Tue, 06 Mar 2018 21:30 Y Byd ar Bedwar


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Tue, 06 Mar 2018 21:30

Wyn Thomas, gweinidog a mab ffarm o Geredigion, yn trafod ei frwydr bersonol i gydnabod ei rywioldeb. Minister & farmer's son Wyn Thomas talks about his personal struggle with h...


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-We're here in the old Llwynrhydowen

-chapel, Pontsian, Llandysul.

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-I'm Wyn Thomas.

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-I'm an Unitarian minister for

-six chapels in the Llandysul area.

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-I'm a farmer's son from Pontsian and

-I've been a minister for 14 years.

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-Throughout that time, I hid

-a major secret about my sexuality.

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-A lot of people find it hard

-to tell family and friends...

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-..and to society in general,

-that they are gay.

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-That's because of the natural

-conservatism that exists in Wales.

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-Homosexual relationships

-were decriminalised over 50 years.

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-Tonight, I'm meeting men who battled

-prejudice over the decades.

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-I'll ask them how difficult was it

-for them to say, "This is who I am."

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-I meet a teacher...

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-..a Conservative...

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-..and a former organiser

-of the National Eisteddfod.

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-I like that one actually.

-I know you're out of focus.

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-Three months ago,

-Matthew and I got married.

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-Until then, very few people, apart

-from close family, knew I was gay.

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-It was a very special day.

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-I enjoyed every minute...

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-..but I spent

-parts of the day crying.

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-I felt it was the climax

-of years of lying...

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-..of hiding, of worrying

-and feeling scared.

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-Suddenly, I felt relief and freedom.

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-I was very aware

-that our marriage...

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-..would be a statement, not only

-of our love and our relationship...

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-..but of what we are and what I am.

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-Matthew and I had been together

-for 14 years.

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-Finally, we could be honest

-about our relationship.

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-The feeling of having to lie

-was the most difficult feeling.

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-Often, something would happen,

-something would come up...

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-..and you felt you had to lie

-to protect the truth.

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-Until 2013, it wasn't possible

-for same-sex couples to get married.

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-Until 1967, a homosexual

-relationship was illegal.

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-Even after that, over the decades...

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-..a lot of gay men have felt

-the need to hide the truth...

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-..about their sexuality.

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-I'm on a journey to try and discover

-more about the experiences...

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-..of gay men in the past

-and see what effect it's had...

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-..on the lives of people

-like myself and my husband.

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-I consider it a privilege

-to meet and speak to older people...

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-..who've been through these

-experiences during a different age.

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-Some of them lived through a time

-when homosexuality was illegal.

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-The battles they fought has given

-someone like me so much freedom.

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-My journey takes me to a seaside

-village on the North Wales coast...

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-..to the home of a man who's

-constantly battled against the tide.

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-Roy Owen is preparing for a meeting

-of the Conway Diners' Club...

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-..a diners' club for gay men.

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-It was formed almost 30 years ago.

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-Roy says that most members

-are in their 60s and 70s.

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-How many members do you have?

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-Over 80.

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-Really?

-It's a club for gay men mostly.

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-Yes, yes.

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-Completely.

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-A gay men's club.

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-How often do you meet?

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-Twice a month.

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-In the same place every time?

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-In the same place every time?

-

-No.

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-Different.

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-Different locations.

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-Anglesey.

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-Here, Conwy.

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-Denbigh.

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-Fine restaurants.

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-In the 1970s, Roy was prominent with

-the Conservative Party in Wales.

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-He's a former

-parliamentary candidate.

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-He told me he had to travel to meet

-other gay men in the early-'60s.

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-To Manchester, to be honest.

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-Sometimes Rhyl.

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-There were places you could go...

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-..but you were being scrutinised

-by the police.

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-You had to be very careful

-what you were doing.

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-You couldn't kiss in the street.

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-You had to be very careful.

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-He also reveals to me that he

-was prosecuted in the early-'60s.

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-It was a rather painful experience

-appearing in court in London.

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-I was accused of indecent behaviour

-in a public place.

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-In a toilet.

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-When he asked me...

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-..if I was pleading guilty...

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-..I said not guilty.

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-"What do you mean?"

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-I said...

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-.."There was a lock

-on the cubicle door.

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-"No-one could come in."

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-The charge was dropped.

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-In 1967,

-15 years before I was born...

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-..the Sexual Offences Act

-was passed.

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-It decriminalised homosexual

-acts in private between two men...

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-..if both had attained

-the age of 21.

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-Roy told me that being gay

-is still difficult.

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-It's been extremely difficult.

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-It's destroyed people's characters.

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-And in truth...

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-..one or two took the easy way out

-by committing suicide.

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-The emotion was never far

-from the surface with Roy.

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-He's lost friends, he's witnessed

-battles, he's experienced feelings.

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-You could see the effect

-these experiences have had on him.

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-For many of us, Hywel Wyn Edwards

-is a familiar face...

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-..as organiser

-of the National Eisteddfod.

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-He told me that as

-a young gay man in Aberystwyth...

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-..he had to keep his sexuality

-a secret.

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-To meet men, he had to visit

-specific locations in the town...

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-..including toilets.

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-Those type of locations

-existed in the town.

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-Some of them were, how can I say,

-more appealing than others.

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-Certainly, that happened.

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-They were the locations

-I tended to visit at times.

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-The secrets continued when

-he attended university in Bangor.

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-I was hiding the truth.

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-I lived a double life.

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-At the time, I was also,

-on more than one occasion...

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-..I was, how can I say...

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-..in company with a woman or women.

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-I don't know if I'd realised

-if people had their doubts or not.

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-I was trying to keep what I did

-in private a secret from everyone.

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-There was a turning point.

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-Hywel takes me to a place...

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-..that has memories

-from the beginning of his career.

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-There were many good memories

-but one bitter memory stands out.

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-This is where I started teaching

-back in 1968.

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-I was teaching here

-from '68 until '73.

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-You were here when the allegations

-were made against you.

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-This is where I was

-when the news broke.

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-Hywel told me that he had started

-a relationship with a local man.

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-They were both over 21

-and the relationship was legal.

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-Two housemates thought his behaviour

-was unsuitable for a young teacher.

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-They reported him

-to the school's authorities.

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-At the time, how did you feel?

-Disappointment? Anger?

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-I'm sure there was anger

-and disappointment.

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-I was very, very sad, I'm sure.

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-I don't know how I came through it.

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-I remember visiting my doctor.

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-His response,

-on reflection, was terrible.

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-Then again, maybe that was

-the expected response.

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-He told me to grow up,

-look for a woman, get married...

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-..and do what I was supposed to.

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-That was the last thing

-someone wanted to hear at that time.

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-The school's headmaster

-and governors supported Hywel...

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-..and he was able to keep his job.

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-Surprisingly, he's kept in touch

-with the teachers...

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-..who made the complaint.

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-Hywel was a far more forgiving

-person than I could be.

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-That's not something I should say.

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-I should say, "Yes, we should

-forgive one another."

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-If I had friends like the friends

-who did that to him...

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-..I wouldn't have been so forgiving.

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-I would definitely have found it

-very difficult to forgive.

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

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-I'm Wyn Thomas,

-a farmer's son and minister.

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-I'm also gay. I've just married

-my partner Matthew.

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-I've always found it difficult to

-say those simple words, "I'm gay."

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-The reason for this, I think...

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-..is that it directly

-draws people's attention...

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-..to the sexual aspect

-of the relationship.

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-That's not the important aspect,

-it's not the meaningful aspect.

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-It's not the valuable thing

-we try and celebrate.

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-It's not what we think about when we

-think about a heterosexual couple.

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-If acknowledging what I am

-has been difficult for me...

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-..how was it

-for gay couples decades ago?

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-Tonight,

-I'm meeting older gay men...

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-..to hear about their battles

-and the effect it has today.

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-I can empathise with Dafydd Gwylon.

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-Like me, he kept his sexuality

-a secret for years.

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-It was more difficult

-in the '70s and '80s...

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-..of the 20th century.

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-Because of people's feelings...

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-..it was difficult in many cases.

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-In the early-'80s, Dafydd and his

-partner Robert moved in together.

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-That strikes me as a brave move.

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-I often say that the freedom

-and right that I have today...

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-..derives from people like you...

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-..who did something

-pioneering, different...

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-..unacceptable to some extent.

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-How aware were you

-that you were making a point...

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-..making a statement?

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-I don't think we were concerned

-about making a point at all.

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-What I felt was thisis where

-we felt most content...

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-..and most alive.

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-I was in a relationship...

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-..and I could do things

-with another man.

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-That's what made a difference to me.

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-Both campaigned for the rights

-of gay people.

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-As a former teacher, Dafydd feels

-there was a price to pay.

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-Since then, I haven't had

-one full-time job...

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-..for decades.

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-I had to rely on part-time work...

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-..even though I'd applied

-for many full-time jobs.

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-The education authorities

-have been deficient.

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-Some school heads

-have been prejudiced.

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-There have been some

-better school heads, of course...

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-..but many prejudiced school heads

-are still alive in South Wales.

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-For Dafydd and Robert...

