Rugby referee Nigel Owens opens up about life in closet

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Gay rugby referee Nigel Owens has spoken out about living in a constant fear that his sexuality might be revealed to the players or fellow referees before he decided to come out as gay himself in 2007. Speaking in an interview on Ireland’s Ray D’Arcy Show he shared that he once had a date with a man in Pizza Hut as he approached former Welsh international Dwayne Peel and his girlfriend Jessica, who later became his wife. Owens told Peel that the man sitting next to him was his friend. His boyfriend did not hear it because he went to the toilet, and Owens gave him a sign not to come back and to wait for him outside. The date was spoiled by a lie, and this lie was a regular habit for him by then. When he came out, it became easier, though almost cost him career. In August, Owens revealed that he nearly left rugby after being subjected to homophobic abuse at a New Zealand vs England at Twickenham, southwest London.

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