Olympic Swimmer Ian Thorpe Comes Out

Olympic Swimmer Ian Thorpe Comes Out

247198-ian-thorpeIn an interview that airs tonight in Australia, and after years of rumors, the record-breaking swimmer Ian Thorpe says he’s gay.

After years of saying he’s straight, Thorpe has come out as gay in an interview with Sir Michael Parkinson, according to The Daily Telegraph. The Australian swimmer broke 22 world records and won five Olympic gold medals, three silver medals, and one bronze medal.

In his 2012 autobiography This Is Me, Thorpe addressed the speculation that has confronted him for years writing: ‘‘For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight. I’m attracted to women, I love children and aspire to have a family one day … I know what it’s like to grow up and be told what your sexuality is, then realizing that it’s not the full reality. I was accused of being gay before I knew who I was.’’ Thorpe described his struggle with depression, and described considering suicide, and earlier this year he went into a rehabilitation facility to treat depression.

I wonder what happened to make him decide to overthrow this 2012 conviction, and come out with a 2014 revelation. No, I wasn’t being sarcastic o!

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27 Comments

  1. Absalom
    July 13, 06:28 Reply

    This striking line: >>>>>>> “I know what it’s like to grow up and be told what your sexuality is, then realizing that it’s not the full reality. I was accused of being gay before I knew who I was.’’

    If the above is to be believed, if he is honest the way he put it, then his society is to be blamed for not letting him come to a place of self-acceptance at his own pace.

    That said, it’s so sad that a person can be “accused” of being gay. Some verb, huh? 🙁

    • pinkpanthertb
      July 13, 06:37 Reply

      Yea. Some verb. Lol. Let’s not forget he was trying to be disdainful in his effort to debunk the gay rumours. So yea, why not pick up the word ‘accuse’ and make it look like the crime everybody already thinks it is

  2. keredim69
    July 13, 07:00 Reply

    I am glad he went to rehab for his depression, I think one of the things he would have been told, is “to be himself”. I am happy he is doing that now.
    However, I am always suspicious of celebrities “coming out” especially when they are promoting something or in his case, changing their career. It “devalues” the whole coming out thing. (Look at Tom Daley – “the thing just dey him body”. Shouldn’t the question have been whether he is a top or bottom? )

    As Ian Thorpe is about to be a sports commentator and be in the limelight again, it might be that someone threatened to out him. So he may have decided to jump and be relevant again.

    And yes of course his coming out “will help inspire others……blah,blah, blah”

    Biko, comot for road!

    • pinkpanthertb
      July 13, 07:30 Reply

      LOL. Let them be coming out o. The more out and proud celebs, the merrier. Now if only a celebrity from Naija will come out to… *wondering and hoping*

  3. Lothario
    July 13, 07:05 Reply

    He’s one of the few sportsmen that I was almost sure of, you need to watch him when he’s celebrating a win, all he needs is Beyonce’s ‘Girls run the world’ to accompany his screams and rough-necking.
    Poor dude has probably been so self-conscious all these years….good for him! He can be free now

  4. Dennis Macauley
    July 13, 07:41 Reply

    Well great for you that you can come out with a press conference and be applauded for your “courage”. Come out in a country where you will be jailed (that’s if bashers don’t get to you first), your family disowns you and your friends scorn you. When you do that, then we can talk.
    Psst: Is coming out now a career move? #JstAsking

    • trystham
      July 13, 08:28 Reply

      @Keredim & Dennis Oho! So u noticed too. I feel these outings are a bit insincere. A struggle to remain on the FP. Bur as I don’t know their history…*looks on*

      @Lothario Screams n Beyonce? loooool

      @Keredim You go dey shocked at the things we can copy in this Nigeria. But if a celeb were to cme out tho, he mosdef won’t b jailed. He remains relevant amidst a torrent of curses for a few more months, then relocates. FIN.

    • Legalkoboko
      July 13, 11:14 Reply

      Dennis I don’t really understand your point. Are you saying the guy shouldn’t have come out? The emphasise shouldn’t be on the level of harshness of the environment.

