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March 6, 2015

One of the toughest, 'manliest' sports in the world leads the way in LGBTI recognition

One of the toughest, brutal sports in the world, rugby, has just taken a huge gay rights step.

World Rugby and International Gay Rugby have signed a historic agreement agreeing to collaborate to ensure the game promotes equality and inclusivity.

They have committed that any player, official or fan will never face discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, and to ensure all homophobia is eliminated.

They are hoping to inspire other global sporting organizations to make the same steps.

February 19, 2015

Rugby player says revealing his sexuality was 'the scariest moment in my life'

Gareth Thomas has said coming out was 'probably the scariest moment in my life.'

The Welsh rugby player told his ex-wife, Gemma, and coach he was gay in 2006.

'We just sat down, we had a couple of cans and basically I told him why Gemma had left me and what I was going through,' he told Channel 4 News.

'I told him my attempted suicide and basically how my life was falling apart.'

February 4, 2015

First time two gay rugby teams compete at a professional sporting event

History will be made on 20 February when the Melbourne Chargers and Sydney Convicts do battle in a curtain raiser to a Super Rugby league match.

It will be the first time that two gay rugby teams compete as part of a professional sporting event. And it is only the third time in the history of world sports that even one gay team has been invited to play a curtain raiser ahead of a professional game.

Victorian sports minister John Eren said the state government supported the initiative.

November 24, 2014

The Nashville Grizzlies will host the world cup of gay rugby in May of 2016 after the member teams of International Gay Rugby voted on which team should host the next competition

The Nashville Grizzlies gay rugby club have beaten out the Chicago Dragons to win the right to host the 2016 world cup of gay rugby, the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, generally referred to as the Bingham Cup.

The International Gay Rugby (IGR) association made the announcement on Wednesday that the Bingham Cup will be returning to US in 2016 to be hosted in Nashville, Tennessee.

Both cities put forward strong bids for the right to host the competition but the final vote, was 53-40 in favor of Nashville.

November 2, 2014

The gay sporting star appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show to talk about his life and new autobiography. Ross, who has a gay daughter, personally thanked Thomas for being so open about his sexuality

Gareth Thomas, the former rugby player who came out in 2009, has just published his autobiography, Proud.

On Saturday night he appeared on the Jonathan Ross Show on British's ITV channel, to talk about his career and his previous struggles with his sexuality.

Thomas enjoyed a phenomenal rugby career as a player, and was, until September 2011, the most capped Welsh rugby union player, with 100 appearances for his country.

October 31, 2014

Suddenly we've become more interested in playing a full contact sport

A Nashville gay rugby team has stripped down, got wet and muddy for their 2015 calendar.

The Nashville Grizzlies RFC, a USA Rugby Division III club, scrum together shirtless for the 12 pictures aiming to raise money for their team.

'We are a socially and ethnically diverse group of guys ages 19-53 learning a great sport, getting some good exercise and giving back to our community,' they say.

'Every two years we travel to the Bingham Cup, named in honor of Mark Bingham who died on United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11, 2001 attacks.

September 3, 2014

Openly gay athlete Chris Morgan looks into the challenges faced by Michael Sam as he is dropped by the St Louis Rams

Early predictions were for Michael Sam to be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round of the NFL Draft during the close season. As time wore on Michael would have become more nervous about whether he would be drafted at all and who he would end up playing for. As history now states he was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.

September 2, 2014

Retired rugby star planned to commit suicide because 'I hated myself for what I had inflicted on her'

Retired gay rugby star Gareth Thomas recalls in a new book how he planned to kill himself when his wife of five years left him.

Thomas confessed to then wife Jemma in 2006 that he is gay. She eventually left him and when she did, he recalls in his new memoir, Proud, how he planned to drown himself in their swimming pool.

He was going to do so dressed in his best Welsh Rugby Union issued suit.

'A form of madness gripped me that first night after Jemma left,' he writes.

September 1, 2014

Australia’s Sydney Convicts gay rugby club has dominated the Bingham Cup world cup of gay rugby, winning the Bingham Cup after defeating the Brisbane Hustlers 31-0

The Sydney Convicts have dominated the competition at the Bingham Cup world cup of gay rugby, with the club’s A team winning the competition in a match against the Brisbane Hustlers with a score of 31 to 0, it’s B team reaching the semi-finals and its C team winning the Bingham Shield.

It was a stunning reversal for the Brisbane Hustlers considering that earlier this year they had beat the Convicts to win the Australian national cup of gay rugby the Purchas Cup.

July 9, 2014

'If not for the strength of athletes like Jason Collins, Michael Sam, and Brian Sims, I would likely still be struggling'

The moment he pushed send on his computer on 4 July, it really was independence day for former college and pro football player Brad Thorson.

He had just published a blog post in which he came out as gay to everyone he knows and plenty of people he didn't know.

'I'm putting it in writing and not looking back,' he wrote. 'I'm gay.'

July 7, 2014

Australia’s Sydney Convicts won their first match in a professional event against a side from Macquarie University on Sunday as Sydney prepares to host the Bingham Cup world cup of gay rugby

The Sydney Convicts gay rugby club beat Macquarie University 30 to 12 in a curtain raiser game before the New South Wales Waratah’s state Rugby Union game against the New Zealand Highlanders on Sunday at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.

The match was the first time anywhere in the world that a gay rugby club participated in a professional level rugby event, and was held as part of Sydney’s preparations to host the Bingham Cup world cup of gay rugby from 24 to 31 August with matches between 15 different countries on the 29th, 30th and 31st.

July 5, 2014

Gay rugby club the Sydney Convicts will face off against players from Macquarie University on Sunday at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium before the New South Wales Waratahs and the New Zealand Highlanders face off in the stadium

Australia’s oldest gay rugby union team the Sydney Convicts will make history when they become the first gay rugby team in the world to play as part of a professional match on Sunday as they prepare to host the Bingham Cup world championship of gay rugby.

The Sydney Convicts will play against a team from Macquarie University on Sunday afternoon ahead of the game between Australia’s New South Wales Waratahs and New Zealand’s Highlanders at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

July 3, 2014

The Sydney Convicts will play in a mainstream rugby competition against Macquarie University at the world famous Allianz Stadium

A team is to make history by becoming the first gay rugby union club to play in a professional match.

The Sydney Convicts will play in a mainstream rugby competition against Macquarie University on Sunday (6 July). Australia’s NSW Waratahs and New Zealand’s Highlanders will also play at Allianz Stadium.

The event is being organized to help end homophobia in sport and across the world.

April 8, 2014

All of Australia’s major sporting codes will pledge tomorrow to eliminate homophobia in sport ahead of Australia hosting the world gay rugby Bingham Cup in August

The heads of the five largest sporting codes in Australia are set to make a historic commitment tomorrow towards wiping out homophobia in sport as they agree to implement anti-homophobia and inclusion policies by the end of August of this year.

The CEOs of the national Australian Football League, Australia Rugby Union, National Rugby League, and the Football Federation of Australia will make the pledge at a press conference tomorrow alongside the executive general manager of Cricket Australia.

March 18, 2014

The Brisbane Hustlers have beat gay rugby teams from across Australia and New Zealand to win the annual Purchas Cup

A team from the state of Queensland has won Australia and New Zealand’s annual Purchas Cup for gay rugby beating out teams from Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand.

The Sydney Convicts had been the favourites to win – being the current reigning world champions of gay rugby - but the Brisbane Hustlers came up on top beating them 12 to 5 in a surprise result.

The Hustlers may have had a home ground advantage as it was the first time the competition has been held inside Brisbane’s Ballymore Stadium – the home of rugby in the city.

December 26, 2013

Whether you’re after eye candy or inspiring representations of same-sex couples, these calendars are a mix of the steamiest, cutest and most fun for next year

To keep track of our increasingly hectic and electronic lives in the New Year, we’ve put together a list of the best wall calendars for 2014.

What makes them the best?

Is it the the charitable causes, like HIV prevention and combatting transphobia, some calendar producers are encouraging you to support?

Or could it be the fact that some models are straight people in support of the LGBTI community?

Perhaps it's the rippling, sinewy muscles and homoerotic undertones of some calendars that makes them worthy of our attention.

