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Rugby ref tells of his sexuality struggles

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

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RUGBY referee Nigel Owens has spoken about his life and coming out as a gay man as part of a lesbian, gay , bisexual and trans conference.

The event held at Neath Port Talbot College was attended by 100 delegates from colleges, schools and councils.

In an emotional speech, rugby ref Owens said: "I tried to live with who I really was for years.

"I was worried what would happen if I told people. I was concerned about what my parents would think and what would happen to my career as a referee."

It wasn't until May 2007 that Nigel, who is now 41, did come out and he says reactions have been generally positive.

Education officer for Stonewall Cymru, Luke Young, said: "We heard some powerful stories about homophobic bullying and we also heard about the exciting work going on to change attitudes. Attitudes among young people are changing, but while people are more 'gay-friendly', homophobic language such as 'that's so gay' continues to have a big effect on the confidence of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people."

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  • geoboy01  |  November 09 2012, 7:09PM

    Nigel owen's is a great guy and also a brilliant REF thats how i see him!

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  • brochadav  |  November 09 2012, 12:39PM

    I never thought I'd say this, I always used to think homosexuality was wrong. But I have learned tolerance, live and let live. Well done Nigel for having the courage to come out. We have to learn to accept we are all different. But different doesn't mean wrong or bad. If someone like me can change, anyone can.

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