Clyde Rathbone, a rugby union player for the Brumbies in Australia, begins his column in the Canberra Times this way:

I'm in love with a gay man.It's a bromance born out of deep respect and admiration for a kindred spirit. My friend is as close to a brother as a person not born of the same mother can be. He's one of the bravest people I know. And for most of his life he carried the burden of his sexuality like an anchor around his neck.

It's a clever and effective way for Rathbone to talk about his friend "John," a gay professional athlete (the sport is unnamed) who is in the closet, fearing he could never come out.

"I have spent my life terrified that ‘coming out' to my friends would break their trust. I worry that they will think I'm a fraud for lying to them for so long. And I couldn't live knowing that the people closest to me didn't think I was a genuine person. The people who know me think I'm a truthful and honest individual. This is important to me and it's a conflict I am still dealing with."

Rathbone details how John is becoming more comfortable with himself and has found some inner peace after coming out to family and close friends:

"My world changed when I spoke to people. In my mind over 20-odd years I grew my sexuality into a world-ending problem – the truth is that it isn't, and speaking with people close to me gave me a rational perspective again."It's a familiar yet still important tale and Rathbone's entire article should be read. John is lucky he found him as a friend.

Hat tip to Noel.

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