Gay rugby referee Nigel Owens ‘considered chemical castration’
The rugby star says he wanted to ‘get rid’ of his sexuality.
Nigel Owens recently had the honour of refereeing this year’s Rugby World Cup Final – making him the first openly gay man to do so.
Since coming out publicly in 2007, Owens has regularly described the relief he felt at being honest about his sexuality.
However, he recently went into further detail about his struggles with his sexual identity – revealing how he considered resorting to extremely desperate measures in a bid “not be gay”.
“I didn’t want to be gay,” he told CNN. ‘I actually went to the doctor at one stage to see if I could be chemically castrated in any way, if it would get rid of me being gay”
“Looking back at that it was a horrific thing that one would have to do but that’s what I was going through at the time.”
It was only through speaking to his mother after a suicide bid that Owens says he built up the courage to face the truth.
“I was an only child. I sat up in bed that night and I cried. I thought to myself that I need to grow up here. ”
“That’s when I accepted who I was and that was the biggest challenge of my life over with.
Owens said that other people have yet to come out simply because they haven’t yet accepted themselves.
“A lot of people are struggling with who they are. They can’t tell other people they’re gay because they’re fighting it themselves.
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“That’s one of the reasons a lot of people are not out in sport yet.”
However, he says that finally learning to accept himself allowed him to give others the chance to accept him too.
“Times have changed a lot from that dark night when I was worrying about if I could carry on with my refereeing or being myself.”
Rugby is seen as an increasingly accepting sport as more players choose to make the brave move of coming out.
Back into 2009, rugby star Gareth Thomas became the first major star from the sport to come out as gay.