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Gareth Thomas ‘invited closeted star’ to coming out party

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  1. Gay activist Paul Mitchell 29 Jan 2010, 9:49am

    What a fantastic role model to gay and lesbian teenagers who are scared (and even adult gays and lesbians) who are afraid to take the plunge and go to the final step of coming out.

    You are truly a hero not only as a rugby player, but as a player for coming out!!!!!

    It is 2010 last time I checked the calander and hopefully we make even more progress on work on 3 things yet to be done in the UK such as -

    * Repealing the ban on blood donations by bisexual and gay men;
    * Repealing civil partnerships and implementing full and equal civil marriages that are in-line with heterosexuals and;
    * Fully addressing hatred or bias of any shape or form in all sports.

    All of us need to work very hard together in this decade from 2010 to 2020!!!

  2. At last we are moving away from the limp wristed fairy stereotype which most of us see as caricature in any case and has bogged us down for years!

  3. Really breaking down those stereotypes by partying with gay celebrities and other c-listers in a London nightclub.

  4. Tim Hopkins 29 Jan 2010, 10:07am

    Paul, unusually I disagree with one part of your comment #1. Our surveys in Scotland indicate that the majority of LGBT people want civil partnership retained, not repealed, when marriage is opened to same-sex couples. And some mixed-sex couples want the choice of civil partnership.

    The Equality Network’s position is that both marriage and civil partnership should be available as choices for all couples regardless of gender.

  5. I’m really pleased to see a sporting celebrity come out of the closet. But could we please remember that those “limp wristed fairies” were out, and living their lives, while all the ‘big and butch’ and even most of the ‘I’m just the bloke next door’ brigade were safely tucked away, saying nothing, risking nothing.

    The thing to celebrate here is diversity: that you can be a gentle, even feminine man, and be securely gay or even “straight but girly”, that you can be a butch woman and be either a lesbian or a bit bi, or heterosexual. That we can stop seeing “butchness” as male or imitation-male, and gentleness as ‘girly’ or ‘fairy” and just let all kinds of people be accepted and valued and not f’ing bullied for being who they are!

  6. Simon Murphy 29 Jan 2010, 11:30am

    Mike: No 2: You say: “At last we are moving away from the limp wristed fairy stereotype which most of us see as caricature in any case and has bogged us down for years! ”

    You speak as if there is something WRONG with camp gay guys.

    Please explain what you mean with your statement above as your comment strikes me as really nasty and homophobic.

    Do you think camp guys should stay indoors, or that they deserve the homophobic abuse they get from bullies (gay and straight)?

    I’ll tell you why Gareth Thomas is a novelty – it’s precisely because like so many men who ‘appear’ straight he was happy to play along with that role and remain in the closet.

    It’s fantastic that he’s come out but the reality is that sometimes there is a tendency for ‘straight-acting’ people like him to take the lazy option and remain in the closet.

    He’s a great role model – the closet cases are anything but and the camp stereotypes have no choice in the matter so they are brave people.

  7. Sister Mary clarence 29 Jan 2010, 11:44am

    Get back in your cage Simon. Trying to rip someone’s throat out every time they say something you don’t like (or don’t understand) is getting a bit tiresome.

    Mike may well have just been making the point that the likes of Gareth Thomas coming out help show the broad spectrum of people who are gay. Nothing more sinister than that.

    Personally I find your comments about ‘straight-acting’ people being lazy by staying in the closet obtuse and simplistic. If only life were that simply for the rest of the world, as it seems to be for you in your little black and white world. There can be all manner of reason why someone is unable to be open about their sexuality and and a foot in the groin from you whenever you come across one emphasises the bitterness all to often present in your postings on here.

    Go look up the word ‘tolerance’ maybe.

  8. OK Gareth we get it you came out. But do we really need to know every minor detail?

    Tomorrows Gareth Thomas story is: Gareth sees cute guy in Sainsburys and gets a boner.

    Don’t let the media use you as their pet gay Gareth, just get on with your life and play your rugby.

  9. Simon Murphy 29 Jan 2010, 12:51pm

    Yes but Mary Clarence – you support the Tory Party despite their obvious homophobia. That says PLENTY about you and your priorities.

    Some people are camp. Some people are not. But for a (presumably) gay man to say that a camp man is a ‘caricature’ who has ‘bogged us down for years’ is a spiteful, homophobic comment.

    Then again, you’re a Tory. You’re probably so used to homophobia from your Tory friends you don’t even see how offensive it is anymore.

  10. Second Row Forward 29 Jan 2010, 1:39pm

    Sorry, but the camp man often has been a ‘caricature’ and it has ‘bogged [some of] us down for years’. That’s just a fact. It’s not the fault of the camp individual at all, it’s the fault of the old media and therefore former societal preconceptions of what gay men must be to be accepted in their pigeon hole given them by the straight majority. Thankfully those attitudes are breaking down and now people realise that there is no ‘gay community’ just as there is no real gay stereotype. The gay population is as diverse as any other.