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-..the partnership

-that's grown between them...

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-..and even though

-they disagreed with me...

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-..when I described them

-as pioneers...

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-..they opposed societal conventions

-and lived together...

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-..when that wasn't something

-accepted by society.

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-Societal expectations caused me

-a great amount of heartbreak.

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-I came close to turning my back

-on the ministry some years ago...

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-..because of my sexuality.

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-There is a Biblical verse somewhere

-that's spouted by one or two.

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-"If a man also lies with mankind...

-both have committed an abomination."

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-Many things are an abomination

-in the eyes of the Lord.

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-Eating prawns, eating pork,

-there are all kinds of sins.

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-It's not been a great worry to me,

-I have to admit.

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-I made my peace with God

-many years ago.

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-I'm content and happy in the fact

-that life, hope and love...

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-..will conquer rules

-that were in place 3,000 years ago.

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-After the stress he faced

-as a young teacher in North Wales...

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-..Hywel Wyn Edwards lived with

-his partner Gareth for 30 years.

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-We moved here in '97, April '97.

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-I've been here for 21 years.

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-Unfortunately, a few months

-after we moved here...

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-..Gareth was diagnosed with cancer.

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-Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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-He only lived here for two years.

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-I feel privileged that Hywel

-is talking to me about his partner.

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-Being gay isn't something

-he discusses very often.

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-No, I haven't discussed it.

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-I haven't discussed it with anyone,

-in reality.

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-Most certainly, I never

-discussed it with my parents...

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-..my close family or my friends

-throughout my life.

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-My parents would come up

-and stay with us.

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-Over the Christmas holidays.

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-I take it, from that,

-that they accepted.

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-Whether they accepted it 100%,

-I don't know.

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-Maybe they accepted it 80%.

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-They could see

-that we were happy together...

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-..and that was far more important

-than anything else.

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-Matthew and I understand

-how sensitive families can be...

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-..in responding to a relationship

-between two men.

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-My father refused to attend

-our wedding.

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-My father hasn't been able

-to accept the situation.

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-I can understand completely.

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-I regret causing him

-so much pain and worry...

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-..and to many others over the years,

-to be honest.

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-It's such a pity that something

-as simple and fundamental...

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-..can cause such problems...

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-..and in effect, can split families.

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-We can't wait for people to accept.

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-We have to live our own lives.

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-I have to do

-what I think is right...

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-..and be faithful

-to what I believe is correct.

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-In the past, gay men were

-persecuted, accused and punished.

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-The Scottish Government apologised

-for the treatment some endured.

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-On my journey, I hear pleas

-for a similar response in Wales.

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-For those men

-who suffered the injustice...

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-..the criminalisation

-and the oppression...

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-..and the families of those men...

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-..who experienced

-the feeling of shame.

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-Such injustice

-that made those men feel shameful...

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-..for something so natural as having

-a relationship with another man.

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-It's time for

-the Welsh Government...

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-..to follow the wonderful lead

-shown by Nicola Sturgeon...

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-..and apologise.

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-The Welsh Government believes

-it's not their place to apologise...

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-..because the criminal system

-hasn't been devolved.

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-It's the responsibility

-of politicians in London.

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-The Westminster Government

-have introduced a process...

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-..to annul historic punishments.

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-The process

-can be long and complicated.

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-It appears that only 165 men

-in Britain...

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-..have made a successful claim

-over the past five years.

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-For one

-who was prosecuted 50 years ago...

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-..I get the feeling

-that the scars are still painful.

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-Why was a gay man prosecuted

-in a court of law?

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-That only made the situation worse.

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-There was a feeling

-in the general public...

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-..that we were made out

-to be criminals.

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-A connection was made

-between paedophilia and being gay.

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-Something like that

-was misunderstood intentionally.

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-They should now...

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-..however successful prosecutions

-were at that time...

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-..they should now be annulled.

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-There should be an understanding

-that gay men did nothing wrong.

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-Despite the lies,

-the secrets and the heartbreak...

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-..there's no doubt that people

-like me face less problems today...

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-..than those encountered by Dafydd,

-Roy and Hywel over the decades.

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-I'm glad that I am, finally,

-able to be honest about what I am.

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-It's never easy

-for anyone to make...

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-..such a grand

-and difficult statement...

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-..but the sooner the better

-that people can be themselves...

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-..and live their lives

-honestly and openly...

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-..and do that with the support of

-family, friends and the community.

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-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.

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Wyn Thomas, gweinidog a mab ffarm o Geredigion, yn trafod ei frwydr bersonol i gydnabod ei rywioldeb. Minister & farmer's son Wyn Thomas talks about his personal struggle with his sexuality.