Support has flooded in from celebrities including Magda Szubanski and fans around the world after Australian Olympic champion swimmer Ian Thorpe revealed he is gay in a landmark television interview.
The topic on everyone’s lips today is the revealing conversation that Australian Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe had last night with Sir Michael Parkinson as part of a one-off interview special in which he revealed that he was gay.
One prominent celebrity who came out yesterday in support of Ian, was Magda Szubanski who applauded the swimmer for his bravery, posting to Twitter yesterday that she was proud that he had come out on his own terms:
Magda also told Weekend Today in an interview yesterdaythat society has still got a long way to go in changing its attitude towards homosexuality:
"We live in homophobic society and the reluctance of gay people (to come out) is completely understandable. It shouldn't be judged, we don't know what's going on in anyone's life, we don't know what circumstances they're in, all we have to do is create a supportive world where it is safe for people to be whatever sexuality or gender they want to be."
Last night’s interview on Network Ten, was considered to be Thorpie’s “coming-out” interview, during which legendary British journalist, Sir Michael Parkinson asked Ian: “You've always said that you're not gay. Is all of that true?” To which Ian’s highly anticipated response came:
“I've thought about this for a long time….I'm not straight.”
He then went on further to reveal that revelation was a new one, even amongst close friends and family: “…this is only something that very recently - in the past two weeks - I've been comfortable telling the closest people around me exactly that.”
Rising to International fame at the young age of 15, Ian has been questioned about his sexuality ever since. He said “I didn't accept it in myself. I didn't want to be gay… I was still gay at the end of the day.”
“Yes, I lied about it. I'm comfortable [now] saying I'm a gay man.”
Magda Szubanksi is another celebrity who only came out publicly herself quite recently too. Having previously not discussed her sexuality in public, the Aussie comedy star decided to come out on Valentine’s Day 2012 in order to show her support for gay marriage.
Since Ian opened up though, the Olympic Swimmer has been inundated with messages of support from fans, celebrities and fellow sportspeople alike. The hashtag #onyaThorpie has been trending on Twitter as fans congratulated the swimmer for his courage in coming out.
Ian’s former swimming rival Grant Hackett also spoke on Nine News when asked to comment: "He should be remembered as one of our greatest Olympians. Not the guy who came out."
Magda and Grant aren’t the only celebrities to throw their support behind the star though, many celebrities Tweeted their words of support. This included Ricky Martin and Darren Hayes, who also chose not to come out publicly until quite late in their careers and Matthew Mitcham, who was Australia’s first openly gay male Olympian:
Ian also responded to the influx of positive support with this Tweet last night after the Interview had gone to air: