Gareth Thomas, the Welsh rugby star who came out last month, has been revealed as the new patron for LGBT History Month.
The former Lions and current Cardiff Blues player said he was “honoured” to have been asked to support the campaign and added that he intended to take a hands-on role.
LGBT History Month is a yearly event held in February and organised by gay education charity Schools Out. It encourages schools to teach pupils about lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people’s contribution to history with events and special lessons.
Thomas said in a statement: “I felt honoured to have been asked to be the patron of LGBT History Month.
“I don’t want to just make this a token role, however. I intend to be hands-on within my role, not only to help make a difference to others but to also grow myself.”
Thomas is one of just a handful of out gay sportsmen. He came out publicly in December, having confided in his teammates and family.
Schools Out co-chair Sue Sanders said the event was going to take a stronger focus on sport as Britain prepares to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
She told PinkNews.co.uk: “We’re really excited that Gareth is going to be a patron for LGBT History Month.
“We’re going to be focusing in 2011 and 2012 on sport in the run-up the the Olympics. It’s just wonderful that Gareth is going to be there.
“We feel passionately that there’s a lot of work to be done around the whole issue in sport so it’s great that Gareth is going to be there supporting us.”
LGBT History month kicks off next month in schools Its annual conference is to be held on February 6th at London’s Drill Hall with films, a discussion panel and workshops on how to teach LGBT issues in schools.
The conference will be followed by a free screening of FIT, a film made for Stonewall to be distributed to all British schools, along with a chance to meet the director and cast.
For ticket prices and booking, visit drillhall.co.uk or call 02073075061.