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Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas Tells His Powerful Coming Out Story on 'Jonathan Ross': VIDEO

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Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas was greeted with cheers on The Jonathan Ross Show in the UK last night in conjunction with his new autobiography, Proud.

Thomas talked about how he lived a lie for so long and how damaging it is to a person and those around them. He also spoke about how he couldn't have come out and continued to play rugby at a young age because of the abuse he would have had to endure, and how that continues in sport, particularly football.

Said Thomas:

"I didn't come out because I wanted to be the first person to do it. I came out because I came to the crossroads of living or dying, and that's why I decided to come out. Because I wanted to live. I get stopped, even today, constantly on the street by people I have never met in my entire life, and they'll say to me, 'I Just want to thank you for helping my brother, mother, father, sister, auntie, uncle, because you gave them the strength to be who they want to be...I have won every trophy that I can ever dream of winning but when you affect somebody’s life, in a way that this person is going to have a life that they never thought they could have because of me, stupid old me, because of that they could do that, it’s amazing."

Thomas also talked about the difficulty of telling his former wife Gemma that he's gay.

Watch his powerful interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

As we reported recently, Thomas is the subject of a stage play that is in development, and an upcoming film starring Mickey Rourke.

Continue reading "Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas Tells His Powerful Coming Out Story on 'Jonathan Ross': VIDEO" »


Nashville's Gay Rugby Team Gets Wet, Muddy, and Shirtless for New Calendar: PHOTOS

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2015 is 'bearing' down on us in a big way now that the Nashville Grizzlies gay rugby calendar has arrived!

One of the team's members, Thomas H., writes us:

"The Nashville Grizzlies RFC is a USA Rugby Division III club. We are a socially and ethnically diverse group of guys ages 19-53 learning a great sport, getting some good exercise and giving back to our community. Established in 2006, the Grizzlies have had the opportunity to play teams all over the nation and abroad. Every two years we travel to the Bingham Cup, named in honor of Mark Bingham who died on United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11, 2001 attacks. We played in the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney, Australia, where we won the Hoagland Vase, named in honor of Mark’s mother. We are currently in the process of bidding for the 2016 Bingham Cup and are excited about the chance to bring an international gay rugby tournament to the South.

This year, we are raising to money to ensure that gay rugby is as affordable as possible to all of our players, regardless of their means. Part of our efforts include our annual calendar fundraiser. This year, local photographer Chris Malone lent his talents for us to have a very artistic and creative calendar.

The calendars are available at the team's shop, but you can see a few more sexy preview shots, as well as a photo of the team in Sydney, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Nashville's Gay Rugby Team Gets Wet, Muddy, and Shirtless for New Calendar: PHOTOS" »


The Story of Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas is Coming to the Stage

A stage play about the life of gay Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas is in development, Wales Online reports:

ThomasA joint production between National Theatre Wales and Out of Joint, it tells the story of the former Wales rugby captain who came out as gay five years ago.

Alfie has been involved in the production, which is described as telling “a great Welsh story about sport, politics, secrets, life and learning to be yourself.”

Full details about the show’s tour, and its cast, are to be announced in the new year.

Writer Robin Soans is known for his documentary verbatim plays based on interviews with real people, and it is being directed by Max Stafford-Clark.

The announcement said: “This is the story of two Welsh names bruised, but not beaten, by media speculation; Gareth “Alfie” Thomas, 100 caps for Wales, once its captain, now the world’s most prominent gay sportsman; and his hometown, Bridgend.”

National Theatre Wales' artistic director John McGrath said: "National Theatre Wales has always set out to tell great Welsh stories, and they don't come much greater than this. Gareth Thomas is a hero to thousands of people, and his journey from world-class rugby player to world-class gay rights campaigner is extraordinary.

An upcoming movie about Thomas stars Mickey Rourke. Over the summer Rourke told Jimmy Kimmel about a scene in which he shares a bath with another man:

“There’s a scene where I’m in the tub with another guy and I remove my teeth at the front and put them on the edge of the bath – you know, before we get it on."


London School of Economics Disbands Rugby Team Following Homophobic Display

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The London School of Economics has disbanded its men’s rugby club following the digital publication of a misogynistic, homophobic leaflet that the team passed out during a fair welcoming this semester’s fall freshman. The incendiary flyers triggered swift backlash from the LSE student body that quickly organized protests and reached out to university officials about the circulating slurs.

