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Legendary swimmer Ian Thorpe comes out as gay

  • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

    This is extremely difficult to deal with considering Ian Thorpe has lied with vehemence about it for a decade. I hope he can now overcome his depression and live openly and happily as himself, no longer as something he thought the public wanted him to be. The time is now right for the public to accept him as he truly is, and for him to become a role model for LGBT youth, not as a liar, but as an openly gay, successful athlete.

    • Benji

      I don’t see how this is difficult to deal with. It has been pretty obvious what has been going on all along and that was painful but this brings a sense of relief and joy. The appropriate response is sympathy not to label him as a past liar. Very few of us had to grow up in public and with so much pressure and expectation.
      His story is certainly an object lesson to others, young people in particular

      • Guest

        Benji– you’re straight, aren’t you? Of COURSE you don’t see how this is difficult to deal with.

        • Benji

          Well, nobody’s ever accused me of being straight before! And I still can’t see how it is difficult to deal with – either for Ian (as I am sure it is something he must have been wanting to do for a long time and which will be a relief to him) – or for others, for whom it is also a relief & a source of celebration.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            Many of us, including me, find it difficult, because, among other reasons, up till now, in threads all over the place, I have been defending his right to be heterosexual as he was proclaiming himself to be for over a decade. My position was that if he was straight, then he should be allowed to get on with being straight. Many straight people manifest mannerisms considered to be stereotypically gay, and Ian Thorpe I put into that category, until this bombshell.

            I am pleased he has come out, of course, what decent person wouldn’t be?

          • Rovex

            I think most of us are pleased, but you have to remember that the press made this an issue as much as 15 years ago when he was still a minor and hardly took a breath in keeping it up since then.

            It is their doing.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            A minor at 16 years of age? Well yes, however 16 is the legal age of consent for sexual intercourse, male or female, gay or straight. If Thorpe were a 16 year old heterosexual male, he would likely already have had a girlfriend and be falling over himself to show her off to the world, as indeed she would be to be seen with such a sporting superstar. Look around at other teen heart throbs, like boybands, and you’ll see they have no problem whatsoever disporting themselves with their latest flame and doing interviews in full colour for the latest glossies.

          • Rovex

            Such a narrow view. In fact Thorpe got taunted from the age of 14 or earlier. He didnt seek fame, he sought a swimming career because he loved it and was damned good. Not all people are the same, that super-leftist world-view is very damaging. I didnt say he was heterosexual, I said he may not have known, and getting taunted for having ‘gay’ inflections isn’t helpful to anyone at that age, especially when an entire country suddenly knows who you are and what you do. My god, he wasn’t even out of puberty! I imagine it was overwhelming. Australia has very conservative views on machismo, especially in sport.

            You are incredibly harsh, i hope you never have to council a minor on this issue.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            More straw man fallacy. I never claimed you said he was heterosexual. Your responses appear to have been written in advance of my comment, since you’ve got a bee in your bonnet about me for some reason. It’s also hard talking to a cat called Rovex.

            In Thorpe’s interview, he stated that the questions about his sexuality started when he was 16, so your information that they started when he was 14 appears to be incorrect, unless you can adduce evidence that he himself stated that is from 14 elsewhere.

          • Rovex

            Now youre deflecting, declaring victory over a minor point. Do you think that minor point actually matters? 14 or 16, its the same. He was still given mass adulation at 14.

            Through all this you still havent demonstrated any humanity at all. You have done nothing but attack the guy without any understanding of context or mitigation.

            And there you go again, criticising my avatar. So, you are some guy ive never heard of, who has a website. Big deal. makes no difference to me at all.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            “Declaring victory”? That says it all. For you this is all combative, with winners and losers, and you having the last word at all cost, in front of your audience, who have now all left the theatre.

            As for nitpicking “minutiae”, that’s your specialisation, not mine. On another thread that you wasted half my day over, you kept on and on about my right to comment being diminished because I am not a famous philanthrope, and even appointed yourself to speak on behalf of Saint Sebastian. It’s not important to me, and it’s completely irrelevant whether you’ve “heard of me” or not.

            When you said “no-one’s perfect”, you forgot to add – except you.

            This dispute is ridiculous and juvenile. You and I are the only ones left in this forum, and I have better things to do than prolong it, fighting like children on terms that are a mile away from rational discourse. No matter what I write, you find fault and disagree purely for the sake of disagreement.

            I have to get back to earning a living, so I am going to copy this response to your other two identical posts, and hereafter ignore you, by unsubscribing from Pink News. After this, you can have the whole room to yourself so I won’t even see your inevitable retort.

          • Rovex

            Wow, you really are blind arent you. I never did any of that. If you read it that way its not my problem. At least I commented on actually points, rather than on detail that dont actually matter.

            Dont let the door hit you on the way out! ( I know you will read this, you aren’t fooling anyone). Oh and I copy/pasted my replies to your copy/pastes.

    • speedgeek

      Very negative terminology. Many of us, for various reasons, cannot acknowledge our sexuality. After years, that becomes habit, then conditioning. Eventually, it becomes almost impossible to publicly state you are gay. I was born in a time when gay men were imprisoned, just as Oscar Wilde was in the 19th Century. My father made homophobic comments about

      various local men and famous figures. That kind of upbringing builds enormous psychological barriers. I am so glad today’s young gay men do not have to suffer that, though it is still difficult to beat entrenched social and religious attitudes.

      • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

        I am all too painfully aware of all that, as I too grew up in that era. My issue with Ian Thorpe is the scale and duration of the cover up and the vehemence and number of his denials, to the extent of voluntarily bringing it up in his book. If he didn’t feel up to coming out, then he could have done as Cliff Richard has done (assuming CR to in fact be a closeted homosexual), and not comment on it at all. Of course people would still speculate, as they have with Cliff Richard, but there’s nothing to go on.

        • Eleanor

          My issue is the fact the media representing our socierty are constantly asking people if they are gay or not. None of our business whether they are straight, gay or swing in every direction

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            For so long as it damages your life when people find out, it is relevant.

          • dave

            Do the media represent our society? If the do, they don’t represent it very well. Take a look at BBC children’s TV you’ll see exactly what I mean – basically it’s wall to wall heteronormativity.

          • Rovex

            No its not, i see gayness mentioned on bkids TV, its mentioned casually, to normalise it. Gay people do all the same things straight people do, there is literally one difference, thats it.

        • Rovex

          No one is perfect. Oh and if you think his book was all him, think again.

    • James!

      This is the problem. Maybe he dosent want to answer to people like you. He comes out and suddenly he becomes the property of gay men. He has to go to pride or he hates himself. He has to become a role model or he hates himself. He has to be what you think he should be. Is we why some people stay in the closet

      • Mark Y

        No James!, he just has to be honest abut himself. Nothing more.

      • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

        Ian Thorpe is a public figure. If he didn’t want anyone to know he existed, then going into the Olympics is one of the least likely ways of achieving anonymity.

        The way gay men behave publicly has immense significance for other gay men further down the social ladder, especially when the behaviour damages the image of gay people in general. It matters a whole lot what image a sportsman of the prowess of Thorpe portrays to youth, especially LGBT youth, and even more so to homophobic youth.

        Being a closeted gay man who for over a decade cashed in on the financial and social benefits of being straight, while being really gay the whole time isn’t a great start by any standards. So Mr Thorpe’s future as a role model starts this Sunday. Like it or not, he is a role model.

        What Thorpe’s coming out has shown us is what damage being in the closet does to you as a person, and as a public figure. He is damaged goods, but greater good can come from it now he has stopped lying to the public.

        • James!

          Sanctimonious ašsholes. You don’t get than many people stay closeted cause they don’t want to be associated with people like you. Take a good look in the mirror. You are the problem.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            Well if that’s the case, then you merely proved my point. Since you regard me as a bad role model, then there is an even greater need for better role models than me, to self disclose.

          • Mark Y

            So people stay in the closet because of people like Derek? He’s the problem? The problem with what? What are you going on about?

            So people stay in the closet because they’d prefer to be associated with heterosexuals like hitler, or putin, or mugabe, or stalin, or george bush, or…. ffs, get a grip.

          • Rovex

            Or gays like Jeffrey Dahmer?

            You really have issues don’t you..

          • Mark Y

            You compare a serial killer who I had to google to find out who he was to 4 World leaders who have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, as well as many other global catastrophes. What a vapid comparison, is that the best you can do?

            As for the continual judgement of everyone who disagrees with you, typical bully tactics. Stick to the story, this story isn’t about me, it’s about Ian Thorpe, who has plenty of issues.

          • Rovex

            Im sorry, but your attempt to equate heterosexuality with mass murder was pathetic in the extreme, and shows what a piece of work you really are, and what a massive chip on your shoulder you have. I was simply counterpointing it.

            YOU made this about you, not me.

        • St Sebastian, the Humanist

          “Ian Thorpe is a public figure. If he didn’t want anyone to know he existed, then going into the Olympics is one of the least likely ways of achieving anonymity.”

          Really? Really??? I think his goal was to be a good swimmer rather than a public figure. Should he give up his talent because the unintended consequence was being a public figure? He started training before he would have had any concept of what being a public figure meant, before puberty and his sexual awakening. I am sure a great deal of his motivation would have been self-competition, to challenge himself to beat his personal-bests as much as competition with his peers. He should be known for his talent which was swimming, his sexuality is nobody else’s business and certainly the interest generated is an unwanted and unintended consequence.

          Sure the public is interested but given that ones sexuality is a private matter none of the public has the right to judge him, nor expect him t be frank about his personal life. I know he has lied about his sexuality, but just maybe (or more likely) we deserve to be lied to for what is none of our business. Furthermore, have you never lied? Perhaps you are just lucky that your life isn’t sufficiently interesting (or you don’t have any particular talent worth showcasing) for the public to show any interest.

          Finally, he has used his profile as a public person for the good of others in his charitable work – what altruistic deeds have you and the other sanctimonious commenter Mark Y ever done? Why all the focus and attention on this lie, a response to an unsolicited and unfair intrusion. Both of you are utter hypocrites, you
          (like all of us at some time in our lives) will have lied about your sexuality, denied rumours of crushes or relationships – the only difference is you didn’t have too do it in the glare of public life and record. This is not a material matter, it is about a personal matter that is nno-one else’s business. Where are the victims? If Thorpe had lied about something that affected his swimming performance he deserves our opprobrium – because that is what his fame is based.

          Williams and Mark Y, move on, do something good, do something that adds to what is good and positive about being human and being alive. If you have complaints, sure make them but make them about real issues.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            Aside from your pervasive use of straw man fallacy, and your offensive and patronising assumptions that I have done nothing worthy with my life nor contributed anything to charity, there’s not much in your post to disagree with.

            I note by the way that you’re commenting from the armchair safety of a pseudonym, whereas, failure that I am in your eyes, I use my own name. It would help level the playing field if you could at least identify yourself, your career success and your contributions to charitable causes so our respective entitlement to comment can be thrashed out in the theatre of the internet.

            I’ve read your lecture, and your list of instructions, and if I unexpectedly start to do something good, or at least something you personally regard as at least reasonably ok, you’ll be the first to know, via this thread, of this departure from my hypocritical character as you have portrayed it.

          • Rovex

            Ah the ‘Im using my own name’ thing. Yeah so brave!! Even if 99.9999% of people reading the sites you frequent have no idea who you are, or care. Especially in this day and age when no one really cares about anything people do.

            You remind me of ‘Little Kiwi’ who infests a few American gay blogs. He thinks he is so brave because he uses his picture and has a blog with his photo. He lives in a gay village in one of the most gay friendly cities in the world, and works in a gay bar. How ‘brave’.

            Come back when you are living in Tehran..

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            Like ‘St Sebastian’, you’re loaded with contempt and wantonly misrepresenting my position, saying little of substance and resorting instead to argumentum ad hominem. You seize on little points to diminish my character and trumpet victoriously, all the while ignoring the central thrust of my discussion.

            According to your reasoning, because I am unimportant and have achieved nothing, I should therefore refrain from posting in a thread on a gay news site. How do people earn your permission to comment in such places, and why should we? The only “rules of entry” I’ve seen hitherto are to display courtesy and to refrain from racist, sexist, or homophobic language. If there were a rule against personal attack, you’d be in breach.

            Since you’ve chosen to climb into this thread, I invite you to read right back to the start of it and come back with reasoned, point by point rebuttal, instead of personal attacks.

            Since it obviously hasn’t been made clear, I am pleased that Ian Thorpe has come out, and I wish him well. Who wouldn’t?

          • Rovex

            I said no such thing at all. YOU attacked others for not having their picture or name as their disqus details, i simply pointed out that doing so is pointless and irrelevant since no one knows or cares who you are anyway. Do you deny you did that because its clearly detailed. Talk about ‘ad hominem’!

            Maybe if you don’t want someone ‘misrepresenting’ your position then you need to be a bit smarter about stating it.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            Again, you obviously haven’t read the thread properly or understood my position You seize on minutiae and resort to personal attack. Look up “ad hominem” and re-read the thread.

            I attacked nobody.

            You say “no-one knows who I am and no-one cares”, as though everyone knows who you are, and everyone cares what you write, and as though that’s even relevant in a public opinion forum. Again, ad hominem. My call for St Sebastian to identify himself was for the same reason, he attacked me as someone who had no right to have a point of view because I am a nobody who (according to him) never gave anything to charity. Had that statement never been made then I would not have made the call to show he had the credentials to deliver such insults.

            I am pleased Ian Thorpe has finally come out and I wish him well. I can only hope that much good will come of this, now that the lie has ended, and LGBT kids have another great achiever to look up to as they deal with their own coming out issues.

          • Rovex

            I dont think you are interpreting what people say correctly actually. I interpreted it as simply that you are not thorpe, so you cant make a claim to understand what led to this situation. Having your name on your profile, famous or otherwise, doesn’t give you any less right to an opinion, but it certainly doesn’t give you any more.

            Disqus doesn’t just cover this site, its used on thousands, there is any number of reasons why you may not wish to use your real name.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            Again you failed to understand the reasoning behind my response to St Sebastian. He said (correctly) that I am a “nobody” and went on to say (incorrectly) that I never donate to charity – thereby asserting that unless I am famous and give to charity, I am unworthy to join the discussion. Both these observations of his were ad hominem, because they attacked me, and not my argument. That and straw man are two types of logical fallacy that pervade this thread.

            My response to him was, OK, let’s level the playing field and how about YOU show your credentials. My response to you is the same. An opinion is everyone’s right to have, and if you want to challenge it, then argue against the points, not against the person.

          • Rovex

            Irrelevant. Proving who he is or who you is is irrelevant to whether you give to charity or not. Did I mention that bit? No I did not, my point was purely about identification and the importance in this context.

            All besides the point since your little site proves nothing about any claim you have made anyway.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            This isn’t even a discussion. It’s all about my right to comment being allegedly vacated by my not being a world famous philanthrope, even though neither you nor Saint Sebastian can lay such claim. You’ve not addressed a single point in my opening post, nor the follow up and made this all about me and how famous or generous I should be to have a the right to express an opinion, whether valid or not.

            Looking at your posting history it’s evident to me that you have a pathological compulsion to have the last word. So unless you address the actual issue then I am going to let you have it. I know you’ll be unable to resist. You just can’t help yourself.

          • Rovex

            No one questioned your right to comment. Your ability to make a valid comment may have been though, that is true. I wasn’t addressing your initial comment I was addressing one specific comment, and you still haven’t addresses that, instead you are making it out to be something it never was.

            So yes I will have the last word if you cant even answer my comment correctly.

          • Wes Anderson

            You speak like a politician.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            Nelson Mandela was a politician, so is Clover Moore. You honour me.

          • St Sebastian, the Humanist

            Derek Williams, from your comments, you clearly do not know Ian Thorpe personally so how would you know what any of his motivations are? Why are you so aggressively and judgementally commenting about his ‘lie’. Yes he lied, we all know and understand that but your speculation as to why he lied is in fact the straw man (and patronising and offensive) argument.

            Coming out is a very difficult and personal matter and I do not think that focussing on his denial ‘lie’ is helpful to anyone contemplating coming out. Indeed invasive questions about his personal life do not deserve the respect of a truthful answer, i.e. the question should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

            You might also note that my words regarding what altruistic deeds you may or may not have done was in fact a question, which you could elect to elucidate if you want, put yourself up there like Ian Thorpe has been forced to do, not by choice but by having a different and extraordinary talent.

            My point is, why focus on the negative ‘lie’ rather than all the positive things, including the courage not only to come out but also acknowledge that he has lied publicly about something that is none of our business.

            Finally, attacking me for not using my real name is based on an assumption that you have no right to do. You are fortunate to have a name that many others have, you can effectively be anonymous. My name is extremely rare which has had unfortunate consequences for my family due to decisions I have had to make during my career and for me by being stalked by a drug addled, psychotic former neighbour who harassed me (and others) for many years.

            Try to be generous and understanding to others that have been faced/struggled with complex situations not of their own making.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            Again, your response is loaded with straw man exaggerations of my true position. Moreover, I never said I knew Ian Thorpe personally, and I never claimed to be a world famous philanthrope, but these facts according to you vacate my right to hold a view. As with reductio ad absurdum, these are ad hominem fallacy.

            I also never attacked Ian Thorpe, even though I did criticise his mendacity. Nor did I say it’s as easy as pie for someone to come out, or be dragged out, and risk worldwide ridicule and the withdrawal of Olympic sponsorship. Nevertheless he dined out on the privilege of being a heterosexual, and gained financially from Olympic sponsorship he would almost certainly have been denied had he been known to be gay.

            It’s only an invasive question to ask someone whether they have a same sex partner (thereby outing themselves) if you also consider it is invasive to ask someone if they’re married. These are commonplace questions, and for whatever reason, Thorpe’s dealing with them conflated homosexuality with shame. In his interview, he apparently explained that once the lie was told, it boxed him in and became harder and harder to defend.

            Even though you don’t think I have the right to express my opinion, due to my not being a world famous philanthrope and all that, I am going to anyway.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            And by the way, when Ian Thorpe was vehemently proclaiming his heterosexuality, not only on television but in print, in his autobiography no less, I was defending his declaration of heterosexuality against those who kept on calling on him to “come out already”. Do I now have to go back and edit all THOSE posts?

  • john

    Well knock me down with a feather! Ian Thorpe is gay..

  • ^GAY ΠΑΟΚ^ V 4 Vendetta^28^

    I feel so joy that Ian is one of us…. :)
    Good 4 him that he came out at last… :)

    P.S. Thank god that he was not in the roof of Twin Towers on NYC 9/11 Attacks…
    His life was meant to be saved that day so later he would see himself Champion in Olympics of my homeland Greece and proud 4 his true identity…A homosexual great Man..

  • Benji

    We’ll who’d have thought it, you’ll be telling us next that the Lion, the Scarecrow & the Tin Man are all friends of Dorothy too.

  • Rovex

    Rarely is the blame for hiding with the person doing it. You arent born to hide something so inherent to yourself, you are taught to hate it by others. I suspect family and his swimming management were to blame here. Maybe he was told it was wrong (religion?) or that he would never be accepted in his sport. If you get told it for long enough you start to believe it.

    • jayjonson

      Thanks for this humane reminder of why some people stay in the closet.

      • Mark Y

        He’s been out of the closet for years, he’s just been lying to the general public.

        • Rovex

          You keep saying that, but with no proof. What exactly defines ‘out’ in your mind? You mentioned that he had a boyfriend, so what? That doesn’t constitute ‘out’.

      • blue mann

        Advertising, lots of money, big money!

    • Sean

      I agree

    • Mark Y

      The ‘blame’ is always with the person hiding it. Unless you don’t think people should take responsibility for their life. The majority of us are taught to hate it, some of us choose to be honest with others. He choose sponsorship over the truth, now he’s living with that choice. At least he’s financially richer for it, just like all the other celebrities who stay in the closet until they’re rich enough not to care. I’m sure he’ll be bringing out another book soon to tell us why he lied about it for so long, will probably blame his management, maybe his family, maybe religion, or maybe his sport.

      I’m sure his story will inspire many other athletes to stay in the closet until they’ve finished their careers, then come out, say how depressed they were and earn some more money from another book deal.

      Personally I hope he lets the World know what a coward he was for being so spineless every time he lied when people asked him about his sexuality, accept responsibility for his life and tell others to do the same – instead of blaming others.

      • Rovex

        Sorry but no, and any decent physiologist will agree with me. People are not islands, they are affected by those around them.

        You sound very bitter about something you cant possibly know anything about. You are not him. You have no idea what influences he has been subjected to. You assume it was money, with no evidence.

        He doesnt owe you anything and ultimately the only person hurt by his denial has been him, no gay kids have been hurt by it because to them he was not gay.

        • Mark Y

          I didn’t say he owed me anything or anyone had been hurt by it only him. I’m just pointing out he’s a liar who didn’t speak the truth about his life because of sponsorship deals – he was the most sponsored athlete in Australia. Why else would he live a double life?

          You see, he’s not been in the closet, troubled about who he is, He’s just been lying to the public about his sexuality. Just like all the other celebrities who are not truthful to keep the money rolling in. The evidence is in his bank balance.

          Ian Thorpe is no hero, he’s a liar. I don’t wish him any harm, good luck to him, but to paint as some poor little boy who shouldn’t take responsibility for his life like you did is a bit pathetic.

          • Rovex

            ‘You see, he’s not been in the closet, troubled about who he is’… And you know this because…?

            You seem more obsessed about money than anyone else. Maybe thats just what you would have done..

          • Mark Y

            Just wait for the true story to come out (if it ever does) and take what I’ve said as an exclusive. He’s been in gay relationships for years, lived with his boyfriends, all the time denying he’s gay, (so it’s not just been hurting him, it’s been hurting his lovers too) and all the time cashing in on being a straight athlete. And if you don’t think being gay interferes with sponsorship, you’re living in cloud cuckoo land.

            And don’t keep trying to paint me as something, when you know nothing about who I am. This story is about Ian Thorpe, not me.

          • Rovex

            From my perspective you are just some random bitter person talking BS on the internet, so whatever..

            I dont care if he has been in gay relationships, changes nothing. Its hardly rare.

          • Mark Y

            “some random bitter person talking BS on the internet” – just like you then.

          • Rovex

            Im not the one getting in a tizzy about it… Nothing to be bitter about here :)

          • Mark Y

            No tizzy here. Just the truth. And no bitterness either.

          • Rovex

            And yet the rant says otherwise. Very transparent.

          • Mark Y

            Yawn.

          • Rovex

            You have a lot to say for a bored person. If the subject is so boring maybe you should mind you own business and do something else?

          • Mark Y

            I’m not bored, just bored of you – but less of the personal attacks on people who don’t agree with you, and stick to the story, this isn’t about me, it’s about Ian Thorpe.

          • Rovex

            Bored of me because you cant bully me into letting you have the last word. Never going to happen.

            You made this about you by being what appears to be personally offended by him even though you know nothing about his situation at all. Get over it.

          • Jas Friedman

            It has been 60 years since Alan Turing was forced to take female hormone therapy. He committed suicide. At that time the public thought being gay was disgusting. Now forward to 2014 when we have Tom Daley and other sports people coming out. If you think being gay was a simple matter of coming out and telling the truth, you are seriously mistaken.

          • Mark Y

            Alan Turing was an openly gay man, he never hid it from anyone except his Mother. And yes that was over 60 years ago. All I’m saying is that Thorpe lied to the public about his sexuality, reaped the rewards of his sponsorship deals, whilst other athletes have come out of the closet and have suffered as a result. I respect Tom for coming out so early in his career, as well as Matthew Mitcham. I don’t respect someone who lied to the press when asked about his sexuality whilst having gay relationships for years and years. Good luck to him, I wish him well, but I don’t respect him.

          • Jas Friedman

            Different people are different people. Not everyone has the same journey. Ian Thorpe has been very successful. He has won at least 6 gold medals. You are not understanding me very well. When I said Alan Turing committed suicide, I meant and imply that some gay people find it hard to reconcile to being gay. Even gay people commit suicide which is very tragic. Alan Turing cracked the Enigma code and he had a very important role in WW2. You are being too harsh, judgemental and you don’t seem very likeable. Being gay is not easy and you should know this.

          • Mark Y

            Alan Turing didn’t commit suicide because he was gay – so get that out of your head – he was a very happy man until the government gave him hormone therapy which made him impotent, grow breasts, and then began to follow him which made it impossible for him to have any form of relationship with any Man – don’t compare Turing’s life and struggles to this swimmer – that is offensive. Turing was a true hero, a great man whose life and work has shaped the world we live in today. Ian Thorpe is a liar who lives in a time when homosexuality wasn’t illegal, who was paid extraordinary amounts of money for endorsing fizzy drinks and who lived a gay life but lied to the public – something which Turing never did. Get some perspective and do not mention Ian Thorpe in the same sentence as Turing again.

          • Jas Friedman

            Are you serious? You tell these gay teenagers not to get depressed and you come back to me saying being gay isn’t that difficult at all. No, you don’t understand. You get a gold medal in the Olympic swimming pool and then you can start judging Ian Thorpe.

          • Jas Friedman

            Alan Turing was treated appallingly and you are treating Ian Thorpe with the same appalling treatment, No doubt you would want Ian Thorpe to not be gay. That way it would excuse your behaviour towards him. You don’t respect him. You wish he wasn’t gay. You wish this never happened. Why don’t you say this to Ian Thorpe’s face?

          • Mark Y

            I hardly think leaving a comment on pinknews which reveals Thorpe lied about his sexuality for years is the same as a government arresting, convicting, giving Turing hormone therapy, and then getting the secret service to hound them.

            I personally don’t care if Ian is gay or not, that’s his life, but what I do care about is someone lying about their sexuality – even saying it is offensive to think he was gay – to continue the sponsorship deals.

          • Paul Bradley Ainscough

            so are you saying if he had been honest from the start he wouldn’t of been offered sponsorships and would have had an unhealthy bank balance as that just sounds like gay people don’t get sponsored because its wrong in the public eyes if this is the case what a load of bull, the man is a very talented sportsman so he didn’t admit to been gay so what its got nothing to do with anybody else. so if he didn’t feel comfortable about coming out at the time so what. its hard enough to come out as been gay in life and even more so when your in the public eye give the man a break.

          • Mark Y

            I’m positive he wouldn’t have been offered as much advertising deals if he was openly gay – he knows this as well – which is one of the main reasons he stayed in the closet.

            He’s rich from being in the closet, now he’ll bring out another book, earn more money from telling his story about being in the closet for all those years. Being a closet certainly does make you richer – even with gay guys.

            I respect people who are honest about their lives, not liars. So many gay celebrities stay in the closet because they believe their career would be over – rake in all the money – I respect people who are honest, who stand up for us – gay or straight. Ian Thorpe lied consistently. Why would I give him a break?

            Good luck to him, I don’t care one way or another about his sexuality – but I think he should let every kid know he was a coward and put money before truth. He’s certainly no role model for being a liar.

          • Paul Bradley Ainscough

            I came out as a gay man when I was 18 and it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life but luckily for me I have a great family and fantastic friends who are all mostly gay, What I am trying to say is no one can be certain that he didn’t come out just because of the money, Being happy in life is far more important than money

          • Mark Y

            I agree that being happy in life is more important than money. I came out when I was 16, it was the also one of the hardest things I have done also. But unluckily I didn’t have any gay friends or a family who took it well. I had to cope on my own, as many other young gay guys who are honest with themselves and others have to.

            But we’re not talking about someone who didn’t come out of the closet. He’s has boyfriends for years. We’re talking aboiut someone who lied to the public whilst he was reaping the financial rewards for being s straight athlete – for that I do not respect him. I wish him well and hope he is going to be very happy, but because of his lies I do not respect him. I respect people who are honest, not liars.

          • Paul Bradley Ainscough

            I am sorry to hear you had to do it the hard way but I am guessing you have some great friends now, and after reading your last message and after thinking about it you are right he hasn’t been a very good role model for young gay people, but I have to say i disagree about the money aspect as he would of got that been straight of gay due to the fact he is very talented.

      • Shane

        Thank you. He was hardly isolated – he’d be living it up with the NYC fashion set and had a Brazillian BF for a time. He could have come out but chose to keep the sponsorship money and perpetuate the gay shame sterotype. He’s not a hero and he’s not brave. He should be treated with compassion but not lorded as a role model.

        • Rovex

          How many years of repression do you think he went through before he even got to that point? Your post makes it sound like it was purely money motivated, it never is, ever. Besides, being gay hasnt been a turn off for sponsorship in years and he retired 8 years ago anyway.

        • Mark Y

          I totally agree Shane, good for him, I wish him well, but to paint him like some role model who should blame everyone else for his lies is ridiculous. I’ve seen him at parties, he’s had a great time, and so many guys on here believe the sob story. I only hope, for his sake, the drugs claims made by other sports people against him were not also lies.

          • Rovex

            Bwaaahhaaaa pull the other one its got bells on it.

      • James!

        What a nasty cynic you are. Whatever you think about him there is no way he’s worse than you and that bitter attitude.

        • Mark Y

          Nasty? Yeah right, because you always leave the most beautiful comments about people. And I don’t think being honest about someone is being nasty. So I don’t see why what I’ve said is nasty, unless the truth is ‘nasty’. Which I guess it is.

          Cynic? Yes I am cynical in this case about Thorpe as I believe he has acted only in self interest.

          As for better or worse, I’ve no idea, I don’t care, it’s not about better or worse, I’m just stating he’s a liar. He’s been out of the closet for years, has had boyfriends, but lied to the general public about his sexuality when asked. No hero worship needed here.

      • Mikeylano

        I agree.

        Imagine if by some chance (perhaps in a parallel universe) being gay would have actually helped his career prospects.

        I doubt it would have taken him this long to come out. It would probably have been the first thing he did.

        But no, he lied again and again about it in order to fit in and get ahead. He did not care about gay rights. He was entirely selfish and continued to fuel the homophobic culture of sport.

        This was not a case of a teenager being thrown out by crazy baptist parents in Texas. This was an independent man who was quite happy to engage in all things gay – provided that it didn’t “ruin his image”.

        • Rovex

          People arent just about their careers and even if it was motivated by his career he was obviously getting pressured into staying in by management, maybe even threatened.

          Be under no illusion here, if he came out 20 years ago he would not have been selected to compete for Australia, a place very homophobic at the time, especially when it came to sports people. Coupled with depression its hardly a good mix.

          • Mikeylano

            When I look for a job, I’m proud to admit that I am gay. My CV details the LGBT activism I engaged in at University. I mark on the diversity form that I am gay. I talk about my activism openly in the interviews.

            If the employer is homophobic? Guess what? I don’t want to work with that person, or an institution that fosters the kind of environment that permits bigots to get to the top. Good. Don’t employ me. They are doing me a favour because I can do a lot better.

            Black people did not win their rights by bleaching their skin and then letting it fade once they reach Oprah Winfrey status. Just because being gay can be ‘hidden’ does not mean that it should be, when it is convenient to do so.

            Maybe if it wasn’t possible to hide or lie about homosexuality, we would have the same rights as black people do today. But no, instead we have people like this man who just kick the can down the road and let someone else deal with gay rights – no doubt he will enjoy those freedoms later in life himself. Entirely selfish.

          • Rovex

            Bully for you..

            You realise he started his international career at 14, right? He wasnt a gay rights champion at 14?! Stone him!!!

            He wasnt always a 31 year old independent man. The aggressive attitude of people like you is as bad as that of the homophobes and a lot of the ‘LGBT activism’ those types do is actually counter productive. I suspect you dont have as much to be proud of as you think you do.

          • Mikeylano

            Don’t try and fool me with that gibberish. He had many, many opportunities to come out in his adulthood that he refused to take. Who are you trying to fool by ignoring this?

            And since you have reverted to ad hominem attacks, I am no longer going to read or respond to any of your posts. What a terrible user you are to come onto PN and then slate other posters who have done everything in their power to campaign for LGBT rights? How dare you say that you don’t suspect I have much to be proud of when you don’t even know who I am or what I have done. How dare you. You are a terrible user and a disgusting person, quite frankly.

            I will never read any of your comments again.

          • Rovex

            Good, you wont be missed. I get plenty of upvotes without you :)

          • Mikeylano

            By defending this man who had many opportunities to come out of the closet but did not, you are a self-loathing bigot.

            Following that logic, you also support black people bleaching their skin and hair to get ahead. Hey there’s a closet, why not do what the bigots want and stay in it?

            See how ‘bigot’ includes you?

            And yet you have the audacity to call some campaigning “useless”. I assure you that the most futile of campaigns would add more to the LGBT community that your self loathing ever will.

            Then to top it off, you throw ad hominem attacks, make judgements about me (who you don’t know) and brag about “upvoting” like that’s supposed to be a badge of honour. If you think “upvotes” are “impressive” then you are almost certainly less than qualified to determine what campaigns are “useless”.

            Grow up.

          • Rovex

            You look old enough to know better than that, if you dont its a sad situation.

            Just because he has been an adult for years it doesnt mean he isnt still damaged by past experiences, clearly if you think its that simple you have no idea about reality. You sound very cold and shallow by saying that. Much of the gay community makes it harder to come out, not easier. I know this from years as a councillor for LGBT youth, and adults for that matter, and as a cilvil servant doing the REAL legal and lobby work done. You think the Tories changed their mind on gay rights because of popular culture and pride marches? Try again.. Its not sexy or glamorous, but its more effective than parading down the street.

