One gay rugby player retires and another comes out! We like what's happening here!
Jed Hooper, a rugby captain for the Wales' Old Redcliffians, has publicly announced that he is a proud homosexual.
The 22-year-old Welsh player, described as a fierce competitor on the field, spoke to sources about why he decided to come out of the closet, saying:
"I met someone earlier this year who said he could not be with someone who was in the closet. That, basically, was the catalyst that I needed. Before that, I think I had already told about ten friends and their reaction was very positive so that gave me an inkling of what might happen. And I also thought if the crap really hits the fan then at least there are ten people on my side!"
Rather than telling a few select people at a time, Jed figured he'd just get it out there in one pitch. He decided to send out a mass text and share his sexuality with the world on Facebook, explaining:
"I was never going to do it bit by bit, that would have been too drawn out, so I decided to text everyone and also put it on Facebook…The text basically said something along the lines that 'I've been hiding it and fighting it for too long, and I can't hide any more. If you can accept me this way then great … and if you can't then I don't need you and you can get lost!'"
Who is going to argue with that?
Although he admits immediately regretting the decision for a few moments, he says "a massive weight" was lifted off of his shoulder when he saw all of the positive responses on Facebook, continuing:
"I was thinking to myself 'what have you done?, but very quickly I must have had 40 replies and all of them were positive…If I couldn't accept myself the way I am, how could I expect my friends to?"
He didn't just get support from his friends, family, and fans, but from his rugby club too! The athlete explains how the chairman of the Old Redcliffians was totally unphased by his announcement, saying:
"Being captain is a huge privilege, so when I made my announcement one of the first people I spoke to at Reds was our then chairman, Ray Massey. I said that if the club doesn't want a gay man as its figurehead I would understand and step down. But he was brilliant and said 'you're our captain and this doesn't change anything'. That support was massive to me."
Sexuality should not define a man, but we're so glad Jed has finally taken the last steps to fully accept his. We hope his courage will inspire other gay professional athletes to not only step out of the closet, but break out — LOUD and PROUD!