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Proud

My Autobiography
Narrated by: Matthew Gravelle
Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

Non-member price: $31.21

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Publisher's Summary

Gareth Thomas had it all. He was a national hero, a sporting icon. He was a leader of men, captain of Wales and the British Lions. To him, rugby was an expression of cultural identity, a sacred code. It was no mere ball game. It gave him everything, except the freedom to be himself.

This is the story of a man with a secret that was slowly killing him. Something that might devastate not only his own life but the lives of his wife, family, friends and teammates. The only place where he could find any refuge from the pain and guilt of the lie he was living was on the pitch, playing the sport he loved. But all his success didn’t make the strain of hiding who he really was go away. His fear that telling the truth about his sexuality would lose him everything he loved almost sent him over the edge.

The deceit ended when Gareth became the world’s most prominent athlete to come out as a gay man. His gesture has strengthened strangers, and given him a fresh perspective. Gareth’s inspiring and moving story transcends the world of sport to tell a universal truth about feeling like an outsider, and facing up to who you really are.

©2014 Gareth Thomas and Michael Calvin (P)2014 Random House Audiobooks

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  • Marc Abbott
  • 15-02-2019

Marc

I enjoyed this book very much. It was not an easy listen as it could be quite emotionally draining as Gareth’s honesty holds no bounds. I think that it can still be difficult to relate to unless your life followed a similar path to his. I would, absolutely certainly, recommend this book to people in a similar position to Gareth as he will help people make a lot of sense of the trials and tribulations of , what must be, an extremely tough obstacle to overcome especially in his line of work. Well done Gareth. Unless people read these insights they will never understand what you went through and the person you have become at the end of this journey. You must be very proud.

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  • L. Ford Ballard, Jr.
  • 26-10-2018

Fantastic and powerful book to listen too

The lilting Welsh accent was delightful to listen to and the narrator was exceptional powerful in using the language in this exceptionally well written book which conveyed in moving terms the Gareth Thomas story and his coming out. The last chapters were particularly moving especially the meditation on his astrological date/sign. A short and meaningful listen for a gay man and I suspect a general audience as well.

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  • M. Alvarez
  • 31-05-2018

Powerful.....

Very much enjoyed hearing this audio book. His story is powerul and I can relate to a certain point. Definitely a must if you are looking for inspiration on how to empower yourself to live to your full potential

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  • craig
  • 17-01-2018

Great Great read

Being Welsh this was ready to relate to. Many of the locations mentioned were placed I grew up visiting and staying at. I can't say I'm a rugby fan or highly sensitive to the issues he suffered by doing what he did. But I would highly recommend reading this whatever your into.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-10-2016

Truthfully engaging.

This is an honest account of a sportsman's turmoil and triumphs. Enjoyed it a lot.

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  • Bill
  • 16-09-2016

Compelling story

The book was extremely well written. I question some of the story line though. I had known Gareth for a brief several years before and during his struggle with his sexuality and coming out. I think he left out some very poignant and important parts of his journey that would have given his story more of a overall human interest factor. I look forward to his second book. Hopefully, it will cover more of his personal life encounters and struggles he experienced outside of his professional life. There were very profound relationships he had, that also played a role in his development.
I enjoyed reading his book, but there is way more to his story.
Congratulations Gareth on your contribution to making this world a better place.

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  • Sunny
  • 20-05-2015

Great read/listen

Great story with great insight into professional sports, the highs, the lows and gives you the realisation that athletes are but first, normal human beings.

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  • R. Klein
  • 02-05-2015

A moving autobiography

I'm not a rugby fan, and I'd never even heard of Gareth Thomas. I was intrigued by the theme of the book and the man on the cover. It's the story of a man who repressed his sexuality, while playing hard to stay hidden in plain sight, on the demanding playing field of life in Wales - where a man had better be a man. Growing up at a time when being gay was unacceptable, he fought on the rugby field, and inside his mind. Playing the game he loved, but maybe didn't quite fit. It's a moving and well written story of the ravages that can come from having to hide your true identity, and struggle to live a lie. Not only psychologically for the first person singular, but for those whose life he touches and entwines with.

The book relays his whole story, the trials, the pain, the triumphs, and does so in a way that is personal and quite captivating. I was always looking forward to getting my headphones back on to listen to more of his story.

I think Thomas captured the emotional side of his struggle in this book, and is an inspiration for others who deal with the insecurity of who they really are. He explains not only what he was up against, but why. The intricacies of how his self image affected his place in the world, why he was driven to hide his identity, and his drive to not only prove himself, but overcome the exhausting burden of living a dual life. Particularly in the über-macho world of professional sports, and specifically in the demanding world of the rugby field. Quite a difficult feat, which took so much of his personal and spiritual energy.

He spends considerable time going into details about how his choices affected others, and his later efforts to repair the damage he'd done by trying to be someone else.

In the end, I think he manages to overcome much of the stigma and fear, and become whole, while realizing the struggle never really ends completely.

It's an inspirational story that hopefully will help to give others the freedom to be who they are, without the damaging struggle that Thomas suffered.

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  • Steve Richards
  • 19-01-2015

Remarkably honest

I really enjoyed this book. As a rugby fanatic who has played the game for more than 20 years I'm sorry to say that I would have been one of those lads throwing homophobic comments around the changing room like confetti. I look back now, having listened to this brutally honest account and think to myself how small minded I was. As Gareth says it's about educating people now. Would recommend it as one of the best sporting autobiographies I've read (or heard!)

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  • mr marc thomas topliss
  • 11-05-2019

Amazing

Being a proud English rugby man this book moved me incredibly. As the teams I supported played against Gareth I respected him as player even though he was welsh. The will and determination to share his story of his darkest thoughts and days is incredible and now I admire him as a man. I hope his words reach as many people as possible and change the thoughts of many so we stop describing people being themselves as showing courage and being brave.

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  • Simon Bonner
  • 28-07-2020

Lovely

This book was worth the 8 hours listening. Hearing it and the emotion in it brought tears to my eyes

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  • rhian
  • 24-05-2020

100%

Quite possibly the most honest book I’ve read in a long time, so powerful, loved the journey 😁

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  • Kerri
  • 20-04-2020

Brilliant

Being a welsh rugby fan I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Gareth Thomas has been honest and frank I. Parts about his story. This to me cements Jim as a legend for being the first professional rugby player to ‘come out’. He’s an inspiration to all.

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  • James
  • 04-04-2020

honist and interesting

a very open account and really interesting listen. he comes across really well. doesnt shy away from difficult circumstances and situations.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-03-2020

Inspirational

Brilliantly told and what an amazing and inspirational guy he is, no matter your sexual preference.

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  • William Hamilton
  • 10-02-2020

Strength

This book and man has given me the strength to keep going and not let the beasty in side me destroy my like Thank you

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  • AP1
  • 20-12-2019

My heart broke and then soared

I couldn't admire this man more. His struggle, his integrity and his ultimate triumph. This is an amazing book. Best buy in a long time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-11-2019

Awesome

I absolutely loved it. A very good listen. Very touching. I'm proud to be Welsh