Openly gay rugby star Gareth Thomas says he once “prayed to be straight.”

The 36-year-old Welshman talked about his coming out gay on Tuesday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Before he married his childhood sweetheart, Thomas said he often “prayed to be straight.”

“I remember before we got married, I used to go to the church, where we were due to get married, and I would sit there in the graveyard and look up at the steeple and I couldn't say nothing to anybody and I'd sit there and I'd clench my hands and just close my eyes as tight as I could and just pray. Pray to be straight. Pray to be everything that the world thought I should be,” Thomas told DeGeneres.

Thomas added that athletes coming out gay can send a positive message.

“Sport is something that can change the world. And with somebody being gay in sport and being able to continue that sport sends such a positive message to children and adults.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

Mickey Rourke recently confirmed that he'll play Thomas in a movie about his life.