Growing up in Ireland was torture for Pearse, the bullying rife. Not a day went by without being called a faggot or being spat on at school. Scouts, karate, basketball – none of the groups he joined ever lasted. But the Convicts are different. They don’t sneer at Pearse because he’s gay. Despite the voice in his head saying ‘You can’t do it Pearse,’ perhaps he can do it. He’s shed more than 20 kilograms, made the 2nds and even kissed a few boys.