In an extensive letter published in The Sydney Morning Herald, the former Australian rugby player Dan Palmer not only spoke openly about his recently assumed homosexuality, but also reported sad episodes he had to go through in his youth because of the secret he kept.
“I fantasized about disappearing, changing my name and starting a new life. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my own death was preferable to the fact that someone found out I was gay “, said Palmer in the same letter in which he reported that at that time he cried himself to sleep and that he resorted to a dangerous cocktail of opiates.
The drug problems became more acute until one day – when he was 25 and playing for a club in France – he overdosed on painkillers. This situation meant a before and an after: he got on a plane and went to London to visit a friend. He was the first person he said was gay.
It was also at that time that he decided to stop playing rugby, returned to his country and started studying Sciences and Psychology, with a specialization in neurosciences.
Tactic to stay in the closet
In the letter, the former player tells how he used to hide his true orientation from his teammates. “I had some tactics to deal with some problems and avoid others. I was aggressive and defensive when I felt I was losing control of the situation. The longer I allowed this to continue, the more difficult it became to break the cycle. Underneath that, there was a deep sense of guilt “, commented.
“It disgusts me to know that in 2020 there are still people who torture themselves like me. Both inside and outside the sport we have to be better. If this letter promotes conversation, making people more comfortable with who they are or helping someone understand what a loved one is going through, it will be a success “, finished.