It's a sad truth, but the LGBT+ community are still subject to horrific homophobic attacks across the UK. However, some courageous people are working to turn this negative into a positive.
That's exactly what happened with former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas when he was subjected to a homophobic attack in his hometown of Cardiff on Sunday. According to police reports, Thomas was attacked by a 16-year-old boy, who has since admitted assault, reports The Guardian.
Taking to Twitter after his ordeal, he posted a video recounting what had happened, but also saying that he wants his attackers to face 'restorative justice' in order to learn about their bigotry.
This morning I have decided to make what I hope will be a positive video. Last night I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.
Why I want it to be positive: I want to say thank you to the police, who were involved and allowed me to do restorative justice to the people that did this because I thought they could learn more that way.
And also to the people of Cardiff who supported me and helped me because there’s a lot of people out there who want to hurt us.
But, unfortunately for them, there’s a lot more who want to help us heal. So this, I hope, will be a positive message.
Unsurprisingly, the brave, courageous, and heartfelt message has been widely praised on social media.
Gareth Thomas was the victim of a homophobic assault in Cardiff last night. Despite all the rights and freedoms LGB… https://t.co/hxC6TzfJ8f
Thomas, who has played for Wales 100 times, and captained the British and Irish Lions in two of his three appearances for the teams, came out as gay in 2009 while still actively playing rugby. He is also an active champion of and campaigner for LGBT+ rights.