  5. Dennis Macauley
    July 13, 09:01 Reply

    I hate to sound like this, but coming out has become a career move. How many grammy’s did frank ocean win after coming out? Jason Collins is not a great player, he is just okay but he is now known all over the world.
    I see a pattern, come out just before you release a new album, or a new movie or make a career switch and watch the dollars roll in. Gays are after all a critical shopping block coveted by corporations in the Us.
    Sorry Sir but I am not impressed! #MyOpinionOnly

    • pinkpanthertb
      July 13, 09:09 Reply

      I don’t see anything wrong with this, coming out as a career move. Being gay is castigated enough as it is; if using your sexuality proves to be a good thing for you, then why ignore the choice. By all means, come out and use it to hike your relevance to the world. You’ll be renowned, a little bit richer…and GAY. There’s no worst case scenario, and the LGBT community gains another famous face who represents everything bright and glittery about being gay. I would much rather celebrities come out of the closet, and with that move launch their careers in a soaring direction, than for them to remain mute and let the world go on thinking that we’re a minority that’s silent and fearful of judgment.

      • trystham
        July 13, 09:45 Reply

        Down history, the reasons for the outing of most gay celebs is ‘a tiredness for the fake lives they have lived’, ‘illnesses’, ‘threat’. I am quite okay with those or maybe I’m used to that. But capitalizing on homosexuality for monetary reasons or career advancement doesn’t go down well with me…especially if you had made public your denial in 2012.

        • pinkpanthertb
          July 13, 09:54 Reply

          That is one person’s reality. What about Jason Collins and Tom Daley… Did they deny publicly being gay? And what if they did? Do you know of their circumstance, what prompted them to deny in the first place? It’s a little bit judgmental to disdain Ian Thorpe for denying he’s gay when we are living in the very society that would make us react like that if plagued with the pesky rumours of being gay. Yes, I found his denial quite offensive, but I have to give room for the reasoning that he had his reasons. and now that he has decided to come out, I’m just focused on the fact that another celebrity is sending another message to the world by being out and proud. Whether he did to advance his status is simply secondary to me.

      • trystham
        July 13, 10:20 Reply

        There are ways to answer VAGUELY the ‘are you gay?’ question especially in our Homophobic Nigeria…without sounding like its a curse. I’m sure you have used quite a few. I remember a customer walked to my desk n asked if I were gay. I asked why he said so, n he said I had my finger ring where most gay guys had theirs. I laughingly removed it, shook my head n attended to him. Rather keep mute than sound like a homophobe.

        • pinkpanthertb
          July 13, 10:24 Reply

          You’re not a well-known figure, trystham. They are. And the media is wily, the western media especially. Any evasion or vague response to speculation of your sexuality at a time you are not ready to come out could just as well be you giving them carte blanche to believe that you are indeed gay.

      • trystham
        July 13, 11:02 Reply

        Uhm…am I sounding like I’m sitting on a high horse? I don’t mean to and I understand what fear can do.

  6. Rapu'm
    July 13, 09:26 Reply

    Hey now, everybody, easy, easy. I see your points. You make lots of sense. But I am reminded of what the late Afro-American writer, James Baldwin said when he was asked how he felt growing black, gay, and poor (in many-years-ago America, not this ‘liberal’ one). He said, ‘I felt like I had hit a jackpot.’ Yes, I feel like I have hit a jackpot, and one day I, too, will appropriate this blessing by coming out.

  7. Legalkoboko
    July 13, 11:27 Reply

    Let’s not forget the social milieu all these coming out stories come from. They all come from the Western World where being gay was previously considered a psychological problem.

    Even if gay people start using their coming out story to make money, the message will still not be lost : yea, gay guys are as normal as normal can be. Look at x y z. They are all celebrities, and are gay. Who really cares if they chose to announce their sexuality to the world only as a career booster? Let them boost their careers. Adversity can be turned to strength.

