Australian Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe comes out as gay

  • metta

    Posts: 41342

    Jul 12, 2014 4:26 PM GMT
    Australian Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe comes out as gay


    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/07/report-australian-olympic-gold-medalist-ian-thorpe-comes-out-as-gay/
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    Jul 13, 2014 2:04 AM GMT
    metta8 saidAustralian Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe comes out as gay


    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/07/report-australian-olympic-gold-medalist-ian-thorpe-comes-out-as-gay/


    A GAY swimmer? Simply shocking icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif

    Maybe one of them will come out as straight one of these days.
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    Jul 13, 2014 3:19 AM GMT
    I hate to sound mean, but he spent a decade lying about his orientation. I'm not sure I would have the courage to come out as a public figure, but his team-mate did. Surely he could have spared himself much agony and potentially saved the life of a suicidal gay adolescent, if he had taken courage from his first batch of Olympic golds?
  • mybud

    Posts: 12837

    Jul 13, 2014 3:49 AM GMT
    SWIMGUYCHICAGO saidI hate to sound mean, but he spent a decade lying about his orientation. I'm not sure I would have the courage to come out as a public figure, but his team-mate did. Surely he could have spared himself much agony and potentially saved the life of a suicidal gay adolescent, if he had taken courage from his first batch of Olympic golds?
    Don't lay that guilt on him..We all come out when We're ready.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11421

    Jul 13, 2014 3:51 AM GMT
    SWIMGUYCHICAGO saidI hate to sound mean, but he spent a decade lying about his orientation. I'm not sure I would have the courage to come out as a public figure, but his team-mate did. Surely he could have spared himself much agony and potentially saved the life of a suicidal gay adolescent, if he had taken courage from his first batch of Olympic golds?

    hind site is always 20/20 .... coming out is a psychological journey .... it's like showing some one two dark boxes with a hole on top and telling them to put their hand in one, and in one box there is rattle snake and in the other there is a rabbit ... in either case you could get bit, but one bite could be worse than the other
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1396

    Jul 13, 2014 3:54 AM GMT
    Keep in mind also that when he won his first batch of Olympic golds, he was 17...
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    Jul 13, 2014 4:19 AM GMT
    Thorpedo strikes again. I met him in LA and thought he would come out - nice to see it out in public.
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    Jul 13, 2014 5:45 AM GMT
    Who is his boyfriend?
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    Jul 13, 2014 11:39 AM GMT
    SWIMGUYCHICAGO saidI hate to sound mean, but he spent a decade lying about his orientation. I'm not sure I would have the courage to come out as a public figure, but his team-mate did. Surely he could have spared himself much agony and potentially saved the life of a suicidal gay adolescent, if he had taken courage from his first batch of Olympic golds?


    While it is noble to come out to set a positive example, one is not required or should feel obligated to do so because of someone else struggle. It helps - yes but not obligated.
  • KepaArg

    Posts: 1721

    Jul 13, 2014 11:44 AM GMT
    He apparently got paid $400k for this interview. Good for him, but adamantly said his was straight even in his recent autobiography, he probably just wanted to cash in, but receiving a lot of backlash.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 16190

    Jul 13, 2014 12:43 PM GMT
    Why is this newsicon_question.gif Many swimmers are gay. Go figure.
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    Jul 13, 2014 1:27 PM GMT
    ^ It makes sense. You get to hang out with less than half dressed guys in tight, bulge revealing Speedos. Of course gays would be attracted to the sport.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 20063

    Jul 13, 2014 2:09 PM GMT
    SWIMGUYCHICAGO saidI hate to sound mean, but he spent a decade lying about his orientation. I'm not sure I would have the courage to come out as a public figure, but his team-mate did. Surely he could have spared himself much agony and potentially saved the life of a suicidal gay adolescent, if he had taken courage from his first batch of Olympic golds?


    HA! Says the guy whose profile reveals his feet! icon_rolleyes.gif No one is required to come out to the public...it's a personal choice that comes through great internal struggle as many of us know all too well. Most of us have the luxury of relative privacy in the sense that our "coming out" was to friends, family, and maybe colleagues. Imagine if it were also plastered on magazine covers, news programs, and ESPN.
  • frogman89

    Posts: 418

    Jul 13, 2014 5:18 PM GMT
    It annoys me that outings are such a big deal. It should be a normal thing. But it will not appear to be normal if news papers keep sensationalizing it. It's ironic.
  • chris24rcon

    Posts: 51

    Jul 13, 2014 7:01 PM GMT
    My feeling is when it comes to public figures, anything is better than the notable example of George Michael, who had to explain his arrest indecent exposure (correct me if I'm wrong) and the situation leading up to it. Or if it involved Perez Hilton in any way.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1396

    Jul 13, 2014 7:05 PM GMT
    This may seem counterintuitive, but many sports with strong homoerotic appeal - certainly wrestling and surfing - tend to be very homophobic. It's sort of a backlash from the str8 people in the sport who don't want to be seen as gay just because they happen to have smokin hot bodies and wear a singlet or a Speedo or a hot pair of board shorts to work.

    This makes it even harder for gay competitors to come out, while they're still competing. You can imagine how difficult it would be if you're the gay guy on the wrestling team.

    Quite a lot of people in those sports tend to come out afterward.
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    Jul 13, 2014 7:38 PM GMT
    frogman89 saidIt annoys me that outings are such a big deal. It should be a normal thing. But it will not appear to be normal if news papers keep sensationalizing it. It's ironic.


    In a much better world how about the non existence of outing!!??

