RUGBY World Cup referee Nigel Owens has revealed there was a time he was so unhappy with his sexuality he asked a doctor to castrate him as an attempt to prevent being gay.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4 Owens said before he came out in 2007 the prospect of being gay was something ‘alien’ to him.
“Refereeing the World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand in front of 85,000 people was nothing compared to the challenge of accepting who I was.”
When Owen came out he became the first openly gay man to officiate at rugby’s highest level, however while growing up in western Wales he developed bulimia and attempted to take his own life at 24.
He also visited a doctor and said: “I think I’m gay, I don’t want to be gay, and can I get chemically castrated?”
He added that he would have done anything to be ‘normal’ in people’s eyes.
When he eventually came out to his parents, his father was hesitant to accept it although Owens said their love for each other hasn’t changed.
He said the support he has received from the Welsh Rugby Union has helped him to come to terms with who he is.
“Unless you are happy with who you are, you cannot excel and be the best you can be at whatever you are doing,” he said.
“You cannot enjoy life if you are not happy within yourself.”
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