Out UK rugby star Gareth Thomas gave an
emotional speech last week about living with HIV.
Thomas, who came out publicly as gay in
2009 and retired from the sport in 2011, last month announced that
He said that he decided to “share his
secret” after being put “through hell” by tabloid blackmailers
who threatened to expose his status.
Thomas was presented with the Game
Changer Award at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2019.
In accepting the award, Thomas thanked
the “game changers” in his life: his husband and step-daughter.
“There are two very special people in
this room that I have to thank,” Thomas,
45, said. “And that's my husband and my step-daughter because
genuinely, behind closed doors, when I lived in absolute fear of
being rejected, being turned away and not being supported, those two
people stood by me and they gave me the strength to be able to stand
"So, as much as I may be a game
changer, I'm only that because I stood by two game changers and they
made my life possible.”
"And just to finish, as a sign of
strength, I just want to say: I have HIV, but HIV does not fucking
have me!" he added.