    Perhaps some, on both sides of the coin, prefer the old way when the identifiably gay (i.e. camp) could be seen to be terribly avant garde but tolerated, whereas the reality is most of us are just happy with acceptance.

    p.s. That also goes for tired old assumptions that ‘being gay=voting Labour’ out of some sort of identity loyalty.

  11. BrazilBoysBlog 29 Jan 2010, 1:47pm

    I agree. Whilst I can see the logic behind an argument saying that Gareth is helping to break down stereotypes and is a positive role model for lesbian and gay youth, we should not be dismissive of ´camp´ or effeminate gays… (or ´butch´ lesbians for that matter). Here in the local city where I live now in Brazil, the local community comes together for it´s gay pride carnival parades.

    Gay, bi, lesbian, transgendered, butch, effeminate, the very young to the very old, heterosexual youths.. It´s about celebrating diversity here… Not a bad aim to aspire to?

  12. Sister Mary clarence 29 Jan 2010, 2:50pm

    Thanks for the reply Simon – is does kind of make my point though doesn’t it – tolerance is clearly something you feel that other people should have, but clearly you’re above it.

    Apologies for not fitting in with your world view, but if we could maybe stick to the topic, which isn’t actually anything whatsoever to do with your voting intentions, mine, or even Gareth Thomas’.

  13. Gay activist Paul Mitchell 29 Jan 2010, 3:14pm

    2010 Policy (Amendments) For This Decade:

    Bullet point number 2 which currently quotes -

    “Repealing civil partnerships and implementing full and equal civil marriages that are in-line with heterosexuals and”.

    OMIT.

    Put instead -

    “Keep civil partnerships intact and allow two people of the opposite sex to enter into a civil partnership in-line with same sex couples. Keep civil marriage in-tact and allow two people of the same sex to enter into a civil marriage in-line with opposite sex couples and”

    AS AMENDED.

    * Signed by me.
    * Effective now.

  14. Simon Murphy 29 Jan 2010, 4:30pm

    “tolerance is clearly something you feel that other people should have, but clearly you’re above it.”

    I believe that people deserve tolerance only so long as they are willing to reciprocate it.

    Neither the Tory Party or Mike from post number 2 are tolerant.

    Therefore they can go swing, if they think their stupid homophobia deserves anything but contempt.

  15. Tim Hopkins 29 Jan 2010, 5:23pm

    Thanks Paul!

  16. Sister Mary clarence 29 Jan 2010, 5:28pm

    There we go then, Simon. I think people should show tolerance to others irrespective of whether it is reciprocated.

    Taking your argument, the Tory party need not show you any tolerance because you are not prepared to show them any. We then get into circular chicken and egg arguments, who didn’t show who what first.

    Treat others as you would hoped to be treated yourself mate and you get far more out of life.

    I don’t know when you decided to set yourself up as judge and jury over the behaviour of others, but it suggests you consider yourself to be superior to the rest of us.

    Its just a form of bullying Simon – and that isn’t big or clever in whatever from it comes.

  17. BOOM and then the bubble burst, a coming -out party?! Hey, we’re going to have a party, coming with? sure – what r we celebrating? Me being gay….Thats so PLASTIC i want to puke. Good for him 2 come out, good he get loads of support, but to celebrate at a celebrity hangout with Londons queer glitterati – how much more wannabe do you want? People are strange.

  18. Sister Mary Clarence: Pot, kettle, black.
    Here’s what you had to say about Labour supporters in the debate on Cameron’s statement about gay relationships this week:
    “It used to be the Tories that were seen to be selfish – but Jesus Christ take a good hard look at yourselves and the flimsy reasons you give for supporting Labour.
    Ask yourself which if the following apply to you – bitter, selfish, resentful.Yes – that’s right. All of them.
    Oh, and did I mention stupid.”
    No bullying or shouting down there then!
    I don’t always agree with Simon but the point that we should embrace all aspects of our big gay world was well intentioned and no different from the point DavidW made.

  19. “Tomorrows Gareth Thomas story is: Gareth sees cute guy in Sainsburys and gets a boner”.

    Abi1975 – I spat my tea out laughing out loud. Bloody funny.
    I agree with your last comment. This needs to be kept in proportion in relation to what got him here in the first place – namely, the rugby. By the sound of his tweets today, he is aware of that. Unfortunately, he is such a novelty (openly gay man in macho sport) that the media can’t resist reporting his every move. I hope for his sake that it dies down and soon otherwise he is going to become cannon fodder like rooney and beckham etc etc. I dont want that for him.

  20. It really riles me to see people defending the limp-wristed stereotypical ‘queer’. What an insult to me as a gay man – am I reduced to respecting campness as the highest form of gayness??

    People are so quick to defend that limp-wristed, feminine types who have a ‘right’ to be ‘gay’, rah rah diversity, blah blah blah. It’s so 1980′s! What next, relaunch the village people?

