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04/19/2007


Gareth Thomas Talks Mickey Rourke, Marriage, and Role Models

Thomas

A few choice quotes (and a stunning photo by Suki Dhanda) from Gareth Thomas from an interview in The Observer:

Mickey Rourke can almost finish my sentences. He understands where I have been because he has been there, too. There's a lot people don't know about him and it's the same with me. That's why he's the right person to play me [filming on a biopic of Thomas's life starts in April].

Other sportsmen have confided in me that they're gay. The advice I give is that coming out is great for you as a person, but that you also have to remember you're a role model. As a sportsman you take the money and the glory, but you also take the responsibility that comes with it and make sure the stories that follow are positive.

Neither my ex-wife nor I regret getting married. There was so much good in the seven years we spent together. The regret for me is the hurt I caused not just her but my parents, too.

More here.


Rugby Player Who Claims Stroke Turned Him Gay Speaks Out: VIDEO

Birch

Back in November I posted about Chris Birch, a Welsh former rugby player who claimed that after hurting his neck during practice and cutting off the blood flow to his brain, he suffered a stroke, and realized, as he recovered, that his sexual orientation had changed.

CbThe BBC has now done a documentary on Birch, who says he does not recognize himself in photos taken before his accident.

There are few known cases of a stroke turning a straight person gay, and major personality changes in stroke sufferers are rare. Even Jak Powell, Birch's fiance, believes his partner may always have been gay.

"I've still got the same opinion that it was just something that was always there," says Powell. "People grow up not knowing they are gay and have families and then they realise they are gay, but they don't have a stroke to realise that."

Yet Birch disagrees and is convinced that, neurologically, it was the stroke that altered his sense of self. The moment he realised his feelings towards men had changed was a scary period in his life.

"It was a sort of lonely time. It was a time I was afraid to tell anybody because that wasn't who I used to be, so it shouldn't be who I am now," he says.

Watch the full program while it stays up, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rugby Player Who Claims Stroke Turned Him Gay Speaks Out: VIDEO" »


News: Brazil, John Cameron Mitchell, Christine O'Donnell, Rome

 road The newest Real Housewives of Orange County cast member is a lesbian.

Ricky  road Ricky Martin joins Ke$ha and Kylie at the "40 Principales Awards" in Madrid.

 road The Manhattan Declaration app might make its way back onto iTunes.

 road Nicole Kidman on why she chose John Cameron Mitchell to helm her new movie Rabbit Hole: "I think a director that's very cold, or that's slightly removed or stoic, wouldn't have been so good because the script itself was very restrained. So it was the combination of a very raw director with a restrained script, I just thought that was interesting."

 road Critics less than thrilled over new Michael Jackson album.

 road The Gwent County Police department in Wales now has an LGBT unit.

 road Willow Smith's parents would rather put their 10-year-old child to work rather than give her an education.

Witch  road Christine O'Donnell's "I'm not a witch" is the quote of the year.

 road Nicole Richie and Joel Madden tie the knot.

 road Brazil will give pensions to gay couples: "The Social Security Ministry says in a Friday statement that the gay spouse of a retiree who dies will now be able to receive the pension payments once received by his or her companion. The policy covers formally registered workers who pay monthly social security fees."

 road Massachusetts serial killer confesses to the murder of eight women.

 road Angelina Jolie plus Johnny Depp does not equal box office gold.

 road Police in Rome arrest a group that robbed tourists, leaving one dead, outside of a gay club.


Rugby Players' Tweet Exchange Inspires Homophobia Row in UK

Welsh rugby star Jonathan Thomas apologized yesterday for an exchange with a fellow player on Twitter which made a joke about gay referee Nigel Owens:

Thomas  "Lock forward Jonathan Thomas, 27, who has 51 caps for Wales and is set to play in the second row against Scotland in the Six Nations in Cardiff on Saturday, wrote the offensive remarks during an exchange on Twitter yesterday morning with Ian Evans, one of his team-mates at the Welsh club Ospreys. Evans wrote: 'Legs and ass are in bits, can't move.' Thomas posted in reply: 'U gotta stop hanging round with Nigel Owens!' [a top Welsh referee who came out in 2007]. Evans then made an apology of sorts on behalf of Thomas: 'For those ppl [people] who got the wrong end of the stick... it was from our savage training day yesterday, sorry about my friend fellow ppl.'"

Said Thomas to the Independent: "Nigel is a great friend of mine and there is absolutely no way I would say anything to him or about him publicly – or indeed privately – which I thought he would find personally offensive. There is no malicious intent in this message whatsoever. This was some childish banter between friends and I did not think for a moment that there may be other people out there reading it and/or taking it in the wrong way.  I made a very silly comment to something else that was written, but nevertheless, I would like to apologise to anyone who is or was offended by it. I have spoken to Nigel this afternoon and, as I knew at the time of writing, he is not offended and he remains a very good friend. I have now removed the offending comment and will be much more conscious of distinguishing between private jokes and what can be said in a public forum in future."

Homophobia in sports is currently making headlines in the UK after the rejection by the Football Association of an anti-homophobia ad.

Gay activist Peter Tatchell scolded Thomas: "Homophobic tweets are just as unacceptable as similar outbursts on blogs and message boards. This is not what we would expect from players such as Jonathan Thomas. These remarks are particularly disappointing as they come just weeks after Jonathan's former international team-mate Gareth Thomas came out to such public acclaim and admiration.  Many of us expected and hoped that this was a turning point and that Welsh rugby could kiss goodbye to homophobia. Sadly, Jonathan's proved us wrong."

Owens shrugged off the controversy: "I am very good friends with John Thomas and Ian Evans. It's just banter, it's been taken totally out of context, I think people are sometimes losing their sense of humour. I am disappointed that some people cannot see the humour in what people say. It [was] meant as humour and I have no issues with people pulling my leg like that, they are good friends of mine. I think people are trying to make a issue where there isn't one."


Wales Rugby Star Gareth Thomas: I'm Gay

Gareththomas

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."


Largest Reproduction of Mona Lisa Goes on Display

Monalisa

It's a paint-by-numbers and it's on display at a Welsh shopping mall...

"Dozens of adults from community groups and youngsters from Wrexham schools coloured 82 vinyl tiles to make the paint-by-numbers portrait."


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