Coming Out? Gareth Thomas wants to talk to you!
Publish Date: 09/03/2012
Dragonfly Film and TV – the makers of One Born Every Minute, and The Hotel - are making a sensitive, intimate 1-hour documentary for Channel 5 about homophobia in society, and the challenges that gay people face coming out.
Gareth Thomas, the rugby player, is presenting it – and the film will be a mix of his own life story – and the stories of others.
Gareth concealed his sexuality for many years – and he even got married, knowing that he was gay. The film will explore the reasons that people feel they have to conceal their sexuality, and try to raise awareness about the ways that society creates this pressure. Gareth is keen to tackle not just overt homophobia, but also supposedly innocuous ‘banter’ about gays, and ignorant attitudes in society more broadly. He will be sharing some of the great conflicts he has faced through his own sexuality, and the effects it has had on those around him. He will also be meeting other people in similar predicaments.
In Gareth’s case, coming out was a hugely positive step. His life has been transformed, and a burden lifted. The program makers hope this will provide inspiration for people. At the same time, they recognise that coming out is not right for everyone, and that it is not something that can be prescribed for all situations – every person is different, and their needs will be different.
These are obviously extremely sensitive stories, and they will be approached in a gentle, affirmative way. The contributors will be supported through the filming process, and will get a chance to view the final film before it airs. The programme makers see this as a collaboration between all involved, which they hope will make a positive contribution to tackling homophobia in society.
Assistant producer Sophie Waldron says:
“We want to show both men and women and we want this to be a positive documentary; For Gareth coming out was a hugely positive experience and whilst we want to show people whose experience of coming out was not positive – those who suffered rejection / homophobic abuse or even attempted suicide – we are also keen to speak to those who have come out the other side and who are hopefully in a much better place: who can help and inspire others who are possibly going through the same thing. Gareth himself is very passionate about the empowering effect coming out had on him and this will be very apparent in the documentary; however we think it is important to show that it is not always an easy ride and people do have very genuine fears about coming out. Ultimately however we do want it to be positive and uplifting."
"If anyone wants to take part in the documentary – even if their contribution is anonymous – that would be really useful. If anyone is interested in taking it further and meeting Gareth, we can then explain what would be involved in filming. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence. Nothing will go any further, without consent.”
If you have a story that you think might help other people please email or text with a bit of information and the program makers will call you back.
Sophie.email@example.com or text 07979 323 058
James.firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07958 638 476