Gareth Thomas: Relive the gay sporting hero's in-depth 2010 Attitude interview

As gay sporting hero Gareth Thomas opens up about his life like never before in the latest Attitude Heroes podcast, we're looking back at where it all began... This article was first published in Attitude issue 188, February 2010. Words by Matthew Todd You can’t fail to be overwhelmed by Gareth Thomas. Until last month, the idea of a British professional sportsman coming out of the closet was just a fantasy. The world of international and national sport, as we know, is one of the last bastions of intolerance of homosexuality. It was only in October that we spoke to Clare Balding and to Max Clifford, and it all seemed fairly bleak. Indeed in the days after Gareth came out, Clifford was quoted as saying he still advised two premier league footballers to remain in the closet. We knew there are gay sportsmen out there but when would they come out? Not for a long time, we expected. Then, in late November, I got an email from a talent management company telling me they had something sensitive they wanted to discuss. I called them and they invited me to their offices to tell me, after I’d signed up in confidence, that Gareth Thomas, one of the most iconic players in rugby history was about come out. The truth is, despite it being the end of 2009, nothing like this has ever happened before. A select few international sportspeople have taken the jump over the years but in Britain sports men and women have been scared to come out. And who can blame them? Star footballer Justin Fashnau came out in 1990 and after a crazy eight years of persecution, rejection and tabloid hostility, took his own life in 1998. And that’s largely it. Ireland’s famous hurler Donal Og Cusack came out last autumn and motorcyclist Michael Hill won the Stonewall sports personality of the year in November. There have been a few international sportspeople, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, US basketballer John Amaechi and notably Australia’s rugby player Ian Roberts who came out after he retired. But Gareth is not retired; he still plays for the Cardiff Blues. He is one of the most legendary rugby players in the United Kingdom. Some younger gay guys on forums seem fairly nonplussed but this really is a historic occurrence. A week after I hear the news, I meet Gareth himself. At 6ft 3, and seemingly equally wide, he is huge. Imposing, powerful, slightly cheeky, with a hint of mischief in his eyes, the guy is one hell of a physical presence. He is also as cute as button and as playful as a puppy dog. All of us on the shoot pinched ourselves. Not to say they don’t exist, but I have never met a gay man like him. Over the three times I’ve met him now, I’ve seen him discuss how much he loves Girls Aloud and then wrestle with his straight PR. I stop for a moment and think back to the representations of gay men that I grew up with – Larry Grayson and John Inman are two that I remember, both slightly sad products of their time. I think of some of the idiots I’ve grown up with who told me gay men were nothing but cissies [I was and am and that’s OK too]. But now, along with Alan, Graham, John et al [and hooray for them], is the 6ft 3, former captain of the British and Irish Lions, the former capitation of the Welsh rugby team, the most capped rugby player in history, a Welsh sporting hero and one hell of a tough guy. You might want to see if you can kick shit out of this gay man. But this tough guy is nervous. Nervous and excited, aware that a whole new world is about to open up for him. It might seem odd to the urban gay man living his life in London, Manchester or Birmingham, flitting from one social engagement to the next, but remember when you came out. The idea that you can finally stop hiding is overwhelming whoever you are. Gareth came out in the Daily Mail and was shocked when I told him about the recent Stephen Gately furore. He is a sportsman through and through. He doesn’t read the papers and genuinely didn’t know. To him, the Mail interview was the big, mainstream opening of the floodgates – but it is this interview, in Attitude, that he is most excited about. He wants to speak to you. To us. He wants to talk directly to the people who know what he has gone through, because they have gone through it too. There is no such thing really, as the gay community as such. We’re linked by experience and sexuality – but it is at moments like this that there feels like there is a community. When I meet him again in a private members club in Westminster on Sunday 20th December, the day after the story broke in the media, I want to hug him. An ITN news crew is leaving. Weeks after we first meet, Alfie, as he is nicknamed, is glowing. Consider this interview his coming out party. It’s painful to read at times. This guy has hurt a lot. But I believe it comes at a crucial time when we as gay people need to face down our demons and accept that the most hard won acceptance of gayness is still to come from ourselves. His experience underlines that. So wave a flag if you want or toot a little trumpet; do as you will. Coming out, in some ways, is everything and also then nothing. It’s a beginning. But for Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas, for sport, for history, for Wales, for Britain, for all of us; this, in it’s own way, is one amazing moment. So how are you? [He pauses] I’m still taking it all in. It’s like waking up on Christmas Day, walking down the stairs and seeing Father Christmas and seeing, oh my god, he actually does exist. People do actually accept it. The fantasy for so long has been this and all of a sudden I’ve woken up and it’s true. I had expected the worst for so long so that if it was bad then I could deal with it and anything else would be a bonus but I can’t find the words. It’s a feeling that at this moment is overwhelming. I’m happy. I wake up in the morning and, like I ‘spose everybody says, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s more than that. It’s like being born again. Finding out that the world is a brilliant place. I’ve got a life I can live, wherever I want to live it, I can be whoever I want to be. It’s amazing, a brilliant thing. Where were you yesterday when it all broke? We were going to Toulouse on the plane for a match. I told the boys who actually knew already that it was coming. I didn’t want to sit everybody in the room like a teacher, I just said you’re gonna hear this tomorrow in the paper, if you don’t want to talk to me I understand, whatever your feeling is, if you wanna have a word with me, whatever you wanna do, let’s not make a big deal out of it, I just want it to be normal between us. And that’s how it’s been. The best thing for me was that I was doing what I did best, doing what made me famous, being with the rugby boys. They kind of put the word out and there was a buzz of excitement. A lot of people were raising eyebrows and looking at me, a few of the others tapped me on the back and said ‘Don’t worry bud we’re with you, we support you’. That’s when the feeling started. I didn’t sleep that well; I was really anxious and excited. Then Saturday morning, I went down for breakfast and it was like it hadn’t hit, there wasn’t a reaction. But they found out and didn’t care and that was the best reaction I could have had. I didn’t have to explain myself, I just could concentrate on what I do best and that’s play rugby. I used to play for Toulouse and the news had hit France. The French are quite emotional, they kiss on both cheeks, and they gave me an extra long hug or a look of respect, like good on you Alf. I went on the field. Had a great cheer from the crowd. It was a great day finally playing rugby at a really high level being who I am. The head of the Welsh Rugby Union was positive, the Cardiff Blues fans were saying what a top bloke you were. How does that feel? The mad thing was my phone on Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t reply to my texts as fast as they were coming in, Roger Lewis (Welsh Rugby Union Chief) sent me an amazing text saying ‘the world is yours now, you’re really brave’. Dai Young the coach sent me an amazing text; it just didn’t stop all day. After the game I turned my phone on and it kept buzzing and buzzing and buzzing. The higher up they go the more important, all were amazing, for them to take time out of their day on this issue which I thought was taboo, just shows that people want to be a part of congratulating you. This has hit a lot of people. My mates who are plumbers, electricians, straight on the phone. It just made the day so special and amazing for me. How did your mum and dad take it? They had such a sense of relief and joy that finally their son who has held this secret for so long could finally be free. They could hear it in my voice, see it in my face, what it meant to me. I came home from the game, went straight to my mother’s. They cracked open a bottle of champagne. I had a glass with my mother and father. I didn’t know what we were toasting but my mother was like, ‘well, we’re toasting the start of the rest of your life’. I was like ‘wow, you’re right, we are’. That’s wonderful to hear. It was. I couldn’t wait to get home. We left to come to London today and I’m homesick. I’ve lived all my life in Wales, with so many great people and friends around me and they want to share this with me. I’ve been well paid in my career and I’ve worked hard but life isn’t about all that shit, it’s about being who you are, accepted or not, being true to yourself. I understand that now. All of a sudden, money seems irrelevant. You can’t put a value on what this has given me. You can’t take it all, I’ve now got a life. Why did you decide to come out now? Well career-wise, I’ve reached pinnacles I never thought I would achieve and I wanted to say I did all that as a gay man. Ok, not an openly gay man, but I went through a lot of struggle and heartache to achieve it. I’m surrounded by people I trust and who will look after me. I feel comfortable where I am at the moment, I feel the boys will be accepting of it and also I want to talk about Childline and the help there is for young kids. I want them to know that there is someone you can talk to at Childline. That would have made a difference to my life. