Aussie Swimming Legend Ian Thorpe Reveals He Is Gay
Yesterday, five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Ian Thorpse, 31, revealed that he is gay during an interview broadcast on Australia’s Channel 10.
For years there had been speculation about Thorpe’s sexuality, and for years he insisted he was straight. In fact, just two years ago, in his autobiography This Is Me, he wrote, “I am not gay and all of my sexual experiences have been straight.”
But that was a lie, if not to the world then to himself. “I’m not straight,” Thorpe admitted yesterday. “And this is only something that very recently—we’re talking in the past two weeks—I’ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me exactly.”
It’s not hard to understand why Thorpe lied for so long. Journalists started asking him about his sexuality when he was an insecure teenager well over a decade ago, when society was not quite as welcoming toward gay athletes as it is now. So he said he was straight because he wasn’t ready to deal with being gay yet. And that lie just snowballed.
“I wanted to make my family proud,” Thorpe explained. “I wanted to make my nation proud of me. And part of me didn’t know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay.”
But now things are different.
“I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man, and I don’t want young people to feel the same way that I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay.”
Congrats to Ian Thorpe on coming out. When it comes to being true to yourself, better late than never.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]