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Rugby star Gareth Thomas says he scrubbed his body after first gay sex encounter

September 11, 2017

NEATH, WALES - OCTOBER 17: Wales player Gareth Thomas in action during the Rugby League Alitalia European Cup match between Wales and Ireland at the Gnoll on October 17, 2010 in Neath, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Out rugby star Gareth Thomas has revealed his struggle to come to terms with being gay.

Mr Thomas hit headlines in 2009 when he became the UK’s first openly gay rugby player.

Prior to coming out he said that the burden of “living a lie” almost drove him to suicide.

He’s now revealed he was so distressed by his first sexual encounter with another man he scrubbed his entire body.

Speaking with journalist Matt Cain, the rugby ace told Attitude Heroes: “I remember going home and facing my Mum and Dad and obviously no one had known what I’d done and I literally felt like the dirtiest person alive.

“I’d had all these feelings for so long, but I’d never acted on it so it was suppressed, but all of a sudden it had become a reality.

“And it was f***ing really scary, like opening Pandora’s Box.

“I thought, ‘F**k, what have I done, what have I started here?’

“And I f***ing scrubbed, literally scrubbed myself.”

The professional sportsman, who has since become a vocal advocate for LGBT rights, says it took a visit to London gay bar XXL, popular with so-called ‘bears’, for him to finally feel comfortable.

“I literally remember walking into this club, XXL, and there was about a thousand men with their tops off.

“For the first time ever I stood in this room and there was people dancing, enjoying themselves, smiling and laughing.

“And I just thought to myself, ‘Holy shit! Life can be good, and you can actually have a life as a gay man just like I have had a life as a straight man.

“You can have friends who are gay and you don’t have to shag them. Real friends.'”

The rugby player has has previously spoken about making several suicide attempts when his wife left him because he came out as gay.

The full interview can be heard on Attitude Heroes podcast.

More: Attitude, attitude heroes, Gareth Thomas, Gay, LGBT, Rugby, Wales

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