In response to the public’s outcry the LSE student union took to its Tumblr to announce its intentions of launching a full scale investigation into the circumstances leading up to the flyers creation.

“This investigation will be thorough,” the statement reads. “It will hear from both individuals that complained and the Club itself. This will allow us to determine any appropriate action.”

The rugby club expressed its regret through the university’s student newspaper, The Beaver, assuring students that it had every intention of cooperating with the student union’s investigation.

“LSE Men’s Rugby does not tolerate misogyny, racism, homophobia or prejudice of any description and the Club remains committed to the LSE’s equal opportunities policy. Clearly, on this occasion we not only failed ourselves, but the university which we are so proud to represent.”

Michael Etheridge, an openly gay administrator at the university wrote an impassioned open letter rejecting the rugby club’s apology as lip service and belying the much larger issue of homophobia within the world of sports.

“The pathetic statement from the Men’s Rugby Team shows no engagement with the issues, apologising not for their misogyny and homophobia, but for the decision to publish it.” he said. “The leaflet’s authors not only excluded gay people from their society, but went further in employing homophobia as a promotional tool.

The school’s women’s rugby team, a separate, unaffiliated organization, also issued its own condemnation of their male counterparts, stating that inclusion and diversity were key elements to the overall success of all of LSE’s sports teams.


New Zealand Gay Rights Proponents Angered By Heterosexual Pair's 'Gay Wedding'

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New Zealanders Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick are jumping the broom and getting hitched this week. The "aww"-inducing announcement has been tampered, however, by the two friends' status as heterosexual pals out to win a trip.

The Edge radio station in New Zealand recently hosted a contest to see which bromance could make the ultimate cut. The prize? An all-expenses paid excursion to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. The catch? Travis and Matt have to get married. Since same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand just last year, many gay rights groups see the heterosexual union as a mockery of what they spent so long trying to achieve.

News.com.au reports:

LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood told the Otago Daily Times that the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

“The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at ...

“Maybe on the day that statistics around mental health for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people are better, when high schools are safe places for LGBTI youth, we can look back on all this and laugh.

“But competitions like this don’t bring that day any closer.”

Though Zack and Travis likely support same-sex marriages, and are apparently quite confident in their heterosexuality, their statements about the ceremony are admittedly lacking in sympathy or nuance.

“We are not here to insult anyone. We are here to do our own thing and travel our own path,” McCormick told the Otago Daily Times.

McIntosh said the wedding was not mocking the institution of marriage.

“It’s just seeing how far two good mates would go to win a trip to the Rugby World Cup."

As one gay rights group commentator noted, the language of "how far" the pair are willing to go seems to suggest that same-sex marriage on the whole is "something outrageous that you'd never consider." Of course Zack and Travis's ceremony can also be chalked up to a lark and an occasion to celebrate their friendship.

What do you think of the wedding? Sound off in the comments below.


British Rugby Star Zak Hardaker Faces Second Allegation of Anti-Gay Slur

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British rugby star Zak Hardaker, who was given a five-match ban and fined £300 in June of this year for calling a player a "f--king fag" during the live broadcast of a match, is under investigation again for alleged homophobic abuse, The Guardian reports:

The Rugby Football League has confirmed it has launched an inquiry into allegations that the 22-year-old used inappropriate language during the Rhinos’ 13-12 defeat by St Helens on Friday night...

...“We are investigating an incident during the Super League match against St Helens,” said an RFL spokesman.

If Hardaker is charged and found guilty he may face a suspension of up to eight matches, which would not only end his season with Leeds but would cast a doubt over his availability for England’s Four Nations tour to Australia.

Hardaker, who met with members of Manchester's LGBT community and trained with a gay rugby team following his previous infraction, objected to the allegations in a series of tweets which he later deleted:

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Tweeted Hardaker:

"People don't know the consequences this has on myself and my family and it's pissing me right off!!!...And the fact that people are saying iv said a homeaphobic (sic) comment or that I'm homeaphobic (sic) is a load of rubbish!! Iv had ENOUGH...Well this is the last straw for me.. Sick of the crap that's coming out about me, nobody knows anything so why would you comment in it"

Hardaker's latest alleged remarks ("f--king poof"), which were captured on a Vine video circulated on social media, were thought to be directed at St Helens second-row Mark Flanagan.


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