My name is Gerald,
I’m a doctor from Ireland and today I’m taking part
in my first tournament of inclusive rugby. I play on the Irish gay rugby team with over 45 teams
of LGBT men and women from all over the European continent. When I decided to join the Emerald Warriors
I was at a very low point in my life. I had been suffering with depression. Growing up in Ireland
in the late eighties and early nineties, homosexuality was still a crime. It led to internalised feelings
of being wrong. Being around the Warriors
has just helped me to accept myself more and also accept my place
in the world around me. My family is delighted that I play rugby. They’re a great source of strength
in this endeavour of mine. I have four children.
They’ve all been born equal. Years ago, you could never say
who you really were and it’s sad. I think Ireland is a much better place
but it’s taken a while to get us here. When it came to the fight
for marriage equality, the Irish population…
the first one in the entire world by popular vote said YES. They felt that people like me
aren’t any different from anybody else. And that we do
have a place in society and that our loves and our relationships
aren’t any worse than anybody else’s. I got married in Ireland. We got married two years after
the same-sex referendum. I’m with my husband
now ten years. This is my son. His name is Jake
and he’s almost two years of age. Our lives changed
when he came into our world. He keeps us on our toes
as you can see. I see myself as a rugby player,
as a father and my sexual orientation
happens to be homosexual. That’s how I see it. Sexism and homophobia
are two sides of the same coin and part of the same nonsense. We are trying to break these stereotypes,
and are succeeding too, by playing a sport
with a tough image. It’s awful to think that there are places
where teams like mine can’t exist but I’m hopeful for the future. Change does happen
and most of the time it’s for the better.

How rugby made me proud
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