Keegan Hirst, who became the first British professional rugby league footballer to come out as gay in 2015, and retired in 2020 has announced he will return to the sport, joining the Batley Bulldogs to increase visibility of gay players and also to combat homophobia in the sport.
“COVID, added to my own personal circumstances, made me lost tough with some of the things I hold dearest to me – friends and rugby league, After the recent thinly-veiled homophobia over a rainbow shirt I thought: ‘How can I help with visibility and inclusion?’ By lacing up my boots, putting on a playing shirt and getting back out there, that’s how. I still have plenty of games in me and am looking forward to help Batley continue their incredible season as they ready for their playoff campaign.” – via Pink News
Oh and by the way it’s alright by us if you leave your “playing shirt” off.
On a special edition of the popular Channel 4 show First Dates, celebrities will attempt to find their perfect match on blind dates, and hot and humpy openly gay British Rugby star Keegan Hirst is burning up the line-up.
“At first I couldn’t even say ‘I’m gay’ in my head, let alone out loud,” he said at the time.
“Now I feel like I’m letting out a long breath that I’ve held in for a long time.”
Hirst In an interview with the Sunday Mirror in August 2015 came out as gay. He is currently divorced from his wife and has two children.
The 6 foot 3′, Batley Bulldogs captain will be going on a date with personal trainer Paddy White – a self-confessed “ex-party boy” who admits to taking at least 50 selfies a day and tweeting during sex.
“I was eager to make a good impression on Keegan and tried to impress him with my honesty and my humor, maybe I went just a little too far,” White said of the experience.
Well for those of you in the UK Celebrity First Dates airs on Channel 4 at 9pm.
Keegan Hirst, the hunky 27 year old British Rugby League player who came out last August in an interview with GuysLikeU.com, has said that he is opposed to the outing gay athletes.
“I don’t think it’s fair to try and force it. A person, whoever they are, can only come out when they want to. They’ll feel the same as anybody else does before they come out. But if a regular guy has 100 people to come out to, to be possibly rejected by, footballers have 50,000 people who they feel may reject them. I think only when they’re totally comfortable with their situation will you get a footballer who publicly comes out,” he said.
Hirst, a father of two, in the interview also talked about being a gay father of two and how his love life comes second to being a dad.
“She’s aware,” Hirst said of his 7-year-old daughter’s knowledge of his sexuality. “It doesn’t really affect the kids, so I don’t need to bang on about it to them. But yes, they’re aware. My son is too young to understand so I guess he’ll just grow up and not know any different.”
Keegan Hirst who’s a Prop Forward with the Batley Bulldogs, became the first openly gay rugby league player this weekend after an open and emotional interview with The Sunday Mirror: “At first I couldn’t even say ‘I’m gay’ in my head, let alone out loud.
“Now I feel like I’m letting out a long breath that I’ve held in for a long 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.”
“On the worst days I’d think, ‘I can’t do this, I’d rather be dead than for it all to come out. I never got as far as actually tying a noose or having tablets in my hand. But I thought how I would do it, where I would do it, when I would do it. Thankfully I have friends and family I love and was able to talk myself out of it.
[Then] One day, a few months ago, I just thought, ‘You know what? Actually, this is who I am. I’m gay. I felt I could finally be honest with myself.”
Keegan came out to his wife after he realised she blamed herself for their marriage break-up. She “didn’t ask a lot of questions,” when he spoke to her, “but she was supportive”.
“The support from my team-mates and other rugby league players has really surprised me, it’s all been positive. These are tough blokes. We go out on the field together and it’s 26 blokes knocking seven shades out of each other. But on the other side of it, you go through blood, sweat and tears together – and they’ve been there for me when I needed them most.”