            You are attacking me to because you dont know what I did for LGBT rights, so this rather pathetic ‘self loathing’ BS can stop. Not doing it the way you did doesnt make it self loathing, it makes it effective and a whole lot more humane it would seem.

            The real problem isnt people like Thorpe, its people who created the problem for him, and people who now condemn him.

          • Mikeylano

            Well guess what, I’m a solicitor and I do pro bono for LGBT rights. So that makes me more qualified than you to talk about “real legal and lobby work”.

            I hope you feel stupid for attacking my “useless contributions”. What a terrible comment to make.

            You should be ashamed of yourself as a counsellor. Those people on pride marches are not useless and it has really disgusted me that you would think so. I wonder how many “upvotes” you would get if more people saw you saying that?

            And quite frankly, it is self loathing to lie about who you really are. I contrasted the teen of baptist parents in my original post. This man was not in danger and nor was he exposed to any threats. He just didn’t want to tarnish his career with the “gay” label. Since I am gay and proud, I am quite entitled to take offense at that.

          • Rovex

            A solicitor, how amateur..

            I will repeat, how many famous ex-child stars do you know who are well adjusted, let alone ones whos sexuality was questioned from an early age. He wasnt always 31.

            Its disgusted you because you dont know the reality. The fact that many are scared to come out because they don’t identify with the whole ‘pride’ thing. I have news for you, it alienates many kids and adults. Why? Because its not them.

          • Mikeylano

            Amateur? In what universe is a solicitor an amateur in the legal world when compared to a counsellor? You are either incredibly stupid or just ignorant. And putting down other people’s roles in fighting for LGBT rights, no matter how “amateur” or “useless” they may be, is just proof that you are a small minded idiot.

            Your only argument is “his negative experiences caused him to stay in the closet”. I have given you multiple opportunites to explain what those were in the last decade or so, but yet you cannot name any. You continue to use broad claims about “many people” which are worthless.

            Therefore your argument is unsupported. Don’t bother replying unless you give specific examples to back up your bigoted claims. I will not argue with a dimwit on the internet that cannot even hold a simple line of argument.

          • Rovex

            Oh im more than just a counsellor thats just a side line.

            Fact is you dont know anything about him either, yet still managed to give your uneducated opinion. Even by your own standards you are no better than me. I gave theory (if you check i used terms like ‘i suspect’), you just criticised. Who is the bigot now?

            Twist and turn all you like, fact is you wont address any of my points, such as the one in my last comment because you know they invalidate your nasty position. You are going to have to try a lot harder than using deflection. Maybe try answering my post rather than just selectively editing mine and deflecting.

          • Mikeylano

            I didn’t give a theory. He lied about his sexuality many times. That is a fact.

            You did not make any relevant points in your last post. You are talking in general terms about what some people go through. That is entirely irrelevant because we are talking about a particular individual. Please get that into your thick skull. So again, don’t bother replying unless you can provide concrete examples which back up your point.

          • Rovex

            I dont need to, because again YOU posted nothing relevant. Yes he lied, but YOU didnt make any allowances for his situation at all, you provided no context, and made no allowances for circumstances. Only an idiot (and maybe a solicitor) talks in such black and white terms.

            You need to get that into your thick skull. You are heartless, cold and frankly that is half the problem faced by people coming out today. I know this from experience, you, it would seem do not.

          • Mikeylano

            No no, that’s not how it works. You are the one arguing that allowances should be made for him. Therefore you are under the obligation to argue that point.

            Since that is your only good argument, I would have thought you would have come up with some by now. So once again, either back up your argument or don’t bother replying (this is getting boring).

          • Rovex

            Then go away. I’m not backing down. I’m not responsible for your inhumanity.

          • Mikeylano

            You don’t have anything to “back down” from. You haven’t offered any evidence of why this man should have lied so vehemently about his sexual orientation.

            The inhumanity comment is entirely bizarre and unsupported so I am unable to comment.

          • Rovex

            And you dont seem to understand that people have valid reasons for staying hidden. a shame really, once its petty obvious.

            I wont be relying again because you dont seem to understand that i dont need evidence, I put forth a theory based on experience and training. You just had a narrow opinion, and still no evidence.

          • Mikeylano

            We are talking about an INDIVIDUAL’S reasons for staying in the closet. Nobody else! I am not debating about what other people do. Not you, not me, not any of the posters on this site. JUST THIS MAN.

            I don’t know what you cannot grasp about this. My stance is: if you stay in the closet, why? There is no good evidence as to WHY this man stayed in the closet, other than to promote his career (see other article). That is a deplorable reason, as far as I am concerned, to subject yourself to the torment of staying in the closet for nearly two decades!

            It is entirely IRRELEVANT what other people go through. Did this man have bigoted parents? It doesn’t look like it. Did this man live in Russia? No. Did this man have a personality disorder? It doesn’t appear so. These things might be relevant to OTHER people, but NOT TO THIS CASE!

            If you still don’t understand, then please, do not reply.

          • Rovex

            You are one nasty piece of work. I hope no unfortunate soul ever asks you for advice. I see people end up dead because of people like you.

          • Mikeylano

            Odd, considering my advice is worth a lot of money (it’s what lawyers tend to do…)

            See people dead? Idiot. You obviously have not understood, and are probably incapable of understanding. If someone’s life is in danger, staying in the closet is what I would advise too. However, that doesn’t mean staying in the closet should be accepted as the DEFAULT position.

            Your brain is obviously too small to comprehend such differences. Good riddance to you.

          • Rovex

            I have experience, which is why I was willing to theorize based on the evidence we do have. All you had was hate. Neither of us are proven right, but I’m happy with my assessment, and either way wouldn’t be as negative you.

            I’m done with you, I don’t need such vitriol.

          • Mikeylano

            On the contrary, I have no hate whatsoever. I think the starting point should be that all gays should LOVE themselves. If people lie about their sexuality, that should be viewed as a very serious thing – almost certainly as seriously as disorders like depression.

            That is why I refuse to respect people who don’t just hide in the closet, but actually defend their status in it aggressively, unless there is a good reason. It belittles those who must stay in the closet as the lesser of two evils.

            The starting point should ALWAYS be “tell the truth about your sexuality”, and only THEN do you add provisos regarding that person’s health and safety.

            You, on the other hand, think it is perfectly honourable to start with the assumption that all people should remain in the closet until it is safe to come out. There is a very slight but important difference in those two approaches and the one you are supporting is not revolutionary enough to drive full equality and acceptance for gays on this planet.

          • Rovex

            Your approach is dangerous for individuals, my approach works for them. My methods also got stuff done for equality.

            We will never agree it seems.

          • Mikeylano

            My approach tells the world that gays are free, yours tells the world that we are caged animals waiting to be freed.

            Sometimes it is safer for animals to be caged, and that is unfortunate but necessary. However, we must still respect that animal as we would were it in the wild, and not take advantage of the power we have over it.

            If the starting point is not “freedom”, then the rights of those affected are more easily abused by those that are free themselves.

            This case actually illustrates this beautifully. Because gay people were not seen to be free, the sponsors and advisors had no qualms in pressuring him to stay in the closet. They saw him as a caged animal and took advantage of that for their own gain (and he willingly went along with it for his own gain too).

          • Rovex

            Keep thinking that. You have no training, no experience and nothing to back it up other than delusion.

            At NO point did I say he should have stayed closeted, I said I understood why he did because I have counselled people in the same position. Are you too stupid to grasp that? It seems so.

            I have seen people DIE who took your approach. So forgive me if I think your position is dangerous and wrong.

            There is no more to be said, you dont have the experience in this field and you are simply wrong, end of story. Now the question is are you going to stop this pointless conversation or not? Because I will continue forever, and never back down because i have years of training and experience to know better than you. so whats more important? Your ego or your time?

          • Mikeylano

            Ad hominem attacks are all you have?

            You are a small minded idiot. You cannot even address the points directly. Your post is equivalent to saying “I know lots about this subject so you are wrong”. You complete fool.

            Of course I appreciate that not all people can be Oxbridge alumni like myself, but you really scraped the bottom of the barrel when it came to getting a brain.

            It also looks like you have deleted your account – good, you are shameful moron and if the people on this site saw some of the comments you have made in this thread, your reputation would be tarnished forever.

          • St Sebastian, the Humanist

            I think it is you that is entirely selfish. Get some humanity.

          • Mikeylano

            If you don’t explain yourself, then your words mean nothing. All you have done is thrown an ad hominem attack like an unruly teenager.

          • Rovex

            So have you. Not very self aware are you?