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time; I believe this is happening now because it’s the right time to do it. I think sport and the world is changing. You need someone to break the stereotype for the world to evolve. I am ready to stick my neck out to soar or to fall, who knows. How close did you come to coming out before? Well I’ve thought of doing it since I was 18. I wish I could have done it then but back then times weren’t as they are now. I’ve had endless sleepless nights thinking, I need for my own sanity, for my life to continue, to come out. I had thought for a while if I didn’t do it, then somebody would out me. It was about a year ago I started wondering if now is the right time. But I wasn’t surrounded by people who had the interests and the story and the message I want to put across as the main objective. Specifically to be a role model for kids? My main concern is I just want to help people. I wonder what would have happened If I had called someone for help when I was a kid. It would have been easier to have somebody to talk to, someone who wouldn’t judge me – and that’s Childine. I would love to affect everyone from 8 year-olds to 18 year-olds to 28 year-olds and on. If there’s a kid struggling with his sexuality and walks past a newspaper stand and just happens to see me saying I’m gay, and see what that I’ve done what I’ve done. There may be an 18 year old who may have put his rugby boots away because he was gay and didn’t think he would be accepted, but he can go back to his cupboard, dust his boots down and say if Alfie’s done it, why can’t I do it? During this Christmas period, it’s tough when you have issues, when you’re at a Christmas party in a room full of people having a laugh who don’t have issues, you just feel so left out. I would love to be able to say, I pray it happens one day, even in 50 years time, someone says that me coming out made a difference in their life. Even if my life is hell from now, I don’t think it will be, the thought of someone saying that will make it worthwhile. Whatever happened in the past, I’ll be able to say it’s worth it. That’s why the time is now. Why did you choose the Daily Mail? I didn’t know they had a bad reputation with the gay community ‘cos I’m not a massive paper reader but when I told my gay friends they said why the hell are you doing it with the Daily Mail? But I thought we all have asked for second chances before so why not give them a second chance. I had no preconceived judgement of it but I thought they have done it well. Did you know about the Stephen Gately scandal? Not a single thing. I only listen to CDs in the car and I don’t read papers so I didn’t know. But that’s the first thing that came in my head. I know I’ve needed second chances so don’t judge me – the article was good. From the Daily Mail point of view, I am sure they were aware that running this story could help reverse some of the negative press around the Stephen Gately story. Whether they have I don’t know ‘cos some things probably hurt too bad. I said to the writer at the end, if you have children, all I ask is when you read this, if it was your son would you as a mother be proud of it, if it is you’ve done it right – and my mother said she was proud of it. It’s a way of talking to their readers who may have preconceptions and show them my reality and I hope that makes them think. I’ve seen a few people online have presumed that you have been forced out, that the Daily Mail had some story on you that they would have printed... Not at all! I have got no reason to come out. I haven’t got a boyfriend, I’ve got no kids, I’ve not been pressured, I haven’t been caught doing anything... none of that. I’m doing it because I want people to be able to be free to be gay. I’m playing in a macho environment which people, including me, might have thought does not accept gay people – but I think it does now. I stand in the shower with 30 guys and they have accepted me as being gay, being part of their environment, part of their team, and that’s it. I haven’t got to do this. I can carry on for the rest of my life quite happily; play rugby, earn my money, maybe go into coaching, I’ve got a beautiful house, maybe find a boyfriend one day, live a life in the country and nobody would know. I can still do all that – but I can try to make a difference. I don’t want to go to my grave regretting never coming out. There’s been absolutely no pressure. If anything, the pressure’s come from me to not to do it, which would be the easy decision. Did you go in the showers on Saturday? Yeah this is why I love rugby. It’s not an issue. I make it an issue because it’s in my mind. When you think people think gay men would sleep with anyone, it’s sometimes in your own mind; it’s not actually in anyone else’s mind. You create a monster in your head and turn yourself into a bit of a monster but the reality is nobody really gives a shit. I mean some people do, but if the person knows you they probably give a shit whether you’re standing there naked or in a bikini, a t-shirt or a dress. You are who you are [Laughs]. You sound like you want to be the role model you never had...? Yeah. Well, my parents are my role models and to me there are no two people on the Earth that are better than them and they have brought me up and supported me so well. But I wanna be the gay role model I never had. If I did this story and then stopped it would be no good. I want to help. I want people to hear the message. The story has just begun. I’m not in it for Gareth Thomas or for rugby; the story is much bigger than me and rugby. It needs to keep going. How old were you when you realised you were gay? The realisation probably didn’t really come fully until yesterday. That’s when it became proper reality to me. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but I knew that somehow I felt different and wrong when I was a kid, as long as I an remember. As I’ve gone through my life, I’ve acted on it – I’ve not been been an angel. I had, for want of a better word, needs that took over sometimes, which I’d act on and then go back into my shell. I think it’s good to talk about it taking you a long time to stop wishing you weren’t gay. Because we seem to sweep it under the carpet and never talk about the fact that a lot of people are unhappy about being gay. We need to all air that to help people deal with it. You can go to gay pride and see 20,000 people but there’s many thousands more that don’t want to be gay because it doesn’t conform to society and it didn’t conform to what I wanted because of where I lived, what I did, it wasn’t what I wanted. It’s like being in a religion that doesn’t eat meat and all you crave is meat. You’re where you want to be and where you’re loved, but somehow you don’t fit in. Growing up. I didn’t really know what attraction or sex was until very late in life. Just give me a ball and let me play rugby. That’s all I cared about as a kid. I wasn’t interested in anything else. Did you have girlfriends? Yeah I had them through school. Everyone did. You do your kissing girls as boys do, I didn’t think anything of it. I met Jemma [his former wife, whom he’s about to be divorced from] at a young age when I was sixteen. We were on and off for a long while. I just did what every teenager stereotypically does, especially when you play rugby. I was captain of the school team, did cricket, did basketball, did athletics. I was like the Zac Efron of the school so you gotta have the best girlfriend! I just thought though I sometimes had these feelings of being attracted to men, it didn’t mean I was gay or straight, I didn’t know what it meant. I wouldn’t have thought about acting on it. I wouldn’t have known what to do; sport was my life. When you married did you hope the feelings would go away? Yeah. It’s crazy to some people but I loved Jemma to bits. I legitimately wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I was in love with her. She is the most special person I have ever met – she was kind, she was caring, she was considerate. I was attracted to her but I was gay at the end of the day. I gave her everything I could and that was 99% of me, I just couldn’t give her the last 1%. I tried to bottle it up, but I could feel it, it was like there in my stomach, the bottom left hand of my stomach. This sounds crazy but shows how much stress I was under, I used to visualise it as a little ball. I know it’s crazy, but I’d imagine this little ball in my stomach and I’d have an encounter with a man and the ball would just be there. Then from that day till the next encounter, be it one month, two months, three months, all I could see was this gold liquid dripping out of the ball, that was the real me seeping out. My mind would tell me there was no more to seep out and unfortunately, I would have to cheat on the person I loved the most. I will feel terrible about that until the day I die. How did it make you feel? Horrible. Especially the first one or two times. The first time I went home I stood in the shower and scrubbed myself. I brushed my teeth, scrubbed my tongue till I nearly vomited. It was nothing against the man. I just felt so bad about what I had done to Jemma. But I couldn’t stop it. It must have been hard meeting people when you were so famous and in the closet... I used to come to London. I see London as an escape. Everyone’s in the background in London, you can be who you want to be. I did stupid, stupid things. I’d come to Soho and walk into a bar and try to order a drink in some foreign language or accent because I didn’t want the barman to recognise me even though he probably wouldn’t have a clue who I was. I wanted to convince myself that I was in disguise. I would create some foreign persona, mumble out some words for a beer, hold my hand out like I didn’t know what the currency was, let him take it... if I thought I was somebody different then everybody else would which was my way of dealing with it. It’s stupid I know. When you fear something so much it can make you do crazy things. I feared it so much yet I wanted it so much. I couldn’t stop it so by creating someone else I kind of convinced myself it wasn’t actually me doing it sometimes. If I thought I wasn’t actually cheating on Jemma I could get over it easier. Did anyone ever recognise you? Not that I know of. I’ve started to make gay friends now and sometimes people will say, well so and so saw you in a bar a couple of years ago. And I like that. It would have been easy for someone to ring a newspaper, but fair play, I’ve been protected by the gay community. I was living a lie and it was wrong but I didn’t set out to harm anyone. I guess people understood what I went through and rather than putting me through and rather than putting me through worse, decided to make things a little bit easier for me. You have talked about considering suicide. How close did you come? I went through all kinds of emotion. Depression, sadness, loneliness. I used to love going walking for hours. The more you think, the more you build your problems up in your head. I’d walk along the cliffs and think it would be so much easier if I just fell off. I used to drive around thinking maybe a car would hit me, or if I