    • pinkpanthertb
      July 13, 11:42 Reply

      This here is exactly my point. Thank you for putting it so succinctly, Legalkoboko

  8. Legalkoboko
    July 13, 11:35 Reply

    ‘‘For the record, I am
    not gay and all my sexual experiences have
    been straight. I’m attracted to women, I love
    children and aspire to have a family one day …
    I know what it’s like to grow up and be told
    what your sexuality is, then realizing that it’s
    not the full reality. I was accused of being gay
    before I knew who I was.’

    If the above quote got you annoyed, then I’ll advice you to hold your peace till you fall in love with a guy who tells you he isn’t gay, but is willing to allow you have sex with him because you are exceptional.

    Lol! It can’t just get funnier than that.

  9. JustJames
    July 13, 12:06 Reply

    Those of you saying it’s a career move, it’s not always all rosy. It’s still risky. The sportsmen have to share showers and be naked in the locker rooms and their team mates no matter how pro gay they are could still treat them differently. There’s always that change when you come out. People act differently and it’s not always easy to handle that. There are also the homophones. .. they still exist over there whether you like it or not.

    There was an interview with tpain where he said artists were refusing to work with Frank ocean coz he’s gay. So I highly doubt it’s a career move… It could be. But it’s not in my opinion. You’ve heard rap na, how they throw the word “faggot” and make “gay” a derogatory term.

  10. chestnut
    July 13, 15:03 Reply

    Pinky,me sef follow u wonder what made him change his mind. On some level,I understand d fears he must hav had back then,that made him remain in d closet; he might hav felt it would affect his career or family or relationships or whatever,negatively, thus,his decision to “claim” straight.but to write a book about it?(Now,I’m sure d book isn’t entirely about his sexuality,but I think his need to hide himself might hav been d main contributory factor to his decision to write it). It would hav been better if he didn’t speak to much abt d issue; he could hav ignored it most of d time. When u do something like that,ur coming out eventually is met with a lot of saltiness and “side-eye” from “both” sides.

  11. Dennis Macauley
    July 13, 15:35 Reply

    Here is my point; if Queen Latifah comes out tomorrow I would be inspired by her. She has never talked about her sexuality, she always avoids the question. I don’t see how you scoff at the thought of being gay, vehemently deny it in a condescending way and then do a 360 to come out 2years later (curiously just before you become a sports commentator) and I am supposed to applaud you? To be inspired by you? No thankyou.
    It has become a career move. Some of these people do nothing for the community! You can have scholarships for LGBTI youth, you can endow sport programmes at the Gay and Lesbian Center, but some of them don’t do jack.
    Like I said, this is my opinion and No thankyou I am not impressed.

    Pssst: Having said the above, can I now state that I have a crush on Rapu’m!!!

  12. collosus
    July 13, 15:36 Reply

    So everyone here who felt he should not have denied his sexuality are living out and proud? He has his battles and however way he handled them still remain his. He alone fought them and i believe he has decided to take the bull by the horn and try to win. Don’t fail to see where he said he battled depression, I’m pretty sure some of you here are presently going through it or gone through it. Not a pretty state of mind to be in. Frank Ocean is still not having it easy and his winning Grammy awards were for his songs, not his sexuality.
    Some might have used their coming out to further their career, kudos to them. If i can walk up to my boss, tell him I’m gay to get a raise and prevent getting fired, oh I’m surely going to do that.

    • pinkpanthertb
      July 13, 15:59 Reply

      Hahahahahahaaa!!! That last bit of your comment though. Truly hilarious. And you’re not alone, brutha. abeg, who no wan shine? Use what you gat to get what you want.

  13. Chizzie
    July 13, 20:42 Reply

    Coming-Out to a large extent requires precision and timing; especially for celebrities that are often in the spot light. its a gradual process and a sequence of events because in most cases so many people’s feelings are involved ( esp family and loved ones). So I guess he came out when he felt it was convenient for him.

    Just the other day at work the discussion suddenly swayed to homosexuality and I was taken off guard when a colleague suddenly asked my opinion of it…I had to feign amazement and denial and went on a whole I-don’t-know-how-they-even-do- it speech . Simply cause I was unprepared for an evasive answer. ..im assuming he denied his sexuality when it was brought up in the past cause it was much easier to do that than be evasive and invoke suspicion

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