Advocates say Thorpe’s coming out will save lives
LGBTI advocates say Ian Thorpe’s coming out will save lives and described the young swimmer as inspirational, after he chose to come out via a primetime interview with Michael Parkinson.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said, "Ian Thorpe's story will inspire young gay and lesbian people across Australia who will see in him someone who shares their struggle with coming out, who has bravely declared to the world who he is, and who has received overwhelming support."
Croome described Thorpe as a hero and said his coming out will not only save lives but further the case for marriage equality.
"To these young people Ian Thorpe is a hero all over again. His coming out will save lives."
"Ian Thorpe's coming out will advance marriage equality by highlighting how offensive it is that gay Australians, even those who have achieved so much and done their nation proud, are treated as second-class citizens."
Croome said most Australians want the best for Thorpe, including the right to marry the long-term partner he aspires to have and start a family.
"Ian Thorpe's struggle to come out is over but now he faces a new struggle, along with all gay Australians, to be treated fairly and equally."
During his interview, Ian Thorpe said, as a gay man, he would like to be in a committed relationship and have a family.
Thorpe revelation has been met with overwhelming support from the community at large.
Fellow Olympians took to twitter to sing Thorpe's praises.
Thorpie is and will always be a superstar in my eyes!!! @IanThorpe— Stephanie Rice (@ItsStephRice) July 12, 2014
What a relief of stress & pain for @IanThorpe. True, we don't care one way or another, so long as you are happy and at peace with yourself— Nicole Livingstone (@NicLiv) July 13, 2014
Watch Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay