As we celebrate Pride Month at Musselburgh RFC, Colin Arthur speaks on his experiences as an openly gay player in rugby and his time at the club
“I must be honest in that I have never actually actively celebrated pride as I have never really felt proud of who I am as a person until a couple of years ago. A huge factor in this was that I always tried to hide my sexuality when it came to sport and my rugby career. I felt that a gay player could not make it to a high level of playing in a ‘straight’ or ‘regular’ environment and therefore I separated my rugby life from my personal life.
When I moved to Musselburgh RFC I could never have hoped for a more warm and welcoming club to both myself and my partner. I quickly felt part of the family and throughout my years at the club so far I feel that my rugby is constantly improving and I have never been happier.
Being an openly gay player in a non-IGR (international gay rugby) team to me is a huge promotion for inclusivity within rugby. I personally understand why IGR teams, such as the Caledonian Thebans & Glasgow Alphas, are such a necessity for the LQBT+ community but I believe that all teams should be inclusive and this is how I view Musselburgh. This is why I asked my teammates, coaches and club staff to take part in a celebration of Pride by showing up in bold and colourful attire for our training session.
The willingness of everyone to get on board with this was honestly overwhelming and it made me so happy and proud to be part of such an amazing squad and club.
Pride to me is when you are accepted by people for being you. It doesn’t need to relate to your sexuality, gender, what you look like, what career you have, it relates to you being accepted for simply being you. Nobody should have to hide who they are for fear of repercussions and should be free to do what they enjoy.”