Rugby

Dublin rugby star Lindsay Peat responds to Israel Folau’s anti-gay comments in powerful open letter

Women’s Rugby squad, said she felt compelled to respond after the Australian star Israel Folau posted that hell awaited homosexuals unless they repented.

Peat, who has represented Ireland in soccer, basketball, rugby and won an All-Ireland medal for Dublin, previously spoke of the homophobic abuse she suffered saying she was called a “dirty dyke” in an All-Ireland final.

Writing for TheSportsChronicle.com, the 38-year-old said: “If I had two minutes with Israel Folau, I would say I’m Lindsay Peat – proud Dubliner, proud wife, proud mother, proud daughter, proud sister, proud rugby player.

“Like you, I’ve had the honour to represent my country at the highest level in the game… But I’m gay.

“I don’t want special treatment.  I don’t need to sing from any altar that I’m gay, I just want to be like everyone else because I am like everyone else. I live and I love. I let live and I let love.

“When you judge me, when you judge all of us, you make me fight. I will fight to not go back to that dark place that you will never understand.”

Last Friday, Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia over the homophobic post he made on Instagram.

Folau, a devout Christian, has argued that he shouldn’t be punished for expressing his own religious beliefs.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported today that he is considering suing for unfair dismissal based on religious grounds and has contacted one of Australia’s top employment lawyers.

Peat is one of our most talented athletes, having represented Ireland in soccer, basketball and rugby as well as winning an All-Ireland GAA football medal for Dublin.

But the mother-of-one said she went through a very dark period when she was younger and was struggling with her sexuality.

She suffered panic attacks, self-loathing, weight loss and drank to oblivion as she struggled with the prospect of coming out to friends and family.

The Dubliner said she even contemplated suicide thinking “it would be better not to be here because I couldn’t take it anymore.”

“The lying to everyone. The lying TO MYSELF because, in the Ireland that I lived in at that time, it just wasn’t ok to be gay – you were judged,” she explained.

 

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