Jed Hooper is the latest sports star to announce his sexuality.
Hooper, Captain of Bristol rugby team, the Old Redcliffians, has spoken of his sexuality after meeting “someone earlier this year who said he could not be with someone who was in the closet”.
Speaking to the Bristol Evening Post earlier this week the 22-year-old revealed he had “come out” as gay to his family and friends earlier this year, before informing the wider world later.
“I was never going to do it bit by bit, that would have been too drawn out, so I decided to text everyone and also put it on Facebook. I was horribly nervous. I wrote and rewrote the text four or five times, and I had my finger on the ‘send’ button for ages before I finally pushed it.” Hooper, the back row forward who has been playing Ruby since the age of six, added, “I met someone earlier this year who said he could not be with someone who was in the closet. That, basically, was the catalyst that I needed.”
Hooper told the Bristol newspaper that he first felt he might be gay at the age of fourteen, but he tried to deny it. He later turned to self-harming with a knife he admitted.
“A massive weight came off my shoulders. If I couldn’t accept myself the way I am, how could I expect my friends to?” He said on revealing his sexuality, “I then cried my eyes out as I was thinking to myself ‘what have you done?, but very quickly I must have had 40 replies and all of them were positive.”
The announcement of Jed Hooper’s sexuality by co-incidence has coincided with the news fellow gay player Gareth Thomas is to retire from the sport.
“I’m a very aggressive competitor, someone who hates losing and has a win at all costs mentality, but I’m a much nicer bloke in the bar after. If anyone is reading this and they’re in the same situation as me, all I want to say is don’t bottle things up because, trust me, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Jed Hooper joins other high profile homosexual sport starts including other rugby stars Gareth Thomas and Nigel Owens, Criketer Steven Davies and footballer Anton Hysen.
“The world’s not against you. If my story can help one person then this has been worth it.” Hopper positively concluded.