    To those that support gayness as a steretype …. get real! – stereotypes are never good and should not be defended in the name of diversity. They are anti-diversity. REAL diversity is not being a stereotype.

    Stereotypes typically exist out of the loathing of others or self-loathing – a quick heuristic to reduce an entire people to one aspect and nothing more, to dehumanise – upholding stereotypes is not diversity.

    Ultimately, I get the impression certain types of gay men are very threatened by men like Gareth Thomas.

    A gay man is a man first and formost. Why not be just a man, a person, a humanised human being…. instead of feeling the need to be reductively be a ‘gay’ man. It’s holding us back. Ridiculous I know, but go with me:- where would black people be if they celebrated B&W minstrels. Think it over!

  21. The fact of the matter is that some, no, many gay men are at best camp, at worst limp-wristed. That is just a fact. Gareth Thomas is a fine example of a gay men who doesn’t fit that category, but to suggest that his masculinity is typical of most gay men is frankly laughable! Why can’t we just accept that gaydom encompasses a wide spectrum of types. Isn’t that what diversity is all about?

  22. John(Derbyshire) 29 Jan 2010, 10:56pm

    The sad thing about this story-is that even though Gareth has come out-the Closeted gay sports star referred to in the story-still didn`t have the confidence to do so his self.

  23. Simon Murphy 30 Jan 2010, 1:09am

    What’s the difference between Gareth Thomas and Alan Carr?

    One is camp, the other is not.

    It is really offensive to suggest that some gay men are ‘letting the side down’ by being naturally camp.

    They are both as worthwhile as each other.

    Straight society creates the ‘stereotype’ of the the camp gay man. Don’t blame them for some other people’s attitudes. And certainly don’t be so stupid to agree to the view that camp guys are ‘bad’ gays.

    Gareth Thomas and Alan Carr both like the penis. Therefore in the bedroom they are as gay as each other. And neither 1 is better than the other.

  24. Sister Mary clarence 30 Jan 2010, 4:18am

    “don’t always agree with Simon but the point that we should embrace all aspects of our big gay world was well intentioned ….”

    Stewart, so talk me though Simon’s embracing of those gay people in the closet then …. and when you’ve finished you can maybe talk me though his embracing of gay Tories.

    Bit of selective reading there mate if ever I saw it!!

  25. BrazilBoysBlog 30 Jan 2010, 6:26am

    @yepitsme. ” REAL diversity is not being a stereotype.”

    No, REAL diversity is being whatever you WANT to be. I do not ´respect campness as the highest form of gayness´, I respect campness as ANOTHER form of gayness.

    We cannot really expect others to stop discriminating until we are ourselves can.

  26. Point number 1) Well done to Gareth for coming out. This Media party – sorry coming out party does strike me as a media stunt for Attitude. As someone who has lead a sports club for gay people, leading the way and doing my own bit to combat homophobia in martial arts I was a little disappointed not to be invited myself. One could argue it’s the ordinary people like me that have paved the way for people of higher profile to come out.

    Point 2) Limpr wristed fairies…well in my view as many people hide their real personality behind the mask of campness and effete mannerisms as hide in a closet. As has been beautifully stated higher up in these comments let’s get used to tolerating anybody for how they choose to be – as long as that is an honest choice.

    Point 3) Let’s have a coming out date where all the sports and public figures who haven’t come out just do it – all on the same day. The media won’t know where to turn first and we’ll all get over it pretty quickly – job done.

  27. I’m quite appalled by the comments on this article so far. Where the hell is all the libellous speculation on who the ‘invited closted star’ might be?…I feel really let down…

  28. ChutneyBear 1 Feb 2010, 5:35pm

    To be honest the limp wristed fairyness does seem to be a bit of an act, I have some good friends who are naturally camp and dont play it up at all and thats fine by me thats how they are but there are other blokes out there and they just seem to be screaming from the roof tops, I have usually avoided these idiots but a few weeks back I tore one to shreds, I dont have time for it. As Simon said and put it quite well “let’s get used to tolerating anybody for how they choose to be – as long as that is an honest choice.”

  29. Pink Oboe Player 2 Feb 2010, 1:03pm

    @ Mark

    Its because everybody knows it was Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell

  30. Dan Filson 7 Mar 2011, 5:27pm

    Are the types of comments so far posted on this item really constructive? I don’t think so – why do people feel so obliged to turn on one another. I think Gareth coming out was constructive. I have on problems with him having a party to celebrate. Who his mystery guest was is up to him and Gareth. And some people are camp, get over it.

  31. Brawo for Mr Thomas for coming out……

    But him setting himself up (or being held up) as a crusader for people to coming out just feels a bit wrong to me.
    Being in the closet in the sports industry is completely understandable, but marrying a woman, repeatedly cheating on her behind her back to cover that lie is far from noble.

    I often think Mr Thomas is more of a headline seeker than anything else I’m afraid.

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