walked out in the road, so it wouldn’t be my fault. But I’d just be leaving the problems for my family and those I’d left behind. Going to the edge and coming back kind of relieved it a bit. It was another mental process I had to go through to deal with the demons. It started happening too regularly that’s when I knew I had to let it out. Something that haunts me is the story of a young man called Jonathan Reynolds, who was 15 from Bridgend - where you come from-  and he killed himself in 2006 because of homophobic bullying. I hope people read your story and realise that would be the wrong decision, in the way it was the wrong decision for you. I’m not trained to talk somebody out of suicide so I won’t attempt to. What I trained to do was to play rugby. My training has brought me success, out of my success comes my message. All I can do is show you what I’ve done and what I’ve become and show you that there is another option, another route to go. There is always someone you can talk to. A long time ago it seemed like there was nowhere for me to go, no door to knock on, no one to speak to – but there always is. You’d be surprised. Until you try and buck up the courage to speak to somebody. There is usually at least one person you can trust – if not then there is a phone, call the Samaritans or Childline. A problem shared is a problem halved. Look at the reaction I’ve had and take something from it and use it to find another way. What a stupid mistake I would have made. It’s not that bad, it really isn’t. You make other people’s opinions on yourself in your own mind, but you don’t give anyone else a chance. Who was the first person you ever came out to? Jemma. The first person you ever said ‘I am gay’ to? Yeah. I can say it now, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay. But I couldn’t say it before. The word freaked me out. If I was in a room and someone mentioned the word gay, I’d be out of the room. At home, I’d go and make a couple of tea or go to the toilet. I couldn’t hear it or register it, in case they saw it on my face. So for me to say it to Jemma was heartbreaking for her. I knew I had to tell her because I loved her, I love her, I still do. To lie to everyone else or myself was alright, but not to her. When you wake up with someone, you look them in the eye, you love them, kiss them, are intimate with them and you lie to them, every single day, for five years of being married, eight to nine years being together, to carry on doing that for the rest of my life, I couldn’t do it. She’s the best woman on the planet as far as I’m concerned. She deserves better than me. I feel like I’ve taken so much away from her, even though our life was great together, but she’s still young enough, she deserves to be with somebody who can be 100% for her. Did she have any idea? She began making excuses to herself I think and then I think she started to suspect. She knew I’d never cheat with a woman and so she started to wonder if the rumours were true. Nobody would mention the rumours when I was around. Maybe she did or she didn’t know but what she did know was that I loved her. You’re still friends now aren’t you? Oh yeah. She’s still my family. She’ll always be the one woman in this world that I’ll be in love with. I want her to be happy and I love her and she wants me to be happy and she loves me. I’m not trying to justify it, it’s not just talk, we still love each other, that’s the truth of it. [Pauses]. Who knows maybe one day I’ll be her bridesmaid [laughs]. I think it’s great you’re so masculine. We can be a bit self-loathing, always attacking guys who are camp and so on, but it’s great that someone like you is out now. Someone who is a huge, tough macho guy. I know what you are saying. It’s so strange that there are so many gay celebrities in the same mould. Someone can be camp as Christmas, or as butch as they like, makes no difference to me. I hope I break the stereotype. I’ll go toe to toe with anybody. I’m probably too feisty, I ain’t perfect, like. I’ll have a scrap at the drop of a hat if somebody rubs me up the wrong way. I’m not saying that’s great. All I’m saying is that’s who I am and that’s not the stereotype of a gay man. But who created the stereotype of a gay man? It sure as hell wasn’t me, it was probably everybody who’s not gay. Hopefully they can see they are wrong. I’m sure there’s gay guys out there tougher than me! You said in the Mail you were nervous about being a single gay man. Are you worried about entering into all that? It’s not true at all, but some newspapers seem to suggest that we can’t do serious relationships... I know a lot of men in the gay world are looking for love. I’ve done this as well in the hope that I can find somebody. I wanna live and love and laugh as much as I did when I was married to Jemma. You’d like to find someone for a relationship? Yeah, I would, I really would. I think it would be a liberating experience. I wouldn’t be ashamed to walk down the street hand in hand with a man. I don’t think it would detract from my masculinity or who I am. I’m not like going out there looking to fall in love. It’ll come when it comes. It would be another progression of how I would like my life to go. Readers will be happy. [Gareth laughs] What are you looking for in someone? Who knows. Who knows when it will be, or who it will be with. I just want to make sure it’s someone