Sports

Ian Thorpe: ‘Media attention kept me in the closet’

Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe AP Photo

While speaking at his first official LGBTQ event, Olympic diver Ian Thorpe had some choice words regarding the media scrutinizing his sexuality.

Talking to a Mardi Gras panel on LGBTQ people in sports, he says he might have come out of the closet far sooner if he hadn’t been pushed on the subject since his teens.

Thorpe says he knew he was gay for quite “a long time” before finally coming out two years ago, after being asked about it publicly for th first time when he was only 16.

He said, “If I had a little bit more time when I was younger, I would have come out. I would have been comfortable with that.”

“But because I told that lie, I was trying to suppress that part of me.”

Regarding the pressure of being an LGBTQ role model, he said, “In some ways, there is an expectation that you will be the voice of this group, which none of us can do. It’s made up of many voices, and I’m very new to this. I don’t have the experience.”

He said being a role model is nevertheless a “beautiful and powerful thing.”

Speaking alongside Thorpe spoke alongside other LGBTQ athletes including diver Matthew Mitcham, footballer Sally Shipard, rugby player Casey Conway, basketballer Shelley Gorman-Sandie, and swimmer Daniel Kowalski.

h/t: Pink News

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