The geniuses at Guinness have made another compelling video, this time featuring 100-cap Wales and Lions captain Gareth Thomas and his battle to come to terms with his sexuality
Whicheve lens you look through, Gareth Thomas is a rugby legend. He became the first player to represent Wales 100 times, he was a Grand Slam winning captain with Wales in 2005 and captained the Lions the same year in New Zealand. He was also a Heineken Cup winner with Toulouse but despite all his achievements from within the game, he was struggling with personal demons that were subsuming him.
In this powerful, emotive video, he speaks candidly about the personal trauma of coming out when he had been ‘living a lie’ and telling his team-mates he was gay and the fear of how he would be treated by the Welsh public. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
Thomas goes into detail to explain that he didn’t want his sexuality to define who he was but keeping the truth from his team-mates, his ‘family’ was giving him sleepless nights. After a Wales game in 2006, he broke down in tears and was asked by Scott Johnson what was wrong? “Is that the door being opened and the slightest chink of light coming through,” he said. ” I either close that door, or boot it open as hard as I can and deal with the consequences.” He told his closest friends, Martyn Williams and Stephen Jones and felt an enourmous weight off his shoulders. He said in the aftermath the people of Wales said his sexuality didn’t matter to them, leading Wales was more important to them.
Gareth Thomas thought he was alone but he was always part of a team.
Lovely stuff from Guinness.