Former Wales captain and rugby commentator Gareth Thomas has spoken to ITV News about the mental struggle he experienced while hiding his sexuality.
Six years ago the player, known as 'Alfie', opened up to his fans and came out as gay.
He now works with young people from small communities to help them find the courage to be true to themselves.
He will be speaking at a conference in Guernsey today, organised by mental health charity MIND.
He says the pressure he felt to pretend to be someone he was not took him to breaking point.
As a married man at the time, Gareth remembers telling his wife that he was gay as the hardest thing about coming out.
He describes the pain as feeling like he was dying inside.
But he says the opportunity to tell the truth saved his life.
Now, Gareth is turning his experience into something positive, by helping young people facing similar struggles.
At the MIND conference today, he hopes his story will resonate with others.
For advice and support on mental health and other problems in life, click here to visit MIND's website.