Keegan Hirst, prop and captain for Batley Bulldogs rugby team, came out this weekend in the Sunday Mirror. Speaking with Radio 5 Live earlier today, the married rugby star spoke candidly about the dissolution of his marriage and his frequent “urges.”
“I wasn’t… in torment or in turmoil every day for the last 27 years. It’s not like that. I suppose you’d get urges. In my head I thought, ‘These will go away, this is just a phase.’ I knew I was different when I was 11 or 12. I wasn’t necessarily attracted to lads then, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. “When I was 15 or 16, those feelings started coming back through… and then by 18 or 19, looking back I suppose that I was in denial… but in my own head I had no conception that I was gay.I couldn’t say to myself, in my own head – ‘I think you’re gay’. To say it out loud would make it real, to admit it and I wasn’t in a place in my own head where I could do that.”
Discussing the moment he finally figured out what made him different — his “eureka moment” — Hirst said, “I suppose mostly my outlook on thing’s must’ve changed. I became more accepting of it in my own head and I could say it.”
Overall, Hirst is overwhelmed by the support he’s received from fans and team members.
He said, “If I can help in any way towards it not becoming as much of a taboo — that can only be a good thing.”
Listen to the interview below: