Keegan Hirst, soon to become the first gay English rugby player to complete in the Super League, came out in 2015 at age 27 after breaking up with his wife.
While captain of the Batley rugby team and working in construction to bolster his income, he confesses that “there were a couple of times when I thought about killing myself.”
Talking to The Guardian, Hirst says, “I got to a point where I was thinking: ‘How am I going to do it? Where am I going to do it? When am I going to do it?’”
Upon coming out, he received huge support from LGBTQ advocates and sports fans including Emma Watson and Sir Elton John.
“Now that I’m out, people have said I’m brave,” he says. “But I don’t feel brave.
I envied the lads who were brave enough to come out when they were at school.
Those kids who got beat up at school, the more effeminate lads.
I always think they’re the brave ones who were getting dished up at school for being honest about who they are.
I just bottled it up for so many years. They didn’t. So, for me, they’re the unsung heroes.
h/t: Pink News