One macho man at a time that comes out will help everyone to come out in time. Come out come out wherever you are.
Keegan, 27, reveals the secret torment of dealing with his sexuality while carving out a career in one of the world’s most macho sports.
Rugby League player Keegan Hirst is the first British professional in the code to openly say he is gay.
Respected prop Keegan, 27, reveals the secret torment of dealing with his sexuality while carving out a career in one of the world’s most macho sports.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Mirror, the dad of two tells of the moment he finally found the words to explain to his wife the reason they could no longer be together.
And he talks emotionally of the support he got, not only from her but also from his rugby team-mates.
The 6ft 4in captain of West Yorkshire side Batley Bulldogs said: “At first I couldn’t even say ‘I’m gay’ in my head, let alone out loud.
“Now I feel like I’m letting out a long breath that I’ve held in for a long time.”
He said: “I finally told my wife I was gay a few weeks ago.
“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.
“I went to her and asked if I could have a word. My stomach was in knots. We sat at the kitchen table and I said, ‘There’s something I need to tell you’.
“I couldn’t get the words out, I felt like I was going to be sick. But I managed to say it.
“She didn’t say anything at first. I explained why and how I felt, it was very emotional. We were both in tears.
“She didn’t ask a lot of questions, but she was supportive. She was totally blind-sided. She’d had
absolutely no idea.
“It was incredibly tough, but for me it was a weird situation because it also felt liberating.”
For now, he says, all they have told their two children, aged seven and two, is that they have split up.
He said: “We haven’t told the kids yet, they’re too young to understand. I’m not sure how I’d explain it.”
Keegan says he first felt he might be gay as a teenager. He said: “I had girlfriends on and off, but at about 15, I started feeling attracted to guys too.
“I was having conflicting feelings, but it was something I suppressed. It wasn’t the done thing to admit it.”
Read more at mirror.co.uk