Ian Thorpe says he has a ‘responsibility’ towards younger gay men
The swimmer says he wants to help other gay people who are struggling with their sexuality.
Former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe spoke out about the “responsibility” he now feels towards others struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.
“There’s an opportunity and a good responsibility I feel for young people who may be struggling with sexuality and to make it a more equitable place for us all,” the 33-year-old athlete told Star Magazine.
“I feel like I have something to offer and I like helping out young people,” he added.
“I feel as though there’s a role for me to help out.”
Last month, Thorpe said he knew he was gay “a long time” before coming out two years ago, after being asked about it publicly for the first time when he was just 16.
“If I had a little bit more time when I was younger, I would have come out. I would have been comfortable with that,” he said.
“But because I told that lie, I was trying to suppress that part of me.”
Thorpe also spoke about the pressures of being a role model for the LGBT community, now that he has been honest about his sexuality.
“In some ways, there is an expectation that you will be the voice of this group, which none of us can do,” he said.
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“It’s made up of many voices, and I’m very new to this. I don’t have the experience.”
Discussed his “stressful” love life recently, the swimmer said he had struggled to find “normal people” in the dating scene, and that he has avoided using dating apps.
“It’s an absolute mess out there! I’m like, ‘Where are all the normal people?’ I’ve never really dated, so I’ve come in being almost completely blindsided by this.
“I think if someone puts an effort into a date, then full points – it’s not like I’m a hard marker.
“But there are some nut cases. It’s just a bit weird.”