Magazine Cover Staff Blog

Thorpe’s Brave Decision

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On 28th July 2014 the five-time Olympic gold medallist swimmer, Ian Thorpe, got personal with WHO magazines reporter Kate Halfpenny, announcing to not only his country, but the world, “Yes, I’m Gay”.

With cameras rolling during the Parkinson interview airing on Channel 10, Thorpe made the brave decision to tell the world the truth about his sexuality. He said “I’m not straight – I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man.” The 31 year olds sexuality had been in question for years, and he didn’t want people to question his integrity, as he had being lying about it for so long. Thorpe even wrote in his 2012 autobiography: “For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight.”

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Coming out was hard for this swimming icon, but coming out to his parents was harder. His parents were shocked but still very supportive. “We love you to pieces, we will always love you and this doesn’t change anything” said by Margaret, Ian’s mother. Thorpe said “I’m pleased to say that in telling them, and especially my parents, they told me that they love me and they support me.”

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In the Parkinson interview, Thorpe also talked about his suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts and a battle with the bottle which saw him in rehab. “I’ve held this as such weight and there’s so much pain in this” said Thorpe, saying that part of him wasn’t sure “if Australia wanted its champion to be gay.”

Ian also received many encouraging tweets from other celebs regarding his decision to come out from stars such as Ricky Martin, Stephanie Rice, Megan Gale and many more.

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While this was a big and brave decision for the Olympic swimmer, he says “This is when I can kind of breathe out. I’ve gone back to one of the core values most important to me, which is honesty and integrity.”

“I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man. And I don’t want young people to feel the same way that I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay.”

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