 4, 2011 1:15:20 PM

  13. He's OK. Not unattractive, certainly. I don't see the reasons for hyperventilating. If he were a waiter and not an athlete, he'd not be cause for such swooning. Also, this quote makes me crazy: ""I don't want to be known as a gay rugby player. I am a rugby player, first and foremost I am a man." Yes, because gay men are not men. We all went through this stage, but canonizing a jock in his gay emotional infancy seems premature.

    Posted by: Jeff In Boston | Jan 4, 2011 1:39:40 PM

  14. sugarrhill Rugby isnt a sport 'hardly anyone knows about'. Maybe its not big in the US, but that is only 5% of the world believe it or not. The rest of the world might know about it..

    Posted by: Rovex | Jan 4, 2011 1:47:27 PM

  15. JEFF IN BOSTON, you know waiters with bodies like that? Please, do tell me where you have your drinks;)

    Posted by: borut | Jan 4, 2011 2:06:38 PM

  16. @Jeff: I think you're a little severe and maybe a little bit patronizing and intolerant of your gay brother Gareth. I appreciate the subtext of what you're saying, which, I think, is that some of that verbage is an artifact of HIDING.

    On the other hand, it's worth saying that it will be great when the time comes that a man's intimate life doesn't figure into how he's valued as a person (except to his partner) and as an athlete. We're not at a place where sportscasters can refer to a gay athlete's boyfriend (and children) in the same way they have been able to refer to another athlete's girlfriend or wife - and children. Gareth would like it to be a non-issue. So would I--so that if the subject comes up no particular notice need be taken.

    All of this is the result of the long history of gay men's being de-masculinized by straight men--being degraded for loving to be loved by another man--yes, for being penetrated. This is the almost unfathomably deep construct our culture has lived, time out of mind. The gods of gay political correctness could be a little more cognizant--and tolerant--of how complicated and even devastating becoming free of it can be.

    Posted by: Danny | Jan 4, 2011 2:09:44 PM

  17. Great! I admire the gay. He's very handsome in a special and very sensitive way. I think that in fact Jason Statham would be the perfect guy to play this role.
    C'mon Jason do it and I'm sure you'll be formidable.

    Posted by: Octavio Zuaznabar | Jan 4, 2011 2:25:29 PM

  18. Um. Borut, you have been to Provincetown or New York, have you not? Besides, the waiter comment wasn't about his build. It was about fame, fortune and the ability of some gay men to turn into audience members at a boy-band concert just because someone can throw/pass a ball.

    Posted by: Jeff In Boston | Jan 4, 2011 2:31:57 PM

  19. Ya gotta give the dude a lotta credit. This is unchartered gay territory. Has anyone else come out while still in the midst of their career (in sports)? Even Miss Ricky didn't have the guts to come out until 15 years after the peak of his career. Mickey is a great actor but he's nearly 20 years older than Gareth -- way too old to play him.

    Posted by: Swine | Jan 4, 2011 2:37:37 PM

  20. Ya gotta give the dude a lotta credit. This is unchartered gay territory. Has anyone else come out while still in the midst of their career (in sports)? Even Miss Ricky didn't have the guts to come out until 15 years after the peak of his career. Mickey is a great actor but he's nearly 20 years older than Gareth -- way too old to play him.

    Posted by: Swine | Jan 4, 2011 2:37:45 PM

  21. he is my newest gay icon...

    Posted by: kristian | Jan 4, 2011 2:44:37 PM

  22. @ Jeff

    Each to his own! I'd still think he is fit even if he wasn't famous!

    Sugarhill, I'm britsh and I'm sure not only all Europeans but also Australians, South Africans, The Japanese, South Americans and even some African countries who ALL play rugby, will think you're a nut case.

    Go on. Make a film about some American football player or some Baseball player....or even golf player...or swimmer....lets see how many people will want to see it!

    God, you Aamericans really think you are the centre of the world. Sheez.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jan 4, 2011 3:06:30 PM

  23. Now that is a real gay hero.

    Posted by: jaragon | Jan 4, 2011 6:07:51 PM

  24. @Rowan - AMEN! Rugby is the 3rd most watched sport in the world, so a movie about a rugby player, and one as well known as Gareth may bomb in the US... But it will definitely do well everywhere else.

    I still wouldn't say no to him either... ;-)

    Posted by: Jai | Jan 4, 2011 6:10:27 PM

  25. wow. he's--in a word--adorable. wonderfully sweet, kind face, and it goes without saying, ruggedly handsome. But he sounds like a man full of heart.

    I wouldn't kind getting knocked around by him for an evening.

    Posted by: Danny | Jan 4, 2011 6:12:46 PM

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