    We would just like who we like without fear or consideration.
  • stratavos

    Posts: 1867

    Jul 14, 2014 12:31 AM GMT
    frogman89 saidIt annoys me that outings are such a big deal. It should be a normal thing. But it will not appear to be normal if news papers keep sensationalizing it. It's ironic.


    completely true. and... good for him as long as it's the truth. icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 14, 2014 12:56 AM GMT
    Well he is a swimmer. Lol, I swam back in HS and I'm a homo.lol
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    Jul 14, 2014 9:55 AM GMT
    Was that news, cos somehow i knew! icon_smile.gif
  • brickboy1966

    Posts: 361

    Jul 14, 2014 11:39 AM GMT
    Wait a minute. He said he wasn't straight. So he may be bisexual. I saw the interview and there's nothing wrong with being bi.
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    Jul 14, 2014 12:55 PM GMT
    frogman89 saidIt annoys me that outings are such a big deal. It should be a normal thing. But it will not appear to be normal if news papers keep sensationalizing it. It's ironic.


    What is ironic is the big deal that people make about how it shouldn't be a big deal when a star comes out.

    I think people are also misreading what is happening here. Thorpe disclosed his sexuality in an interview after years of denying it to the public. It's not as if it was dug up by some paparazzi photographer to expose to the world. He knew it would be on the record, and he knew that it would be the biggest takeaway from his interview. It's not sensational to say that someone who has previously denied his sexuality is now saying he's gay (or "not straight", however he did it).

    So is this a big deal and worthy of media coverage? Well watch how people react and you tell me.

    - Often a number of people will extend their congratulations
    - Then you will have another group of people saying they knew it all along
    - Then you have the people who are uncomfortable with LGBT people to the point that they will no longer support the person who came out (it's funny when this happens to child stars because a common saying is that they've ruined their childhood)
    - Then you have the people who say things along the lines of "So what? Why does who they sleep with matter? They should just keep that to themselves! F**k you [news media name]"

    It seems everyone has something to say when someone comes out. It generates activity and engagement with a news organization's social media. People may say that this is turning people off from paying attention to the news, but their analytic report will show otherwise.

    Lastly, if you're a young athlete fearing how your family, coach, teammates and the world will treat you, it makes a hell of a difference to know that not only is being gay not a limiting aspect of your personality, but that there are gay people who have won Olympic Medals.

    I think anyone who has had this experience should be a bit less insensitive, but it seems that it's quite easy for people to forget how it used to feel.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2266

    Jul 14, 2014 1:49 PM GMT
    OH, Stop The Presses; What A Scoop !!
  • frogman89

    Posts: 418

    Jul 14, 2014 1:49 PM GMT
    go_dreaming said
    frogman89 saidIt annoys me that outings are such a big deal. It should be a normal thing. But it will not appear to be normal if news papers keep sensationalizing it. It's ironic.


    What is ironic is the big deal that people make about how it shouldn't be a big deal when a star comes out.

    I think people are also misreading what is happening here. Thorpe disclosed his sexuality in an interview after years of denying it to the public. It's not as if it was dug up by some paparazzi photographer to expose to the world. He knew it would be on the record, and he knew that it would be the biggest takeaway from his interview. It's not sensational to say that someone who has previously denied his sexuality is now saying he's gay (or "not straight", however he did it).

    So is this a big deal and worthy of media coverage? Well watch how people react and you tell me.

    - Often a number of people will extend their congratulations
    - Then you will have another group of people saying they knew it all along
    - Then you have the people who are uncomfortable with LGBT people to the point that they will no longer support the person who came out (it's funny when this happens to child stars because a common saying is that they've ruined their childhood)
    - Then you have the people who say things along the lines of "So what? Why does who they sleep with matter? They should just keep that to themselves! F**k you [news media name]"

    It seems everyone has something to say when someone comes out. It generates activity and engagement with a news organization's social media. People may say that this is turning people off from paying attention to the news, but their analytic report will show otherwise.

    Lastly, if you're a young athlete fearing how your family, coach, teammates and the world will treat you, it makes a hell of a difference to know that not only is being gay not a limiting aspect of your personality, but that there are gay people who have won Olympic Medals.

    I think anyone who has had this experience should be a bit less insensitive, but it seems that it's quite easy for people to forget how it used to feel.

    There is nothing to forget. I outed myself when ibwas 14 and I've always been open with it. And I have never had any repulsion.

    I'm not denying that it was a brave step he made and he can be inspiring to young gay athletes.
    But I find it very ironic if you open the news paper and the most prominent headline is "Thorpe is gay - so what?". The article then is about how it's ok to be gay. If it's ok and normal, why make such a big fuzz?
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    Jul 14, 2014 2:17 PM GMT
    This article that was linked to in the first post? Not really. It uses a lot of direct quotes where he's talking about how he came around to accepting himself (only in the last two weeks he says). Then it talks about support from fellow Olympians and the Australian public.

    After looking into more reports about this, I think the most compelling part of this story is how he was asked about his sexuality many times before, being as young as 16 when he was asked the first time. To me, I'm wondering who has asked the question and why? Being so young, why would he have the obligation to come out? Why does anyone have an obligation? Why did people chase him so frequently about his sexuality?

    Because I think if I were in his situation, I probably would have denied it too...initially at first. It's not fair to be bombarded with those questions because people should have the freedom to come out when they're ready. As illustrated in this forum, some people will criticize him for not coming out sooner. So really, I think there is a lot more to take in from this story other than the fact that now he is out.