who wants me because I’m me not because of who I am and all that. Have you had any gay relationships? Not really, no. I wouldn’t have done that in that way when I was married. It would have been a whole different ball game. The thought now is exciting; sitting down to watch the telly, to cuddle up to somebody, to be able to show affection to somebody is exciting. I had all this with Jemma... this is getting soppy now... but I loved being in love. It was such a great feeling and I would love to feel that way again. You can never stop loving that first person if you’ve been in love but I’d love to find it again. That’s like a Mills & Boon novel innit? No, it’s great. We need to hear that more so that people realise gay relationships can be just as serious straight. It’s a myth that gay men don’t want to settle down. That’s who I am. Externally I may look like a tough fucker – does rugby, does this, does that – but emotional I’m as soft as...! I’m caring, I’m passionate about my friends. I’ve got a lot of love to give people. I’d love to be in a relationship where I can show affection and love like that. What’s next? The foreseeable future is playing, training, being part of a team; staying focused is my priority. I’d love to coach children in rugby. I’m hoping with Childline I can help more. I really want to be there if kids need help, show them how they can progress. Make sure I do what I do best and that my message is well heard. Do you think this will open the floodgates for gay people in sport to come out? I want people to do it if they want to do it. I don’t want them to be pressured. I don’t want people to feel they have to come out. Give people time. It’s the individual’s decision; they’ve got to live with the decision. I wasn’t pressured, I did it because I was ready. You can’t force people into doing it if they don’t feel it is right yet. Do you know of any? No. If I did I wouldn’t say a single word. There’s a lot of speculating about people but I hate rumours. They can cause real pain. I honestly hands up don’t know of any. If I did know and they didn’t come out I’d take the secret to my grave. I’d want them to treat me as I’d treat them. Is it still more difficult to come out in football? Rugby’s fairly new to professional sport. It only went professional in 1995. It’s roots are still working class which is why people play and watch it. I would hope it’s not more difficult for footballers to come out but I suppose yes, there’s bigger pressure. With big money comes bigger pressure and even bigger passions. It would depend on a lot of things, how high profile the footballer is. I hope that this helps. If there’s a footballer who is thinking of coming out, everybody needs a shove in the right direction, maybe this could be it. If not we should respect everybody whether they decided to come out or not. If there are rumours we should quash them not spread them. You’re already a rugby legend and a sporting hero and now a lot of people are calling you a hero for coming out. How does that feel? That’s a strong word. I’m proud I’m the first, my family are proud of it. I suppose in a year if I’m forgotten because other people have come out and taken over that would be great. If it helps for this to be less of an issue that would be great. If there’s any plaudits they should go to my parents for supporting me. It’s my family that are the heroes. Are you excited to be on the cover of Attitude? I’m super excited! I’m so excited. I’ve been in the Daily Mail before, but I’ve never been in Attitude. This is a whole new thing, talking to people who wouldn’t have a clue who I am and are now going to read about me and I want to be a part of the gay community. It’s a whole new world. I really respect the gay community. They look out for each other. I don’t know if they will, but I really hope people respect me, because I respect them. I don’t want to end on a down note but I thought we should take a moment to mention Justin Fashanu. Kind of pay tribute to him, mark how far we have come and what this means. Yes I mentioned that in the Mail but they didn’t print it. I wasn’t aware of him at the time when he came out. I was 15. I remember hearing he had killed himself. I couldn’t imagine what he had to go through. I hope this will show how times have changed. It’s no longer the dark days like it was for him. I’ve been through some tough times but I knew I would never go through with it. I can’t imagine what he must have gone through to do it. I feel a connection to him. If I can pay a tribute to him it will be that I will live the best, happiest life I can do and help in whatever way I can. All of a sudden life is so much better for me. There’s no depression, no sadness, no loneliness, no ball in my stomach anymore. Everything, in a click, has gone and now there’s a life for me to live. You can download selected back issues of Attitude instantly here Listen to Gareth's brand new interview in the new Attitude Heroes podcast – available to download free from iTunes or other podcast platforms now. Attitude Heroes is produced by Wisebuddah and sponsored by the GREAT Britain campaign, which welcomes the world to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK. More stories: 16-year-old comes out for the first time live on BBC television – WATCH Scientists discover trait that makes you more likely to cheat on your partner xxxx