            I get it, Thorpe doesnt fit in with your little stereotype and you dont seem to have any understanding of what he was subjected to. Ive seen it before, its pretty common. Being famous and adored doesnt make you immune to anything, quite the opposite.

          • Mikeylano

            Until you provide examples of what these terrible things were I’m entitled to assume that you don’t know anything about it.

            If you proceed to give examples from when he was 14 or thereabouts, then you have entirely misunderstood my comments.

            - I have explained my position very clearly; you have not even asked for clarity so please do not throw all-encompassing critiques (they are worthless).

            - Stereotypes are irrelevant. I’m making a decision based solely on this case. This was clear from my first post.

          • Paul Herrington

            I love your comment. I cant believe that we still live in a world with so many pathetic people and their views. Even having to talk about being accepted makes me so angry. Why should i have to seek anyones acceptance for being gay……..Its ridiculous xxx

        • Bea

          Of course if being gay helped he would have come out earlier. We all would have. But it doesn’t help does it. Its a struggle for everyone. Wheres our compassion?

  • David Anthony Evans

    Derek – he lied to himself more than to the public, it would seem. I’m just happy for the guy. I don’t care what he’s done and said in the past. He’s come out now and, hopefully, he’ll lead a much happier life. It’s easy for those that have dealt with their sexuality, quite quickly, and are free to move on with life. it’s even more brilliant for those of us who never felt the need to deal, but were just happy from an early age. However, some people are different for whatever their reasons… It’s not for anyone else to judge or to take a moral high ground, don’t you think?

    • Leonard Woodrow

      Absolutely true! Not everybody has the confidence to face up to the truth in public, especially those in the public eye. I’m so glad he has found the courage to do so, and I wish him all happiness for the future.

    • Serkan M

      Firstly, he didn’t lie to himself. He knew he was gay. he had a Brazilian ‘roommate’ for a long time. Secondly we all judge, its what we do. We are human. Good luck to the man for finally coming out, but let’s not see this anything more as a man who lied to the public for years for whatever reason and tried to bluff his way through. For that, he loses my respect.

      • Mark Y

        He met that Brazilian boyfriend in 2007, I hope he’s been honest about that in his interview – I doubt it. He’s been out of the closet for years, but kept a ‘straight’ public profile by denying he was gay at every opportunity, even in his last book. If he was like Gareth Thomas, who struggled with his sexuality, I could understand, but Ian Thorpe hasn’t struggled, he’s just lived two different lives, and lied about one of them to the World.

        • James!

          What’s wrong with boyfriend why Brazilian? Why prefix it as if to imply something. Nast person I hope you’re single

          • Mark Y

            Nothing wrong with having a boyfriend, but then to claim you are straight (even say it offensive to suggest you are gay) when asked about your sexuality means you are a liar. What would I be implying by prefixing it with Brazilian?, other than to say he had a Brazilian boyfriend?, I don’t get what you are’re going on about? No I’m not single, but why are you getting personal again? this is a story about Ian Thorpe, not me.

        • Sacre Bleu

          ‘Ian Thorpe hasn’t struggled’

          So depression doesn’t count?

      • James!

        I sure you opinion dosent matter to him. So shove it

        • Serkan M

          I’ts I’M not I. Plus how do you know my opinion doesn’t matter? Have you asked him?

        • Mark Y

          It’s not an opinion that he has known he he was gay throughout his professional life. It’s a fact. He lied to the public whilst having gay relationships. Fact.

      • Bea

        Mario, his room mate was his room mate. Not his lover. Why are you being so judgemental? Are you perfect?

  • Fordicus

    Your turn to come out next, Colin Jackson – the closet door is open…

    • Benji

      Yeah, & I’ve heard a rumour that one of the top female tennis players is going to come out as straight!

    • doug

      Is it too late for Cliff? I wonder.

      • ray_in_kent

        Yes, no one cares now.

  • Eddy

    Legendary? No. Famous and celebrated, yes. The man is still alive! People who become legendary are long since dead! Sloppy writing, PinkNews.

  • Serkan M

    Well let’s be honest. It wasn’t hard to tell really was it. The only one he was fooling was himself.

  • Chris in LA

    That he has come out is good for him. I just wish that journalists (and readers who pick up their bad ways) would stop using the word “legendary” to describe people and things that are not. A legendary individual is one that has never existed. The right word is “famous”. Picky, i know, but journalism is a form of communication and words matter.

    • speedgeek

      This is something that bugs me. King Arthur and Robin Hood are legends. Swimmers, Footballers and other sports figures are not!are not.

      • speedgeek

        And radio 5 clowns who say “it is a big ask”. “Journalists” who cannot distinguish a verb from a noun!

  • Truth

    Everyone’s journey to coming out is different. He may have denied being gay in the past… but now he has revealed his true sexuality. Just think how many more young men and women there are, struggling with depression because they feel they have to hide who they really are. He is a brilliant role model for young people in the same situation. Well done!

  • Darule Vozhak

    I wish him well, hopefully he can heal from the past and live a life where he feels comfortable and happy.

  • Shane Dean

    Ian Thorpe and Tom Daley gay? Must be something in the water….

  • Ivan

    I’m sure he will get criticism for waiting so long, but everyone has their own journey.

    I didn’t come out until I was 31 and the way I look at it is I wouldn’t be the same person if I had come out earlier.

    Now in my late 40s, I’m married to an amazing man with tons of wonderful friends and (hate to say it) totally happy.

    Good for you Ian. You’ll find that being honest about yourself will change your life for the better.

    • PaulHalsall

      Exactly. The clock runs differently in every person’s life.

  • boxinghris

    He shouldn’t have to ‘come out’ of any closet, as it really was nobodies business but his own unless he was having sex with children.
    Of course, he should never have lied about being straight, and should have told whoever asked the question to mind their own business, but lying was a mistake I’m sure he himself had regrets about at the time and harmed nobody but himself.
    Ian Thorpe is gay, most of us assumed it anyway whilst not regarding it of any relevance, so time to move on.

    • peace at last

      Hope you find happiness and peace Ian and enjoy your life further more .you have always been an outstanding caring considerate person I wish you well When I came out my parents put me in a mental hospital for aversion therapy (which didn’t work by the way)was cast aside by my father hated by my mother so I don’t blame you Ian for your denial. glad you chose your time to come out. and hope you find a partner like I did and we have been together 41 years.

  • Hype Returns

    I wonder what takes people so long to come around, granted it took me about 4 years to acknowledge it, once i did, it took a year to finally tell my friends. and im 19. i can only imagine how hard of a journey it must be if it takes people this long, but then again, people around him may have already known.

  • Helge Vladimir Tiller

    But I’m gay as well ! Open since 1961/62. What is the problem ?—so—what

  • Joe Blow

    Did it enable him to swim any faster? If not, who cares?? He’s an athlete, and most (sensible) folks could care less about his personal life…..

    • anon

      Gay = tighter speedos = faster

  • Brenda Meyer Willett

    WHO CARES???? Unless I am sleeping with the person I could careless WHO or WHAT they do in the PRIVACY of their own bedroom! What does he sexual preference have to do with him being a great swimmer or not?!?!?!?!!!!! WIth all of the REAL crap going on in the world that people SHOULD care about, they waste their time on “who’s blowing who”!!! …. ridiculous!

    • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

      While not disputing your core sentiment, unfortunately many people DO care, and for a variety of reasons. I care because we desperately need good role models, not only for LGBT youth to look up to and be given hope by, but also to fight the common perception that gay people are disease spreading pedophiles who prey on children to create waves of ‘new gays’ to “destroy the institution of marriage” and bring about “an end to civilization as we know it”, blah blah blah – we’ve heard it all before.

      In Russia for example, Thorpe would have been disqualified for being gay, because in that country like so many others, it is far more important whom you sleep with than how many gold medals you might earn for your country.

      Until all discrimination ends, we should care very much about this. It may be that the issue will never go away, because as a minority we are always under threat.

      “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”.

      • Rovex

        How many times does it need repeating that he
        had been getting accusations, and worse since he was 14 or even before.
        Show me a super famous person who was a star at 14 and is well adjusted,
        let alone one who was also accused of being gay and taunted for 17
        years, when he may not have even known himself originally. This is the central issue here, it really is. How can anyone not see that?

        • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

          The mere fact you state that homosexuality is something you can be “accused” of, shows a problem in your underlying comfortability with being gay. A 16 year old heterosexual male would love to be “accused” of being attracted to girls, and would probably beat you to it.

