Guinness, the 256 year old Irish beer company has just released a powerful advertisement featuring legendary Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas. The former Wales captain came out of the closet in 2009 and the following year was voted the UK’s most influential gay person.
The advertisement is particularly powerful for several reasons. The first because it’s an advertisement for a beer, a product category which is normally more comfortable using stereotypical notions of masculinity to sell more units as opposed to openly gay men. The second reason is that it’s for an internationally recognisable Irish brand. With Ireland legalising gay marriage only four months ago, this short video is another sign of how progressive the country is, particularly when it comes to gay equality. But the third and most poignant reason is that Thomas mentions how his teammates were the ones that helped him in his ‘darkest hour’ and how when he needed them the most they were there for him. Sports seems to be the last frontier to conquer when it comes to homophobia but Gareth’s story is an example of how there is hope for change.
Watch the ad below: