gareth’s positive message

L.A.Pride: Before he married his childhood sweetheart, Thomas said he often “prayed to be straight.” “I remember before we got married, I used to go to the church, where we were due to get married, and I would sit there in the graveyard and look up at the steeple and I couldn’t say nothing to anybody and I’d sit there and I’d clench my hands and just close my eyes as tight as I could and just pray. Pray to be straight. Pray to be everything that the world thought I should be,” Thomas told DeGeneres. Thomas added that athletes coming out gay can send a positive message. “Sport is something that can change the world. And with somebody being gay in sport and being able to continue that sport sends such a positive message to children and adults” (Rugby star Gareth Thomas says he ‘prayed to be straight’).

Pinknews: “When I was on the field at Castleford I could hear some chants from a small section of the crowd. “It wasn’t very nice and I was pretty hurt by what I could hear. I’m only human and I can’t deny I was hurt. I think the RFL have taken action against Castleford over their fans and I’ve been told there were people in the crowd telling those chanting to shut up. “Perhaps we need to go through this so that those few people realise no one else will stand for it and then it hopefully won’t happen to the next person who comes out.” Speaking to the Guardian, Thomas also revealed he has never actually come out to his parents. He said: “I don’t think I’ve ever told them I’m gay. When me and Jemma split they kind of put two and two together. At the time I couldn’t really say the word ‘gay’ because I wasn’t ready. Now I know they know and so we haven’t had the big dramatic conversation.” He added that his mother insisted on opening champagne when the news of his homosexuality broke as a “celebration of the rest of my life” (Fans hurl homophobic abuse at Gareth Thomas).

Gareth Thomas (born 25 July 1974 in Sarn near Bridgend), known as Alfie, is a Welsh professional rugby footballer who plays rugby league for the Crusaders in Europe’s Super League. He previously played rugby union for the Cardiff Blues and Wales in a number of positions including fullback, wing and centre. On 26 May 2007, he surpassed Gareth Llewellyn as the most-capped Wales player with his 93rd appearance. Thomas is listed ninth in the world on the all-time Test try scoring list and he is the 2nd highest Wales try scorer behind Shane Williams. During the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Thomas scored a try in what was his final game for Wales, and in the process created sporting history when he become the first Welshman to win 100 international caps in rugby union. On 6th October 2010 Thomas became a dual code international when he represented the Wales rugby league team against Italy at the Wrexham Racecourse Ground. In December 2009 Thomas announced publicly that he is gay. He told the Daily Mail, “I don’t want to be known as a gay rugby player. I am a rugby player, first and foremost I am a man”. Thomas’ public confirmation of his sexuality made him the first openly gay professional rugby union player (Wikipedia: Gareth Thomas (rugby)).

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