Keegan Hirst’s wife is proud of her husband for coming out
Sara Hirst has spoken out in support of her husband – who recently became one of the first players in his sport to come out.
Gay rugby league star Keegan Hirst’s wife today spoke of the shock she felt after he opened up to her about his sexuality, admitting: “At one point I wanted to rip his head off and kill him.”
The Batley Bulldogs prop, 27, became one of the first players in his sport to open up about his sexuality, and his battle with the ‘macho’ image of Rugby League.
Sara said that she had no idea that her husband was gay – and was in fact expecting him to tell her that he was seeing another woman.
“He was umming and ahhing and I was preparing myself for the worst,” Sara told The Sunday Mirror.
“But when he told me he was gay I was stunned.”
“It was hard to know what to say because we were both crying. I was just like ‘right, it is what it is’ and I said to him ‘we’ll get through it. I’ll support you’.”
However, Sara says her shock soon turned to anger, after Hirst – from whom she was separated at the time – spoke out about his sexuality, after promising his wife he wouldn’t.
“I felt he was being so blase. He said ‘you’ve gotta get your head round it’, like it was ‘life goes on’. I said ‘yeah, for you maybe,” she revealed.
“I’m left dealing with all this and trying to be strong for the kids.
“At that point I hated him. I wanted to rip his head off and kill him.”
Despite her feelings, Sara told how it was telling her children about their father’s sexuality that helped her come to terms with the situation herself.
“I told my daughter, ‘Mummy and Daddy are getting divorced. Daddy might meet somebody new and it might be a boy or a girl.
“Her attitude has been very grown up. I’m proud of her.”
Sara says that it is their children who have helped her to emerge from her anger and – although she is still coming to terms with her husband’s sexuality – be supportive of Keegan.
“I can see now I’ve got two beautiful kids from our relationship and they will grow up to know I don’t regret them and I wouldn’t change them for the world.
“I’m still not 100 per cent and I’m not gonna sit here and pretend I am.
“I’ve been in a dark horrible place, but now I’m coming through the other side.
“I’m able to say now ‘yeah, this is my husband’.
“I’m proud of him and I can support him.”
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Hirst is the first British player to come out as gay while playing the sport, although he is second openly gay Rugby League star in the UK.
Speaking of his struggle to come to terms with sexuality, the rugby star also opened up about the guilt he felt over the effect the revelation had on his wife.
He said: “She blamed herself when we separated but I knew she’d done nothing wrong.
“I couldn’t bear it any more, the guilt of it all, of her not knowing why I left. It was eating me up.”
“When I was with my wife, the last eight years have been really happy.
“I loved her. The day I got married, I thought we were going to be together forever. I said my vows, I meant them.”