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Fans hurl homophobic abuse at Gareth Thomas

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  1. “Fans” hurl homophobic abuse at Gareth Thomas, and yet there are Tory-supporters coming onto these Comments pages and telling us that everything’s changed in Britain, that the Tories aren’t the same party anymore, that this country has moved on, that homophobia doesn’t exist any more! That we don’t have to worry about the massive number of Christian donors supporting the Tory Party, or the massive number of Christian Fundamentalists who are actually Tory Part candidates in THIS election! 37 of them at least according to The Guardian on the weekend.

  2. It’s why we need to continue to arrest christians who openly denigrate us when they are preaching in public. To tell people that homosexuality and our relationships are sinful and an abomination is not acceptable. They are no longer allowed to preach that interracial marriage is wrong, and they will eventually realise that they cannot treat us this way. Zero tolerance on homophobic abuse and no hiding behind religious frocks to justify it.

  3. Thomas, you shouldn’t worry about those idiots. You’re the object of admiration for me and many many people.
    Don’t forget that they’re just a small minority of bigots and that you have thousands (if not millions) other people behind you.

  4. Yes, if anyone knows Gareth Thomas tell him of our support and best wishes here, for all that they’re worth. He’s a fine and brave man. And a dreamboat.

  5. This is the reason why people like max clifford etc. tell sports men not to come out. Straight players get called gay/queer/faggot to try and put them off their game, so as if the opposition aren’t going to use it against a gay man.
    I wonder what would happen to a crowd of fans that were chanting the word ‘nigga’ at a black player. They’d probs be banned from the ground. Why not for calling a player ‘gay/queer/faggot’.
    Also it highlights how the word ‘gay’ ‘queer’ etc. is used as a derogatory term. We shoulds stop using words to describe ourselves that the people who hate us have given us. It’s like the word ‘nigga’ or ‘coon’, you can’t use that word unless you are black.

  6. Gareth Thomas’ mum is nice!

  7. Well, Gareth, welcome to the ‘real world’. Few of us get to have the fairytale ‘coming out’ you have had. The real test of coming out is living it….sorry your party is over.

  8. Simon, you sound worryingly without a shred of human compassion. I think you have cruelly underestimated the difficulties that Gareth has gone through over the course of many years. Do a little homework, will you? You’ll find that Gareth has not had it easy.

  9. The Grinch 4 May 2010, 7:48pm

    I hardly think me attending the match and yelling “2,4,6,8 – join me in the locker and let’s masturbate” is homophobic abuse! How very dare they…

  10. Eddy, you can jump to such a drastic conclusion about me based on two sentences? What does that tell us about you?

    I applaud Gareth Thomas enormously – however the star-spangled press treatment Gareth has received since his public coming out is somewhat of a false dawn. I have taught self defence to many gay people for the past 12 years and have heard dozens of horrifc stories of homophobic bullying and aggression including someone who still didn’t recognize their own face in the mirror after it had had to be rebuilt when he got a good kicking. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

    I found the celebrity coverage of Gareth’s coming out to be somewhat unrealistic and misleading. I’ll save my compassion for those who don’t have the press behind them to pick them up out of the gutter when some thug has left them there – where is the press then?

  11. Jean-Paul 5 May 2010, 6:39am

    @4 Argos:

    Spot on. Too bad we can’t send him a word of support (or two, or three..).

  12. He sounds a bit too sensitive to be a rugby player. And the jump from being married and closeted to a holier than thou spokesperson for Stonewall is kind of freaky. Is he being mentored by Elton?

  13. Message #12 strikes me as too negative a point on which this correspondence likely to end. You did a good job coming out Gareth and I am quite sure that there are debates going on in Rugby clubs about using the term “Gay” as an insult that would not occurred without you. You have moved things on. Thank you, good luck and don’t let the bigots grind you down.

  14. Gareth Thomas is the first top-flight male sportsman in a major global team sport to come out before retirement (not to take away from Donal Og Cusack, but hurling doesn’t have rugby’s reach). What Gareth has done is very brave, and the fact that he has had so many positive reactions doesn’t take away from his courage.

    Yes, those of us who are out have almost all been subjected to verbal abuse, if not worse – which is exactly why we must stand together and support each other. Of course it hurts when people make homophobic remarks, and to imply that Gareth should be too manly to have feelings is ridiculous. I actually admire Gareth for being honest enough to say that he found these chants hurtful.

    How many gay people would feel safe being affectionate with a partner on the terraces at a rugby or soccer match? If we ever get to a time when most of us feel able to kiss a partner in jubilation when a match is won, Gareth Thomas will be at least partly responsible.

    Thanks, Gareth, and thank you to all the Thomas family for supporting you in coming out.

  15. This is actually a positive story, especially the suggestion that some of the fans turned on those shouting the homophobic abuse. Gareth has behaved with huge dignity. The only way is up!

  16. Those who are jealous of his celebrity status are sad. To come out in the ‘real’ rugby world is not easy or a party or a fairytale. He’s the only player who has had the guts to do it. Coming out in the public eye doesn’t make it easier, it makes it harder. And he’s making a very good job of being a stonewall spokesman.
    I totally respect him. At last we have some gay role models who are not stereotypically effeminate.

  17. Its easy to say take no notice of these mindless morons, but nevertheless, it does hurt. But Gareth , You can rise above it because you are a good person and they are just, simply mindless morons!

  18. Inspiring to read above so many supportive and heartfelt comments towards Gareth.

  19. I agree with Riondo, it’s heartening to hear that some fans were telling the bigots to shut up.

    Meanwhile Gareth, if you ever need comforting just pop over to my place. You don’t even need to change out of your rugby kit.

  20. Mary Flying Eagle Ray 5 May 2010, 8:54pm

    I am so, so sick at heart of the onslought of hate that continues againest us,
    Sadly accepted and condoned by too many, World leaders, churches, women, men of
    ever day life, WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU,WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO STOP YOU??
    OMG, CHANGE HAS TO COME.Over fifty years many of us have fought this senseless battle againest hateful judgements and abuse. We grow weary. I know now what I would
    life to do, but I don’t think I would want to spend my later years locked up, or
    other wise detained. (My little doggie would never forgive me)
    Prayers for us all. Hopefully some world leader with heart and guts,will bring about tougher stances on our behalf. One can only hope.

  21. Never let the bastards get you down Gareth ;-)keep the faith !

  22. Gareth said when he came out that he’d like to be the type of role model he never had. I think that it is a good thing that he is being honest about the effects these insults have on him. He is a famous athlete in a very rugged sport. People should understand if this sort of bullying effects a celebrity with a legion of fans and a strong support system, imagine how a lonely kid in school with no one on his side feels.

  23. What Gareth has done is very brave

    really to me the real heroes of the gay movement are the ones that come out at a young age, get kicked out of home, have no support. No money to cushion the blow. Take the abuse and the physical harm and yet they put on their glad rags, hold their heads high and party party. These are the real heroes.

  24. Most LGBT people grown up damn short on positive role models. Probably even more so if your natural inclination is towards the ‘rougher’ contact sports. So I’m not surprised that any rugger player shold find it hard to come out, or take time to get to a happier place. I can only imagine the misery they probably endure over the years leading up to it.

    So good on ya, Gareth Thomas, I don’t criticise you for taking time to get to where you are now, I’m just glad for you that you’re there now, and I think you’re doing a great thing in being so honest. It’s through people like you that the sports authorities will be pushed to change, but it doesn’t make it a painless process.

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