          When I was a kid, you didn’t ‘accuse’ someone of being heterosexual, and there wasn’t this problem with straight teenagers having a romance, so long as they didn’t consummate it and make unwanted babies. There wasn’t this sense as there is now, that you couldn’t go out with someone until they reached 16. Obviously this is where teenagers are of a similar age.

          In Thorpe’s interview, he stated that the questions about his sexuality started when he was 16, so your information that they started when he was 14 appears to be incorrect, unless you can adduce evidence that he himself stated that is from 14 elsewhere.

          • Rovex

            Oh please. You cant really be that naive can you? In Australia
            homosexuality, especially male homosexuality, was looked down on (it
            still is), so yes it was something to be ‘accused of’. I really cant
            believe you dont get that. What world do you live in? Seems like it
            been far too long since you were a teen or you are just losing sight of
            reality. Frankly your entire outlook on this staggers me. You seem almost personally offended, and care more about homosexuality itself than the person.

            Well I read at least once that it started at 14, but 14 or 16 it hardly matters.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            So, the facts “don’t matter”? I rest my case.

          • Rovex

            Now youre deflecting, declaring victory over a minor point. Do you
            think that minor point actually matters? 14 or 16, its the same. He was
            still given mass adulation at 14.

            Through
            all this you still havent demonstrated any humanity at all. You have
            done nothing but attack the guy without any understanding of context or
            mitigation.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            “Declaring victory”? That says it all. For you this is all combative, with winners and losers, and you having the last word at all cost, in front of your audience, who have now all left the theatre.

            As for nitpicking “minutiae”, that’s your specialisation, not mine. On another thread that you wasted half my day over, you kept on and on about my right to comment being diminished because I am not a famous philanthrope, and even appointed yourself to speak on behalf of Saint Sebastian. It’s not important to me, and it’s completely irrelevant whether you’ve “heard of me” or not.

            When you said that “no-one’s perfect”, you forgot to add – except you.

            This dispute is ridiculous and juvenile. You and I are the only ones left in this forum, and I have better things to do than prolong it, fighting like children on terms that are a mile away from rational discourse. No matter what I write, you find fault and disagree purely for the sake of disagreement.

            I have to get back to earning a living, so I am going to copy this response to your other two identical posts, and hereafter ignore you, by unsubscribing from Pink News. After this, you can have the whole room to yourself so I won’t even see your inevitable retort.

          • Rovex

            Wow, you really are blind arent you. I never did any of that. If you
            read it that way its not my problem. At least I commented on actual
            points, rather than on detail that dont actually matter.

            Dont let
            the door hit you on the way out! ( I know you will read this, you
            aren’t fooling anyone). Oh and I copy/pasted my replies to your
            copy/pastes..

  • Rocky Rose

    Do heterosexual individuals come out as straight? Why do we expect others to announce their sexuality?

    • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

      They don’t have to. Everyone is assumed to be straight unless otherwise notiified.

    • Mark Y

      He didn’t have to announce it, he has been asked many times, and denied it, even though he was in gay relationships at the time.

  • Jas Friedman

    How many of you are successful athletes? How many of you have competed at his level of swimming? Before you mock Ian Thorpe, consider how much hard work you have to put in the swimming pool to achieve what he has achieved! Accusing him of lying. It is difficult to come out when you are at his level of athleticism. Even in the 21st century humans are still squabbling over gay marriage and we attack him for “lying”?

    • Rehan

      Why do you put ‘lying’ in quotation marks? There isn’t a shred of doubt, now, that he lied: “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.” (2012)

      • Jas Friedman

        So you think his intention was to deceive the public? You are seeing things in black and white. Obviously you think he should not have “lied” and he should have told the truth. Have you considered what he actually believed at the time? Gay people, in the past, have been known to deny they are gay because of public perception. My goodness. Your behaviour is appalling. Gay people are known to be in the closet because of what people think of them. Social exclusion, discrimination. It is easy to say he was lying because we “know”. But from his perspective he was suffering inside. Why dont you kick a man when is down!

        • Rehan

          I don’t understand two things here, so please explain: (1) how is it ‘kick[ing] a man when he’s down’ to refer to Thorpe’s belated coming-out; and (2) in what conceivable way was his intention not ‘to deceive the public’ when he made the remark quoted, in 2012? It appears from what others have written elsewhere on this thread that he’d had a boyfriend for some 5 years by then: do you consider vehement denial a mere accidental oversight, perhaps?

          • Jas Friedman

            Denial is not the same as lying. Again, how do you know he was not confused? There are many gay people are still in the closet because of fear. It is clear you do not understand that some people fear what others think of them. Religion, society and other factors may have contributed to his denial. People have feelings and “lying” is not that straightforward.

          • Rovex

            I agree with most of what you say really, but the killer is that he had been getting accusations, and worse since he was 14 or even before. Show me a super famous person who was a star at 14 and is well adjusted, let alone one who was also accused of being gay and taunted for 17 years, when he may not have even known himself originally.

            This is the central issue here, it really is.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            The mere fact you think homosexuality is something you can be “accused” of shows a problem in your underlying comfortability with being gay. A 16 year old heterosexual male would love to be “accused” of being attracted to girls, and would probably beat you to it.

            When I was a kid, you didn’t ‘accuse’ someone of being heterosexual, and there wasn’t this problem with straight teenagers having a romance, so long as they didn’t consummate it and make unwanted babies. There wasn’t this sense as there is now, that you couldn’t go out with someone until they reached 16. Obviously this is teenagers who are of a similar age.

            In Thorpe’s interview, he stated that the questions about his sexuality started when he was 16, so your information that they started when he was 14 appears to be incorrect, unless you can adduce evidence that he himself stated that is from 14 elsewhere.

          • Rovex

            Oh please. You cant really be that naive can you? In Australia homosexuality, especially male homosexuality, was looked down on (it still is), so yes it was something to be ‘accused of’. I really cant believe you dont get that. What world do you live in? Seems like it been far too long since you were a teen or you are just losing sight of reality.

            Well I read at least once that it started at 14, but 14 or 16 it hardly matters.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            So the facts “don’t matter”? I rest my case.

          • Rovex

            Now youre deflecting, declaring victory over a minor point. Do you
            think that minor point actually matters? 14 or 16, its the same. He was
            still given mass adulation at 14.

            Through all this you still havent demonstrated any humanity at all. You have done nothing but attack the guy without any understanding of context or mitigation. Damn cold..

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            “Declaring victory”? That says it all. For you this is all combative, with winners and losers, and you having the last word at all cost, in front of your audience, who have now all left the theatre.

            As for nitpicking “minutiae”, that’s your specialisation, not mine. On another thread that you wasted half my day over, you kept on and on about my right to comment being diminished because I am not a famous philanthrope, and even appointed yourself to speak on behalf of Saint Sebastian. It’s not important to me, and it’s completely irrelevant whether you’ve “heard of me” or not.

            When you said “no-one’s perfect”, you forgot to add – except yourself.

            This dispute is ridiculous and juvenile. You and I are the only ones left in this forum, and I have better things to do than prolong it, fighting like children on terms that are a mile away from rational discourse. No matter what I write, you find fault and disagree purely for the sake of disagreement.

            I have to get back to earning a living, so I am going to copy this response to your other two identical posts, and hereafter ignore you, by unsubscribing from Pink News. After this, you can have the whole room to yourself so I won’t even see your inevitable retort.

          • Rovex

            Wow, you really are blind arent you. I never did any of that. If you read it that way its not my problem. At least I commented on actual points, rather than on detail that dont actually matter.

            Dont let the door hit you on the way out! ( I know you will read this, you aren’t fooling anyone). Oh and I copy/pasted my replies to your copy/pastes.

          • Rehan

            You’re probably right. That young Tom Daley seems to be doing remarkably well, though (mind you, he’s more than 10 years younger than Thorpe).

  • Jas Friedman

    One of the reasons why this is newsworthy is because gay marriage is still denied. Gay people are still persecuted. Being gay is not a choice. You don’t wake up over the course of a few weeks and decide you like the same sex. Gay people get attacked. If you think this is not news, then you are ignorant. Homophobic attacks exist. How many gay people are denied jobs? How many gay people are denied to donate blood? Straight people are normal, but what about those who are distributed outside the mean? There are plenty of straight role models and they are constantly in your face. Straight celebrity news is everywhere. Then you say this is not newsworthy.

  • Jas Friedman

    People often forget about the media. They are sports people. The media will be interested in his private life and he did not want to disclose his sexuality perhaps for that reason as well. Some gay people here judge Ian Thorpe too harshly and that is despicable. You would probably expect some of that behaviour in the gay community. Let’s see you get a gold Olympic medal before you accuse him of lying.