December 25, 2013

Straight ally and former rugby star Cohen posts picture on Twitter as he prepares his festive feast

Former rugby star and anti-gay bullying champion Ben Cohen has been showing a bit of gay pride while cooking his Christmas dinner.

The 35-year-old pin-up, while straight, has become an LGBTI activist, founding the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation in 2011 to fight bullying.

He tweeted this picture this afternoon (25 December) with the caption: ‘Wearing my apron with Pride whilst cooking Christmas dinner!’

The apron declares his ‘Gay Icon’ status.

December 1, 2013

The Australian Rugby Union football code will display the global gay rugby Bingham Cup in its trophy case alongside other international trophies held by Australia – becoming the first Australian sporting code to do so

The global gay rugby Bingham Cup trophy, currently held by Australia’s Sydney Convicts team, will be displayed alongside other international rugby cups held by Australia in an Australian first.

The news was made public by Sydney Morning Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons yesterday.

November 8, 2013

Gareth Thomas, the first professional rugby player to come out as gay, adds his opinion to the ongoing debate as to whether gay athletes should participate in the upcoming Russian Olympics given the country's laws against homosexuality

Gareth Thomas believes nothing should hold gay athletes back from participating in the Sochi Winter Olympics, not even anti-gay laws.

The openly gay retired rugby player discussed the 2014 Winter Olympics in an interview with Youtube sport channel Sportlobster TV, adding to the debate and concern as to whether gay and lesbian athletes should compete in the games because host countries Qatar and Russia have strong laws against homosexuality.

October 29, 2013

Take a sneak peak at the British rugby legend with the lovely smile's steamy 2014 calendar

The British rugby legend, currently showing us his salsa on Strictly Come Dancing, has stripped off once again to fight gay bullying.

Ben Cohen, nearly every lad-lover's favorite, is back with a new calendar for 2014.

This time he has invited us for a sneak peak into the shower and the locker room for a behind-the-scenes look.

Remember this is all about charity. All of the funds raised for his calendar will go to Cohen’s Stand Up Foundation, aiming to stop bullying in schools and sports.

October 25, 2013

Barclays LGBT gala fundraiser for Cohen’s anti-bullying charity also hears Olympic bronze medal hero Annie Panter talk about being lesbian

Performing in Strictly Come Dancing is the nerve-wracking thing former rugby star and pin-up Ben Cohen has ever done.

He made the comments at a fundraising dinner last night (24 October) for his LGBT anti-bullying charity, StandUp Foundation – organized by Barclays.

Meanwhile another special guest, Olympic bronze medalist Annie Panter, used the dinner to unexpectedly speak about being gay – and to joke how much sex there was behind the scenes at the London 2012 games.

June 28, 2013

Warwick University Rowing Club is posing nude for the Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation, raising money to fight homophobia and other forms of bullying

A British rowing team is stripping down to raise money to combat homophobia.

For the past four years, in between training for competitions, the Warwick University Rowing Club have raised money by posing nude for a calendar.

And this year, they will be donating a portion of the money raised to the LGBT ally and rugby legend Ben Cohen’s anti-homophobia and bullying charity.

May 13, 2013

Gay rugby tournament the Union Cup 2013 will see 550 players from over 20 teams compete in Bristol, pumping £25,000 into the local economy

Bristol, UK will be hosting Europe’s biggest gay rugby tournament, the Union Cup 2013 on 23 – 26 May.

This year 550 gay rugby players from teams including Stockholm, Berlin, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Dublin will travel to Bristol to compete, bringing an estimated £25,000 to the city's local economy.

Tournament director David Arid said: ‘The idea of a gay and gay-friendly rugby club is to provide an accepting environment in which players can develop their sporting potential without fear of prejudice.

April 1, 2013

Ben Cohen, who is 50% deaf, says Sir Elton John changed his life with an offer for hearing aids

Straight ally Ben Cohen confessed that his hearing loss has improved with the help of Sir Elton John.

The anti-bullying crusader, who was diagnosed with severe hearing loss in his early 20s, never sought treatment because of his vigorous rugby activities.

‘I’m into the profound hearing loss category. I’m going deaf,’ said Cohen.

‘Certain sounds – such as the letters T and K – I can’t really hear at all’.