Referee Nigel Owens: ‘I considered chemical castration’

“I didn’t want to be gay. I actually went to the doctor at one stage to see if I could be chemically castrated in any way, if it would get rid of me being gay. Looking back at that, it was a horrific thing that one would have to do, but that’s what I was going through at the time. It was only when my mom came to see me in hospital when I tried to take my own life and she told me: ‘If you try to do anything like this again, then you take me and Dad with you, because we don’t want to live our lives without you.’

I was an only child. I sat up in bed that night and I cried. I thought to myself that I need to grow up here. That’s when I accepted who I was, and that was the biggest challenge of my life over with. A lot of people are struggling with who they are. They can’t tell other people they’re gay because they’re fighting it themselves. That’s one of the reasons a lot of people are not out in sport yet.”

— Openly gay Welsh rugby referee Nigel Owens, who came out in 2007, talks candidly with CNN about his struggle to come out

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