Ian Thorpe is arguably one of the bigger faces when it comes to gay athletes, given his huge success over the years and his recent comments on not pressuring young people to come out before they’re ready.
Now, the swimmer has said he wants to help gay people who may be struggling with their sexuality. He recently spoke out on the “responsibility” he feels towards helping others struggling with their sexuality.
When speaking to Star Magazine, he said: “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. I feel like I have something to offer and I like helping out young people. I feel as though there’s a role for me to help out.”
As mentioned earlier, the athlete recently spoke out about how he knew he was gay for a “long time” before coming out, but the pressure and constant attention to his sexuality made it harder for him.
“If I had a little bit more time when I was younger, I would have come out. I would have been comfortable with that. But because I told that lie, I was trying to suppress that part of me.”
Since coming out two years ago, Ian has undoubtedly felt the pressures of being a role model to young LGBT people, and touched on that a little in his interview with Star Magazine.
“In some ways, there is an expectation that you will be the voice of this group, which none of us can do. It’s made up of many voices, and I’m very new to this. I don’t have the experience.”
And lastly, Ian touched on his dating troubles, and how he struggled to find “normal” people in the dating scene: “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.”