Scottish referee Lloyd Wilson hopes his decision to come out as gay will inspire others to do the same. He also believes that inroads are being made to make the game more inclusive. Wilson and fellow referee Craig Napier came out as gay this week. Wilson revealed that his fear of backlash was the sole reason behind his decision not to come out sooner.
“There are people watching the game, week-in, week-out, there are people playing the game, there are people coaching the game, working in the game who are petrified even, and I hope that if my story encourages even one person then I’ve done a good job,” Scottish referee Lloyd Wilson said after coming out as gay. “I think now I can walk about the streets not having to be feeling as though I’m different. That needs to be normalized now and we’re starting to make good inroads, the evidence I think is there. Football I hope is prepared and ready for it and I’m pretty certain Scottish football is.”
“There will be people watching this who have been in the situation that I’ve been in for so long. And even last night, I was that close to pulling this where I just couldn’t do it. But the reaction I’ve had, it’s been incredible, absolutely incredible,” he added. “The reaction that I’ve had – I’m really shocked by. The reaction has been exceptional, I’ve not had one negative comment. That was what I was really fearing. I’m bracing myself that they may come, I’m not naive enough to think that something might not come. But why now? 17 years of silence, 17 years of living a way that I haven’t wanted to live, you can only live like that for so long. I’ve got a partner of about a year, Hamish, who’s been an incredible support and incredible in encouraging this. So that’s why I’m doing this now.”