Australians Praise Ian Thorpe For Coming Out

“I’m not straight.”

1. Australia’s most successful ever Olympian Ian Thorpe has told British TV host Sir Michael Parkinson: “I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man.”

Channel Ten

In a Sunday night prime time interview broadcast on Channel Ten, “Thorpey” addressed questions from “Parky” about his sexuality, depression and outstanding swimming career.

“I’ve thought about this for a long time.” Thorpe said in response to the persistent questions over his sexuality. “I am not straight.”

“Only in the last two weeks have I been comfortable telling people around me.”

Thorpe told Sir Michael he had being asked about his sexuality since he was sixteen.

2. The revelation was leaked in advance to Sunday’s newspapers, which prompted an outpouring of public support.

4. Fellow Australian gold medal swimmer Stephanie Rice tweeted a message to her good mate.

5. Other sportsmen offered support.

6. Australia’s LGBTI community were over the moon that Thorpe had decided to come out.

Spare a thought every other homosexual who now has to accept that while Ian Thorpe COULD date us he is actively choosing not to. Ouch.

— Brendan Maclean (@macleanbrendan)

Welcome @IanThorpe & thank you for the courage in sharing your story. It will empower others & send a strong message that we are everywhere

— Alex Greenwich MP (@AlexGreenwich)

8. Australian comedian Tom Ballard raised a good point at the growing stocks of gay swimming mafia.


— Tom Ballard (@TomCBallard)

9. Others used the #OnYaThorpie hash tag to rally around the swimmer.

#onyathorpie You have our love & full support! @IanThorpe @AthleteAlly

— Belle Brockhoff (@bellebrockhoff)

#OnYaThorpie Hope life gets a bit easier from this point on

— mark stewart (@marstew68)

Ian Thorpe should be waking up today realising he's still our Greatest Swimmer Of All Time. And a legend! End of statement. #onyathorpie

— ed phillips (@mr_ed_phillips)

As a teenager I looked up to @IanThorpe, especially during the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I have even more respect for him now. #onyathorpie

— Elias Jahshan (@Elias_Jahshan)

Good on Ian Thorpe for telling us he's not straight. We are all a bit wiggly really. #OnYaThorpie

— Dave Hughes (@DHughesy)

14. Maybe it’s time for Australia to embrace equality in LGBTI rights.

Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

15. Congratulations Thorpie… you legend.

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

16. *Stop it*

To Everyone who has sent a message of support I sincerely Thank you!

— Ian Thorpe (@IanThorpe)

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Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
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