By: Ayan Jama
The article from @longreads I chose to read was about Gareth Thomas and his struggles with coming out of the closet. In the world of sports men are portrayed as masculine beings. They aren’t afraid of anything and are the epitome of what a man should be. For Gareth growing up playing rugby meant being the manliest man you could be and being a homosexual was not “manly.” After becoming a rugby star Gareth had many struggles admitting to himself let alone anyone else that he was in fact a homosexual.
Gary Smith, the author of this article, starts off by questioning why in the history of American sports hasn’t there been one single man, retired or still active, to admit that they were homosexual. He goes back and forth between his words and Thomas’s words. The back and forth dialogue between both men really paints the picture as to how much homosexuality is still a hidden thing. Also, using italics to represent what Thomas is saying is very visually appealing.
As the article progresses on Smith begins to give us the background of Thomas’s life. We are told about his restless childhood, first sexual encounter with a man, and the downfall of his marriage. We see throughout his journey that because he was such a famous rugby player his need to keep his identity secret was vital. He believed that if he revealed his sexual orientation he would lose his teammates who he considered his family.
Throughout the article Smith uses bold words where important and dramatic events in Thomas’s life occur. Although it is something so subtle as a bold font it captures your eye and makes you want to keep reading. It makes you excited to reach the next bold print and see what new development of drama or relief has occurred. The entire article is beautifully written and I believe it flows gracefully throughout Thomas’s life. Smith’s writing takes us through the ups and downs of Thomas’s life and uses such simple yet detailed words that evoke emotion constantly. Readers feel upset, happy and confusion about the certain events in Thomas’s life and I believe that is exactly how a piece such as this one should be.