England

Embodying strength: former rugby player Gareth Thomas

Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009 while still playing professionally, is a leading figure when it comes to LGBT and sport in the UK.  Since leaving the pitch in 2011 with a stellar record, besides appearing as a commentator he has been active in championing messages on anti-homophobia and mental health that can flow from the challenges around being LGBT.  Last autumn, he announced that he was HIV positive, and followed this up by participating in the ‘Ironman’ triathlon to try and break the stigma around HIV and show that living with HIV is neither frail nor weak.  Chosen as one of the most influential LGBT icons in the UK, Gareth’s activism has been praised and lifted the discussion around sports and LGBT to the next level. 

Last year, he visited Tokyo for the Rugby World Cup, and spoke about his journey at a Pride House Tokyo event.  Please take a look at the article for further details.

https://www.events.great.gov.uk/ehome/ukinjapan/get-to-know-uk/sports-and-diversity/gareth-thomas/

 

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