    • Rehan

      I don’t really see that getting a gold medal (or not) has anything to do with lying: you either lie or you don’t. People were interested in Thorpe’s sexuality for years – partly because of his evasiveness over the issue – and until now he lied outright about it. He might have had his reasons, but it doesn’t make him an admirable person for doing so.

      • Jas Friedman

        What is admirable was that he evaded the truth. Being gay should be irrelevant. It should be. Why should it matter? In a perfect world it shouldn’t. When you disclose your homosexuality, the public perception will go down. It is only very recently that sports people have come out. Look at the soccer stars. Few have come out but one notable exception was that Fashanu. You still don’t understand the pressure of being an athlete and being gay.

        • Rehan

          You’re right, I don’t – I can only try to, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t fun. However, Thorpe didn’t mere ‘evade the truth’, the issued flat denials – there is an enormous difference, and it is not admirable.

          • Jas Friedman

            When gay people are not discriminated against, or when gay people are fully accepted into society, you can tell me his actions are wrong. When gay marriage is accepted or when gay people are allowed into hotels, you can tell me that gay people are safe. There are many reasons why people are in denial. Civil rights take time to happen. It doesn’t happen with one person coming out of the closet in the sporting world. Who is going to take that chance to come out and risk their sponsorship? Risk the media or the paparazzi? I am gay and I know how hard it is to to be gay. Let alone let the whole public looking at you in a different light when humanity in the 21st century is still backward.

          • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

            That’s all true, but someone has to come out or it will never happen.

      • Johnny

        I feel very sorry for Ian Thorpe and the fact that he felt the need to hide his sexuality for so long. Despite his denials, most Australians believed him to be gay and have done so for quite awhile. His sexuality ceased to be a topic of conversation years ago. It was just the odd journalist who would bring it up every now and then.

        I understand why he denied being gay, particularly during his swimming career, but he denied (lied) about it so vehemently at times that I think he boxed himself into a corner in the end and probably felt he couldn’t come out prior to this.

        One person I always had alot of respect for was Ricky Martin. He used to get hammered back in the 90s and early 00s with regard his sexuality. Whenever I saw him being interviewed and the topic came up about his sexuality, although he never came out and said he was gay, he never denied it either. I always admired him for that.

        • Rehan

          I agree completely, Johnny.

  • Brian Apple

    I would advise Ian Thorpe to stay well away from the gay community. The gay community will chew him up and spit him out. All it wants is a poster child for 4 minutes and then it’s on to the next poster child…or dance party.

    • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

      Or he could embrace it and work against some of those aspects you criticise.

    • Jas Friedman

      “I would advise Ian Thorpe to stay well away from the gay community. The gay community will chew him up and spit him out. All it wants is a poster child for 4 minutes and then it’s on to the next poster child…or dance party.”

      Look right there! The gay community will attack Ian Thorpe because of his denial. How understanding we are! (end sarcasm)

  • lord thorpe

    Good on him, I hope he goes on to have a happy life.
    I’m surprised at the amount of criticism here from people I would have expected to be more understanding about being in the closet. I am of an age when as a teenager coming out hadn’t been invented! The worst thing about coming out is having to admit to having lied. Ian Thorpe has manned up and faced that.
    I don’t have too much of a problem with people being in the closet as long as they don’t make homophobic remarks to cover their own gayness, he never did that. We are all different and deal with things in our own way and time. I am very happy for him that his time has come.

  • JSM

    Ian Thorpe is a human being. I celebrate his achievements and applaud his coming out. Life is hard. Australia is not the easiest country to come out in. He has made his journey in his own good time. I respect him, not those who attack him. May his future hold happiness and peace.

    • Jas Friedman

      Exactly. People have different journeys. We are always in denial, as humans in one way or another. It is better late than never. Humans are always forming groups and we always exclude others because they don’t share the same values as them. Australia is very hard to come out. Imagine coming out in Nigeria or Russia! Being gay is hard and some think it is easy. But his life as an Olympian was doubly stressful. Think about Fashanu who came out and the reaction to his death. His own brother’s feelings towards him. How can you not think of the impact of coming out.

  • Zack

    So finally after years of denials, Thorpe has admitted to everybody what they already knew or suspected; that he is indeed gay. As per usual, he didnt just come out and announce it, he had to do it in a celebrity interview.

    • Johnny

      He is one of the greatest swimmers of all time. what did you expect him to do – post it on You Tube?

      • GulliverUK

        What, like Tom Daley did ! :)

        Anyway, he can be a role model for others, and it’s yet another example to heterosexuals of how they make it difficult to impossible for people to be themselves, to have the life they want and need. If they stop to think about the pain and anguish they’ve caused by being small and closed-minded, bigoted and ill-informed, for decades, perhaps it will help them avoid making judgements in the future.

        That’s possibly preaching to the already changed-their-mind heterosexuals, since most, here anyway, don’t now hold such archaic religiously-driven views, and to the others who are misinformed overwhelmed by their supernatural and ridiculous religious beliefs – they’re practically unreachable, locked in a make-believe world of dragons and demons and their chosen deity.

        • Johnny

          Gulliver good to hear from you. I hope you had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

          Hmm…sorry, couldn’t resist that one :)

  • Jas Friedman

    There are news that gay teenagers are attacked for being gay. There are news that gay people commit suicide and we should do more to tackle this. Until now (2014) there has a number of gay people coming out in the sporting world. Jason Collins, Tom Daley, Darren Young and now Ian Thorpe have come out. Get off your high horses and stop judging people just because they did not come out. It takes guts to come out as a PROFESSIONAL athlete. Can you not understand why he did not come out sooner? It takes a group of people to come out in this way so they form their own support group. One man alone can’t do it, unless they are very brave,

    • AdrianT

      Well said

  • AdrianT

    Solidarity with Ian. A lot of dreary sanctimonious armchair experts on here claiming ‘he was wrong to lie’ – who says? If I were in his shoes, I may as well have done the same. If you don’t owe anyone the truth, you don’t have to tell it. An intrusive question, in front of millions of viewers, when you aren’t ready for it, about your private life – which a straight athlete would never be subjected to – deserves to be urinated on with a lie, along with the reporter who asks it.
    A lot of people have forgotten what it was like to be gay in 2000, when it was perfectly normal to speak of gay people as predators, child abusers, disease spreaders and so on. I think Ian Roberts was viciously assaulted at least twice.
    The real questions are for society to answer, for shaming LGBT people into silence. Ian’s opening up now about the pain of hiding and pretending, might make folks wake up to the consequences of homophobia?

    • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

      While I agree with most of your post, I don’t think asking someone if they have a partner or a married is “invasive”. That is a commonplace question, and heterosexuals never take offence when you ask them if they’re married. It’s nothing more than friendly conversation, and showing an interest.

  • colonelkira

    Ian Thorpe is NOT a hero……..Ian Thorpe is NOT courageous………Ian Thorpe has NOT helped struggling teenagers or others to stop attempting suicide because of who they are, in fact quote the opposite…………Ian Thorpe is NOT a gay role model……..Ian Thorpe is NOT to be admired and idolised………..That is all…….

    • Jas Friedman

      On the contrary, Ian Thorpe knows what it is like to be depressed. He knows what is like to be suicidal. He knows what gay teenagers go through. Let me see you get a gold medal at the Olympics before you start attacking Ian Thorpe.

    • Rovex

      Actually by doing it now, in the way he has, he just did more than anyone here could ever hope to.

  • Me

    Who cares, if he is gay he is gay.It doesn’t matter. He is still a good person. Get over it, it is not your life, it is his.

    • Jas Friedman

      It shouldn’t matter, but it does, because gay people are still discriminated against.

  • Brian Apple

    Saying “I’m gay” is not the problem. The problem occurs when you base your personality on your sexuality. It’s de-humanising. There is far more to being a human than your sexual feelings or behaviour. Gay men, take note.

    • Tahooper

      Dat generalisation tho

  • Izzy Boo

    I’m glad he’s came out, it must have taken a lot of guts and I wish him the best.

  • jary

    Wow! Some people are very ruthless. This man has come out when he felt strong. He deserves respect and support.
    On the other hand, I do not entirely understand that guys who had long-term relationships with women however they self-define as gay. I recall that, for example, Ricky Martin took the same position.

  • ג’ון מרטין

    Money, plain and simple. He stayed in the closet and lied to everyone to keep his lucrative endorsements. Now that he has nothing to lose, he comes out. That’s not courage, that’s just being a schmuck seeking publicity.

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