Rugby great's trail of deception
My Secret Past Five, 10pm
LISTED 12th on the international list of leading Rugby Union test try scorers and the first Welshman to win 100 international caps, Gareth Thomas was a leading player in one of the most masculine of sports.
However, for 20 years, he tried to hide the fact he was gay.
Here, Gareth goes back to his roots to discover what effect his deception had on others, to explain why he behaved as he did, and to encourage others to be open and honest about their sexuality.
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"I became a master of playing the straight man," he says. "I caused misery for those closest to me.
"I hated being Gareth Thomas. I hated the man I looked at in the mirror. I hated him so much I wanted to die."
Watching old videos reminds him of the angry young man who took out his aggression on opposition players so that he would be considered hard. "Joining in with homophobic changing-room banter was another way of hiding who I was," he recalls. At the age of 27, he even married Gemma, a girl he'd dated off-and-on since his teens.
But, after five years of marriage, he confessed. A few months later Gemma moved out.
"It's hard to admit, but I wasted 20 years of my life hiding who I was," he concludes. "I don't want anyone else to go through what I did.
"I'm really passionate that people should be open about their sexuality as soon as they feel comfortable with it."