Keegan Hirst's wife says she is 'proud' of her husband for coming out as gay

Keegan Hirst's wife is 'proud' of her husband for coming out

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The Independent Online

Keegan Hirst's wife has expressed her support for her husband after he became the first rugby player to come out as gay.

Hirst joined a number of prominent figures pushing the fight for LGBT visibility and acceptance forward when he came out as gay in August.

The 27-year-old said he was staying out late at the weekends and drinking heavily as he battled with his sexuality, putting his wife Sara through stress, and at one point even considered suicide before eventually choosing to come out.

After revealing his sexuality, he said at the time: “I had a wife and kids. I’ve been a builder, doorman, worked in factories – I play rugby. I tick every macho box. How could I be gay? I’m from Batley for goodness sake. No one is gay in Batley.”

Ms Hirst, who was separated from her husband at the time, told The Mirror she was “stunned” and hurt when Hirst told her he was gay, and initially reacted with fury.

“Something snapped and the ranting started on the phone. We’d split once years ago after our daughter was born, so I was like ‘why didn’t you just leave me then? Why did you come back to me and propose and have another child?’

“I was never angry because he was gay. I’ve got gay friends. It was thinking ‘was it all a lie? Why have you strung me along? Was our marriage all a sham? Have you been with a man? Have you cheated on me? Is that why you’re telling me?’ It all just chipped away at me.”

Ms Hirst said his decision to go to the press was particularly hard to cope with as it also placed her in the public eye. However, she is now coming to terms with the news and hopes to support Hirst in the future.

“It was hard to know what to say because we were both crying. I was just like ‘right, it is what it is’ and I said to him ‘we’ll get through it. I’ll support you’.

“I’m able to say now ‘yeah, this is my husband – at least for the moment. I’m proud of him and I can support him.”

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